Yes, our “ski vacay” may have just been one day of going over the Teton pass to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, but it was still a good way to spend our day off. On ski trips, it’s super easy to go hard all day long, then pass out by 5:30- after that apres ski appetizers (let’s get real, this is me everyday….). But we tried our best to make the most out of our mini vacation to the other side of the Tetons.
Get up earlier than your think
Lifts start spinning at most resorts at 9 o’clock. This means getting your cozy butt out of bed and getting to it. We had an hour drive over the Teton Pass, so we told everyone 7:20 (aka leave by 7:40) to give ourselves plenty of time.
Invite the friends
We obviously want our friends to shred with, but also keep in mind that some resorts are extremely kind to carpoolers, often rewarding with better parking or free parking. Couples are great but the benefit comes from 3+ people.
Pack up on the snacks
Whether you always have goodies in your pockets or not, snacks on ski days are the best. We planned on shredding through high noon in order to leave the mountain to get grub at 2:30pm, so it was necessary to stock up on granola bars before heading out (why else do you think ski coats have so many pockets?). Another awesome thing to note is that Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is now sponsored by Nature Valley, so mountain hosts are always equipped with the crunchy goods in their uniforms.
Invite a decision maker
Smaller hills or big mountains…. it’s still no fun to be up at the top of a chairlift squinting at a map trying to decide and listening to people say “I don’t know. Where do you wanna go?”. The fore-mentioned phrase for sure my life motto, but that’s why I have Nic around to make the executive decisions. That meant that we were on the hill shredding rad lines rather than bantering back and forth.
Another plus for resorts like Jackson Hole that have maps on the chairlift bars to at least give us ten minutes to ultimately decide on the “I don’t know” run. Major plus points for not making us carry around a map and looking like a total tourist.
Converse with the locals
95% of the time, local skiers are some of the nicest people you have ever met. Strike up conversations, and don’t be afraid to ask about the best places to eat, the most affordable, or even straight to the best apres ski.
Take the local advice
It’s one thing to find out the best place to eat after skiing, but it takes a whole other thing to ACTUALLY go there. In our case, we went to Teton Thai, a famously delicious thai restaurant that was about a 3 minute bus ride from the base of the resort and about a 1 minute walk from our parked car. It was so incredibly satisfying after a full day of sunshine ski laps . It was also not busy at all due to our arrival time of 2:30. (Note: the busiest times on ski hills are about 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm).
The whole idea of our mini ski vacay was going skiing during the day, then in the afternoon, head to some hot springs outside Hoback Junction. This rough plan is what fueled our decisions for the day. It was nice to have a strategy for after skiing to get the most out of our trek to Jackson, instead of being like “what next?”. Because most of the time, that means straight to your favorite pillow on your bed.
Don’t Take Vacation Too Seriously
Days off should be stress-free. Don’t worry about the small stuff. Guess what? I totally forgot my ski boots at work, and still managed to have a great time. (Shoutout to my mom keeping her old boots where I could reach them). We obviously wanted to hit as much as we could, but we also didn’t forget to have fun like trying to see how long of a run we could take and exploring new places that people suggested us not to go (but honestly it was one of our favorite places…. go to Moran Face if you’re trying to hit small cliff after cliff).
We are planning another fun ski vacation towards the Salt Lake Area in February!! Let us know your tips and tricks for making the most out of your ski vacay.