Monday, January 29, 2007

We have snow in the forecast

Jackson has been cold and dry for most of January. I glanced at the forecast on NOAA today and it's calling for a chance of snow on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. It might be just a few inches, but that is better then -15 degrees and dry.

I took my first weekend day off from skiing on Sunday. Teton Village was super firm on Saturday and I could not motivate myself to drive 4 miles to ski groomers. The main problem lies in the fact that the upper mountain warmed up last Thursday and Friday and froze solid last weekend. This forced everyone onto the groomers because everything else was rock hard bumps. We need a serious storm to move us out of "high pressure hell".

Sunday, January 28, 2007

I'm Watching

I just installed Google Analytics so that I can track the number of page views on my blog. It also provides handy information as to where people are sitting when they are viewing the blog and their respective IP addresses. I will also be able to find out what page you click to after reading the blog (you are warned).

Hopefully, you will support the writer and click on a few ads - more to come next week on this topic.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I am an Internet Cowboy

1. I live in Jackson Hole
2. I work from home for a software company
3. I use the Internet and telecommute

A parent of one of Charlotte's students introduced me to the phrase Internet Cowboy today.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

State of the Union

Have you ever wondered what was really said during the state of the union address? Either way you should follow this link and play around with the handy graph.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

4 Pines

Originally uploaded by krughb.
Today Charlotte and our friend Andie (above) hiked out to 4 Pines from the top of Teton Village. Charlotte and Andie appeared to be having a heck of a time on the boot-pack.

A summary of the run on 4 Pines:
Top: wind effected soft snow
Middle: good boot to knee deep powder
Bottom: crusty snow

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Jackson Hole Mac & Cheese

Last night I completed my formal review to determine who has the best Mac & Cheese in the Teton area. This was an ad-hoc survey after our waiter at the Rendezvous Bistro claimed that their Mac & Cheese is #1.

And the results:

1. Knotty Pine
2. Q
3. Bistro

I am sorry to say that I don't agree with our waiter. The Knotty mixes in onions into the mac and cheese which is unusual for a restaurant. The Mac & Cheese was rich and creamy throughout and it has a crispy top and served in a small deep bowl.

The M&C at the Q is similar, but it does not have onions. I have had this as a side on 3 occasions and the oil always separates in the dish and diners are required to mix the small bowl with a fork to evenly distribute the cheese and oil. Perhaps this occurs because all of the M&C is baked in advance?

Finally, the Bistro. I was unimpressed with the M&C for a number of reasons. First, it was ziti not Macaroni. I have no problems with ziti, but it should be called ziti and cheese. The dish was dry and our friends who joined us were also not impressed. The M&C was served in a shallow bowl and it was not "thick and creamy".

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Downloading Movies in Jackson?

Netflix announced today that customers will be able to download videos to their own PC's. I am currently a Netfix customer but I was planning on cancelling my membership because with the Jackson Hole Ski Club card I can rent 20 movies from Main Event in Jackson for $20. However, this is a pain because Main Event is 8 miles from my house and Charlotte and I only go to town 1-2 days per week. This makes it difficult to return movies and thus generates late fees.

I think that I will maintain my Netfix account and test out the new service. We frequently watch TV over the Internet so movies are the logical next step.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Car Troubles

At 7am today Charlotte found out that her battery died overnight. At night we plug in our cars due to the cold weather. This simply heats powers our block heater which keeps the engine block and battery warm so the car will start at low temperatures. Most cars in Jackson have plugs hanging out of the front grill.

Last night we forgot to plug in the car and Charlotte ended up running to our neighbors house for a ride to work. This is not a fun way to exercise when its -25 degrees F.

I have been noticing that a red fluid has been dripping occasionally from my car during the past few weeks. After a consultation with the dealer it's a normal occurrence during a cold spell. The power steering fluid expands and thickens when cooled to -25 and will ooze out of the reservoir when the steering wheel is first turned. I was glad to hear that the problem was minor after my last transmition troubles in Seattle.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

It's even colder today - but we had BBQ last night

Originally uploaded by krughb.
We are still stuck in the artic air mass for at least 2 more days. This picture shows the temperature at 9am on Sunday.

Charlotte and I skied a run near avalanche bowl on Teton Pass yesterday and found steep trees loaded with 2 feet of cold smoke powder. Our friend Doug led the trip and we enjoyed the introduction to new terrain.

After the ski run we drove West off the pass and spend the evening at the Knotty Pine in Victor, ID with a group of friends.

I wanted to eat at the Knotty to conduct a direct comparison to the new restaurant near our house called the Q. Both establishments offer smoked meats and BBQ and are considered fine eating establishments. It has been a point of contention as to which restaurant has the best BBQ.

After eating at both restaurants in the last week, I will name Q the winner. The ribs had a stronger smoked flavor along with a hardy dry rub crisped on the outside of the rips. The Knotty does receive a few extra bonus points for including diced onions in their Mac & Cheese and the wonderful Turkey Noodle Soup that was made fresh last night. Interestingly enough, both restaurants use the same band of smokers for cooking the meats. Each restaurant has a distinctive atmosphere and are great places for a casual dinner with friends.

Friday, January 12, 2007


Originally uploaded by krughb.
Jackson is back in the artic air mass. The high for the next few days is supposed to be around 4 degrees F. I was planning to ski on Teton Pass this morning but after reading the thermometer I decided to hold off on the run.

Today is setting up to be a great day at work because my budget for Q1 will be offically locked down. Now we just have to execute on our plan.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Ramens -- I thought they were built in a fancy lab

We learned the sad news this week that the founder of Ramen Noodles passed away. I was surprised to hear that Ramens had a "founder". I would have guessed that Ramens were created in some crazy food lab by a team of scientist in white lab jackets.

It is refreshing to hear that Ramens originated from a simple story and were created before our manufactured food movement was in full swing.

Did you know that Ramens are deep fried? That is news to me.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Good and The Bad

This weekend was full of ups and downs. On Friday afternoon, we had our first skier death due to an avalanche. A young local skier from VT was planning to jump Fat Bastard but an avalanche broke and carried him off the cliff. His 2 other friends were lucky to survive. We have an unusually unstable snowpack proven by the fact that 7 skiers were caught in avalanches on Thursday in 3 separate incidents. I hope the snowpack settles over the next few days.

The jet stream targeted Jackson Hole on Wednesday and has not moved in the past few days. The temperatures have been cold, the winds strong, and the skies snowy. Every day we have received between 4-8 inches of new snow. On Saturday the north facing runs were blown in with deep powder and Charlotte took her first ever run down Alta 1. I am not sure why she has never skied the run, but she did enjoy the knee deep power in the Alta chutes. The ski portion of the day was completed with a few laps on the Hobacks.

We ended Saturday in style:
1. Nachos & Beers at Cascade
2. Hot Tubing at Tim and Andie's while watching the Seahawks beat the Cowboys
3. Refueling with good old BBQ at the "Q"

The weekends have been great ski days and Sunday was no different. Charlotte and I ran into a bunch of friends and were the first group hike into Casper Bowl where we enjoyed 2-3 feet of soft powder. The day continued with another hike to the headwall and ended with a few lower face runs. Once again it was storm skiing -- zero degrees F & windy.

I am ready for the work week.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Excel Heaven

I have been slammed at work for the past few days. The beginning of the year is always challenging with wrapping up 2006 and locking down plans for 2007. I have spent the last 9 hours pouring over and tweaking Excel sheets that list my yearly budget. It is tedious work and requires a fine toothed comb to ensure that we are headed for a profitable year. I just keep repeating in my head that a good plan will lead to a prosperous 2007.

Back to my Excel sheets.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Lone Pine

Lone Pine
Originally uploaded by krughb.
On New Years Day we headed out early to Mail Cabin Creek to Lone Pine and Windy ridge. I wanted to enjoy the day in a remote area where I had never been skiing before. Mail Cabin Creek fit the bill.

It's on the West side of the pass and with a 3 mile approach it does not attract many crowds. We enjoyed 3 quality runs with the sounds of glass breaking surface hoar before traversing back to the car.

I felt strong on the traverse and was glad to have finished my first long tour of the season. It was a great training run for the park. Perhaps I can squeeze in a park run before the end of January.

New Years Eve

We took a run in Granite Canyon and it was a mixed bag. I dug a snow pit at the top and found the top layer to be a 12 inch soft slab that was bonded fairly well to the rest of the snow pack. The next 3 feet of snow had consolidated much better then anticipated, but I suspect this was sitting on a rotten ground layer.

The run started out great, turned to very rocky and ended with knee deep powder in the trees. The 6 mile traverse out was hell. Rocks, trees, willows, whippers, sidesteps.

I am not going into details because I don't want to relive the experience. Granite serves up some of the best lift access terrain in the world and I don't want to ruin it for future runs.

I almost forgot Christmas Eve

Oh yeah - it snowed 12 inches after 4pm when the lifts closed. It was a "surprise" storm and the Village was empty. Deep powder for all.

We ended up riding the gondola on the first run with 2 other guys who we skied with for the next 4 hours. It was funny because we kept ripping runs and seeing each other in the lift line so we just keep riding together all day. Its funny how it can be difficult to meet your friends on the hill or keep a group together, but we managed to take about 8 runs with 2 strangers who quickly became fun ski partners.


We wrapped up a successful vacation today. My folks came out to the wild west and enjoyed a Christmas Jackson style. We skied 4 days, although my parents did not enjoy all of the fresh snow that bumped up the groomers. The first and fourth days were consisted of soft groomers and sun - just their style. The middle 2 days were deep powder!

We enjoyed Christmas dinner my parents and our friends Andy, Hayden and Henry. We served lamb and fresh Maine oysters. I was also informed that one of the local beer stores stocks Saranac so I made a last minute run for a 12 pack.

Thanks to Ric for the oysters - you can see the "farm" on the right. We leaned the coolers over 1 step to ensure proper drainage.

Notice the ski pack on the left, after ripping through tons of gifts from Santa we jumped into the car and went skiing at the Village.

One of the highlights for my parents was the sleigh ride on the Elk Refuge. Local or visitor, I recommend jumping aboard. The sled brings riders within 20 feet of 6-7 foot tall elk.

After a week of fun in JH my folks flew home and avoided the mess in Denver. All in all a great week.