Dinner’s over, and I have to go to the bathroom. Walking to the “facilities” — a tree 50 feet from the front door — I stumble into a snowdrift. My landing is soft — Wyoming’s Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has reported 10 inches of fresh snow in the past 24 hours — and I don’t have to go that badly, so I lie down rather than rush.
With the day’s storm over, more stars than I’ve ever seen twinkle above. Someone told me that if I stare at the sky here long enough, I’m certain to spot a satellite. I give it until a pine bough above releases a poof of powder into my upturned face. Snow fast melting inside my down jacket, I get a bit chilled. Which would be a problem if I were truly winter camping.
But my ski buddies and I have rented the resort’s yurt for the night. I’m embarrassed to have lived in this valley and skied at this resort for 15 years and to have just now discovered this accommodation. Everyone else in my group has done yurt trips and winter camping excursions — specifically the Bench Hut in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains, the Beaver Creek Cabin in Montana’s Gallatin National Forest, and tent/snow cave camping deep in nearby Grand Teton National Park.