Jackson Hole Skiing
Skiing in the US began in the late 1930’s driven by adventurers and passionate skier’s, usually in the form of ski clubs. Chair lifts and passable mountain roads were in short supply. There just wasn’t the infrastructure in place to support large numbers of skiers. Skiing was rugged and hard. After World War II, things changed quickly as infrastructure made accessing mountain resorts more viable and adventure oriented wealthy industrialists started pouring money into ski areas. Onsite, building ski areas remained rugged. But from a marketing perspective, skiing quickly turned romantic.
The birth of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR) was caught between the romantic and the rugged. Literally founded by a retired advertising executive, Paul McCollister, and a civil engineer trained construction company entrepreneur, Alex Morley. They envisioned an aerial tram from the base to the top of Rendezvous mountain: and built it. Synonymous with the Resorts official opening in 1966, was the hiring of the famous Austrian Olympic Gold Medalist Joseph “Pepi” Stiegler as ski school director. Check out this video talking about early JHMR and their legendary skiers.
With backcountry type terrain and more continuous vertical rise (4,139 feet) than any other resort in the United States, JHMR is known as one of the most extreme ski areas in the world.
Jackson Hole Expert Skiing
Jackson Hole is on every expert skier’s bucket list. If it’s not on yours, make a new list. JHMR has so much expert terrain you could write a book about it. It cannot all be covered here. Keep in mind that traversing high into almost any headwall or under any ridgeline offers great steep lines and all sorts of terrain features.
America’s number 1 iconic inbounds, expert run. Mike drop. Check it out here. https://youtu.be/PxO4oOuQZ9g
Below Rendezvous Bowl, off of Rendezvous Trail are the Hobarts. A few hundred acres of fun expert terrain separated into South, Middle and North areas. You’ll find all sorts of terrain features like gullies, chutes, bowls, glades, rocks and a few cliffs.
Accesses beklow Corbet’s via the Tensleep Traverse and a short hike. You’ll find Headwall and Coombs here. There are lots of other lines worth exploring. It’s steep, but most of the rock protrusions are easy to navigate.
Aspiring extreme skiers, you have found your area. Inbounds backcountry. If your wearing your big boy pants, this area is for you. If you’ve wandered through the gates accidently, you’ll be wearing your $hitting pants before you find a way down. This area offers steep, technical runs like Greybull, Fremont, and the Shots. I ventured in here years ago and cowered my way over (traversed and hiked) to the less steep Sheridian Bowl.
If you’re not aspiring to be an extreme skier, cruise the Casper Travers and look above you to get an idea of what this area is all about. If you’re an aspiring extreme skier you’ve found your JHMR home.
See here for detailed Casper Bowl runs. http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2011/12/09/anatomy-jackson-holes-casper-bowl.html
OK I’ll admit, I first came here because they have a black diamond return trail at the bottom. You don’t see a lot of these and I was curious. Why is it black? Because everyone, good and bad skiers end up on this narrow, usually icy, hard to stop on luge run.
This area is generally southern facing. When there’s fresh snow, it’s a blast. Big Horn, Pathfinder, Crowheart and everything in between is like a really fun terrain park. All sorts of skiable terrain features. When its icy it sucks.
Skier’s right off the Tram gets you to the wide open Rendezvous Bowl. Not extreme. Mellow open bowl skiing that makes everyone love Jackson Hole.
Misc Cool Terrain
The Expert Chutes below Tensleep Traverse, accessible by traversing th headwall below.
The chutes off of Horn’s Hole Traverse. Paintbrush and areas to the right and left offer some short chute and rock face areas and all dump out into the Toilet Bowl.
Off of Grand is Tower Three Chute, Mushroom Chutes and Hoops Gap. All visible on your left as you ride up Thunder Chair.
January and February have the best chances of snow conditions. Much of the mountains expert terrain faces and
There is a lot of unbelievable out of bounds side country at JHMR. Hire a guide and go explore.
Plan your trip when there’s great snow. JHMR was built from a vision to build an aerial tram from the base to the top of Apres Vous mountain. Not based on a mountain sporting mostly north aspect runs. This is one resort that is best skied with great snow. Not because you can’t find great skiing all season long, but because it’s one of the very best expert mountains in North America and deserves to be fully experienced.