For the last 16 years, every fall, Teton Gravity Research has unveiled prophecies of the shape of skiing to come in the form of a ski movie. These premieres are a staple in ski culture. The distinct experience of sitting in a crowded theatre packed with smuggled beers, mischievous smiles, and ski friends we might have not seen since snowmelt is practiced annually around the world. But after last winter's lackluster snowfall, and one of the hottest summers on record, I needed some extra spiritual heeling. A local movie premier just wasn't going to cut it. I needed a pilgrimage. I decided the best way to do it was to pack my bags and head to Teton Village in a truck packed with skiers, bikes, and high hopes to see the World Premier of TGR's The Dream Factory. The goal was to experience TGR's medicine at its source, and kick off last season's funk in exchange for optimism on the best winter ever.
So with the cacophonous alarm waking me at 4:45am, I got my first recollection of ski season. Getting up early still sucks. The sleep from my eyes quickly lost relevance as I was forced to scrape fall's first frost of the windshield. As I joined a few skiing friends in a crowded truck and left Colorado, the tallest peaks were covered in the season's first snow. Good signs were abound.
After eight hours of candy eating, emergency roadside bathroom stops, and a few laughs, we arrived in Teton Village at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The snow was absent, but the magnitude of the Tetons never ceases to amaze. As I made my way to bed that night the temperature dipped into the thirties. It's hard to sleep thinking about snow.
After sleeping on the floor-after all this is a ski bum trip-I awoke for some bike riding to prepare for the movie premier. The trails from the top of Teton Pass are plentiful, and they run all the way to the valley floor. If skiing isn't an option, biking almost makes up for it. Almost.