By Drew Petersen
As I drove into Jackson at 11 P.M. on Sunday, the sky itself seemed to be falling down. The snow was relentless, and each gust of wind blurred my view of the road. Earlier that day, I was in Salt Lake City, where I live, and I checked the forecast for Jackson Hole. It showed snow all week long, with the storm hitting the hardest over the next three days. The forecast’s message was simple: The time was now to chase the storm. I packed up my truck, hit the road north, and called my friend to ask if I could sleep on his couch when I made it to Jackson.
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My first morning in town, on Monday, the report was 24 inches in 24 hours. In my first turn on my very first run, the snow enveloped my entire body and plastered my beard perfectly white. Every single run, all day was chock-full of carbon copies of that very turn.
On my first run the following morning, I center-punched the middle of the Hoback’s. At the bottom, I met Bryan Iguchi, a legendary local snowboarder with a global reputation for his smooth powder-riding style. “In all my time in Jackson, I really don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything like this,” Bryan told me. Naturally, I asked how long he’s lived in Jackson. “23 years.” He was referring to the winter as a whole, perhaps not specifically this storm.
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All week long, I heard some iteration of Bryan’s comment from nearly everyone I crossed paths with, whether it be from local friends or a bartender. By the end of the week, a few of the comments of having never seen anything like this were being made about this storm, specifically. My storm chase could not have had better timing.
For more from Drew Petersen, including the next time he chases a storm to Jackson, follow him on Instagram: @drewpeterski.
Check out “A Dream Week in Jackson Hole” from my trip to Jackson Hole last winter.
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