THE view from my airplane window at Jackson Hole airport was one that most skiers would envy: snow cyclones purling down the runway, baggage attendants in ski goggles, drifts the size of camper vans framing the arrival gate. The Grand Tetons, which jut from the high prairie of western Wyoming like a serrated knife, were not even visible as the plane came to a stop. There was only white. And, as I descended the plane’s stairs, cold. Which would have been sublime had I been headed to a slope-side condominium to schuss the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort for the week.
But the three ski buddies I was meeting had different plans. We’d been on various hut-to-hut ski tours in Europe in the last few years, specifically on the Haute Route and in the Ötztal Alps of Austria. I’d been spoiled by untracked backcountry powder, hand-hewn alpine shelters and the thrill of traversing an entire mountain range on skis. Read more>>