Jackson Hole and Northwest Wyoming Places

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Teton Village and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. 307/733–2292 or 800/333–7766. 307/733–2660. www.jacksonhole.com.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. A place to appreciate both as a skier and as a voyeur, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is truly one of the great skiing experiences in America. There are literally thousands of ways of getting from top to bottom, and not all of them are hellishly steep, despite Jackson’s reputation. First-rate racers such as Olympic champion skier Tommy Moe and snowboarders Julie Zell, A. J. Cargill, and Rob Kingwill regularly train here. As Kingwill has put it, “Nothing really compares to Jackson Hole … This place has the most consistently steep terrain. You can spend years and years here and never cross your trail.”

On the resort map, about 111 squiggly lines designate named trails, but this doesn’t even begin to suggest the thousands of different skiable routes. The resort claims 2,500 skiable acres, a figure that seems unduly conservative. And although Jackson is best known for its advanced to extreme skiing, it is also a place where imaginative intermediates can go exploring and have the time of their lives. It is not, however, a good place for novices.

High snowfall some winters can lead to extreme avalanche danger in spite of efforts by the Ski Patrol to make the area as safe as possible. Before venturing from known trails and routes, check with the Ski Patrol for conditions. Ski with a friend, and always carry an emergency locator device. Ski passes range from $55 for adults in early season to $91 come late December. Teton Village, WY, 83025. 307/733–2292 or 800/333–7766. www.jacksonhole.com.

Backcountry Skiing

Few areas in North America can compete with Jackson Hole when it comes to the breadth, beauty, and variety of backcountry opportunities. For touring skiers, one of the easier areas (because of flatter routes) is along the base of the Tetons toward Jenny and Jackson lakes. Telemark skiers (or even skiers on alpine gear) can find numerous downhill routes by skiing in from Teton Pass, snow stability permitting. A guide isn't required for tours to the national park lakes, but might be helpful for those unfamiliar with the lay of the land; trails and trail markers set in summer can become obscured by winter snows. When you are touring elsewhere, a guide familiar with the area and avalanche danger is a virtual necessity. The Tetons are big country, and the risks are commensurately large as well.

Jackson Hole Alpine Guides leads half-day and full-day backcountry tours into the national parks and other areas near the resort for more downhill-minded skiers. Arrangements can also be made through the Jackson Hole Mountain Sports School. Teton Village, WY, 83025. 307/739–2663.

Jackson Hole Mountain Guides leads strenuous backcountry tours. 165 N. Glenwood St., Jackson, WY, 83002. 307/733–4979. www.jhmg.com.

The Jackson Hole Nordic Center has cross-country, telemark, and snowshoe rentals and track and telemark lessons. The center also leads naturalist tours into the backcountry. Rental packages begin at $30 and lessons start at $85, including rental equipment and a $14 trail pass. Forest Service rangers lead free snowshoe tours; the Nordic Center also runs private snowshoe tours, starting from $85. Sled-dog tours are available (call to inquire about prices). Teton Village, WY, 83025. 307/739–2629 or 800/450–0477.

Facilities

4,139-foot vertical drop; 2,500 skiable acres; 10% beginner, 40% intermediate, 50% expert; 1 gondola, 6 quad chairs, 2 triple chairs, 1 double chair, 1 magic carpet.

Heli-Skiing

In general, heli-skiing is best done when there has been relatively little recent snowfall. For two or three days after a storm, good powder skiing can usually be found within the ski area.

Daily trips can be arranged through High Mountain Heli-Skiing. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort base area, Teton Village, WY, 83025. 307/733–3274. www.heliskijackson.com.

Lessons and Programs

Half-day group lessons at the Jackson Hole Mountain Sports School start at $100. There are extensive children's programs, including lessons for kids 6 to 13 years old, and day care is available for children from 6 months to 2 years old. Nordic-skiing lessons start at $85. Teton Village, WY, 83025. 307/733–2292 or 800/450–0477.

For expert skiers, the Jackson Hole Ski Camps, headed by such skiers as Tommy Moe, the 1994 Olympic gold medalist, and top snowboarders like Julie Zell, A.J. Cargill, and Jessica Baker, run for four or five days, teaching everything from big-mountain free-skiing to racing techniques. The cost is $675–$900 per person, not including lift tickets. Teton Village, WY, 83025. 307/739–2779 or 800/450–0477.

Lift Tickets

Lift tickets cost $58 to $91. You can save about 10% to 20% if you buy a 5- to 15-day ticket.

Rentals

Equipment can be rented at ski shops in Jackson and Teton Village.

Jackson Hole Sports, at the Bridger Center at the ski area, offers ski- and snowboard-rental packages starting at $22 a day. Teton Village, WY, 83025. 307/739–2687.

You can buy or rent skis or snowboards at Pepi Stiegler Sports Shop, which is run by the famous Stiegler family. Daughter Resi, who calls Jackson Hole home, competed in the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy. Pepi, her father, is a native of Austria who won a bronze in the giant slalom at the 1964 Innsbruck games. Ski rentals cost between $28 and $49; snowboard rentals are $36. The store is at the base of Rendezvous Peak. 3395 W. McCollister Dr., Teton Village, WY, 83025. 307/733–4505. www.pepistieglersports.com.

Track Skiing

The Jackson Hole Nordic Center has cross-country, telemark, and snowshoe rentals and track and telemark lessons. The center also leads naturalist tours into the backcountry. Rental packages begin at $30 and lessons start at $85, including rental equipment and a $14 trail pass. Forest Service rangers lead free snowshoe tours; the Nordic Center also runs private snowshoe tours, starting from $85. Sled-dog tours are available (call to inquire about prices). Teton Village, WY, 83025. 307/739–2629 or 800/450–0477.

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