Let it Snow!

Teton Range covered in snow

It’s ski season in Jackson Hole. Many of us here at Barker-Ewing are lucky enough to both work and recreate on the snow-covered slopes that surround us all winter. And that fluffy white snow is solid gold! When spring arrives, the snow transforms into liquid gold as it melts into the Snake River, our summer playground and workplace. It courses through Grand Teton National Park before charging across Idaho on a journey of nearly 1,000 miles, eventually joining the Columbia River in Pasco, Washington. Along the way, this liquid gold is used by Idaho farmers who turn it into food for us and fodder for the meat and dairy industries. And of course our fish, wildlife, and avian friends utilize this vital artery for their day-to-day survival. 

Many boatmen — myself included — engage in what we call “useless trip speculation.” During the summer we wonder if we will have a trip today, or what the weather will be like, or which wild animals we might see along the Snake River’s banks. During the winter, the speculation centers on what the temperature might be, how much fresh snow will fall, or what ski wax will be best for tomorrow’s snow conditions. And, most importantly, will there be enough snowmelt to fill the river for next summer’s float season? We rely on the data provided by a network of snow gauges throughout Yellowstone and Grand Teton to fuel this particular speculation — and we consult these gauges regularly, because a dry winter means low water (and sore backs and tired limbs) while big snow means big water and big happy boatmen!

Check out this season’s snow pack here:

Rocky Mountain SnoTel sites: https://co.water.usgs.gov/projects/RM_snowpack/html/snowpack_map.html

Jackson Hole Ski Resort snowfall history: https://www.onthesnow.com/wyoming/jackson-hole/historical-snowfall.html?&y=2020&q=top

Our office is open, and our online reservation system is up and running, so book your trip for summer 2021 today! 

Eric Barker

Leave a Comment