Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding
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 the United States. There are literally thousands of ways to get 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, Bryan Iguchi, 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, 117 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 intermediates can go exploring and have the time of their lives. There are few green-coded beginner slopes, so lessons are recommended for novices to advance their skills and make the most of their time here. 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. The resort has an open-gate backcountry policy, but venturing from patrolled territory isn't recommended except for experts. Before departing from known trails and routes, check with the Ski Patrol for conditions. Ski with a friend, and always carry avalanche equipment such as a beacon, probe, and shovel. Ski passes start at $111 at the ticket window, but discounts can be found online and when purchasing multiple days. Teton Village, WY, 83025. 307/733–2292 or 800/333–7766. www.jacksonhole.com.