on June 5, 2000
The terrain of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is generally regarded by skiing fanatics as the most varied, challenging and breathtaking of any ski resort in the United States. This reputation is well deserved. As a lifelong skier and someone who has taught skiing professionally, I was at many times humbled and in awe of what this simply exceptional mountain threw in front of me. From the variable wide open terrain and tight tree skiing of the mountain’s dozen or so bowls to the sheer vertical steeps of the Expert Chutes, JH will not disappoint even the most experienced skier. Snowboarders are welcome at JH, as well. My advice is to arrive early, in particular to take advantage of the fact that there seem to be no lines to use the Arial Tram before 10-10:30 AM. The tram is the only way to get entirely to the top (be warned: the ONLY way to get down from the top is via expert terrain of varying difficulty), and when the sun is shining and softening the snow in the wide open Rendezvous Bowl, you’ll be glad you made the trek. From the top you can also access the out of bounds, virtually unpatrolled Cody Bowl, as well as the challenging Rock Springs Bowl. Of course, you can also prove yourself fearless by dropping into the rock-faced chute of Corbet’s Couloir, JH’s most famous (and feared, perhaps) run. It often pays to stay at mid-mountain throughout the day (shorter lift lines and great terrain) and make use of the Sublette Quad chairlift, which takes you just shy of the top, and enables you to ski the fabulous Cheyenne Bowl, Central Chute and the steep and fun Bivouac. For those who fancy tight, tree obstacle steeps, check out the Alta Chutes. A little lower, the Laramie Bowl offers excellent terrain for aggressive intermediate skiers, and the Thunder Quad offers top-to-bottom Laramie Bowl service. The lower bowls and faces, which will connect you from the base area of the Sublette and Thunder chairlifts and bring you to the base of the mountain are mostly excellent, depending on snow conditions.
The modern and efficient Bridger Gondola brings you to the top of JH’s next highest peak, and provides access to a broad range of upper intermediate and some expert terrain.
The Apres Vous Quad services a vast array of intermediate terrain, as well as the challenging yet peaceful Saratoga Bowl, with its spruce encrusted steeps and winding terrain.
For the novice, JH offers about a dozen wide trails, serviced by the Teewinot Quad chairlift. JH offers several mountainside, mid-mountain and peak dining/bathroom stations, which offer the typical uninspired ski area fare. Eventually, we opted to load up on Power Bars and fruit, thus avoiding the mediocre mountain food as well as enabling us to ski straight through the day. Other JH area skiing/snowboarding tips: “Intermediate” trails at JH may surprise you; many trails marked as such would easily be deemed “expert” or “advanced” at many other areas, particularly those in the East. JH Resort closes by the beginning of April, regardless of snow conditions. This is mandated by the National Forest Service, and is to allow for the seasonal elk migration back into the mountains.
If skiing in out-of-bounds or “back bowls,” use extreme caution, pay heed to all avalanche warnings and, if possible, make the use of a guide. Use sunscreen! The sun at JH is as strong as if you were lying on the beach. You will get burned, otherwise!
©Travelocity.com LP 2000-2009