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JACKSON HOLE jhskier.net

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YEARS

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MOUNTAIN RESORTS

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BACKCOUNTRY GUIDES

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ALPINE MEDICAL ADVICE

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SKI BUILDERS

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WINTERING WILDLIFE

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WHISKEY & BEER

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LOCALS

Jackson Hole Winter 2017 |18


Small Batch

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Outryder

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WORLD’S SKIING & RIDING, BEST PERIOD! CELEBRATING 25 YEARS OF BIG MOUNTAIN SKIING IN THE CHUGACH

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INTERMEDIATE POWDER SKIERS, we’ve got packages for you too

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valdezheliskiguides.com / 907.835.4528

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-S K I G UI D

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RESORTS

16 Jackson Hole Mountain Resort 30 JHMR Access & Resources

30 Solitude Station — New Mtn School Sports Complex 32 JHMR Alpine Guides

40 Grand Targhee Resort

45 GTR Access & Resources

46 Snow King Mountain Resort 50 SKMR Access & Resources

BACKCOUNTRY 33 74 76 80 84 86 88 92

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Bridger-Teton National Forrest Avalanche Center Grand Teton — Skiers’ Best National Park Exum Mountain Guides Jackson Hole Mountain Guides Teton Backcountry Guides Backcountry Zero Valdez Heli-Ski Guides Alaska Rendezvous Heli-Guides Teton Pass Ambassador Jay Pistono

OPTIONS TO EXPLORE 94 Ecotour Adventures 98 Wildflower Lodge

100 Jackson Hole Iditarod Sled Dog Tours

102 Diversions — Non-ski Activities & Events 102 Town of Jackson 102 TGR Theater

104 National Elk Refuge 106 Jackson Town Map 109 Lodging Directory

120 Index of Advertisers 128 Resort Trail Maps

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FEATURES 12 27 27 28 30 34 34 36 38 52 55 58 60 62

The Stoke Room — Photo Gallery Line of the Year Hostel Turns 50 Dick’s Ditch Namesake Dick Porter Profile Teton Adaptive Sports Doug Coombs Foundation Pepi Stiegler Fund Alpenhof Placed on National Historic Register Mangy Moose Turns 50 FIS World Cup Sees Homegrown Racers Triple Crown, Jackson Hole Ski Club Halls of Fame Induct New Members — • Jackson Hole Ski & Snowboard Club’s next 10 • Intermountain Ski HOF Inducts Harry Baxter Young Freeski Champs Emerging Snomaggedon — The Historic Winter of 2016/17

The JACKSON HOLE SKIER annual winter visitors’ guide is free when picked up at one of 160 distribution points throughout Jackson Hole. Receive one in the mail by sending $6 to JH SKIER, P.O. Box 1930, Jackson, WY 83001.

Copyright—2017 by Focus Productions, Inc. (fpi). All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher. www.focusproductions.com www.jhskier.net focusjh@focusproductions.com

Cover: AJ Cargill, Cody Peak Contents: Tommy Moe, Four Shadows Wade McKoy photos Publishers: Bob Woodall, Wade McKoy, dba Focus Productions, Inc. Editors: Wade McKoy, Bob Woodall Copy Editor: Mike Calabrese Photo Editor, Art Director: Wade McKoy Additional Art Direction: Bob Woodall Graphic Art: Janet Melvin Photo Manager, Assist Photo Ed: Eric Rohr Advertising: Debra Snyder, Bob Woodall

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Fat Bikes Emerging

66 Alpine Medical Advice —

St. John’s Medical Center

68 Alpine Medical Advice — 70 72

110 112 114 118 122 126 130

Teton Orthopaedics Igneous Skis Maiden Skis Wyoming Whiskey Snake River & Wildlife Brewing Local Young Filmmakers Local Enterprenuers Local Artists Local Novelists Commentary

Contributing Photographers Jay Goodrich Nic Alegre Rich Goodwin Jeff Annetts Tony Harrington Rick Armstrong Danny Holland David Bowers Lance Koudele Jeff Buydos Norm Larson Jimmy Chin Nancy Leon David Cleeland Fredrik Marmsater Cody Downard Emmitt McLaughlin Wade Dunstan Wade McKoy Steven Earl Josh Metten Chris Figenshau Carson Meyer Mark Fisher

Contributing Writers Sandra Keats Kieth Benefiel Dr. Andrew Bullington Julie Kukral Mary Woodall Lowell Jeff Burke Brigid Mander Mike Calabrese Wade McKoy Kieth Cozzens Blair Pendleton Matt Hansen Lanny Johnson, PA Joseph Piccoli

Bobbi Miller Brian Nevins Jonathan Selkowitz Eric Seymour Frank Shine John Slaughter Garret Smith Mike Stoner David Stubbs Txema Trul Greg Von Doersten Bob Woodall Melissa Thomasma Lisa Van Sciver Neil Stebbins Emma Walker Bob Woodall Jim Woodmencey


Stoke Room

Skier

Allie Rood

Photographer Jay Goodrich

Location

Sublette Ridge

“You are one with your skis and nature. This is something that develops not only the body but the soul as well, and it has a deeper meaning for a people than most of us perceive.” — Fridtjof Nansen, 1861-1930

Fridtjof Nansen was a Norwegian explorer, scientist, diplomat,

and humanitarian. In 1922 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for

his work on behalf of displaced victims of war. He was a champion skier and ice skater in his youth.

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Skier

Bryce Newcomb

Photographer

Wade McKoy FPI / Storm Show Studios

Location

No Name Peak

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Stoke Room

Skier

Teton Brown

Photographer

Wade McKoy FPI / Storm Show Studios

Location

Once Is Enough w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m


Skier

Jeff Annetts

Photographer

Jonathan Selkowitz

Location

Rock Springs Canyon

2018

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Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

I Skiers

Early birds , 3/2/17

Find Your Comfort Zone by Brigid Mander

n a tradition now spanning 50 years, countless skiers have set out for western Wyoming’s Jackson Hole Mountain Resort to showcase their ski skills, conquer legendary runs, and impress onlookers. But another long-standing tradition has been the immediate and thorough humbling of almost every single one of these hopefuls. Continued next page

Photographer Wade McKoy

Location

Cody Peak

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Skier

Owen Leeper

Photographer Eric Seymour

Location

The Cirque

For those with the grandest ski dreams, it’s the kind of mountain you can explore each day and invariably end up in new, challenging terrain over and over again.

The mountain’s terrain and scale—and the incredibly high bar that constitutes the average local’s skill level—are a few reasons that mountain newcomers find themselves reassessing their own actual skills and, eventually, their egos. However, if you ditch the ego and open yourself up to all its possibilities, Jackson Hole (JHMR) can be a path to more fun than you ever imagined. It could include pushing your limits on the most challenging terrain or simply figuring out how to ski 18

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the mountain within your comfort zone. For first-timers coming from other mountains, Jackson will seem unique. It’s true that there are enough ski areas around the world where any skier could find a perfect fit. Some folks gravitate towards endless rolling groomers, vast swaths of perfectly spaced trees, or (for true mogul enthusiasts) a mountain with loads of bump skiers and perfect zipper lines galore. There are also skiers who want big-mountain skiing and fun après (occasionally, really fun après, where you’ll be in bed by 8 p.m.). It might include shopping for the fashion world’s take on winter in the mountains and take precedence w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

Skiers (above)

Jackson Hole ski patrollers

Photographer Wade McKoy

Location

Marmot Chair

Skier (bottom left, facing page) Benny Wilson

Photographer Wade McKoy

Location

Corbet’s Cabin


Skier

AJ Cargill

Photographer Wade McKoy

Location

Corbet’s Couloir

Below

Kids on ski school recess

Photographer Wade McKoy

Location

Snow Castles, Village Commons

The mountain’s terrain and scale—and the incredibly high bar that constitutes the average local’s skill level—are a few reasons that mountain newcomers find themselves reassessing their own actual skills and, eventually, their egos.

over time on the slopes. Some ski areas even have no town nearby at all, and the celebration of the sport of skiing is the complete focus. And for still other snow enthusiasts, a true town, not a carefully constructed tourist trap, is an important draw. The town of Jackson, for example, is the real deal. Thriving, energetic, and populated by scads of local characters—from long-time ski bums to small-business owners—Jackson’s hopping restaurant and nightlife scene is steeped in over one hundred years of Western culture. Mostly, though, it’s the big mountains, the amazing skiing, and one very famous red tram that draw winter visitors

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Skier

Max Hammer

Photographer

Greg Von Doersten

Location

No Shadows

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to Jackson Hole now. For those with the grandest ski dreams, JHMR is the kind of mountain where you can explore different areas of the resort each day and invariably end up in new, challenging terrain over and over again. By the end of the trip, or the season, you’ll have enhanced those dreams significantly. The Bridger Gondola is a great way to ski long, fun laps and access plenty of demanding terrain. With the added bonus of not waiting in a long tram line–and sitting down for the ride up–the gondola affords

some resorts, but the adage of “quality over quantity” holds true. Underneath those four lifts, skiers can access more than enough incredible topography for great skiing and new lines for a few days—or weeks. And those needing a break can pop into Casper Restaurant, Piste Mountain Bistro, or The Deck. Or schuss to the base, where plenty of choices

in afternoon pick-me-ups await. To push the envelope without committing to skiing thousands of feet, a quick lap or two on Thunder or Sublette can provide access to fresh, challenging landscape that offers it all: cliffs, steeps, trees, and short chutes. If you’re feeling strong, you can continue down the lower faces or choose from heading over

Après-ski camaraderie could reveal inspiring feats by locals, visitors doing things they never thought they would, or spread the contagious happiness of being out in the snow. skiers a portal to a wide variety of slope features, including tree-festooned steeps and wide-open groomers. And access to Dick’s Ditch–the longest natural half pipe you’ll ever ski. It’s a special feeling, linking up 3,000 vertical of continuous groomers. And there’s a surprising amount of interesting terrain, much of it groomed, right under the gondola ascent line. When you can handle gondola laps all day, you’ve achieved next-level quad-strength status and you’re on your way to bigger things in skiing. Of course, the most effective path to skiing like a seasoned local is serious leg strength. If you haven’t done 400 squats a day for months in training, you should probably keep in mind that nonstop laps will shred all four of your quadriceps muscles. Going hard all day doesn’t appeal to everyone; new areas of less demanding groomed runs offer pleasant skiing all day. Laps between four lifts (Après Vous, Teton, Sweetwater Gondola, and Casper) may not sound like much compared to

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Skier (top)

Skier (above)

Photographer

Photographer

Location

Location

Jeff Leger

Wade McKoy Cody Bowl

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Mitch Reeves

Tony Harrington S&S Couloir

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to the more civilized side of the mountain by Après Vous, lunching on top of the gondola, or heading back up the same chairlift. Amazing skiing aside, the best thing about Jackson is often the skiers and snowboarders, both on and off the hill. It’s hard to share the powder on a big snow day, but the cama-

raderie can make up for that. That joint venture could reveal inspiring feats by locals, visitors doing things they never thought they would, or spread the contagious happiness of being out in the snow. And you never know whose tracks you might be crossing: a first-time visitor, someone on their 25th annual Jackson ski trip, a

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Skier

Jeff Annetts

Photographer

Jonathan Selkowitz

Location

Rock Springs Canyon

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Amazing skiing aside, the best thing about Jackson is often the skiers and snowboarders, both on and off the hill. It’s hard to share the powder on a big snow day, but the camaraderie can make up for that.

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Skier

Lynsey Dyer

Photographer

Fredrik Marmsater

Location

The Hobacks

Skiers (right)

Forrest Jillson, Jim Ryan, Macky Young, Andrew Whiteford, Jeff Leger, and Keely Kelleher.

Photographer Jay Goodrich

Location

Teton Chairlift

When you can handle gondola laps all day, you’ve achieved next-level quad-strength status and you’re on your way to bigger things in skiing. Continued from page 24

local professional skier, or one of the many local talented entrepreneurs and artists just taking a powder day. Of all the things that skiing at JHMR offers, it’s the people that reveal something greater than just a ski area: a ski community. Brigid Mander is a skier who became a writer to support being a skier, and has found being based in Jackson Hole is a stellar place to do just that.

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LINE OF THE YEAR Andrew Whiteford Breakneck, Green River Canyon Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Photo by Jeff Annetts I was lucky enough to be on the Four Pines boot-pack when Andrew Whiteford decided to ski a new line on Breakneck. It’s the rowdiest line on the face, only skiable in perfect conditions. He’d been watching it for years, waiting for the right time. It all came together that day and Andrew nailed it. So fun to watch. So fun to feel all the stoke. Nice work, Andrew. — Jeff Annetts

Hostel Turns 50

In the summer of 1966 Colby Wilson, his family in tow, visited the newly minted Jackson Hole Ski Resort. After riding the aerial tram, which had just opened that summer, Wilson, obviously inspired, decided to build a hotel. He optioned a potential project site and began construction that fall. Colby Wilson’s son Benny explained to Colby Wilson David Gonzales in the book Jackson Hole: On A Grand Scale: “My dad was sick of going to different ski areas with kids and having to pay a lot of money at hotels, so he said, ‘I’m going to build my own hotel, and we’ll never have to travel to another ski area again.’” Wilson’s rooms could be booked for just $10 each. Hence, The Hostel X. An instant hit with ski bums, the Hostel’s 65 rooms nearly doubled those already available at Teton Village. In 2008 the Wilson Family sold the by then iconic Hostel to Cody Mueller. “Our philosophy is still the same,” said Mueller. “It’s a bit of a different mix now because we advertise on some powerful online advertising channels and we’re doing more business.” Despite the building’s unchanged exterior, the Hostel’s interior and creature comforts reflect a host of improvements. “We’ve redone all the rooms and the lobby and the basement play area,” said Mueller. Now 50 years on, the Hostel remains a venerable Jackson Hole institution.

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SKI BOARD NORDIC BACKCOUNTRY HIKE BOOTFITTING ELECTRONICS LIFESTYLE

Hours: Open 7 days a week (9am-7pm)

2018

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Ski Patroller Dick Porter Returns Dick’s Ditch Namesake Honored During First Visit Since “Burial”

T

by Brigid Mander

he morning of January 6,

1967, began as a routine powder day at the fledgling ski area of Jackson Hole, in Wyoming’s Teton Range. A foot of new snow had fallen overnight. Jackson Hole Ski Patrol (JHSP), then as now, had the enormous task of making the mountain safe for Thirty-year-old Richard “Dick” Porter headed out on his route with partner Kent Hoopengarner and a rookie patroller named Bob Sealander (who later became ski patrol leader and mountain manager).

By the time the crew reached the giant steep-walled gulley that ran from mid-mountain to the base, avalanche concerns had eased.

Surface sloughs from 4-6 inches deep were the only snow movement the patrol was getting. By the time the crew reached the giant steep-walled gulley that ran from mid-mountain to the base, avalanche concerns had eased. After ski cutting a top section of the gully, Porter dropped in and began skiing. That’s when routine yielded to the unexpected. Suddenly, the full depth of new snow fractured, engulfing Porter and sweeping him down the mountain as his partners looked on helplessly. When the avalanche came to rest, Porter had vanished from view. Today that gully is known as Dick’s Ditch, a playful expert run 28

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David Bowers

recreational skiers.

Dick Porter at ski patrol headquarters showing off his swag from Dick’s Ditch Banked Slalom.

that begins at just under 9,000 feet (below the top of the Bridger Gondola) and winds its way down to the base area at 6,300 feet. Its walls offer natural halfpipe features and navigation challenges—top to bottom, the run has the capacity to spit even seasoned local skiers out with burning quads. But on that day in 1967, the ravine had served up every skier’s worst nightmare. Hoopengarner sent Sealander to bring back help and notify the rest of patrol (which only numbered about 17 at that time). Hoopengarner marked the place he’d last seen Porter and began probing the snow downslope in hopes of hitting the buried patroller. (The first effective avalanche transceiver would not be developed until 1968.) Help soon arrived and probe lines made several passes. By the time an hour had passed, though,

hope had dimmed. Survival was unlikely. Finally, near the top of the slide, a probe struck the edge of Porter’s ski. Searchers dug frantically, finding the patroller curled on his

The hypothermic Porter was then transported down the mountain in a toboggan and placed in a bath of tepid water. side, his head six feet under. He was unconscious but, inexplicably, still alive. Patrollers administered CPR and oxygen to combat the carbon monoxide poisoning, then hustled him into a sleeping bag. The hypothermic Porter was then transported down the mountain in a toboggan and placed in a bath of tepid water. As Porter recalls it, he opened his eyes to a crowded room of concerned onlookers and the voice of the mountain’s general manager: “Glad to see you, Dick!” w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m


Bob Woodall

Porter, in rather an understatement replied, “Glad to see you, too!” Several factors contributed to Porter’s miraculous survival. Mainly, though, the soft new snow had allowed a large air pocket to form around his head, affording him an exceptional window of time before he ran out of air completely. After a couple of weeks, Porter had fully recovered. He worked the rest of that ski season, but a job in Lake Tahoe called him and his wife back to California. He spent the rest of his career at Homewood Ski Area, rising to head of the ski patrol and eventually to resort general manager. Summers were spent surveying. “I’ve had a perfect life!” said the now 81-year old, well aware that he almost didn’t get the last 50 years. “I’m lucky I’m here to tell the story.” When he turned 80, Porter decided to come back to Jackson—for the first time. Only recently aware that the gully had been named Dick’s Ditch after his accident, he gave patrol a call. “Richard Porter?” said the patroller who answered the phone, following up hesitantly a few moments later with, “ . . . Dick?” That started the ball rolling for quite the welcome back for the famous ditch’s namesake. Porter’s trip was arranged so he could attend Dick’s Ditch Banked Slalom race, held each March for the past couple decades. The resort feted Porter, his wife, children and grandchildren—and the ski patrol adopted him back into the fold. “It’s the same kind of community as when I was here, as though I’d never left,” said Porter. Still, the advances in equipment and the skills of the now 80-member patrol took Porter by surprise. Dubbing the JHSP a version of Seal Team 6, he also recalled having the time of his life. “It was fantastic. I got treated like the King of England!” At the famed Dick’s Ditch Banked Slalom awards ceremony, everyone clamored for a photo with Dick. And as he handed out coveted belt buckle awards to the winners, he congratulated them. w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

A snowboard competitor jumps one of the many natural features in Dick’s Ditch during the banked slalom event.

“You have done something I did not do: finished your run down the ditch,” said Porter. Despite that fact, though, Porter went home with his own prize after all those years, courtesy of the resort—his very own honorary Dick’s Ditch trophy belt buckle.

At the famed Dick’s Ditch Banked Slalom awards ceremony, everyone clamored for a photo with Dick. And as he handed out coveted belt buckle awards to the winners, he congratulated them, saying, “You have done something I did not do: finished your run down the ditch.”

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Open & Serving your favorites 5:00am - Midnight Daily

Free Wi-Fi 1110 W. Broadway, Jackson, WY • 1 mile west of Town Square

307-733-7444 2018

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ACCESS & RESOURCES

Wade McKoy photos

JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT

The Tram Jam band performs every Saturday at the base of Bridger Gondola. Their all-weather music has entertained skiers in lift lines for 24 years and counting.

Solitude Station — New Mountain School Sports Complex

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort will be continuing its commitment to enhancing the beginner skier and family experience by completing the mid-station Mountain Sports School facility at the Sweetwater Gondola, Solitude Station. The complex is slated to open winter 2018/19. A short two-minute ride from the base, this 12,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility will feature conveniently located rentals, a covered-surface carpet lift, a ski school staffed with top-notch instructors, a family après-ski dining experience, and a private event space available both summer and winter.

Kids’ Ranch

The Kids’ Ranch offers age-specific activities and lessons for children from 6 months to 17 years old. Ski and snowboard lessons, multi-day camps, teen programs, evening activities, and a fully licensed childcare facility are conveniently located in the Cody House. At the Kids’ Ranch, youngsters can learn, be challenged, make friends, and walk away with lasting Jackson Hole memories.

Steep and Deep Camps

To be the best, snow hounds have to ski and ride the best. Steep and Deep Camps nurture skiers and riders who won’t settle for anything less: the best terrain in the lower 48, the best access, the best instruction from the best coaches, and the best camaraderie. During this intensive camp, students learn how to safely and confidently explore the extreme terrain and snow conditions that make Jackson Hole famous. Expert coaches provide tips on finding the best line, reading a slope, steep-skiing etiquette, and terrain selection. Camaraderie and community ensure a quality experience for everyone involved in this camp and the fun continues after the lifts close: camp tuition includes après ski events, tech talks, and an awards dinner with prizes.

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Stash Park

“It’s a dream come true for snowboarders,” said Ranyon d’Arge, JHMR park and pipe supervisor. “To be able to hit four perfect rainbows (bent-over trees with both ends touching the ground) in a row, that’s huge.” “The Stash Park changed the way freestyle snowboarders ski Jackson Hole,” said Rich Goodwin, a park and pipe crew member. “You talk to the high school and middle school kids, they don’t even remember what run they used to take because now the Stash is all they take.” Jackson Hole’s four Stash parks are located on Campground, Ashley Ridge, Deer Flats, and at Antelope Flats. The Antelope Flats park is “super friendly, low on the ground, and meant for the kids,” d’Arge said. “It has a playground-like structure for a dropin, which makes it fun.” Stash parks are eco-friendly; all its features are constructed from deadwood, rock, and dirt rather than the more traditional plastic and steel components. “Instead of having burn piles, we clean up the hill and recycle a lot of the deadfall,” D’Arge said. “We don’t harm any live trees.”

JH Tapped / Twitter

Ski school at the Kid’s Ranch usually includes a foray into the ice castle.

The jacksonhole.com website is also smartphone-compatible. Download the resort’s free app—JH Tapped—for maps, weather, useful tips, and mountain info. Groomed and closed runs are also indicated. Locate yourself along with your friends and family on the Jackson Hole trail map, courtesy w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m


Mountain Hosts

Jackson Hole Mountain Hosts lead complimentary orientation tours for intermediate-level skiers. Tours depart daily at 9:30 a.m. from the Mountain Hosts’ meeting place, directly behind the general store at the base area.

On-Mountain Dining

Piste Mountain Bistro, located at the top of Bridger Gondola and Marmot Chairlift, promises a sophisticated yet casual dining experience. Gather the friends for a bistro-style meal—with a Rocky Mountain twist—and enjoy celebrating snow-world adventures on the mountain in a relaxing, casual setting. Top of the World Waffles – Ride the aerial tram to the summit and enter Corbet’s Cabin for freshly made sweet or savory waffles. Off-Piste Market – The home of Sicilian pizza and plenty of grab-n-go options, located at the top of the Bridger Gondola, Off-Piste offers quick but comforting food to fuel skiers and snowboarders out on the slopes. Rendezvous Cafeteria – Located at the top of the Bridger Gondola, where floor-toceiling windows deliver impressive views, the cafeteria is perfect for a lunch on the hill. Rendezvous features Asian-style noodle bowls, a full grill, a salad bar, and Idaho saltbaked potatoes. Casper Restaurant – Stop by for a few minutes near the roaring fire or take a load off outside on the sundeck during a warmer day. Casper Restaurant boasts classic gourmet ski comfort food, from burger bar to burritos. The best on-mountain bar at JHMR is here as well, pouring local beers and mixing warm drinks with a kick.

Vertical-Foot Club

Become a lifetime member of the Jackson Hole Vertical-Foot Club by skiing 100,000 feet in a week. Earn a certificate of achievement and a Western belt buckle for a lifetime total of 300,000, 500,000, and 1,000,000 feet. Open to all visitors. For more details on how to enroll, check in with the Customer Service Center. Smartphone users can download the free JH Tapped App to log vertical feet by GPS.

Blues Traveler, G.Love & Special Sauce, and Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats.

TETON ADAPTIVE SPORTS Providing equipment, instructor training, and assistance for physically challenged skiers

Environmental Responsibility

Situated in one of the world’s most pristine environments, the resort steadfastly maintains its pro-environment practices. Piste Mountain Bistro, for example, is a member of 1% for the Planet, further complementing already established eco-friendly practices. The majority of ingredients are sourced within a 250-mile radius, menus are designed seasonally to reduce the carbon footprint, and local farmers’ markets and ranches are extensively resourced. Since 2012, the resort’s signature restaurants have partnered with 1% for the Planet, contributing 1% of all profits to local environmentally focused businesses and non-profits. JHMR is a founding member of the National Ski Area Association “Climate Challenge.” This voluntary program is dedicated to helping participating ski areas reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and reap other benefits in their operations, such as reducing costs for energy use. The resort has also notched a Golden Eagle Environmental Award, the highest standard of environmental achievement in the ski industry issued by the National Ski Area Association. In 2015, JHMR met its five-year quantitative goal by reducing the company’s GHG emissions from electricity, natural gas/propane and vehicle fuels by over 10 percent. The results were driven by updates to building heating systems, year-round use of B10 diesel fuel, and conversion of multiple vehicles to run on 100 percent waste vegetable oil collected from JHMR restaurants. JHMR recycles nearly 1/3 of its trash and offsets 100 percent of its lift electrical energy usage with renewable energy credits. And, finally, there’s the fight to save the white bark pine from chronic beetle infestation. The blight has killed vast numbers of the thousand-year-old, high-altitude species, so JHMR and the Bridger Teton National Forest have sprayed 250 trees and placed pheromone patches on 575 trees to help stave off the scourge. — JH SKIER

Garret Smith

of Google Latitude. Record your runs and log vertical feet and distance. Display your tracks on the trail map. E-mail images to friends, post them to Facebook, or view them in Google Earth. Check the resort’s Twitter feed, @jhski, for frequent updates on snow conditions and status of lifts.

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Odie Pierce charges down the Hobacks.

kiing can be a path to freedom and inclusion for the physically challenged. “Skiing means freedom from the chair,” said Teton Adaptive Sports graduate Odie Pierce. “Get out of the chair, go fast, and make big turns with all your friends. They don’t see that there’s anything different.” And that’s the name of the game: inclusion. “The thing about skiing is, everybody digs it,” said Kurt Henry, Teton Adaptive Sports cofounder. “It doesn’t matter whether you use a sled, or a ski, or a snowboard, or ski bike – it’s a universal joy.” Henry inherited this life-work from Don Carr, former adaptive P.E. teacher at C–V Ranch and original founder of what is now the adaptive ski program at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. In 2005, Henry co-founded Teton Adaptive Sports, a non-profit support organization for the adaptive ski program. In 2008 the operation was expanded to include Grand Targhee, and in 2105 TAS opened a new office in Teton Village. So what’s possible? To the staff at Teton Adaptive Sports, everything’s possible. There are no limits. The Wyoming Adaptive Ski Experience at Targhee, the Steep and Deep Camp at Jackson Hole, and lessons are available throughout the season in all disciplines for all ages and ability levels. For more information contact Kurt Henry at (307) 699-3554 or tetonadaptive@aol.com. — JH SKIER

SKIS Volkl, Line

Saturday Music in March

A great way to celebrate the arrival of spring. Live music from a variety of bands playing right under the tram dock. The snow bar, brimming with libations, inspires everyone to join the crowd gathering during Saturday afternoons in March!

Jackson Hole Rendezvous Spring Festival

From March 16-19, visitors and locals alike enjoy four days of free live music, in both downtown Jackson and Teton Village. Past acts include Michael Franti, the Zac Brown Band, O.A.R., Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

Armada, Head K2, Atomic Rossignol, Fischer,

We deliver high quality service, ski, and snowboard rentals direct to your front door. 7:00am - 10:30pm

307.733.4077 www.d2dskis.com

2018

and Icelantic

SNOWBOARDS Lib Tech, Never Summer, and Burton

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JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT

BACKCOUNTRY

kiing out of bounds puts you in the untamed Tetons – no ski patrol assistance, no marked runs, and no avalanche mitigation to the slopes. Inherent dangers lurk in the backcountry. Learn the proper mindset for this wild mountain environment by hiring a guide. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Alpine Guides is one of the oldest ski guide services in the U.S. and boasts a worldclass roster. They know where to uncover the hidden powder stashes and how to enjoy a safe, fun day in the mountains. Some important points for all backcountry travelers to consider: • Think with your head, not with your ego. • Don’t use a hit-list for the backcountry. Go with the safest option for the day. Every day is different for avalanche conditions: aspect, wind, new snow, etc. • Have the right gear and know how to use it. Beacon, probe poles, and shovel. Make sure to turn your beacon ON and test it with your buddy. • Ski with a partner and let someone else know where you are touring. • Beware of sucker tracks. • When you are on a big slope, before you make your first turn have an exit plan in case it slides. Look for an island of safety anywhere you have to stop. • Be courteous by not skiing down on top of other parties. • Study the weather and avalanche data and forecasts. — JH SKIER

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Wade McKoy

S

Hire a guide and ski beyond the boundary


B R ID GER- T ETON N AT ION AL FOREST

Wade McKoy / FPI / Storm Show Studios

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AVALANCHE CENTER

By Lisa Van Sciver

t 4 a.m. on Thursday, February 9, 2017, Chris McCollister drove past 17 downed power line poles, heading to the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center office at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Fierce winds had snapped or toppled the steel structures sometime Tuesday, killing power to Teton Village, closing the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, and shuttering all access roads into the valley. Computerized weather models and forecasts at his office confirmed that an already epic storm was intensifying. McCollister compiled temperatures, winds, estimated precipitation and relative humidity for the previous 24 hours from remote weather stations. His general avalanche advisory was a blunt warning: “Very dangerous avalanche conditions exist and all avalanche terrain should be avoided today.” The advisory, as usual, would cover three major zones: Teton, Continental Divide/Togwotee Pass, and Southwest Trails/Grey’s River areas. Increasing temperatures, along with constant rain and snow, would likely cause natural wind slab and spawn wet avalanches. McCollister pegged the day’s hazard rating at “high” and “extreme” in all three areas. He also attached the previous day’s encounter with nature by some recreationists, two snowmobilers who had been caught in a slide on Togwotee Pass. Both somehow were uninjured. After completing his work with the forest service, McCollister donned his ski patrol jacket and joined patrol forecaster Mike Rheam, to compile the ski area forecast. Fifty-plus ski patrollers had already boarded the tram, still running on diesel backup. As the car’s doors

Snowboarder Ryan Vanlanen escapes an avalanche at The Cave, a backcountry feature popular with film crews. Left: Lisa Van Sciver, Jackson Hole ski patroller

Wade McKoy photos

Below: Unprecedented winds buckled 17 steel power poles, causing a week-long blackout in Teton Village. closed a chorus greeted him, “Good morning, Chris.” McCollister ran through the stats: “It is thirty at R. Bowl, thirty at Raymer, twenty-nine at mid and thirty-two at the base.” He continued with the compiled 24-hour high and low temperatures, winds, snowfall, and the total to date in Rendezvous Bowl—412 inches. Avalanche-hazard reduction leader Kirk Speckals followed up with the morning plan to run through avalanche mitigation and manage the hazard, so the ski area could reopen once power was restored. Inside Corbet’s Cabin patrollers loaded their packs with explosives. McCollister headed out the door on Route 5 with four “routies.” They skied down to the East Ridge, where he deployed a four-pound charge. Ninety seconds later, the explosion triggered an avalanche, a four-foot crown in its wake. The group continued down the mountain, carefully tossing explosives to trigger avalanches. On McCollister’s secw w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

ond lap off the tram, he skied down to the Rendezvous Bowl snow study plot. There he used his density tube to measure and record the snow and water on the 24-hour board. He also noted 131 inches on the total-season snow stake. At around the 8,000-foot level, the falling snow had turned to rain. At the BTNF-Avalanche Center, forecaster McCollister shed his soaked patrol jacket to log explosive-triggered avalanches of both the ski patrol and the Wyoming Department of Transportation. He then sorted through the observations of natural and human triggered avalanches. McCollister’s heart sank when he was notified of a snowmobiler fatality in McCoy Creek. Outside, the snow and rain continued, and so did McCollister’s work. At 5 p.m. he wove the day’s events into the Western Wyoming Evening Forecast: “Between yesterday afternoon and 9 a.m. this morning, 15 inches of snow containing 2.3 inches of moisture has fallen at the Rendezvous Bowl study plot.” At 7 p.m., McCollister left the office and headed to his car. The prodigious valley snowpack was melting; he wondered how the backcountry hazard would increase and how the snow would react. McCollister could only hope that recreationists would take note of the avalanche warning running through 1 p.m. the following day. At some point, likely on Sunday, McCollister would visit some backcountry weather stations; tonight, though, he would visit them remotely. Lisa Van Sciver is a Jackson Hole ski patroller and assists with the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center operations. 2018

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DOUG COOMBS FOUNDATION

Keeping a legendary skier’s legacy alive

Doug Coombs Foundation students with coach Dave Muccino. Doug Coombs by Emma Walker decade after an accident in La Grave, France, claimed his life, the spite the town’s large Latino population, almost none of David’s skiing teammates were Latino. One day, he told her it made him sad that he legacy of legendary steep skier Doug Coombs lives on. And not just in his hundreds of first-ski descents, his membership in the U.S. Ski Hall couldn’t hit the slopes with any of his friends, since none of them skied. of Fame, or his pioneering contributions to the sport of heli-skiing. “That was my wake-up call,” Emily said. Coombs’ passionate spirit is celebrated every day in the Jackson Hole Many low-income families in Jackson Hole are immigrants, she excommunity thanks to the Doug Coombs Foundation. plained; they work jobs supporting the ski industry, but beyond that, Founded in 2012 by his wife, Emily, the nonprofit creates opportuniskiing isn’t part of their everyday life. ties for kids from low-income families in Jackson Hole to learn to ski. “Doug was all about breaking barriers and taking people places they Emily discovered a need for such an organization when their son, David, wouldn’t go otherwise,” she said. “So that’s what this foundation does.” And it has flourished, growing from the original 28 students enrolled was in grade school, active in sports and skiing. She noticed that, deContinued next page

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PEPI STIEGLER FUND

Community rallies behind renowned skier

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Pepi Stiegler on a powder day, 1970s.

ustrian Olympic champion, Jackson Hole’s first ski school director, father of two World Cup skiers, Pepi Stiegler continues to climb life’s mountains. He has prevailed over MS for decades, and now, at 80, he’s making a comeback from a fall that almost claimed his life.

Career Highlights 1952 Austrian Junior Champion, slalom 1960 Olympics, Squaw Valley: silver medal, giant slalom 1961 Austrian National Champion 1964 Olympics, Innsbruck: gold medal, slalom; bronze medal, GS 1965-1994 Ski School Director, Jackson Hole Ski Area 1995-2002 Ski Area Ambassador, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

Wade McKoy photos; Doug Coombs Foundation photo Bob Woodall

Pepi Stiegler’s enormous impact on Jackson Hole’s ski community and skiing at large is well documented, his notable accomplishments enshrined in hallowed halls. In 2014 he was inducted into the newly formed Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club Hall Of Fame. He had already been inducted into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 2001, the Professional Ski Instructors of America-Intermountain Hall of Fame in 2004, and the Intermountain Hall of Fame in 2004.

Pepi Stiegler on his daily walk, this one in Rpark. Pepi’s recovery has taken an incredible leap Pepi still receives daily medical atover the past year. He can move freely about his tention and care. Private duty in-home care is enormously expensive house and at times can be left alone. Professionals and a network of and Pepi’s care needs are still great. You can donate at pepistieglerfriends take him on daily walks. His son Seppi, who now coaches with fund.org. — JH SKIER the Jackson Hole Ski Club, lives with him.

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in ski school to 180 enrolled in the 2016-2017 season. This season, additional staff will help Emily manage programming (she’s largely run things single-handedly since that inaugural season), and the foundation will keep growing. Marmot has played a huge role in the foundation’s inception and success. In fact, each season culminates in the MarmotCoombs Classic at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, a springtime celebration that, according to the resort’s website, encourages participants to “finish off the year strong—just like Doug.” Marmot has sponsored Doug and Emily since the 1990s, when both were extreme skiers globetrotting the world in search of their next adventure. After Doug’s death in 2006, Marmot continued to support Emily’s endeavors. “When I started the foundation, they wanted to help in any way they could,” she said. Marmot began providing high-quality ski jackets to kids in the program. Participating children keep the jackets at the end of the ski season, then swap them out for a bigger size when they outgrow them. The Foundation accepts as many students as possible every year, with a focus on accepting participants from low-income

Doug was about breaking barriers and taking people places they wouldn’t otherwise go. That’s what the foundation does with kids, and it’s grown from 28 students the first year to 180 now. families. Emily and the foundation’s new executive director, Mary Ericksen, said one of their primary enrollment goals is to not turn anyone away. After they’re accepted, the foundation then enrolls children in ski school at Snow King, the local ski hill in Jackson, where they ski a couple of days a week during the winter. Some end up really incredible skiers within a couple of seasons—but, as organizers note, that’s not really the point. “It’s really not about teaching kids to ski,” said Ericksen. “It’s watching kids come into their own, find self-esteem, find themselves. It’s helping them to be a part of the community, and they learn that they can do anything. The skiing is secondary.” It’s also important to make sure kids are having fun. “Doug was always saying, ‘That was the best day of my life!’” Emily recalled. “We want to take these kids out for the best days of their lives so far.” The foundation’s programming doesn’t end when the snow begins to melt. During the summer, Emily and other staff members lead hikes. And local outfitter Exum Mountain Guides, for whom Doug worked a number of years as a certified IFMGA mountain guide, takes kids on rock climbing outings in nearby Grand Teton National Park during warmer months. “That’s part of Doug’s legacy, too—we didn’t just stop skiing and watch TV all summer,” Emily said. “Then the ski season comes around again, and you’re prepared.” Just as important as the programming is the outreach the Doug Coombs Foundation provides to families, many of whom aren’t familiar with seemingly high-risk sports like skiing and rock climbing. “It isn’t just a financial thing,” Ericksen pointed out. “We have to make sure families know about what their kids are doing and feel welcome.” The foundation works with Snow King and local gear shops to provide discounted lift tickets and rentals to family members of students. Last season, several parents and older siblings tried skiing, too. One parent even made an ascent of 13,755foot Grand Teton. The foundation also hopes it can serve as a model for similar programs in other mountain towns. In the meantime, however, Jackson Hole’s up-and-coming athletes are upholding the Coombs legacy every time they hit the slopes. “If Doug could show up one day and ski with these kids at Snow King, he’d be blown away,” Emily said. “These kids will grow up and carry that spirit of adventure that Doug had.” Used with permission from Marmot. Story originally appeared at Marmot.com. w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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ALPENHOF LODGE Claims spot on National Register of Historic Places by Joseph Piccoli

So what did it take for the Alpenhof Lodge to get on the National Short answer: Fifty years of pioneering ski hotel history. (For the long answer, sixtysome pages of it, go to the website for the National Park Service, the agency managing the Register.) The Alpenhof, the “Hof” to its many fans, is the oldest building in Teton Village and was one of a handful of hotels open when lifts started carrying skiers for the first time at Jackson Hole in the 1965-66 season. The season started late, the Dec. 23, 1965, edition of the Jackson Hole Guide reported. “If and when the snow arrives, there should be a large influx of skiers, eager to try out the exciting new runs at Teton Village.” Snow came, but many of those eager skiers were still disappointed when the opening of the much-touted aerial tram was delayed. In a Jackson Hole News interview in 1976, Dick Oberreit, who built the Alpenhof and ran it for decades, remembered that many cancellations by would-be guests ensued. Oberreit recalled how excited he had been to join an ambitious project at its very beginning, and Jackson Hole (tram included) was certainly ambitious. With the tram not in-

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cluded, Oberreit told the News, “We began to feel that we had gotten in on the sub-basement rather than the ground floor.” Things improved, though, after that stumbling start. The tram opened; hotels, condos and private residences proliferated. In 1975, Oberreit announced plans for a 51,000square-foot, $1.7 million expansion. (The equivalent of more than $7 million in 2017.) Oberreit envisioned more than doubling the size of the 30-room hotel, creating an in-

Dick Oberreit really did get in on the ground floor, not only of Jackson Hole, but also of the ski industry itself. door/outdoor pool and a health club with “saunas, massage room, Jacuzzi, sunlamps and exercise machines….” Also in the plans: an expanded restaurant, “a floor of shops,” and a 250-seat meeting and banquet room. If that seems familiar, it should. Include a few timeshares—or a lot of

Bob Woodall

Register of Historic Places, “the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation?”

Top: The Alpenhof Lodge remains the only Teton Village structure that looks as it did when the resort first opened in 1965. Above: Alpenhof builder Dick Oberreit and Barbara Simms posed for a publicity photo in the hotel’s lounge, a snowballs throw away from original aerial tram building with its iconic clocktower. them—and you’ve got the business model for virtually every lodging development in Teton Village since the 1990s. Oberreit’s big plans got considerably scaled back. Only 10 new rooms were added, the indoor/outdoor pool stayed outdoors and the “floor of shops” ended up being just one shop, featuring ski and après ski clothing and helmed by Dick’s wife, Anneliese. The Hof has fans all over the world who know its rooms are just steps from the tram. It has fans all over the valley who know the bar is just steps from the tram. The Hof has always been part of the

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TETON VILLAGE LANDMARKS One thing the Alpenhof lacks is a resident ghost, but it makes up for that with a good mystery. In 1966 acclaimed artist Roy Kerswill painted a large mural for the lobby. People remember the mural was quite big and that it depicted a pair of skiers gazing toward a cowboy, a mountain man, and a Native American. The mural was taken down during a remodeling project in the late 1990s or early 2000s and disappeared. The Teton County Library recently digitized its collection of local newspapers. Searching for references to “skiing’ before 1966 yields scarcely 1,000 hits. From 1966 to 2014, there

are nearly 26,000. Searching “Alpenhof” brings up 5,544 matches in those files. Dick Oberreit really did get in on the ground floor, not only of Jackson Hole, but also of the ski industry itself. Surrounded by hotels four times larger and thirty years newer, the Hof lives on, its Historic Place designation and brass plaque well deserved. Still not convinced? Let me show you the brochure advertising room rates of $18-$24 per night and $7 full-day lift tickets. Now that’s some history. Joseph Piccoli is a writer and editor living in Jackson Hole.

The Roy Kerswill mural that graced the lobby of the Alpenhof disappeared after a remodel in the late 1990s, its whereabouts still a mystery. après ski scene. For several years a vocal duo, Henrietta and John, were “an Alpehnhof standard,” according to a 1974 mention in the “Village Night Life” section of the Jackson Hole News, which characterized the pair’s vibe as “folk entertainment in a mellow mood.” Standards changed. In December 1977, the Jackson Hole News ran a story that began, “For years, the major complaint of visitors to Teton Village has been the shortage of nighttime entertainment. This year, Dick Oberreit of the Alpenhof intends to do something about that.” Henrietta and John were out. Disco was in and “a lady with 100 pounds of records for people to dance to” was the valley’s disco queen, the News reported. In recent years general manager Mark Johnson has looked back to the hotel’s Swiss roots, booking weekly performances by the ‘Hof Polka Band’ and offering half-price on fondue every Friday. Where else will you find fondue except at a historic ski hotel? And where else except at a Wyoming ski hotel will you find a beauty pageant held outdoors in April? In that month, in 1970, the Alpenhof hosted the Miss Wyoming contest. “All girls of the expected dimensions and pulchritude, who are unmarried and at least 18 years of age…” were welcome to compete, reported the Jackson Hole Guide. Three contestants braved the weather to model “street clothes, swimming suits, and evening attire” and answer questions from judges, including Dick and Anneliese Oberreit. The winner went on to compete at the Miss USA pageant in Miami. (That was the real prize: the contest was held poolside on a day that topped out at a chilly-for-swimwear 42 degrees, following an overnight low of 0.) w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

LODGE Smiling Faces… Cozy Room...Hearty Food Experience a taste of the Alps in a historic lodge at the base of the Tetons. Conveniently located next to the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram, The Alpenhof is the perfect location for a winter adventure in Jackson Hole.

 Swiss Alpine Rooms

 Hearty Complimentary Breakfast  Outdoor Spa and Pool  Massage Therapy The ‘Hof Bar and Bistro serves hearty meals all day with plenty of Swiss Cheese and Chocolate with European wine and beer. For an extraordinary dining experience you must join us in the Alpenrose Dining Room for Eclectic Swiss Cuisine. The Alpenhof Lodge is listed in the National Register of Historic Places

At the base of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Teton Village, Wyoming

307-733-3242 alpenhoflodge.com

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MANGY MOOSE

Celebrating 50 years of fun, food, spirits

When Teton Village and the Jackson Hole Ski Resort opened in December 1965, its three chairlifts and three hotels were more suggestive of a hamlet than a village. But by the winter of 1966, the aerial tram and three additional businesses had opened—the “Village” had gained a footing in Jackson Hole. The Hostel X, the Mangy Moose Spaghetti Emporium, and the Hilton Inn (now the Inn at Jackson Hole) had sprung up over the summer and fall. Now, 50 years on, the Mangy Moose and the Hostel are Jackson Hole icons.The Mangy Moose’s builder, Dave Speck, and the Hostel X’s builder, Colby Wilson, had both hailed from Cleveland. However, unlike for the Wilson family, living in Jackson Hole did not suit Speck. “He didn’t want to be here, it was too cold. He didn’t ski and he wanted the city life,” said Pat Mahin, the eventual owner of the Mangy Moose.

“We did stuff back then; things were much crazier than they are today.” – Pat Mahin. Speck asked Mahin, then the restaurant manager at the nearby Alpenhof, if he wanted to run the place, and then asked if he wanted to buy it. They worked out a deal. “I lived upstairs,” recalled Mahin. “I hosted, I cooked, even served tables sometimes. It was so slow. So I stayed, never left. We made it for a number of years.” A break arrived for Mahin when the

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Jackson Hole Ski Corp’s Alex Morely offered Mahin the liquor license from the old 7-Levels Lodge, a Ski Corp enterprise. Armed with the license, Mahin added a bar onto the mountainside of the Emporium—and the Mangy Moose Saloon was born. Now there was a music venue for the growing après ski scene. The restaurant’s role evolved. King crab legs shared the menu with spaghetti while music filled the bar, and the Mangy Moose Saloon matured into a fullblown ski-town legend. “We did stuff back then; things were much crazier than they are today,” recalled Mahin. Both the Mangy Moose and its neighbor the Hostel X opened for business 50 In the age of wet t-shirt years ago in the winter of 1966-67. contests and other eyebrow-raising events, the Moose became produce. We’re organic but mangy.” a fixture of Teton Village. The saloon, though, is where the Mangy Mahin, a self-proclaimed junk collector, Moose earned its reputation—and will mainwould take trips searching for stuff to decotain it. During après ski and continuing into rate the establishment’s walls and ceiling the evening, there will be more music this w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

Mangy Moose photo Bob Woodall photos

The Mangy Moose has helped set the stage for live music in the valley.

with what has been described as “pack rat décor.” Two prominent fixtures were an Avro Tri-plane in the restaurant and a stuffed moose pulling a sleigh high above the barroom floor. It was the moose that attracted the attention of the ski patrol. “They thought they could do anything they wanted in the old days,” said Mahin. One night a patrolman managed to climb from the balcony into the sleigh. “We moved it,” he said. But good times and good music characterized those early days. In 1987, an expansion more than tripled the Moose’s size and nationally known music acts started to fill the saloon. Named for bartender Mark Wolling, ‘Wally World,’ in the upstairs bar, became “the place to be,” boasted Mahin. “Back in the Eighties we got voted a number of times by ski magazines as the number-one après ski bar in North America.” In 2001 a happenstance meeting, between Mahin and Jeff Davies, culminated with Davies and David Yoder buying out Mahin’s interest in the Moose. “I was unemployed and needed something to do,” Yoder said. “I knew the Moose and enjoyed going there. When that chance became available, I jumped at the opportunity.” Now, as the Mangy Moose is passing 50 years, Yoder is also looking back. In the restaurant “we want to have affordable options, but we are also bringing back things like crab legs, things that people have historically enjoyed,” he said. “It’s always a conundrum to balance. We don’t just want to buy inexpensive food, so we are trying to balance by buying locally sourced meat and


TETON VILLAGE LANDMARKS winter than ever, with live acts on stage seven days a week. “The venue really lends itself to music, and bands love to play here,” Yoder pointed out. “It’s funky but the sound is good, with an intimacy that even large bands really enjoy.” Having headlined such national acts as Richie Havens, Taj Mahal, Little Feat, Grace

Now an eclectic valley landmark, the Mangy Moose has evolved far beyond its humble beginnings as the Spaghetti Emporium. Potter, Robert Earl Keen, Ben Harper, and even the Glenn Miller Orchestra, it’s easy to see why Forbes Traveler named the Moose one of the top 10 hottest ski bars in the world. The Moose is also celebrating 50 years by resurrecting some of the antics that fueled its past success. Although wet t-shirt contests and Stupid Human Tricks are not back on the

The Original Mangy Moose. Having Fun Since 1967.

Riding high above the floor, the bull moose pulling a sleigh has been a hallmark of the Village institution. calendar, the Gong Show is. The “Shot Skis” have also been given new life, along with some 1967 pricing. Come spring, the Beer Bungee might be stretched out in the snow. An eclectic valley landmark, the Mangy Moose has evolved far beyond its humble beginnings as the Spaghetti Emporium. Now serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the site also harbors a wine shop, grocery store, and souvenir and art shops. The Moose provides most “anything that anybody would want when they visit, regarding food, drink, and entertainment,” Yoder said. He is well aware of the Moose’s revered tradition. “We are trying to remain local,” he added. “We want them (locals) to have a place where they can come and enjoy themselves and be treated fairly and get a benefit for their money,” he continued. “We don’t just want to be a tourist place.”

– JH SKIER

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Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner Aprés Ski • Live Music Gifts • Groceries Wine Store

Located at the base of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

www.mangymoose.com 307-733-4913 2 0 1 8 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R

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Grand Targhee Resort Powdery gem nestled in the Tetons

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by Melissa Thomasma

igh in the Rocky Mountains, nestled into the folds of the Tetons’ rugged western slope, lies a secret. A powdery gem of a secret: Grand Targhee Resort.

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Okay, so it’s no secret among Jackson Hole locals that Targhee is a place worth its weight in snow. And there sure is plenty of snow! In the mid-1960s, local ranchers – whose fields lay dormant for the winter – joined together to start the Grand Targhee ski area. Their original goals were twofold: to give locals some wintertime ex-

citement, and to bring some new energy to the community’s economy. The Grand Targhee Resort opened its doors the day after Christmas in 1969. Since those early days, Targhee has been family owned and operated, and has managed to maintain a culture and ambience all its own. As a young skier in the early

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Skier

Jason Tattersall

Photographer Wade McKoy

Location

Happy Hunting Grounds

1990s, I always relished a trip to Grand Targhee. Though it wasn’t far – around an hour’s drive – the hill had a magic to it that felt a million miles away from the bustle of the Jackson Hole skiing. I remember long runs in soft, pristine powder, floating past trees that, to my young imagination, seemed frosted like a gingerbread forest.

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Skiers & Snowboarders Unknown

Photographer

Greg Von Doersten

Location

Dream Catcher

Unlike the popular lifts in Teton Village, those at Targhee often had no lines at all. It was just run after run in spectacular snow. Targhee always felt relaxed somehow, the pace of the resort’s culture slower, more easygoing. And that, according to Marketing and Social Media Manager Jennie White, is the essence of what

Targhee has striven to maintain for all these years. “The laid-back vibe is what everyone appreciates,” she said. “From long-time staff members to visitors alike.” While the mountain’s chill culture has endured, its infrastructure has needed some updates since those early days. In recent years, Grand Targhee Resort has

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Skier

Brady Johnston

Photographer

Greg Von Doersten

Location

Targhee backcountry

Once a somewhat intimidating double chair, the Blackfoot Chair has been replaced with a fixed-grip quad equipped with safety bars. The ride used to take twelve minutes, but is now down to seven. not only made significant upgrades to the amenities on the mountain, but has also developed an impressive diversity of other wintertime activities. Among them, fat biking, tubing, and powder-chasing snowcat adventures for those seeking excitement, and sleigh rides, snowshoeing and sunset scenic tours for the more relaxed visitor. The array also boasts nature tours with expert guides, Nordic skiing on beautifully groomed trails, or the oppor-

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tunity to simply get a sense of all the mountain has to offer on a free daily mountain tour. This year Targhee is kicking the fat biking excitement up a level with races on the resort’s Nordic track. Everyone’s welcome to participate: choose between an 8- or 16-mile duration, and saddle up for a little friendly competition through some of the most breathtaking mountain vistas in the West. Even if you’re not the first one across the finish line, you’ll

consider the day a win. The ski hill itself – still the highlight of any Grand Targhee excursion – recently made mountain access yet more convenient for skiers of all ability levels. Once a somewhat intimidating double chair, the Blackfoot Chair has been replaced with a fixed-grip quad equipped with safety bars to make it more comfortable for intermediate skiers and kids. The ride used to take twelve minutes, but is now down to seven.

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Skier

Brady Johnston

Photographer

Greg Von Doersten

Location

Targhee backcountry


Skier

Jake Hawkes

Photographer

Fredrik Marmsater

Location

Steve Baugh Bowl

Annually, Targhee opens earlier and closes later than these other mountains, and frequently is doused with generous helpings of light, sweet powder.

Four other lifts continue to offer access to a wide variety of terrain for skiers beginners to advanced. Kids and first-time skiers will love Shoshone lift and the easy trails it accesses. Dreamcatcher and Sacajawea lifts climb higher on the mountain, and offer no shortage of thrilling and challenging topogra44

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phy. And no matter where you’ve enjoyed your day on the slopes, there are plenty of spots to kick back with an après ski cocoa or cocktail before dinner. In addition to terrain that’s fun and accessible for those new to the slopes, Grand Targhee offers lesson packages that are perfect for getting

kids on the hill. The “Bobcats and Big Cats” programs are multi-week lessons that help younger skiers not only develop passion for wintertime fun, but also hone specific skills. And while the kids are fine-tuning fundamentals, mom and dad are free to head up high in search of steeper, more powdery terrain. Grownups seeking to expand their skill set and cultivate confidence will enjoy the “Knowledge is Powder – Off Trail Camp”: three full days of personalized coaching, classroom learning, and time on the slopes, all via lift and snowcat. Targhee’s expert staff and excellent array of terrain make this an ideal way to not only become a better skier, but also to understand the important elements of conditions and safety that make for an unforgettable trip. Thanks to Targhee’s location on the western slope of the Tetons, the weather patterns that deliver its snowpack are very different from those that cover Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Snow King. Annually, Targhee opens earlier and closes later than these other mountains, and frequently is doused with generous helpings of light, sweet powder. Sporting over 2,600 acres to explore, and an average snowfall of over 500 inches, Targhee really does have reason to crow. “With snow that’s always good, and the relaxed small-town atmosphere, everyone feels welcome when they come to Targhee,” White said of the boutique resort. “Whether it’s your first time here, or your thousandth, everyone is part of our unique culture and history.” As you’re making plans for your ski adventures this winter, be sure to keep Targhee in mind. Though it’s only a short drive from Jackson Hole, you’ll feel like you’re in a snowy world apart. And I have a feeling you’ll love it.

Melissa Thomasma is a third-generation native of Jackson Hole and was raised on a steady diet of skiing, including many tasty courses at Grand Targhee.

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GRAND TARGHEE RESORT Mountain Characteristics

2,000 acres of lift-serviced terrain: 10% beginner, 70% intermediate, 20% advanced. Vertical rise: 2,270 feet. Base elevation: 7,851 feet. Groomed trails: 500 acres. Ski lifts: two high-speed quad chairs, one quad chair, one double chair, and one magic carpet.

Nordic, Snowshoe, & Snow Bike Trails

15k of groomed Nordic trails make great cross-country skiing, ski-skating, fat-tire snow biking, and snowshoeing, all of it rolling past the base area into the surrounding forest, glades, and meadows.

Activity Center Adventures

Stop by the Activity Center to book a myriad of winter adventures. Snowmobile through Yellowstone for close-up views of bison and Old Faithful or tour other regional attractions like Mesa Falls and the Big Holes. Ride on a horse-drawn sleigh with an authentic cowboy and his trusty steeds to a high-altitude yurt and a Western sleigh-ride dinner.

Ski & Snowboard School

Under the direction of Mark Hanson, Grand Targhee Resort’s Ski & Snowboard School offers PSIA/AASI instruction for adults and children, as well as a special adaptive skiers’ program. The Start Me Up package for firsttimers combines soft snow with experienced instructors, beginner equipment, uncrowded slopes, a dedicated beginner learning area, and the Papoose Conveyor lift. The Kids Start Me Up package is nationally recognized as an

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excellent children’s program. Grand Targhee’s Kids FUN Zone offers great terrain specifically designed to accelerate the learning curve. Early Tracks is for intermediate skiers and riders looking to get a jump-start on their day and enjoy Targhee’s powder paradise before the lifts open to the public. More info: 800827-4433.

Terrain Park

Boasts at least four to six rails per line, plus a jump section and two lines of features – one for beginners, one for more advanced skiers and riders. Look for new features this season with monthly changes and a local competition series.

Tube Park

A $14 day ticket includes use of snow tube, tube runs, and lift access on the Papoose Magic Carpet. All riders must be over 42 inches tall. Special rates available for groups of 25 or more. Reservations are recommended for tubing after 6 p.m. Open Weds. through Fri. from 3-7 p.m. and weekends from noon to 7 p.m.

Mountain Tours

Join a Mountain Host at the base of Dreamcatcher daily at 10:30 a.m. for a mountain tour. They’ll unveil the viewpoints and lesser-known areas of the three mountains that make up Grand Targhee Resort.

The Nature Center

Satisfy your wonderment of the Tetons’ flora, fauna, and geology with a resort natu-

ralist. Just stop by the Nature Center cabin between the Kids’ Club and Ski School. You can also book a 2-hr. naturalist-led snowshoe tour at the Activities Center.

Grand Targhee Cat Skiing

A hallmark of Grand Targhee, cat skiing on Peaked Mountain affords breathtaking views of the Grand Tetons. Twelve people ride a huge powder reserve of over 600 acres and up to 20,000 vertical feet in a day. Professional guides lead clients through a variety of terrain – expansive bowls, mellow glades, and steep, treed pitches. Reservations required. Call 800-827-4433.

Green Practices

A leader in environmental resort practices, Grand Targhee Resort received the Golden Eagle Award for Environmental Excellence in 2009 and 2011. In 2007 it became the first North American organization to carry out an in-depth inventory of greenhouse gas emissions through The Climate Registry. A central mission in Grand Targhee Resort’s Sustainability Charter is to limit its environmental impact by making integrated changes in waste management, energy use, and local ecosystems. Grand Targhee is prioritizing sustainability by taking powerful steps to manage its carbon footprint.

Shuttles

Daily round-trip shuttles run from Driggs and Jackson Hole. The resort is a scenic 48 miles from the Jackson Hole Airport, 85 miles from the Idaho Falls Airport. — JH SKIER

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Snow King Mountain Resort The Legend makes tracks into the 21st Century

E

by Jeff Burke

very town has a hub, essential to its community. For Jackson, Snow King Resort is that hub. Think of a city park, but with a 500-vertical-foot mountain planted in the middle.

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Forming the southern perimeter of the town limits, Snow King is Jackson’s winter stomping ground, where its ski culture has been established over the past seven decades. But in the last few years Snow King has been making beautiful turns. Snow King came to life in 1939,

its first lift the handiwork of Neil Rafferty, who secured for the mountain a rope tow from nearby Teton Pass. Through the decades Snow King grew slowly, creating its own notable history of ski jumping and racing. A flourishing mountain-lifestyle culture has in recent years given Jackson Hole

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Snowboarder (above) Julie Zell

Photographer Tony Harrington

Location Lower Elk

the reputation of world-class outdoors, replete with wildlife, adventure, and wide-open space. The backdrop for much of the valley’s skiing history, Snow King has witnessed it all. The mountain has always been a training ground for aspiring alpine racers. The home court of the Jack-

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son Hole Ski and Snowboard Club, Snow King received 21 new snowmaking guns two years ago, ushering in a new era for ski racers. Racers (and the public) will now have early season snow from the top of the resort—a major first for the town hill. No longer forced into early season hunts for skiable

Skiers (top right)

Skiers (above)

Photographer

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Location

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Night skiers

John Slaughter Elk

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Wade McKoy

Cougar Triple Chairlift

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Skier (top) Carter Snow

Skier (above) Unknown

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Jonathan Selkowitz

Location Bearcat

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terrain, racers and the public can now hit the slopes much sooner than in the past. Mother Nature has at times been stingy with early season accumulations at the King’s more moderate elevation, so its new capabilities for laying a skiable swath from the summit benefits not only the ski club and its racers, but also provides a better product for consumers. Accessed by the Rafferty and Cougar lifts, Old Man Flats area is also seeing a major facelift in its terrain park, a growing epicenter for the younger freeride skiers and riders who push their skill sets in different directions. Because of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s distance from town classrooms, many local kids can’t make the pilgrimage to its slopes after school. But thanks to Snow King, they can exit 7th period English, and be on the hill in 15 minutes, slashing turns, gliding rails, and make it home for dinner. And if they don’t… Not to

worry. Snow King is currently replacing a large portion of its night-skiing illumination with Ultra Tech Lighting, a green move that will radically improve ski-terrain visibility and the mountain’s profile while reducing light pollution for neighbors and resort guests. The new Snow Bright™ lights will bring the runs into greater relief for those slopeside while vastly reducing the light pollution of the area. These efforts are concurrent with opening more nightsking terrain in the coming seasons. You know Snow King is on the right track: the formidable Steamboat Springs resort has itself invested $1 million in Snow Bright™ lighting for its move into night skiing. Bottom line: more post-sunset real estate for skiers to plumb. Locals also flock to the King for lunchtime hot laps or postjob evening sessions—viable options for working stiffs with limited access to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort or Teton Pass. w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m


Skiers

Torchlight carriers

Photographer Wade McKoy

Location Cougar

Thanks to Snow King, kids can exit 7th period English and be on the hill in 15 minutes, slashing turns, gliding rails, and still make it home for dinner. And if they don’t… Not to worry. Snow King is replacing a large portion of its night-skiing illumination with Ultra Tech Lighting.

Many diehards actually drive to the King in their ski boots, an ever so subtle nod to Jackson Hole renaissance culture. “You have a Jackson Hole original here,” said Ken Rider, Snow King’s director of sales and marketing. “And we’re entering our 79th ski season. Right here at the edge of town, you can ski or ride to your heart’s content any day of the week.” Snow King gets the powder, too, and occasionally a southern storm drops even more snow on her slopes than anywhere else. Powder days at Snow King are as real as they get. Steep, sustained pitches off the summit can entertain any expert to the valley floor 1,500 vertical feet below. Billowing snow and smaller crowds go well together, creating sublime conditions. Ongoing tree-glading projects are opening new terrain each w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

season, which appeals to locals and tourists alike. For those wanting a challenge, the hike-to “S” chutes offers more adventurous alternatives to skiers and riders hungry for that wilder experience. Beyond skiing and riding, Snow King has evolved to include other winter activities for people coming to the valley. Many visitors looking for ski alternatives need not look far. “Bring your family here for a day of tubing and coaster riding,” said Rider. The cold rush of alpine air awaits those who cruise the new Cowboy Coaster. Two-person sleds ascend 1,000 vertical feet up Snow King’s eastern flanks, then streak down the serpentine course, lurching and leaning through sharp turns and plummeting drops. High above town, riders catch their breath careening down the track, stunning views of the

Teton Range and the National Elk Refuge right in front of them. King Tubes is no less invigorating. Customized inner tubes designed for jetting down the track allow friends and families with zero ski experience to zoom down the Snow King’s slopes and achieve their own wild Jackson Hole experience. Convenience has long been a hallmark of the King. Just blocks off the town square, Snow King afforded easy access for locals and visitors alike. That convenience, now coupled with painstaking advances in infrastructure, mountain operations, and service, will no doubt surpass the expectations of townies and travelers alike. And it might just guarantee Snow King destination-resort status.

Jeff Burke is a ski patroller and freelance writer living in Jackson Hole.

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ACCESS & RESOURCES Cowboy Coaster and uphill travel photos courtesy Snow King Mountain Resort

SNOW KING MOUNTAIN RESORT

Cowboy Winter Coaster

This roller-coaster thrill ride zips, twists, and turns down the mountain for a mile of loops, curves, and hairpin turns. On the way up, riders enjoy unsurpassed Teton views from 456 feet up Snow King Mountain. Call Snow King Mountain Sports at 307-201-5096 for the current schedule.

Snow King Mountain Sports

Snow King Mountain Sports houses Jackson Hole’s newest rental fleet and a worldclass race tuning shop. The store features a selection of top-brand race gear, ski wear, and accessories. The rental fleet allows customers to choose from a wide selection of skis and snowboards. With more than 20 years of ski tuning experience, its techs have the knowledge and skill to consistently produce highquality ski and snowboard tunes for local racers and recreational enthusiasts. Located in the Snow King Hotel just underneath Hayden’s Post. 307-201-5096; e-mail: store@snowkingmountain.com

Night Skiing

Watch the lights come up on the town of Jackson at the only night skiing available in Jackson Hole. After the sun goes down, Snow King Mountain comes alive with skiers and boarders taking advantage of this one-of-akind evening activity that keeps the stoke going for hours after dark. Upgraded in 2014 to Bright Lights™, the King’s innovative lighting system reduces night-sky light pollution, more effectively covers the slopes, and lowers energy consumption. Night skiing at Snow King is available Tues.-Sat. from 4-7 p.m. Adults, $25 Jr/Sr, $20. More info: 307-734-3194.

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Snowmaking

New snow guns (21, of course, and part of a $3.5 million capital improvement project) get everyone on the slopes earlier than ever. A combination of permanent and traveling snow guns fill in the runs from the summit to the base, thanks in part to hydrants along the way that also supply potable water to the mountaintop.

Terrain Parks

Snow King Mountain enhanced its terrain park experience last season. A slope-style park with intermediate and advanced features, including ramps and jumps, is accessible just along the Old Man’s Flats trail, itself accessible by the Cougar lift. There’s also a base area rail and box park with a variety of rails, jumps, and slides to test a rider’s skills. Access to the terrain parks is included in the price of the lift ticket during normal operating hours.

King Tubes

Just plain fun! That would be King Tubes. Piloting these “doughnuts” on the smooth, groomed run promises to bring out the kid in everyone. Hard to tell whose enthusiasm is greater, the kids’ or the grownups’. Easy access provided by a rope tow. Hop on, then head down the slope. Riders must be at least 42” tall. Mon.- Sat., from 2-7 p.m.; weekends and holidays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The office is located at the corner of Snow King Ave and King St. Phone: 307-734-3194.

Uphill Travel

Sometimes going up the hill is the best part. Jackson locals know that “skinning the King” is an amazing way to experience skiing

in Jackson Hole. Snow King Mountain offers this activity to locals and visitors with the purchase of a $10 Uphill Ascent daily ticket or a $75 Uphill Ascent season pass. Skiers must sign a waiver and display their Uphill Ascent ticket or pass. Uphill tickets and passes are available at the Summit Lift Ticket office and at Snow King Mountain Sports during normal operating hours. For more information and to read the full Uphill Travel Policy, visit the website at snowkingmountain.com/uphill-travel.

Mountain Sports School

Snow King Mountain Resort has been teaching skiing for over 75 years. But Snowboarding, a relative newcomer to resort slopes, is supported with equal zest at the King. Its Mountain Sports School specializes in children’s and adults’ group and private lessons. For the full array of courses and clinics, visit snowkingmountain.com or call 307-734-3188.

World Championship Snowmobile Hill Climb

The hill’s final event is an unqualified spectacle: The World Championship Snowmobile Hill Climb. Now in its 42nd year, the event is held on Snow King’s pitch-perfect slopes. Riders throttle their way straight up the King’s snowbound terra firma, trying to nail the speediest high-mark. The event benefits the Jackson Hole Snow Devils’ various philanthropic missions. Slated for March 23 through March 26 this year. Call 734-9653 or go online at snowdevils.org.

Ice Skating

Snow King Sports and Events Center, located at the base of Snow King Mountain, provides a rink full of activities and is home to the Jackson Hole Moose hockey club. For w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m


ganize and support a non-sanctioned downhill race. This community favorite draws over 200 competitors and 500 spectators. Everyone is welcome to join in for live music, food, and a great race.

more information, visit the center’s site at snowkingsec .com or call 307-201-1633. Jackson Hole Ski Club Snow King Mountain continues its partnership with the Jackson Hole Ski & Snowboard Club (JHSC). Once again, as the JHSC celebrates its 78th anniversary, a full calendar of winter events with local ski areas highlight this winter season.

Wednesday Night Lights

Pica’s Margarita Cup

The season opens with Ninth Annual Pica’s Margarita Cup, a six-person adult teamracing events. Run on Mondays, this crowd-pleaser boasts prizes, weekly raffles, margaritas and tacos, and just the right amount of friendly trash talking. January 15 and 29, February 12 and 26, wrapping up on March 5.

Town Downhill, the Mini-Hahnenkamm The Town Downhill (TDH), a JHSC event, has been a Jackson tradition since 1982. The origin of its nickname, the Mini-Hahnenkamm, dates back to the 1950s, when Jim Huidekoper

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Sr., one of the ski area’s founders, named Snow King’s steepest run The Steilhang because it reminded him of a slope on Austria’s famed peak, the Hahnenkamm. This season’s race is scheduled for March 10-11. With divisions for Pro, Recreation, Telemark, Junior, Fat and Baggy, and Snowboard, the event is the club’s way of recognizing that skiing – and ski racing – is truly a lifetime sport. Jackson Hole is one of the last places in the country to or-

Other notable winter-season events include the mountain’s Wednesday Night Lights activities, now in its tenth season and clearly a winner. Held on Wednesday nights, of course, these evening showcases and competition draw the young and the inspired to rail jams. Spectators are as thrilled as the competitors coursing over the white stuff and the rail in impressive skillful, acrobatic displays. Under the lights, Wednesdays from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on February 7, 14 and 21.

National & International Ski Races

The JHSC will also host nearly 20 days of regional and national-level events at Snow King Mountain Resort, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Grand Targhee, and Trail Creek Nordic Center. — JH SKIER

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Teton Skiers Achieve World Cup Success Resi Stiegler, Breezy Johnson, and Jaelin Kauf among world’s elite skiers

Jonathan Selkowitz photo

Breezy Johnson

Another Teton native and Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club alumna, Breezy Johnson, 21, has competed in FIS events since 2011 and consistently posted top-10 results in Nor-Am Cups and Europa Cups. She raced World Cup in 2015/16 and scored points with a 28th-place downhill finish at Garmisch- Partenkirchen. That season she also won the Europa Cup downhill at Altenmarkt and the NorAm downhill at Lake Louise.

Last winter Johnson continued skiing on the World Cup, cracking the top-10 in a downhill at Cortina d’Ampezzo. She notched 11th place finishes at Lake Louise and Garmisch-Partenkirchen. She claimed 13th fastest at Val d’Isere, 15th at the World Championships in St. Moritz, and 16th at Altenmarkt-Zauchensee. Johnson continues her ski-racing climb and has a good shot at making the 2018 Olympic Team.

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Olympic Hopefuls

Resi Stiegler, 32, grew up skiing with the instructors at the Jackson Hole Ski Area, where her father, Pepi, an Olympic champion himself, ran the ski school for 29 years. But she was no stranger to Snow King, training on the Town Hill with her Jackson Hole Ski Club teammates and coaches.

Resi Stiegler

Stiegler began racing at U.S.S.A. events in 1998 and competed in her first World Cup in 2003. She was the U.S. Champion in slalom and giant slalom in 2007 and skied in the 2006 and 2014 Olympics at Torino and Sochi. In 2015/16 Stiegler podiumed three times, including a 2nd in the National Championships in Sun Valley. She topped the podium four times in her exemplary 2016/17 season, winning slalom races at Andalo, Kronplatz, and Courchevel, and winning the U.S. Alpine Championships in slalom at Sugarloaf. This winter marks her 16th season racing on the FIS World Cup. As of early December, Stiegler had placed 21st in the season-opening women’s slalom in Levi, Finland. Stiegler said she’s coming into this season with hopes of being in the top group approaching the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Photographer, both pages Jonathan Selkowitz

Location, both photos

2017 Alpine World Cup Finals in downhill and slalom on Ajax Mountain, Aspen, CO.

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Olympic Hopefuls

Photographer Steven Earl, courtesy U.S. Ski Team Location Dual Moguls, 2017 Visa Freestyle

International World Cup at Deer Valley.

Jaelin Kauf

Jaelin Kauf, 21, has been making her way up the ranks in mogul skiing since her first FIS competitions in 2010. She had a breakout year on the World Cup tour in 2016, landing her first career podium and taking home the Rookie of the Year title. Kauf’s success continued in 2017, when she scored her first career win, a World Championships bronze medal, and finished the season ranked seventh in the world. – U.S. Ski Team website The team’s off-season training this year, she noted, was directed at preparing for Olympic qualifying events. Kauf wants to be competitive at the Olympics and do everything she can to come home with a medal. She said the women’s team is stacked with talent, all capable of reaching the Olympics, all fighting for those spots. – written from report in Jackson Hole News & Guide

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The Triple Crown Jackson Hole Ski & Snowboard Club celebrates winter traditions Each year, local ski enthusiasts vie for the throne of the Triple Crown – the overall fastest racers in the Nordic Moose Chase Marathon, the Town Downhill, and the Karen Oatey Pole Pedal Paddle. Competitor points accumulate with each event and are published at jhskiclub.org. The men’s and women’s winners are

crowned King and Queen at the PPP Awards Ceremony at Astoria Hot Springs. This ski club event celebrates Jackson’s wintersports traditions and answers the question, “Who are Jackson Hole’s best winter-sports athletes?” Congrats to Johnny Springer (two years running) and Sevi Hagen, 2017 King and Queen.

Moose Chase

Nancy Leon, JH Nordic

The 26th annual Moose Chase Nordic ski race kicks off the Triple Crown Series on February 17, 2018, at the Trail Creek Nordic Center. This premier Nordic race includes separate events of 30,15, 5, or 3 kilometers and a free 1/2km event. Competitors can skate or classic ski the course.

Wade McKoy

Town Downhill The 36th annual Jackson Town Downhill features the heart-throbbing Mini-Hahnenkamm course on Snow King Mountain. With Pro, Recreation, Telemark, Junior, Fat and Baggy, and Snowboard divisions, this winter favorite draws over 200 competitors and 500 spectators. Jackson Hole is one of the last places in the country to organize and support a non-sanctioned downhill race. The second Triple Crown event takes place on March 10 and 11, 2018. Adam Smith

Pole Pedal Paddle

Bob Woodall

The Karen Oatey Pole Pedal Paddle, a revered and celebrated tradition in Jackson Hole, is the final event in the Triple Crown series and is set for March 24, 2018. The five-leg race starts at the top of JHMR and finishes at Astoria Hot Springs Park in Snake River Canyon. The spectacle consists of an alpine ski/snowboard leg, a short running leg, a cross-country ski leg, a bicycle leg, and a boating leg. Now in its 43rd year, contestants compete either individually or in teams.

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Jackson Town Downhill

Max Martin

Jeff Buydos Cloud Level Creative

Dana MacKenzie, Rick Hunt, Adam McCool

Wade McKoy photos

Zach Schwartz, 2017 TDH Champ

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Triple Crown

Jeff Buydos Cloud Level Creative

Bob Woodall

Rich Goodwin

Karen Oatey Pole Pedal Paddle

Karen Ann Oatey 1956 - 2015 Jackson resident Karen Oatey died from a cerebral aneurism while racing the downhill in the 2015 Pole Pedal Paddle. Notably active in the community, Oatey had applied herself to the causes she cared about – Teton Youth and Family Services, Teton Adaptive Sports, Friends of Pathways, and other nonprofits in the valley. As a volunteer Path Ambassador for Grand Teton National Park she chatted with visitors on park pathways, took their photos, and shared her knowledge of the park. She skied 100 days a season and hiked, biked, and fished throughout the summer and fall. Karen and her husband David Landes moved to Jackson from Seattle, Washington, in 2006, rekindling old friendships and making many new ones. She continued working part-time for a Seattle CPA firm and enjoyed trying out new recipes at dinner parties with her friends.

Karen Oatey Scholarship Endowment

The Karen Oatey Scholarship Endowment Fund at the Jackson Hole Ski & Snowboard Club was established by Oatey’s family as a way to share her love for winter sports with young athletes in financial need. The fund honors Karen’s desire to give back to the community by introducing and supporting Jackson Hole’s young athletes as they develop their own passions for winter sports and the outdoors. The annual return of the fund investment helps underwrite JHSC scholarship allocations. Contributing to this fund ensures the club’s ability to maintain and increase support to local athletes. 

Jeff Buydos Cloud Level Creative

Wade McKoy photos

Johnny Springer

https://jhskiclub.org/donate

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JH SKI CLUB HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2018

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he Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club Hall of Fame was created in 2013, spearheaded by then Executive Director Carrie Boynton. The inaugural class of 12, selected from 70 nominees, were William “Bill” Ashley, John Curtis, Joseph “Pepi” Stiegler, Harry Baxter, William “Bill” Briggs, Peter “Pete” Karns, Travis Rice, Elizabeth “Betty” Woolsey, Tommy Moe, Erich Wilbrecht, Martin Hagen, and Resi Stiegler. The JHSC Hall of Fame and club museum is located in Snow King Center’s Lodge Room at the west ski area base. “We hope to inspire the 500 kids in our programs,” said JHSC Executive Director Brian Krill. “It shows that Hall of Famers are not only competitors, they’re those who inspire us in other ways by supporting and advancing the sports.” The categories include Competitor, Pioneer, Innovator, and Inspiration. Nominees may be submitted at any time and a new class will be inducted every four years in conjunction with the Winter Olympics. An eight-member selection committee reviews the nominees before choosing new members.

Class of 2018 Neil Rafferty – Pioneer, Innovator Born-unknown. Died-1995. Hitched to Jackson from Detroit in 1930 on trains, cars, and wagons, arriving with 10 cents in his pocket. Worked for phone company, ran a trap line with his dog team and sled on the shores of Jackson Lake. Hiked Ruth Hannah Simms Ski Hill (now Snow King) for Sunday skiing. Submitted cabletow design to Jackson Hole Ski Club, which selected it from among several lift-concept submissions. Constructed the 18-person surface lift from a used oil-drilling cable, junkyard tire rims, and an old Ford tractor in 1939. Helped build Wyoming’s first chairlift in 1946, a single, on Snow King from a used Colorado gold mine ore tramway named “Lilly.” Operated a portable rope tow on Teton Pass in 1950s60s. Built a cabin for cross-country skiers near Jackson Peak. Tirelessly promoted skiing in Jackson around the region. Became Snow King’s ski area manager until he retired in 1974. Andy Chambers – Competitor, Innovator, Inspiration Born 1961. Wyoming State High School Slalom Champion and Overall Champion, 1976. Wyoming State High School Athlete of the Year runner up, 1979. Member Intermountain Division Junior National and Junior Olympic ski teams and overall Junior Olympic Champion, 1977. Member U. S. Ski Team, Men’s Downhill, 1979-87. Overall U.S. National Champion, 1983. Multiple National Championship Downhill Medals, overall Nor-Am Downhill Champion. Second Overall Europa Cup Downhill Title and fourth overall Europa Cup Overall Title, 1983. Member 1985 U.S.S.T. World Championship Team. First Executive Director Jackson Hole Ski Club 1993-96. Conceived and developed the JHSC program, Next Generation Skiers (NGS). Karen Budge Eaton – Competitor, Inspiration Born 1949. Became Jackson Hole’s first

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Junior National Champion at age 14, named to the U.S. Ski Team at age 17. Skied on the U.S. FIS Team or the U.S. Olympic Team every year between 1967 and 1972. Top-10 finishes in World Cup, 1969-70. 11th in the World Championships, 1970. Third in the combined in the French National Championships at LaPiagne, France, and second in the World Cup GS in Heavenly Valley, California, 1971. Capped off racing career with a 14th-place finish in the downhill in the 1972 Olympic Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan. Peter Ashley – Inspiration Born 1950. Nordic racer on Junior and NCAA (Colorado) National Championship teams in the 1960s, later coached those and numerous World Junior Championships teams. First National Junior coach for U.S.S.T. in 1978. Named Head Women’s Coach for the U.S. Ski Team in 1983. Coached the 1985 World Championships in Seefeld, Austria, numerous World Cup races, and the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics. Directed Coaches Education for USST and distributed first criteria for coaching the newly introduced skating technique in 1986. Worked in retail and trained skiers in Truckee, California, 1987. V.P. of Nordic Sales for Fischer Sports U.S., 1994 to retirement in 2015. Currently volunteers as Chairman of the Board for the non-profit National Nordic Foundation. Rob Kingwill – Competitor, Innovator, Inspiration Born 1975. Competitive pro-snowboarder, 1990s-early 2000s. Successful halfpipe rider; 8 years on the U.S. Snowboard Team; won U.S. Open, 1998. Won 7 FIS World Cups and 5 Grand Prixs. Podiumed at the Xgames, Gravity Games, World Championships, Mt Baker Banked Slalom, Vans Cup, Grand Prix, and U.S. Open events – over 20 career podiums. In freeride and big mountain competitions, won the North Face Masters in Alyeska, Alaska. Second at the King of the Hill in Valdez, Alaska. Appeared in film segments with Warren Miller Entertainment for the past four years, snowboarding in Japan, Alaska, Greenland, and Nepal. Founder of AVALON7 mountain lifestyle accessories brand. Runs The Futurepositive Project focused on inspiring kids to play outside. Coached at summer snowboard camps for over 20 years, head snowboard coach at the Camp of Champions in Whistler, British Columbia, for 8 of those years. Walt Berling – Inspiration Born 1954. Nordic coach at JH High School for 28 years, including a National Championship Team. Coached cross-country running for 14 years, and taught at Teton County School District #1 for 36 years. Three years Nordic Director, JH Ski Club. Wyoming Coaches Hall of Fame inductee. National coach of the year nominee three years. Volunteer at cleanup days, ski swaps, PPP. Guide and coach for blind skiers. Currently works for school district as a Walking School Bus (walks along a set route with one or more adults, picks up children at designated stops, walks with them to and from school.)

Dallas Dunlap Robertson – Competitor Born 1951. Died 2014. Raced for the Jackson Hole Alpine Ski Team as a high school sophomore. Trained with the U.S. Women’s Ski Team and qualified as alternate to the 1968 Grenoble Olympics. Competed in Downhill, GS, and Slalom. Competed in track and field in high school—the only girl to compete with the boys—and set numerous track-and-field records. Made ice cream and jerky at the family business, Jackson Cold Storage. Began ranching with husband Steve Reed Robertson in 1973, and raised three sons, Heath, Walt, and Neal. Ran a successful family hunting outfitting operation. Moved out of Jackson for kids’ high school years. Lived near the base of Snow King, a ski-in, ski-out location. Lived out her years cheering her boys’ sports interests and skiing with them. William “Billy” Dale Saunders – Competitor, Pioneer, Innovator Born 1925. Helped Neil Rafferty build Snow King’s rope tow and helped construct the Snow King Ski Shelter. Convinced the school board to add skiing as a school sport and started the high school ski team. First person to schuss the King top to bottom. President of the Jackson Hole Alpine Club (JHAC). Helped form the Little Waxers ski team. Built and opened the ski shop at the base of Snow King in 1951. Coached the Jackson Intermountain Ski Team, including skiers Karen Budge and Dallas Dunlap. Helped scout local sites for the next great ski destination, including Cache Creek and Teton Village. Claimed first descent of Rendezvous Mountain with Barry Corbet while scouting the area. Nancy Bell Johnstone – Competitor, Inspiration Moved to Jackson from Stowe, Vermont, in 1991. Raced alpine from childhood into her teens, then switched to the more affordable sport of Nordic skiing. Added shooting and found her niche. Competed on U.S. Ski Team, Biathlon Team, in 1992 Olympics in Albertville, France, and in numerous World Championships and World Cup events across Europe. Served in the Army National Guard for eight years. Sat on the Board of Directors for the U.S. Olympic Committee for 10 years. Nordic Director and Head Coach for the JHSC for two years. North American Ski Mountaineering Champion and possibly the oldest woman to ski the Grand Teton. Willie Neal – Inspiration 1989-2009. Nordic racer in five Junior National events and multi-time All-American. Represented U.S. on the 2008 Scandinavia Cup Team. Only person with eight Wyoming High School individual Nordic championships. Featured in Sports Illustrated “Faces in the Crowd.” Inspired his peers and younger skiers to train harder, be more focused, and to enjoy the process, not just the outcome. Won the PPP Junior division as a middle school student. Won the PPP Race division as a high school student. Participated in community events such as the Rally and Old Bill’s and encourw w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m


Halls Of Fame

HARRY BAXTER JOINS INTERMOUNTAIN SKI HALL OF FAME

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Bob Woodall

his past September, former Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Marketing Director Harry Baxter was inducted into the Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame in Park City, Utah. He joins seven other Jackson Hole notables: Bill Briggs, Karen Budge-Eaton, Kit DesLauriers, Pete Karns, Paul McCollister, Neil Rafferty, and Pepi Stiegler. Baxter, now 88, began skiing in 1937, when ski areas were a far cry from today’s resorts. He grew up in New Hampshire, and when the Abenaki Ski Area in Wolfeboro, about 4 miles from his home, installed a rope tow, Baxter could walk to the slopes. Thus began a love affair with the sport that would mark the major part of his life and career. During the next seven decades, his love of skiing was interrupted only by 19 months of service in the Korean War. After his service, Baxter got right back at the turns. He went to work for the Hannes Schneider Ski School at North Conway, New Hampshire, where he obtained full certification as a ski instructor.

Martha and Harry Baxter It wasn’t long before the new Mt. Whittier Ski Area tapped him to take over its ski school. He eventually ended up as the general manager of Maine’s Sugarloaf Mountain after a run as its ski school director. Then, in 1974, Jackson Hole Ski Area’s Paul

JHSC Hall Of Fame Class of 2018 continued aged others to do the same. Was respected for his focus, work ethic, enthusiasm, teamwork, and his sportsmanship. Promoted environmental awareness and stewardship through school educational programs and through printed materials and booths at community events. Spearheaded the Town of Jackson’s “No Idling” resolution and similar ordinances in Sun Valley, Idaho, Ventura, California, and Fort Fairfield, Maine. Worked for Senator John Kerry and devised encrypted communications for

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senatorial offices to save paper, ink, and energy. Student member of the Pathways Board. A JHSC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Alumni Reunion will take place Feb. 3, 2018, at the Snow King Resort. Contact JHSC for details. – JH SKIER, with information from Hall Of Fame nomination forms, additional research, and interviews.

McCollister offered Baxter the post of marketing director. Once ensconced in Jackson Hole, Baxter got busy plying his form of promotion. “We did a lot of crazy things in Jackson,” he said. For the opening ceremonies of the 1975 Wild West Classic World Cup races, Baxter recruited parachutist Ted Mayfield and friends to jump from helicopters streaming national flags. “We got a lot of ink out of it,” he recalled, “and that was the purpose of this special event.” But a national profile won’t endure without local involvement. “The World Cup was fine for spectators, but I was trying to come up with something that the local people would get involved in,” Baxter said. Forty-two years later, the Pole Pedal, Paddle that Baxter came up with is a Jackson Hole institution. “Marketing a ski resort in the 1970s is not what it is now, “ Baxter noted. “Now you have electronics—I didn’t have that.” In those days Baxter hit the phones every morning starting at 4:30 a.m. “I would make 50 to 60 phone calls to radio stations back East with daily ski reports,” he continued, “so people would hear them on their radios when going to work.” In the summers, Baxter traveled the country marketing Jackson Hole for the next ski season— he once spent 100 days straight on the road. In 1995 he and his wife of 65 years retired. A member of the inaugural class of Jackson Hole Ski Club Hall of Fame, Baxter is still a passionate skier; he logged 44 days at Grand Targhee last season and plans to keep skiing until he’s in his 90s. — JH SKIER

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Top Young Guns Ellie Armstrong & Kai Jones

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ver the years, the massive terrain of Jackson Hole’s Rendezvous Mountain has lured legions of skiers and snowboarders, nurturing and challenging several generations. The latest group of scions is now coming of age and following in the tracks of their parents. Two of the more notable young skiers, Ellie Snow Armstrong and Kai Jones, are making their mark in the mountains. Having skied pretty much all their lives, Jones and Armstrong are emerging as major players in the International Freeskiers and Snowboarders Association (IFSA). Both were raised as “standard Jackson ski kids,” said Kai’s father, Todd Jones. Both took their first runs in a backpack, eventually hitting the slopes skiing between their parents’ legs by age two.

Ellie Snow Armstrong

Rick Armstrong

Daughter of “Sick” Rick and Hollee Armstrong, Ellie, age 15, proudly noted, “I’m trying to follow in my dad’s footsteps and I’m really committing to the sport and I’m focusing on that— I’ve been doing big-mountain skiing all my life.” Her more than eight years of racing have helped her become a really stable skier. Last year, she entered the IFSA competition: in her rookie year, she placed third in the North American Championships in the 12-14 year-old Ski Female category and was ranked sixth out of 120. This winter she will be in the 15-18 year-old-class. Her goal this season is to finish in the top five. “I really like the competition aspect,” she said. “It pushes you a whole lot more and in competition you get to show everyone your skills. It is kind of intimidating that all the kids are such good skiers, but we are all really good friends, so we support each other. I love meeting all the Ellie Snow Armstrong

Skier

Ellie Snow Armstrong

Photographer

Emmitt McLaughin

Location

Grand Targhee Mountain Resort

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Emerging Skiers

Skier

Kai Jones

Photographer Nic Alegre

Location

Once is Enough Couloir

new people from around North America and making new friends.” More than that, she said, “I am really wanting to influence other girls to do free-ride competition.”

Kai Jones

Last season, Kai, son of Todd and Shelly Jones, claimed second in the under-12 Ski Male category of the IFSA. This year he’s shooting for number one. “He’s got the style and he’s got the head for it,” said his father. “He’s pretty driven, very focused. He loves it.” “I love the pure adrenaline rush,” said Kai, “I love how it feels when you accomplish something new, like your first back flip. This year I want to do cooler tricks.” And last winter, at age 10, his focus made him possibly the youngest skier to descend the intimidating Central Couloir on Cody Peak. “I thought it was pretty sweet,” the young Jones said. “I was really scared at first, then I hopped on it. Then I realized I just needed to keep it in control and not think about what could happen, but keep it in the moment—I just had to think good thoughts and that got me down Central.” He has also been hitting the climbing gym. “I feel it has helped me learn patience. When you get on a ski line or a climbing route, you gotta know your route to do it the best you can and complete it,” he said. “You gotta get better at things in really gnarly situations.” Sound advice, and that’s what it will take to attain his three-to-four year goal: ski the Grand Teton. – JH SKIER Follow Kai and Ellie on Instagram: @kaijonesski; @ellie.snoww

Skiers

Kai & Todd Jones

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Photographer Nic Alegre

Location

Cody Peak


Snowmageddon

Wade McKoy

The ‘Big One’ goes bigger than ever

The Village Road remained narrow and slick for much of the winter, and for three weeks it was so bumpy that safe travel topped-out at 15 mph. Snowplows kept the highway open, though, providing access to an abundance of powder skiing at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

by meteorologist Jim Woodmencey

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lease don’t get too bummed out if you are one of those people in the tram line this winter who are told, “You shoulda been here last year!” Jackson Hole skiers had been waiting 20 years for a winter like 2016-17. That is, for a winter that could match the record snowfall winter of 1996-97. That was the winter that set the bar for what we call “big.” Well, “big” got redefined last winter. What a wild winter it was; big snow, big wind, big temperature swings—all made big news around here. I will recap some of that wild weather and compare the massive snow amounts we received with that last big winter of 20 years ago. Stormy Highlights Winter began a little earlier than usual— people took to skiing on Teton Pass by the end of the first week in October 2016. That was merely an appetizer, a teaser of what was to come. A stretch of warm weather followed the October dumping, and extended into mid-November, reducing that early season snowpack

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down to almost nothing. Then Mother Nature did a one-eighty, just before Thanksgiving. It began to snow again, and again, and again. Seemingly non-stop snow through Christmas. By New Year’s we had accumulated so much white stuff that snow depths in town and in the mountains were approaching records for that time of year. One reason, temperatures stayed well below normal during all of December and January, with no chance for the snow to settle between storms. By Groundhog Day, the halfway point of the winter season, it felt like we had already been through two full winters’ worth of weather. People started asking me, “When is it going to stop snowing?” Which, by the way, is rare in a ski town, in winter. Maybe there really is such a thing as “too much snow.” It was certainly too much for the roof at the local Sears store in Jackson; it collapsed under the weight in early February. Plow drivers, barely able to keep up with the apocalyptic accumulations, needed a break. Workers at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort had to start shoveling out the snowdrift below the tram dock at the summit on February 7 to allow Car-1 to pass, a problem that persisted through the month.

Then, the Storm of the Century hit Jackson Hole. Tuesday, February 7, started like most other days had last winter, with a dumping of low-density powder snow. By afternoon it changed to rain in the valley. Brutal wind gusts that evening knocked over a string of 17 power transmission lines along Highway 390 near Teton Village. Maxi-

Jackson Hole skiers had been waiting 20 years for a winter like 201617. That is, for a winter that could match the record snowfall winter of 1996-97. That was the winter that set the bar for what we call “big.” Well, “big” got redefined last winter. mum wind gust speeds around the valley reached 61 mph at the Jackson Hole Airport. An anemometer at a residence along the Village road reached a peak gust of 83 mph— about the same time that the towers folded. All electrical power to Teton Village was out. But a superman-like effort by Lower Val-

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Teton Village parking lot

Snowblowing the deck at Corbet’s Cabin

Wade McKoy photos

Village Road mailboxes

A lineman uses a torch to cut through one of 17 buckled steel power poles during the storm that closed Teton Village for a week. ley Energy restored power to Teton Village and the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort by Saturday evening, February 11, just four days after the towers fell. It rained all the way up to the 8,500-foot elevation from February 8 to February 10. Needless to say, avalanches were going off everywhere during this storm cycle. At lower elevations, with rain falling on snow for an extended period of time, avalanches were guaranteed—as was evident with slides that closed the Hoback and Snake River canyons. Teton Pass closed for four days. Avalanches could be seen above Hidden Ranches on the south end of town, and there was even an in-bounds avalanche on a mogul run at Snow King Mountain. February 2017 went on to break the alltime record for snowfall in February on the mountain, with 149 inches of snow recorded at the Rendezvous Bowl weather station. The

old record was 134 inches from just a few winters ago, February 2014. An “average” February on the mountain sees 69 inches. The remainder of the ski season completely switched gears in March, with warming temperatures causing a rapid and early melt at lower elevations, and subsequent flooding issues in the valley. The mountain snowpack at higher elevations, however, took a long time to melt back enough for hiking trails to become snow-free later in July. Snowfall Metrics The Winter of 2016-2017 could be considered the snowiest and deepest winter in Jackson Hole Mountain Resort history. There are many metrics by which you can gauge the winter’s snowfall. I will compare three different ones, so you can see how 2016-17 stacked up against 1996-97. For this comparison, I will use the data from the Ren-

dezvous Bowl weather station at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, at the 9,580-ft. elevation. 1) Total Season Total: This represents the total amount of snow that fell between October 1 (when snowfall recording begins) and April 9 (closing day). In 2016-17 that total was 590 inches. That beat the old record from the winter of 1996-97 by 5 inches. The 1996-97 season total was 585 inches. The average snowfall, for this same time frame, is 412 inches. To put that in perspective, 2016-17 had 49 feet of snowfall, 15 feet more than the average. 2) Winter Season Total: This represents total snowfall between December 1 and April 1. In other words, the snow we actually got to ski or ride when the resort was open. In 201617 that total was 462 inches. The winter of 1996-97 received 486 inches, and still holds the record for inches of snowfall during the Continued page 65

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EMERGING SPORTS

FAT BIKING A bicycle for all seasons by Keith Benefiel

Time was, winter put the brakes on bicycling for

three or four months a year. Now, snow kicks cycling into overdrive. In the early Eighties, mountain bikes changed the face of the sport. The new machine, while light and multi speed, still used the same width tire (2”) as the cruiser I delivered papers on in the Sixties. This was suitable for pavement, gravel, and a few trails but was useless in snow and sand.

Wade McKoy

Fat bikes are a new platform and paradigm. While 4” to 5” rubber is a pig on pavement, it turns gravel into a perfectly smooth surface, makes favorite enduro trails a hoot, and renders snow and sand not only rideable but big fun. Surley introduced the “Pugsley” fat bike less than a decade ago; now most manufacturers offer a whole lineup of “fatties.” As the components became standardized and mass production replaced custom, prices fell. Fatties are now available in the same price points as other bikes. A sweet ride starts at under a grand and rentals are widely available. So, got it. Now where to go? How about the grocery, post office, or coffee shop? These fat puppies make year-around mountain town transportation by bicycle viable. In high and cold climes like Jackson Hole, many streets are sheathed in six inches of boiler-plate ice for a good part of the winter. Four- or five-inch tires run at low pressure (5-10 p.s.i.) will give good but not perfect traction. Don’t be leaning into turns. If ice is a regular riding surface, consider studded tires, like 45North’s Dillingers, which adhere to ice like rubber to pavement. Pricey, but if only used for ice season, they will last a decade or more. Around here there are hundreds of miles of snowmobile trails, all are legal and prime riding. The slednecks pay for the grooming, so to be fair, we should buy a sticker from any snowmobile shop or Above: Grand Targhee leads the way in machine-set single track for fat bikes. Left: The author and his wife Diane on the Path 22 West Bridge.

Kieth Benefiel Collection

Around here there are hundreds of miles of snowmobile trails, all are legal and prime riding. The slednecks pay for the grooming, so to be fair, we should buy a sticker and do our part.

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Teton Mountain Bike Tours at 545 N. Cache and do our part. Gems are Granite Creek to the hot springs; Togwotee trails—which go on forever; Mosquito Creek (without its namesake bug); and Shadow Mountain. With a firm surface underneath the fresh, fat rigs can penetrate axledeep powder, but with nothing for tires to bite, they’re not going anywhere. Fat tires have considerable volume, so are highly adjustable. Depending on conditions, air pressure, which ranges from 5 to 20 pounds per square inch, is critical to float, traction, and overall performance. Always pack a pump or large inflator to match surface conditions. For riders 150 pounds or less, 4” tires will give better traction. Best for all round may be 4” rear for grip and 5” front for floatation. Most of our community pathways are either partially plowed, with 1” to 3” packed, or groomed for skate skiing. Skate track is perfect when set up. Maybe wait a day after groom. Don’t leave trenches. Riding in the classic track will ensure a quick crash. Remember fat bikers are the newbies, be courteous always. Continued next page w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m


Wade McKoy

Niki Hailey (above and left) pedals along Grand Targhee’s groomed cross-country track. Bicyclists’ numbers have grown to match that of Nordic skiers. The future is groomed single track, adjacent to groomed ski trails, or free running. Locals have been dragging weighted sleds on snowshoes on top of summer trails to groom and maintain fat bike/ hike trails in the Cache Creek area. This winter will see the first machine-set fat tracks on this side as they have had on the Targhee side for a couple years. Gotta mention E-Bikes, or electric assist bikes. These are permitted on all Forest Service roads open to snowmobiles except Cache and Game creeks. They are prohibited on all forest or Park-service trails or pathways, but currently allowed on municipal pathways. Confused yet? When snow travel is done or you are tired of shoveling, take your fatness down south. The jeep trails in the desert offer slick rock and scenics but often at the expense of stretches of knee-popping, chainsnapping sand. No problem, no more. Fat rules! Places like the overlook

Bob Woodall

Snowmageddon continued winter season. The average winter season total is 301 inches. That equates to 13 and 15 feet of extra snow, respectively, for the ski seasons of 2016-17 and in 1996-97. 3) Settled Snow Depth: This represents the depth of the snowpack at the end of the season. By this metric, on April 1, 2017, the snowpack in Rendezvous Bowl was 146 inches deep. On April 1, 1997, it was 156 inches. If we move the chains up to April 9, then the snow depth in Rendezvous Bowl in 2017 was 159 inches. That was just enough to push past the settled snow depth on the same date in 1997, which was 156 inches. That translates to snow depths of around 13 feet both years. The average snow depth in Rendezvous Bowl on April 9 is 106 inches, or just under nine feet. If you were here last winter, or for the winter of 1996-97, you experienced these bountiful snowfalls, and can relate to just how epic it can be in Jackson Hole. If you missed them, let’s hope you don’t have to wait another 20 years to see something as big. Or bigger? Jim Woodmency is the chief meteorologist at mountain weather.com and has been forecasting weather in Jackson Hole and the Teton Mountains for more than 25 years.

of the confluence of the Green and Colorado rivers in Canyonlands and the long two tracks/washes around Grand Gulch are worthy destinations. Respect the desert and rides on the jeep trails. Corn season is a fine thing on fat tires too, but don’t stay out too late. A few miles of post holing in softening conditions is less than fun, but miles of go-anywhere snow-park riding might be close to worth it! I guess if I could only own one bike… Keith Benefiel, a Jackson Hole skier since 1974, owned Teton Cyclery until 1988 and Chimney Sweeps of Jackson Hole until he retired last year at age 65. As Teton County Search and Rescue member #1, he worked with former Sheriff Roger Millward to form the all-volunteer force. He once said in defense of wilderness, “I reserve the right to be eaten by a grizzly bear.”

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The roof on the building housing Sears and other businesses collapsed from the snow load last winter.

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ALPINE MEDICAL ADVICE

Beware Known Pitfalls Sound advice from Jeff Greenbaum, MD MEDICAL DIRECTOR, SAINT JOHN’S MEDICAL CENTER EMERGENCY DEPT. MEDICAL DIRECTOR, JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT SKI PATROL

A ccidents happen, or so the say-

ing goes. Avoiding the known dangers specific to high mountains, though, can help keep a perfectly good ski vacation, well, perfect. “Certain conditions related to the mountain environment can cause injuries,” said Dr. Jeff Greenbaum, Teton Village Clinic Medical Director for St. John’s Medical Center Emergency Department. “Cold-related injury, injury due to altitude itself, and injury related to the icy environment—including falls on ice and motor vehicle collisions—are all preventable.” Dr. Jeff, as he’s called by his fellow skiers and with whom he regularly reconnoiters, has plenty of firsthand experience with these pitfalls. He offers some practical advice that could keep your interaction with the doctor along the lines of skier-to-skier rather than patient-to-doctor. Cold-related Injuries—Frostbite, Frostnip Most avid Jackson Hole skiers and snowboarders have felt old Jack Frost nipping at their nose. A run down Rendezvous Bowl on a bitter day can easily turn pliable flesh hard and icy white. “Keep it covered,” said Greenbaum, referring to the tips of the nose and ears, and the cheekbones. “That’s one big mistake many visitors make—not properly covering those areas in extreme cold.” So be aware of extreme-cold and windchill warnings. Keep an eye on your ski partner’s flesh tones and if their facial parts turn white, get yourselves out of the cold immediately. For minor cases, staying indoors for just a few minutes often does the trick. “There’s not a lot a doctor can do except to warm you up,” he said, “and the best method for that is in a hot bath, soaking in 102º F water until the numbness and discoloration is resolved. That goes for hypothermia, too.” Altitude Sickness “If you live below elevation 5,000 feet, which, by the way, includes ski areas in Vermont and Whistler, BC,” Greenbaum said, “traveling to higher altitudes can cause altitude-related illnesses.” The most common one is acute mountain sickness (AMS). Symptoms, which may be mild or severe, include headache, fatigue, lightheadedness, lack of appetite, frequent waking from sleep, and nausea. The most common prevention for AMS applies more to high-altitude climbers than to resort skiers and snowboarders. The mantra “climb high, sleep low,” directs a climber to ascend slowly over a period of several days, which allows the body to adjust. “For vacationers to Jackson Hole, though,” Greenbaum noted, “hydration is the number-

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one protection against altitude sickness. Part of the acclimatization process results in increased urination, so that means you must re-hydrate.” Another major factor contributing to AMS is over-exertion; so take it easy on the slopes during the first few days at altitude. “Young athletic folks often exercise hard the day before their ski trip to Jackson Hole,” he said, “and that in itself can lead to altiThe Jackson Hole tude sickness. Arrive on your vaSki Patrol lowers a cation rested, not exhausted.” rescue sled into During the first few days at alCorbet’s Couloir. titudes above 5,000 feet, it helps to avoid alcoholic beverages and Photographer sleeping pills. Those drugs inhibit David Bowers proper acclimatization. Coffee drinkers are in luck, though. If you drink it regularly, real preview of this medical condition. Snow don’t stop. It’s safe at high altitudes and sudblindness hurts and, on top of the pain, you denly stopping can actually cause AMS-like can’t see very well. It’s easily prevented, symptoms. though, by putting on protective sunglasses or Preventative medicine is an option for goggles. But it’s also easy to forget the eyewear those who’ve previously had AMS, or for on a cloudy day when the danger still lurks. those with a history of heart or lung disease “The sun’s UV rays are invisible,” said or sleep apnea. Consult your physician before Greenbaum, “and they reflect off the snow coming to altitude. equally in bright sun and cloudy conditions.” Injury Due To Icy Environment Busting your noggin on the sidewalk after slipping on the ice could be the most common way people wind up in the emergency room. “We see lots of slips in the parking lot and on sidewalks that result in broken hips or arms, back injuries (including breaks), and head injuries (including lacerations),” he said. It pays to pay attention to surface conditions, even when it doesn’t snow. Melt-freeze cycles are notorious for causing icy conditions. Wear footwear with good tread. Sports shops carry Yaktrax that are easily attached If you develop signs of AMS you should reto any shoe and turn even slippery tennis turn to valley elevations. Do not go higher until shoes into ice grippers. It also helps to walk your symptoms have resolved, which usually in a shuffling gate rather than in long strides. occurs within 24 hours. Rest and avoid drinkDriving a vehicle on slick roads without the ing alcohol and taking sedatives or sleeping proper tires and winter driving skills not only pills as you recover. Aspirin and other anti-inendangers yourself and your passengers, it flammatories can help prevent a headache also puts all other drivers and pedestrians at that often occurs with AMS. risk of injury or death. So, please: if you’re not The more serious life-threatening high-altia pro at driving in snow country, consider taktude illnesses–cerebral edema and pulmonary ing the START bus. The Southern Teton Area edema–are possible but rarely occur in resort Rapid Transit is a convenient public transsettings. Symptoms include exhaustion, portation system. Pick up a schedule at any drowsiness, severe weakness, confusion, irriof the bus stops, or online at tability, cough, and breathlessness at rest. www.startbus.com High-altitude climbers more commonly conInjury Due To Fatigue tract these illnesses, which can be deadly and You’ve likely heard it before, but it’s more require immediate medical attention. than just clever wordplay: most ski accidents More detailed information on high-altitude happen on the last run of the day. Of course, illnesses is available online at uptodate.com. if you get injured while skiing, it probably will Snow Blindness be your last run that day. But last run fatigue If you think “ultraviolet keratitis” sounds is no joke. bad, try pouring some sand in your eyes for a

Most avid Jackson Hole skiers and snowboarders have felt old Jack Frost nipping at their nose on a run down Rendezvous Bowl.

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T I P S TO H E LP K E E P YO U S AFE

Wade McKoy

“The majority of our ski-and-snowboard patients arrive in the ER between noon and four,” Greenbaum noted. “And they usually tell a classic, late-day ski story in which they were tired.” He explained that if more people realized the increased proneness to injury when fatigued from skiing ‘The Big One,’ the more specific ski-and-snowboard injuries due to fatigue would drop substantially. Injury Due To Improper Equipment Boots that don’t fit correctly, bindings improperly adjusted, the wrong skis on the right day—these are all things sure to cause trouble for vacationers not quite prepared. “I’ve heard stories like, ‘I put on my sister’s skis and jumped into Corbet’s,’” he said. “Or, ‘Coombs made it look easy, so I jumped next and my bindings exploded!’” Some categories of improper equipment: too old to function properly; not fitted correctly; inappropriate for ability—either the equipment’s not good enough for the skier or the skier’s not good enough for the equipment. All these can be avoided by checking in with the local ski shops “Anybody can have an accident,” Greenbaum said. “Cuts from ski edges, bone breaks from hitting rocks and trees, torn muscles, head injuries—those minor traumas are still the number-one reason we see skiers in the emergency room. But it’s the other range of preventable issues that we’d hope to see less of.” So, take precautions. Dr. Jeff would much rather swap ski stories with you on the chair lift than in the ER. — JH SKIER

Will Smith, MD

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“If you leave through the gates at the resort to go into the backcountry to recreate make sure you are prepared, tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return.”  #DontKnowDontGo — Will Smith, MD Emergency Medicine, St. John’s Medical Center Medical Director, Grand Teton National Park, Teton County Search and Rescue, Jackson Hole Fire/EMS Lt. Colonel, MC, US Army Reserve Emergency Medicine

Jeffrey Greenbaum, MD

“On-mountain collisions may result in severe injuries. Always be aware of your surroundings, and look uphill before crossing a slope. Stay in control and ski within your ability.” — Jeffrey Greenbaum, MD Medical Director, St. John’s Medical Center Emergency Department Medical Director, Jackson Hole Ski Patrol

Quality Medical Care Away From Home Immediate medical attention for injuries and illnesses Walk-ins welcome Same day appointments available On-site x-ray and lab Hours: Monday–Friday: 9 am–7 pm Saturday–Sunday: 10 am–4 pm

307.739.8999 tetonhospital.org/urgent

1415 S Highway 89, Jackson (Smith’s Food Center Plaza) w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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ALPINE MEDICAL ADVICE

by Andrew B.Bullington, M.D.

ACL tears occur often in alpine skiing and are still one of the most common injuries seen coming off the slopes. Despite the improvements in equipment, these injuries continue occurring at an alarming rate. In a study of Alpine skiers, ACL tears account for nearly 50 percent of all injuries to the knee1. Multiple factors contribute to this injury. Studies have shown that there is no difference between gender for rates of ACL tears among elite ski racers2, but there is a difference in younger male and female skiers. Studies showed 2.3 times greater risk for ACL tears in women below the age of 25 while skiing3. These risks can be broken down to intrinsic and extrinsic risks factors. Extrinsic Risk Factors Ski-shape improvements have increased the velocity that can be attained on the mountain, resulting in more severe injuries. Snow conditions (deep powder) can also play a part by making it much more difficult to control the ski. Loss of ski control can put you in “the backseat,” which leads to increased risk of ACL injury4. The final factor is what I call the “Jerry of the Day” phenomenon. Because of social media’s appeal, some people are taking more risks as they document their attempts to “Send it!” With more people ‘going big,’ we have seen an increase in injuries. Intrinsic Risk Factors Women are, at minimum, 3 times more likely to suffer an ACL tear than men in sports5. This is due to multiple characteristics inherent to the anatomy of the female knee and the biomechanics of the female athlete. The female knee anatomy has a structure that can increase the risk for ACL tear. First, women have a smaller ACL circumferential diameter – smaller ACL = less force required to tear the ACL6. Second, the bony anatomy of the female knee is “tighter,” increasing the risk for ACL tear7. The “notch” where the ACL is located is narrower and makes it more susceptible to being pinched. Finally, the biomechanical and neuromuscular factors of the

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Andrew Bullington, MD

With strength and conditioning prior to beginning the ski season, you can substantially reduce the risk of ACL tears. female athlete are the most important documented variables that increase their risk for ACL tear. These studies have demonstrated a true difference associated with gender on how women jump and land when compared to men. The female athlete, when landing, internally rotates the hips and angles her knees together. This puts the ACL under greater strain, leading to a 3-fold increase in ACL tears in female athletes8. All of these factors combine to make women much more likely to tear their ACLs. All is not lost, though. The key for you is preseason prevention and thoughtful approach to your day on the slopes. Pre-season strengthening is paramount to avoid injury: With strength and conditioning prior to beginning the ski season, you can substantially reduce the risk of ACL tears. You can correct subtle mistakes while skiing that can get you into a bad position while skiing. If you are strong, you will be able to make the

Wade McKoy

The difference between women and men, and sage advice from my father.

Bob Woodall

ACL Tears in Alpine Skiing

minor adjustments necessary to keep you out of bad body positions—the “back seat”—that significantly increase your risk of ACL tear. Know when to end your day: When you are tired and fatigued, you are also at considerably increased risk for ACL tear. I hear so often at 5 p.m., “Doc, it was my last run of the day.” It’s better to après ski at the local watering hole than at the ER. ACL prevention training: This is particularly important for females. There are specific programs for everyone to reduce their risk of ACL tears. Many trainers and physical therapists do an excellent job of leading neuromuscular training and education that can reduce your risks for ACL tears. These programs can correct poor mechanics. Trainers and therapists can educate the athlete’s muscle memory, reducing the risk of ACL tears. Studies of collegiate athletes enrolled in a preseason neuromuscular and proprioceptive (balance) training program noted an 88 percent reduction in ACL tears the first year after implementation9. These studies prove that biomechanical and neuromuscular factors are the most important preventable factors for reducing your risk of ACL tears. It is paramount to learn to drive the knees out rather than in when landing. Know your limits: My father often said “Son, if you ever think, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t do something,’ then you probably shouldn’t.” This sage advice can be applied across life but is crucial while you are skiing. “Sending it” off a cliff or jump will dramatically increase your risks of injury, or of becoming a statistic or a web video. Think twice if you notice a bunch of people with their cell phones out filming you. Know your abilities and use my father’s words to help avoid being a “Jerry of the Day.” Where a Helmet! My father also always said, “Son, you can’t fix stupid.” While this will not reduce the risk of ACL injuries, skiers and snowboarders who wear a helmet reduce their risk of head injury. It’s simple to buy or rent a helmet that can dramatically reduce the risk of catastrophic head injury. Be smart: Wear a helmet. Knees and legs can be fixed, but the brain cannot be fixed… just like my dad always said. Not all ACL tears can be prevented, but with some simple steps and a thoughtful approach to your day, you can reduce your risk of injury. The five rules above can help decrease the likelihood of finding yourself recovering from an ACL reconstruction. Works Cited 1. Stevenson, et al. Gender Differences in knee injury epidemiology among competitive w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m


Bob Woodall

TECHNIQUES TO KEEP YOU INJURY-FREE alpine ski racers. Iowa Orthop J. 1998; 18:64-66. 2. Bere, et al. Sex differences in the risk of injury in World Cup alpine skiers: a 6-year cohort study. Br J Sports Med. 2014;48(1):36-40. 3. Raschner, et al. The relationship between ACL injuries and physical fitness in young competitive ski racers: a 10 year longitudinal study. Br J Sports Med. 2012; 46(15):1065-1071. 4. Bere, et al. Mechanisms of anterior cruciate ligament injury in World Cup alpine skiing: a systematic video analysis of 20 cases. Am J Sports Med. 2011;39:1421-1429. 5. Sutton KM and Bullock JM. Anterior Cruciate Ligament Rupture: Differeces Between Males and Females. Am Academy of Orthopaedic surgeons. 2013;21: 41-50. 6. Giugliano DN, et al. ACL tears in Female athletes. Phys. Med Rehabil Clin N Am 2007;18(3);416-438. 7. Ireland ML, et al. A Radiographic analysis of the relationship between the size and shape of the intercondylar notch and anterior cruciate ligament injury. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 2001;9(4):200-205. 8. Ford KR, et al. Longitudinal sex differences during landing in knee abduction in young athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2010;42(10):1923-1931. 9. Hewitt TE, et al. The effect of neuromuscular training on the incidence of knee injury in female athletes: A prospective study. Am J Sports Med 2006;34(3):490-498.

Joshua Beck, MD

Andrew Bullington, MD

Angus Goetz, DO

Christopher Hills, DO

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David Khoury, MD

Sports Medicine-Arthroscopy Knee & Shoulder Surgery Trauma & Fracture Care

Geoffrey Skene, DO

Non-Surgical Spine Care Neck & Back Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

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Lanny Johnson, PA

Safe skiers and snowboarders maintain focus and center of gravity by three main mechanisms when skiing and riding: l) Visual cues from the environment. 2) Kinesthetic sense by feel from our body. 3) Equilibrium from tiny floating stones in the cochlea of the middle ear. When these three things agree, balance and motion is golden. The number-one threat to losing this balance on the mountain is vision. When light becomes flat or conditions are whiteout, we lose critical vision. This leaves only undependable kinesthetic and cochlear senses. What we sense as flat actually may be a drop off and what we

perceive as steep in fact may be level. At times in a whiteout we are so unstable that while on snow-sports equipment we can fall over when simply standing still! The erroneous information from the body and inner ear can completely fool us. Regardless of ability and experience, this can lead to injury by skiing essentially blind! Bumps, dips, cat tracks, and gullies can hammer the body unexpectedly, resulting in twisting injury and impact that can lead to fractures and sprains or even chest and abdominal trauma. Avoid flat light, avoid injury. Just how far we need to see or how flat the light can be for safe skiing is not established. For survival use a few of these tips: 1. Wait for periods of clearing before descending; the blowing snow and cloud cover always varies, and periods of better visibility even for a second can be a leg saver. 2. Ski in widely spaced trees or on the sides of runs where trees actually cast shadows in flat light and give clues to terrain features. 3. Wear clean, un-fogged goggles. 4. Ski or ride slower than usual and get off the hill while bad conditions continue. 5. Ski runs familiar to you rather than blindly in places you've not traveled. — Lanny Johnson, PA

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Rafael Williams, MD

Shoulder Surgery Hand & Upper Extremity Sports Injuries

TETONORTHO.COM (307) 733-3900 PHYSICIAN ON CALL 24/7 Photo: Wade McKoy

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SKI BUILDERS

Igneous Skis Keeping It Real for 22 Years

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By Keith I. Cozzens

ike some of the most successful companies around today, Jackson-based Igneous Skis started in a garage. Twenty-two years later, the prolific custom-ski company – known worldwide from Jackson to Austria – has cemented itself in the industry as a leader and has crafted one-of-a-kind skis by the thousands. The brand has amassed a cult-like following of fans that continues to grow each year and nourish the label.

Wade McKoy photos

Owner Mike Parris is the mastermind behind Igneous. He and founding partner Adam Sherman launched the ski brand on the core principles of creating genuine experiences, making 100-percent durable, custom skis, and keeping it real. “We don’t do any advertising or marketing – most all of our business is word of mouth,” said Parris, who moved from Pennsylvania to Jackson

Mike Parris scrapes the burned-wood top sheet on Bill Bowen’s latest pair of Igneous skis. in 1999. “There are no logos on our skis. We decided years ago not to do it. People have to strike up a conversation about the skis to learn about them, and one of the first questions is always, ‘How do you like them?’ That’s how it has worked for 20-plus years, and I don’t see that changing much.” His background in robotics and a stint building prototypes of the lunar and mars rovers for NASA were fertile grounds for Parris. That experience with precise details, his hands-on approach, and his love of skiing led him to combining all of these attributes and dedicating his time to perfecting the art of crafting custom skis.

His background in robotics and a stint building prototypes of the lunar and mars rovers for NASA were fertile grounds for Parris.

Bill Bowen always jumps into S&S couloir on his birthday, and always on his Igneous skis.

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Igneous produces about 100 pairs of skis a year, and the clientele ranges across the board, from resort to powder to big-mountain skiers. Half of Igneous’s business is from repeat customers, and that demographic spans the globe. For Parris, maintaining sustainable production levels, quality craftsmanship, and unforgettable one-on-one experiences, that’s what it’s all about – connecting with people and working with them to build their dream ski. “I meet roughly 50 new people each year and get to know their backgrounds, how they ski, and what they want. The range of customers is unique – from carpenters who work all summer to bank money for winter’s off, to people with disposal income, and luxury buyers,” said Parris. “I don’t necessarily want to make more than 100 pairs of skis a year – I spend over 20 hours on each pair. I want to keep my hands on the skis, and if I grew the business more, maybe that wouldn’t be the case.” Parris – and Igneous – originally started by making skis for themselves and people who skied like them, constructing their own wood w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m


cores, milling their own top sheets, and meticulously fine-tuning each pair of custom skis. Parris’s love for what he does and his penchant for connecting with customers hasn’t gone unnoticed over the decades. With the advent of new technology, materials, and building processes, Igneous’s art of custom ski manufacturing has been made available to skiers of all abilities and ages. As a result, a

For Parris, maintaining sustainable production levels, quality craftsmanship, and unforgettable one-on-one experiences, that’s what it’s all about – connecting with people and working with them to build their dream ski. tribe of dedicated new and old-brand loyalists around the globe now flourishes. Take Jeffrey Eagle, for example. A Jackson resident for 25 years, Eagle averages 160 days a year on skis. He owns 14 pairs of Igneous skis, “Iggies,” as he calls them. His quiver includes a 22-year-old pair of skinny skis, a pair of “Elvis Skis” featuring a collage of Elvis Presley photos on the top-sheet, and a pair of giant powder skis. “I was working at The Sojourner Inn back in the 1990s and my chef came in to work one day with a new pair of custom skis made in Jackson. He took me to the factory and there was a very good energy there, not to mention some very intelligent and down-to-earth

dudes who love skiing. I placed my order a few weeks later,” said Eagle. “Igneous is still around because of the very top-tier quality of their product – they just last and last. “My favorite memory is when I ordered a pair of new skis and asked if they could put some ashes from my dog (that had recently passed) in the core of my ski. They did, and also put a picture on the top-sheet as well. We had a little celebration.” Another Igneous fan, Cedric Dupertuis, lives in Geneva, Switzerland. He skis 70 days a year at his home hill of Verbier, and first clicked into a pair of custom Igneous in 2000 after reading about the brand in a Powder magazine article that described the skis as “bombproof” and “the ultimate chargers.” He now owns three pairs and a fourth is on the way. “It’s all about passion. Igneous makes skis that last a loooong time. Mike takes the time to understand your needs to make sure the skis he will build are what you really need – skis made for skiers by skiers,” said Dupertuis. “When I received my first pair, everybody was laughing at me because they were wide. How many times did I hear ‘Hey, how was your water-skiing session today?’ They were ahead of the game at the time. Igneous has that point of differentiation in the ski industry, and I hope they are on the market for the next 50 years.” Jackson Hole ski patroller and mountain guide Lisa Van Sciver still skis on a pair of custom Igneous skis she purchased 10 years ago. Van Sciver skis 100 days a year and owns five pairs of Igneous. Their durability, wooden cores, and local vibe, she said, keep her coming back. “When you want to ski something real, you need real equipment. I like them. I trust them. I’d take Igneous boards anywhere – and I can’t say that about other skis,” said Van Sciver. “Plus, they’re local and if I ever need to get them fixed, I can go down to the shop and Parris saves me. I took my boards down to Chile and everyone said, ‘Ella tiene tablas de madera.’ Yeah, they are wooden boards. It’s a connection if I see someone on Igneous – I know we come from the same ski culture.” The 22-year ride for Igneous and Mike Parris has brought together amazing people, experiences, and, of course, skis. And, according to Parris, the journey continues as the brand is guided by what it’s built and its core values. Keith Cozzens, a valley resident for 16 years, is a senior director at Verde Brand Communications. He enjoys snowboarding and skiing with his wife Genevieve and their sons Fletcher, 4, and Ian, 2.

Mike Parris spreads epoxy on base material. w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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SKI BUILDERS

Maiden Skis

The Maiden Experience

By Keith I. Cozzens

Kelvin Wu landed in Jackson

Hole in 2011. For him, the dramatic landscape, draw of the mountains, and legendary skiing would provide the optimal conditions for creating and growing his custom ski brand – Maiden Skis. Rewind a few years. Wu was living in Seattle working as an engineer and skiing weekends in the backcountry and at Crystal Mountain. For more than a decade, he’d been building his own skis out of his garage, experimenting with design concepts, and honing his custom ski-making process. His love for the sport, hard-wired engineering skills, and thirst for bucking the status quo of off-the-shelf skis led him to coIlka Hadlock and Kelvin Wu in the shop (above). Wu sets an edge (left). The Maiden experience in Jackson Hole (below). So he quit his job in Seattle and moved, and in 2012 Maiden Skis was born. Nestled into a cozy work studio south of town with views of the mountains north, west, and south, Wu works his magic. It’s a oneman operation, except for some occasional help working the machinery when times are busy. Wu produces about 70 custom skis a year. But his business philosophy is rooted in developing personal relationships with each of his customers in order to provide them a unique experience and a focused touch to every ski that leaves Maiden’s door. “I work with a great mix of people buying custom skis, with about half local and half

out-of-town,” said Wu. “I have no interest in doing any big production lines; I just want to focus on building custom skis and working with people one-on-one. Small boutique ski companies are changing how skis look, are more conscious of graphics, and have the ability to create new shapes that bigger companies do. And I think these larger brands are keeping an eye on what smaller, custom ski brands are doing.” Maiden’s factory has state-of-the-art equipment, like an impressive industrial CNC (computer-controlled) router to shape the maple wood cores and a sublimation printer for custom top-sheet graphics. Wu even of-

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Wade McKoy photos; skier Jason Tattersall

found Skibuilders.com – a how-to guide to help ski-building hobbyists like himself craft their own custom dream gear. “At the time the site was launched, there wasn’t much info out there on how to make your own skis. Everyone was very secretive,” said Wu. “Most of my early techniques – using epoxy, fiberglass, wood and foam cores – came from the surfing and kayak worlds. There was a lot of interest in the site in a relatively short period of time, and I was selling a good amount of materials to consumers to build – something I still do today that accounts for a decent portion of the Maiden business.” But Wu wanted more. He wanted to push the envelope of what was possible in custom ski building and create diverse designs and shapes for skiers while incorporating local artists and elements of his surroundings. Jackson Hole was the perfect place for his boutique ski brand. w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m


In the early days, ski makers were very secretive. Most of my early techniques – using epoxy, fiberglass, wood and foam cores – came from the surfing and kayak worlds. fers customers personalized, hands-on building and design workshops, which bring an intimate feeling to the whole process. Local Jackson flavor, of course, is a hallmark of Wu’s brand and skis. Customers can bring in their own graphics, but Wu also partners with local artists to amplify the level of customization and authenticity. Local artist Ilka Hadlock, for example, has been living in Jackson since 2013. She started working with Wu in the fall of 2014. Her one-of-a-kind artwork has graced the topsheets of more than a dozen custom Maiden skis, and all of Wu’s demo skis display Hadlock’s memorable eye-catching graphics. Hadlock draws inspiration from living with the Tetons in her backyard, but she’s also done custom work for clients who have their own ideas – one client, for example, wanted his skis to match his motorcycle graphics. “When I first started working on ski graphics for Kelvin, I was so excited. As a lifelong skier and artist, making ski graphics has been my dream job since I was five. And I still feel so lucky that we connected,” said Hadlock. “I love the idea that I’m making something that’ll be used to explore and experience the mountains, which is why I like playing off colors, textures, and symbols from our natural world. Skis are an interesting canvas, being so long and skinny. It creates a unique opportunity to combine elements in a different way than you would in a standard landscape – and I really like that challenge.” Like Wu, Hadlock revels in the one-on-one interactions and artwork creation she has with clients. Having the ability to connect with someone directly and transfer that to the skis’ graphics allows the ski to take on a life of its own, and ignites a hyper-personal process that falls in line with Maiden’s whole custom ski-building philosophy. “Working closely with each client to successfully get to the final product – that’s what it’s all about,” Wu said. “The unique thing about Maiden is that everything is fully custom, and you can change and build every single piece of the ski from start to finish.” Despite the increasing demands of operating a small business and year-over-year growth, Wu still finds time to test his skis in the mountains surrounding Jackson. Now, though, more of his time on snow is at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort with his kids and less in the backcountry, where he’s spent years. “Our logo is a compass that meshes the ocean and mountains, and the name Maiden comes from maiden voyage – and setting off on your own,” said Wu. “This is symbolic for me, as I dedicated my life to building custom skis and charting my own course of striving to create the best custom skis and the best experience.” w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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Backcountry Skiing & Ski Mountaineering

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Skier

Tanner Flanagan

Photographer

Fredrik Marmsater

Location

South Teton

Famous among alpinists worldwide for decades,

the Tetons are now imbedded in the minds of skiers, too. Backcountry skiing, like all alpine pursuits, demands complex thinking. One thing many skiers do to simplify it: hire a guide. Here are three guide services that can show you the way.


Exum Mountain Guides Take Your Skiing to New Heights

by Julie Kukral

Having shared their love and knowledge of

Skier

Tanner Flanagan

Photographer

Fredrik Marmsater

Location

Middle Teton

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the Tetons with visitors from around the world for over 80 years, Exum Mountain Guides remains the oldest guiding service in the valley and in all of North America, for that matter. Despite Jackson Hole’s brief summer, Exum leads more people up the Grand than any other guiding outfit. And, through an array of backcountry skiing programs, they share their intimate knowledge of the Tetons throughout the winter. “The Tetons seem like a relatively simple mountain range, running north to south, 10 miles wide, 45 miles long,” said Nat Patridge, a longtime guide and Exum’s president. “But there’s a lot of complexity of the micro-terrain that you

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can choose to ski through.” Although Exum guides on the non-technical terrain of the popular “Front Four” faces in Grand Teton National Park— Shadow Peak, 25’ Short, Maverick, and Wimpy’s—the outfit specializes in teaching ski mountaineering. Combining the skill set of climbing and skiing, ski mountaineering allows advanced skiers and riders to explore the diverse terrain so unique to and accessible in the Tetons. A competent, fit backcountry skier can make the transition into ski mountaineering. “We’re guiding a lot of people who have used touring gear before, but we’re teaching them how to travel more efficiently, make gear choices— while also teaching them terrain and avalanche decision skills in the process,” said Patridge. Exum’s ski mountaineering clinics have risen in popularity over the past six years. As ski technology continues to improve, more people are accessing the backcountry

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BACKCOUNTRY SKIING

and preparing to make the next step into mountaineering. Exum’s three-day clinic is an affordable way for beginners to break into the new sport. It starts with a day at Snow King, where Exum guides teach belaying, rappelling, anchoring, and ice ax basics in a familiar setting—and with a chairlift to boot—so time and energy can be focused on mastering the fundamentals. The next three days build upon these techniques in more advanced terrain in Grand Teton National Park. “I think human-powered sports are the most pure form of any aspect of sport you’re pursuing,” said Patridge. “Going on your own power allows you to be more independent than you ever could be with a machine, and lets you connect with the people you’re with in an undiluted and focused way.” He believes “skiing is just a simple mode of travel,” whether skinning up the Front Four for the first time or mas-

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tering skiing the Grand. “It’s a beautiful, quiet way to move through the winter environment.” For those looking for deeper, more intimate experiences in the Tetons, Exum also offers overnight camps at the base of Mount Moran. For four days and three nights, skiers can explore the diverse terrain off of Moran and come home to a cozy base camp equipped with winterized tents, a grill, and all the food needed to satisfy an appetite spurred by mountaineering’s demands. “We definitely live large over there,” said Patridge. In recent years, Exum mountain guide and longtime heli and backcountry ski guide Jessica Baker has put on an allwomen’s backcountry clinic. It’s popularity rising steadily year after year. The five-day camp course is guided entirely by women and creates a comfortable, supportive space where women learn the ways of the backcountry, how to use gear efficiently, and to set tracks. As with all Exum pro-

2018

Skiers

Zahan Billimoria, Nat Patridge, and Matt Confer

Photographer

Fredrik Marmsater

Location

Tepee Pillar, Grand Tetons

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Skier

Tanner Flanagan

Photographer

Fredrik Marmsater

Location

The Grandstand, Grand Teton w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t


grams, it focuses on getting into the mountains and skiing some great descents. “The joy of being a ski guide comes in watching people attain more than they thought was possible—and that can come in so many different forms,” said Patridge. “It could come in the form of skiing more vertical than they ever thought possible, skiing something more technical, or just in the pure joy of skiing perfect, pristine snow and slopes with no people around. People often accomplish so much more than they thought they could.” Julie Kukral, a skier and writer, recently moved to Jackson and plans to head into backcountry this winter.

Exum Ski Camps • Ski Mountaineering Clinic, Jan. 26–28, Feb. 23–25, $845 • Splitboard Mountaineering Clinic, Feb. 24–26, $795 • Moran Camp, March 1–4 & March 8–11, $2,295 • Advance Ski Mountaineering Clinic, March 16–18, $895 per person • Women’s Only Backcountry Ski Week, Feb. 6–10, $2,135 • Backcountry Ski Week, by request, $2,135 each for a group of 3 • Live to Ski Camp, April 19-22, $995 • Splitboarding Essentials and Women’s Only Intro Clinic January 27– 29, $795 • Backcountry Skiing, Upon request / every Saturday: Mt Oliver, Mail Cabin Creek, 25 Short, Albright Peak • Ski Mountaineering — Buck Mountain, Nez Perce, Disappointment Peak, Mount Moran, Skillet Glacier Ski the Grand

A competent, fit backcountry skier can make the transition into ski mountaineering. We’re teaching people how to travel more efficiently, make gear choices—while also teaching them terrain and avalanche decision skills in the process.

Skier

Tanner Flanagan

Photographer

Fredrik Marmsater

Location

Middle Teton summit

EXPERIENCE

TETON BACKCOUNTRY WITH

Call Today

|

Ski Tomorrow

307.732.0606 exumguides.com

Exum is an authorized concession of the National Park Service and a nondiscriminatory permittee of multiple US Forest Service districts.

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Jackson Hole Mountain Guides Backcountry Objectives for Every Type of Skier

by Julie Kukral

Whether you’re a longtime local looking

Skiers

Allie Rood, Tanner Flanagan

Photographer

Fredrik Marmsater

Location

Grand Teton National Park

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to advance into ski mountaineering or a visitor looking for an adventurous alternative to skiing the resort, Jackson Hole Backcountry Guides provides exceptional opportunities in the mountains for every type of skier. On an average day, skiers and riders of all abilities can expect to earn 2,500 to 5,000 vertical feet of pristine Jackson wilderness, as long as they possess an adventurous spirit and love of the mountains. A good introduction to backcountry skiing can be found in day objectives on Teton Pass, only a short

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drive from Teton Village through Wilson. Of course, with the entrance of Grand Teton National Park only a few miles north of town, Jackson Hole harbors some of the finest backcountry and ski mountaineering terrain in North America right at its doorstep. “Grand Teton National Park is a very different experience from the Pass,” said Mike Poborsky, winter program director. “You’re out into the heart of the wilderness—it’s a pretty serene experience.” Jackson Hole Mountain Guides leads customizable backcountry trips in Grand Teton National Park that range from non-technical day objectives on popular runs like 25’ Short and Wimpy's to skiing the Grand. They also offer fixed-date day objectives, priced at discounted rates and designed to be inclusive to locals looking to improve their backcountry skills. This year, Jackson Hole Mountain Guides is contin-

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BACKCOUNTRY SKIING

uing its series of backcountry educational “camps” that encourage skiers to build upon their skills throughout the season. The first is a three-day Backcountry Basics Camp based out of Snow King; it provides beginners with the fundamentals of backcountry skiing and safety in a familiar, controlled resort setting. The emphasis is on skiing and getting comfortable with your gear. The second camp moves outside the resort setting and into Grand Teton National Park. This three-day offering targets enthusiasts already experienced at backcountry skiing but who want to master the next level of education and proficiency in non-technical terrain and thereby build confidence in backcountry decision-making. The third camp focuses on ski mountaineering for highly seasoned skiers and combines the skill sets of both climbing and skiing. This camp, run during spring’s

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more stable snowpack, affords experienced skiers the opportunity to access peaks and terrain they may only have been able to admire from afar for years. One challenge climbing or skiing in Grand Teton National Park is often the long approach before even beginning an ascent. So Jackson Hole Mountain Guides this year is featuring overnight trips in the park to appeal to those looking for more intimate, extended backcountry experiences. During these forays, Jackson Hole Mountain Guides will set up winter tents at the base of the Tetons, creating a comfortable multi-day, more authentic skiing and learning environment. “In the past, we’ve thought of Jackson as the perfect base camp for exploring the Tetons. But as backcountry skiing has grown in popularity, we want to create the opportunity for people to spend the night in the park and be totally immersed in the terrain,” said Poborsky.

2018

Skier

Sam Schwartz

Photographer Carson Meyer

Location

Mt. Olive Oil

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Jackson Hole Mountain Guides Ski Camps 2-Day Backcountry Basics Camp — January 12-13, January 16-17, January 27-28, $550 3-Day Backcountry Ski Camp — February 2-4, 2018, February 16-18, 2018, $1,050 4-Day Teton Ski Mountaineering Camp — March 1-4, March 15-18, $1,500 Backcountry Ski Tours — Olive Oil, Wimpy’s Knob, 25 Short, Maverick or Shadow Peak Advanced Backcountry Ski Tours — Sliver Couloir on Nez Perce, the Spoon Couloir on Disappointment Peak, Albright Peak, the West Hourglass Couloir in Garnet Canyon, Shoot the Moon in Avalanche Canyon, and the Apocalypse or Banana Couloir off of Prospector Peak Ski Mountaineering Middle, South and the Grand Teton

Skiers (above)

Sawyer Thomas, Morgan Comey, Sara McCandless

Photographer Carson Meyer

Location

Middle Teton summit

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Skier (right) Kim Havell

Photographer

Greg Von Doersten

Location

Teton backcountry

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Skier

Anika Lindsey Lofts

Photographer

Greg Von Doersten

Location

Teton backcountry

Jackson Hole Mountain Guides, the largest avalanche-training enterprise in the valley, offers Avalanche Level 1 and 2 training, as well as one-day avalancheawareness courses for kids developing an interest in exploring the backcountry. Additionally, Jackson Hole Mountain

Guides is the only guiding service sporting a full backcountry gear inventory: if you don’t already have equipment, you won’t have to rummage for skins, shovels, beacons, and probes from various local rental stores before venturing into the mountains.

In Grand Teton National Park you’re out into the heart of the wilderness—it’s a pretty serene experience.

EXPERIENCE THE BACKCOUNTRY AIARE AVALANCHE EDUCATION CLASSES BACKCOUNTRY SKIING

JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN GUIDES

www.jhmg.com • 800-239-7642 • info@jhmg.com

Photo credit: Wade McKoy

SKI MOUNTAINEERING

Licensed concession of Grand Teton National Park / Permittee Bridger-Teton & Shoshone National Forest

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Teton Backcountry Guides Unparalleled Access to Comfortable Overnights in the Backcountry

Skier

Jim Ryan

Photographer Jay Goodrich

Location

Teton backcountry

by Julie Kukral

If sipping wine and eating a gourmet dinner at

9,000 feet sounds like the perfect way to end day in the mountains, Teton Backcountry Guides can lead you to both. It’s also the only guiding service in the valley offering overnight yurt trips and rentals, something of a unique doorway into backcountry comfort.

Overnight guided trips to backcountry yurts afford skiers of various abilities an intimate experience under a variety of conditions. “The skiing and riding at all of our yurts provide a diversity of terrain, which gives participants many options to ski every day, even when the avalanche danger is high,” said Jeff Verna, co-owner of the family-operated business he runs with his wife, Diane. “The yurts have access to long ridgelines, open-bowl and face skiing, tree skiing and chutes and couloirs, along with a multitude of low-angled runs for all ability levels.”

The best part about the yurt trips is skiing untracked wilderness all day and, after spending the night in warm, cozy lodging, stepping outside your door to do it all again the next morning.

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Skier

Lucille Rice

Photographer David Bowers

Location

Baldy Knoll Yurt

The best part about the yurt trips is skiing untracked wilderness all day and, after spending the night in warm, cozy lodging, stepping outside your door to do it all again the next morning. Verna said a perfect day in the mountains is waking up to 5-6 inches of fresh snow, cranking up the woodstove with a good cup of coffee in hand, fueling up on a hearty breakfast and then venturing into the backcountry right outside the yurt. One of their most popular trips, the Teton Crest Traverse, is a 5-day excursion from Teton Pass to Grand Teton National Park, fit for even intermediate skiers, as long as they are in good physical condition and “have a good sense of adventure.” Teton Backcountry Guides also offers day trips on Teton Pass and in Grand Teton National Park for those just learning the ways of the backcountry. All of their trips focus on education and improving backcountry skills—while skiing untracked lines in some of the country’s most accessible terrain. Also on tap this winter, 3-day, 2-night Backcountry Skills Camps out of the Baldy

Photographer

Jonathan Selkowitz

Location

Plummer Canyon Yurt

continued page 87

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BACKCOUNTRY SKIING

Backcountry Zero Be Prepared. Be Practiced. Be Present. t’s an utterly perfect day in Jackson Hole: soft, fresh snow decorates the trees, and the untouched powder out of bounds beckons. Enthusiastically, your crew strikes out to play in the pristine, wintery wilderness. It’s like carving turns into a cloud, everyone exhilarated and brimming with the joy. Today will be one to remember. But then the unthinkable happens: your friend’s knee twists, cracks. She crumples into the snow. Just as suddenly, dark clouds slide across the blue skies. You realize that it’s getting late, and a great day has rapidly become an extremely dangerous situation. How will you move your injured friend to the car? What if you can’t get there by dark? Do you have what you need to survive the night? Scenarios like this keep Teton County Search and Rescue busy throughout the winter season. Although beautiful, the cold season in the Rocky Mountains is unforgiving; skiers, snowboarders, snowmobilers and other outdoor enthusiasts can find themselves in lifethreatening situations in the blink of an eye. “A lot of the accidents we see are preventable,” said Stephanie Thomas, Executive Director of Teton County Search and Rescue. “Sure, some of them aren’t. Sometimes someone just had a really bad day. But others? They’re preventable things.” Nearly three years ago, this belief that the majority of backcountry incidents are avoidable inspired Thomas and others within the Teton County

Search and Rescue Foundation. They wanted to create a cross-sport culture in the community that helped prevent fatalities and backcountry emergencies. A fresh and a proactive approach, Backcountry Zero, was born. Its mission? “Backcountry Zero is a Jackson Hole community vision to reduce injuries and fatalities in the Tetons,” Thomas said. “Backcountry Zero is a four-season, cross-sport, community-led program created by the Teton County Search and Rescue Foundation to inspire, educate, col-

Wade McKoy

I

by Melissa Thomasma

“Be Present” is about the mindfulness of where you are, who you are with, and having the right plan.

When you discover the route doesn’t go.

laborate, and foster leadership in order to develop and heighten awareness for safer practices in the backcountry.” Thomas explained the program’s main tenets, its three P’s: When heading into the backcountry, “Be Prepared, Be Practiced, and Be Present.” Preparation includes several areas of readiness: sufficient gear, route awareness, weather conditions, first aid and survival skills. Groups who spend time in the backcountry should carry appropriate food, water, clothing layers, and emergency equipment. When facing an extended period in the elements or a partner with an injury, having the right tools to keep warm, hydrated, and energized can make all the difference. The second ‘P’ – Practiced – refers to the education and skills people need to have before they head into the backcountry. “You can’t just buy the gear,” said Thomas. “You have to know how to use it and you need to practice with it regularly to keep your skills sharp.” It

also means taking a first aid course, an avy course, and knowing how to fix your gear when it breaks. Each backcountry user needs to be sure they have the right education and the right skillset for their chosen adventure. “The hardest one to talk about is the ‘Be Present,’ idea,” Thomas said. “It’s about the mindfulness of the mountains and where you’re at, who you are with, and asking if this is the right plan for today.” This deep awareness is critical, she continued. “You might have all the education in the world, and you might have all the gear. But if your head isn’t where it needs to be for that day – that is the life or death decision.” Avalanche awareness and other wintertime skills are very important to the Backcountry Zero program. But, Thomas stressed, so is the importance of the multi-season and crosssport nature of the messaging. “If you wear a beacon while skiing, you should wear a PFD on the river; it’s about cross-sport aware-

Don’t be late for après... Be prepared, practiced and present in the mountains. If you don’t know, don’t go.

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Teton Backcountry Guides continued Knoll Yurt and yurt-based Avalanche 1 courses. “These will be great ways to learn while being immersed in the backcountry,” said Verna. Experienced locals seeking more intimate experiences with the Tetons should consider renting out the yurts for “DIY” overnight trips. Teton Backcountry Guides Services/Trips

Backcountry Zero continued ness.” In other words, safety, preparedness, and prevention are paramount no matter the season or the adventure. The Backcountry Zero Ambassadors highlight this diversity: the professional athletes who represent the program include mountain bikers, paragliders, skiers, climbers, and snowmobilers, to name just a few. These faces of the program, Thomas pointed out, were selected because they don’t just talk the talk; they model the principles of Backcountry Zero in all of the sports they enjoy in Jackson Hole. Thomas and the Backcountry Zero team seek to educate outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and are working to reach the community in a variety of ways. They offer classes that bolster adventurers’ preparedness and help ensure that people have appropriate gear and skills before heading into the backcountry. Recognizing the large number of youth in Jackson Hole who love to play in the outdoors, the program offers classes like “What’s in Your Pack?” for kids. It’s never too early to

Skiers

Brendan Levine & Emily Hoffer

Photographer Danny Holland

Location

Teton backcountry

cultivate great backcountry habits. Additionally, the program’s blog and podcast share important stories and lessons with the public. Each week, Backcountry Zero claims a spot in the local paper. Sometimes it showcases one of the “Three P’s.” At other times it shares resources like gear checklists or a reminder of what venture details to leave behind with a contact when you head into the wilderness. Local businesses have teamed up with the project as well. Headwall Sports hosts a “State of the Snowpack” presentation every other week, making sure that skiers and snowboarders are aware of avalanche risk in the mountains. Others, like Hoback Sports, showcase the pack recommendations that Backcountry Zero champions, and lets customers know that they carry any items an adventurer might be missing. Ultimately, Backcountry Zero is about fostering relationships, awareness, and a community-wide culture that is committed to minimizing fatalities and injuries in our favorite playground. As it continues to evolve, the pro-

GO DEEP! LEARN BACKCOUNTRY SKILLS DAY CLINICS / 3-DAY CAMPS

EXPLORE TETON PASS DAY TOURS

DIY YURT RENTALS RESERVE NOW w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

TETON BACKCOUNTRY GUIDES 1986

gram is reaching more people, making more educational and informational opportunities accessible, and keeping everyone safer. It comes down to this: staying safe today means you can ski again tomorrow.

Your Local Backcountry Ski Shop

Backcountry Ski Sales Professional Ski & Snowboard Tunes Rentals of Backcountry Ski Equipment, Snowshoes & XC Skis In Downtown Wilson At the Base of Teton Pass Next to Pearl Street Bagels

TETONGUIDES.COM

307-733-5228

wilsonbackcountry.com 2018

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Wade McKoy / Jason Tattersall

Teton Crest Traverse “Do it like a Local” Trip Overnight and custom hut tours Hut Rentals Backcountry 101: 1-day course Level 1 Avalanche Curriculum: 3-day course Teton Pass Tours Edelweiss and Columbia Bowls Mail Cabin Canyon Mt. Glory Mt. Taylor GTNP Tours 25’ short and Maverick Mountain Mt. Albright & Wimpy’s Knob Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing

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Valdez Heli-Ski Guides A QUARTER CENTURY SKIING THE OUTER LIMITS

Photographer

2 018 marks a quarter century since Doug and Emily

Coombs landed in Valdez, Alaska, and pioneered the first commercial helicopter-skiing operation on Thompson Pass. And today, by the steady hand of lead guide and owner Scott Raynor, Valdez Heli-Ski Guides remains the premier heli-ski company in the Chugach Mountains. “When I bought the business in 2000,” said Raynor, who guided for Coombs in the 1990s, “Doug was quoted in SKI magazine saying that he hoped I could take VHSG to the next level and create a worldclass heli-ski village. And that’s what we’ve done.” The Tsaina restaurant and bar of yesteryear looked like a truck stop with man-camp trailers out back – a far cry from today’s modern, new Tsaina lodge. “The Tsaina is a beautiful heli-ski lodge in the middle of the Alaskan mountains,” Raynor pointed out. “You can be skiing the best powder in the wildest mountains of your life, and ten minutes later, you’re back in your private room taking a hot shower. It’s one the most comfortable lodges in Alaska.” Housing 32 guests in 16 single and 8 double rooms with private baths, the Tsaina’s other amenities include a boot-drying and gearstorage room, a fitness facility, a reading room, massage services, and multiple outdoor seating areas. Rich in history, the Tsaina Bar has an old-school skier vibe. This history is balanced by the mouthwatering gourmet meals served from the Tsaina’s state-of-the-art kitchen. Locally sourced seafood, suc-

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Mike Stoner

Location

Valdez Arm

culent meats, and yummy desserts fuel the appetites stirred up by a day in the mountains. The dining room looks out onto sunsets, Worthington Glacier, the peaks of Thompson Pass, and the Northern Lights. The Tsaina’s setting in the heart of the Chugach is absolutely unmatched. Valdez Heli-Ski Guides quickly climbed to fame in the roaring ‘90s by offering the finest guided steepskiing in the world. But it was never just about skiing the “steep and deep.” “Doug was very enthusiastic about skiing, as everyone knows,” Raynor recalled, “and he loved showing other people how to ski.” And though most of Coombs’ guests were steep skiers, he was just as stoked to share his world with those less-aggressive souls who loved to ski and wanted to improve. “We’re enthusiastic about the guests, no matter who they are or what their ability level,” Raynor said. “That’s another tradition we think is important.” A typical Alaskan ski-day can involve exciting heli-landings and big-mountain skiing. But Raynor now hears from clients who want the Alaska experience without all the exposure, the tight landings, and the constant challenge. “They want to get out of the helicopter and ski down a sweet powder slope, and then do it all over again,” said Raynor. “And we have

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HELI-SKI ALASKA

plenty of terrain that’s moderately steep but not too intense. Many people want to ski a super-fun powder run, like Cracked Ice, a 4,000vertical-foot VHSG classic at 38 degrees. We can ski runs like that all day long.” And right out the back door of the Tsaina looms Dimond Peak, for many the ultimate Alaskan ski mountain. “It’s one of the world’s best ski runs, and it’s right here in our backyard,” Raynor said. Dimond’s many ski routes all lead back to the lodge. That is, after about a 5,600-foot vertical drop. Two big, steep chutes descend the peak’s western slope, and the north face holds a consistent 40-degree slope for over 2,000 feet. “The top pitches are steep runs,” Raynor noted, “but not radical. Lots of our clients can ski them. It’s tantalizing to think about skiing a 40-degree slope in powder.” Taking clients to cool places and doing cool things, instructing

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Thanks to its unprecedented snowfall averages, reaching up-

Skier

wards of 1,000 inches per season,

Photographer

the eastern Chugach guarantees VHSG clients the best of the best, year in and year out.

Luis Curry Mike Stoner


Skier

Dan Starr, VHSG Guide

Photographer Mike Stoner

Location

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HELI-SKI ALASKA Skier

Valdez Heli-Ski Guides client

Photographer Mike Stoner

You can be skiing the best powder in the wildest mountains of your life, and ten minutes later, you’re back in your private room taking a hot shower.

them—those are requisite tasks of all VHSG guides. And it all starts with a deep-seated love for the sport. “We’re passionate about skiing,” said Raynor. “And we’re good snow sniffers – we can find good snow.” There’s only one way to get that innate ability: experience. “A good Alaskan heli-ski guide has a broad skill-set,” Raynor

said. “Our staff works around the world during off-season as alpine and rock-climbing guides, river-rafting guides, and we work with the ski industry year-round, too. That’s something Doug instilled in the company and that I completely agreed with when I bought the business. I continued to take it down that road, and it’s been 18 years now.” — JH SKIER

Photographer Brian Nevins

Location

The Tsaina Lodge, Thompson Pass

VHSG ACCESS & RESOURCES

Terrain Overview – With more than 2,500 square miles of glaciated mountains, the terrain accessed by Valdez Heli-Ski Guides offers everything from scenic glaciers and powder bowls to steep couloirs and big mountain faces. The cold maritime snowfall in the region is world renowned, enabling VHSG to ski some of the steepest terrain in North America with a confidence and security not possible anywhere else. Runs average between 3,000 and 5,000 vertical feet with our longest run at 6,200. Location, distance from airport – Thompson Pass, 35 miles from Valdez airport Touring and Snowcat options – While we all hope to heliski every day of the week, we know that’s not always possible.

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A snowcat keeps us skiing and riding every day of your stay. Season – Early March – Early May Contact Info & Social Media – 907-835-4528; Website: www.valdezheliskiguides.com; email info@valdezheliskiguides.com; find VHSG on Facebook & Instagram Years in Operation – 25 Down-Day Activities – Snowcat skiing from the lodge. Lodging Amenities – Luxury double- and single-occupancy accommodations, fine-dining restaurant, infamous Tsaina bar, full gym, reading room, laundry facilities, gear storage room, and free airport shuttles from/to the Valdez airport. Pricing – Single-day skiing: $1,350; All-inclusive 3- to 7-day packages: $4,744 to $11,076; All-inclusive private ship packages: $97,157 for a group of 8 — JH SKIER

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Alaska Rendezvous Heli-Guides RIDING HIGH IN THE BLUE HOLE

The Blue Hole. Sounds like a good

spot to be, and on Thompson Pass in Alaska’s Chugach, it is.

Forty five miles up the Thompson Pass from Valdez is a spot long known to locals as “The Blue Hole” of the Chugach. An Alaskan ski guide pioneer named Theo Meiners recognized this site as the prefect location for a full-service lodge, tavern, and heli-ski base. Now in its 16th season, The Rendezvous Lodge and HeliGuides has built a potent reputation for deliver-

Location

Alaska Rendezvous Lodge

Photographer Frank Shine

ing the goods to ski and snowboard enthusiasts across the world. Surrounded by seven enormous peaks, the “Rendezvous Lodge is located farther to the north than many of the other heli-ski operators in Valdez, putting our guests closer to the Blue Hole of Thompson Pass. Storms often clear from the north, so we can take advantage of the most skiable days,” notes the lodge’s press release. From the adrenaline and excitement in the mountains, to the bar that never sleeps, the Rendezvous is where luxury meets extreme. The brochure’s final menu item: “The Rendezvous lodge employs trained chefs who will wow you with a delicious, diverse menu. There is no better place to relax in the mountains of Alaska.” Experience here is not limited to a single life-changing moment; skiers will come back year after year. There is a package for everyone. The Rendezvous is where the ninety-nine percent meet the one percent, and everyone speaks the language of high fives. A typical day includes about 30,000 vertical feet on peaks with elevations up to 6,800 feet and descents up to 5,000 vertical. With an annual snowfall of 30-80 feet, it’s no wonder that Valdez is home to the original big-mountain experience. — JH SKIER

Photographer Frank Shine

From the adrenaline and excitement in the mountains, to the bar that never sleeps, the Rendezvous is where

Photographer

luxury meets extreme.

Frank Shine J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R 2 0 1 8

Pat Sewell

Skier

Robb Gaffney

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ARHG ACCESS & RESOURCES

Terrain Overview – For 16 years, the Alaska Rendezvous Guides has operated out of the ‘Blue Hole’ of the Chugach Range with a commitment to a professional and fun experience. The location offers fast and easy flights to some of the most incredible topography in Alaska. Mile 45 creates easy access to amazing terrain, and depending on your choice of accommodations, you can scout your lines from your hotel window, motor home, or poking your head from your vestibule. Some of these life-changing runs are sustained 55-degree 4,000+ vertical foot faces, leading to mile-long glaciers. Perfect powder, pitched peaks, and untracked freshies is the MO of ARG. The Alaska Rendezvous Guides offers something for everyone, and will only pair you with people within your same ability. Location, distance from airport – 45 Miles North of Valdez, AK

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Touring and Snowcat options – Touring options on down days Season – March 4 - April 29 Contact Info & Social Media – Info@arlinc.com; 907-822-3300; facebook.com/alaskarendezvous; Twitter: @ak_rendezvous; Instagram: @AK_Rendezvous Years in Operation – 16 Down-Day Activities – Cross-country skiing, touring, snowshoeing, wiffle ball tournaments Lodging Amenities – Eight-room lodge with two queen beds per room, 250 sq. feet, bathroom, boot driers, laundry facilities, sauna and massage services. Pricing – $1,110 for one day (six runs), or $10,205 per person double occupancy for seven nights. 36 runs, lodging, all food and non-alcholic beverages, all equipment including BCA Tracker2 transceivers. BCA Float 22 airbags available. Additional charge for single occupancy. 2018

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The Beauty of White Space

Experience the Solitude of Winter Photography by Josh Metten, EcoTour Adventures

When old man winter

cloaks the mountains and valley with his heavy white coat, the Jackson Hole landscape is transformed into a magical world. Winter is on the land, and although scorned in some places, in Jackson Hole it is celebrated and embraced. Big-mountain skiing, of course, entices most winter visitors to this valley. But the mountain resorts, generally flush with epic snow, are also at times marked by crowded lift-lines and packed eateries. Not exactly a wilderness experience. But there are ways to escape into the quiet and solitude of a Jackson Hole winter. A venture through the snow-muffled forest and along a frozen mountain stream can reveal the true wonders of the hushed landscape. There may be no better way to traverse that white-mantled topography than on venerable snowshoes or cross-country skis. Striking out on your own is always an option, but Jackson Hole EcoTour Adventures can lead win-

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ter wanderers into prime spots in the nearby national parks in high style. “There is an incredible value with getting out in the park with a naturalist to explore the backcountry,” said Taylor Phillips, owner of EcoTour Adventures. “This is the only place in the U.S. that you have a world-class ski destination next to this array of public

Grand Teton National Park is home to some of the most spectacular scenic wonders and richest winter-wildlife habitat in the lower 48 states. lands, with our national parks right there,” he added. “For the winter visitor, I want them to understand the uniqueness of the area.” A slow-paced activity, snowshoeing can be enjoyed by almost anyone. “If you can walk, you can snowshoe,” Phillips noted. “Plus, we can provide some tips that can help.” In addition to snowshoe and cross-country outings, EcoTour Adventures conducts wildlife ventures that are undertaken in a warm vehicle continued page 97

Above: It's not uncommon for bison to use their massive heads as snowplows. As they move snow, they are rewarded with dried grasses from last season. Come February, bison in Gand Teton National Park move onto the National Elk Refuge to receive supplemental feed. Below: Elk, quietly and calmly, follow the feed tractors on the National Elk Refuge. The national debate continues on the pros and cons of feeding some of our large game species. These elk are fed alfalfa pellets 76 days every winter on average.

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Cross country ski photo: visitjacksonhole

Top: In the stillness of winter, species like moose must continue their efforts to find available forage. During storms, cold spells, or deep snows moose may choose to stay bedded as more energy would be used to forage than gained from the plants they are consuming. Left: Bald eagles migrate to, and out of, Jackson Hole for the winter months. Their winter diet consists mainly of carrion and waterfowl in our region. Bald eagles share this wintering location with golden eagles. Look for Goldens hunting small mammals and scavenging in non forested areas. Above: Leaving the parking lots behind, these outdoor enthusiasts are fully embracing winter's grip. It's easy to connect with the season on skis or snowshoes. Animal tracks abound; on and in the snow they tell a story since the last snowfall. EcoTour Adventures maximizes time exploring with a guide on snowshoes, cross country skis, or in a vehicle.

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Top: Winter is the season to find trumpeter swans in Jackson Hole. Every fall, these incredible travelers make their thousand-mile migration to northwest Wyoming and beyond, where they find open water. Look for them in Flat Creek or the along the Snake River. Above: Wolves are quite well adapted for life in the snow and cold. With large paws that are partially webbed, they are able to stay towards the top of the snowpack. This enables them to in search of prey. Elk make up the majority of their diet. Right: During the winter months, moose range widely may be observed feeding on branches of aspen, willow, or other shrubs. They have incredible adaptations that help them endure the short, snowy, cold winter days. Long hollow hairs, restricted blood flow in their legs, and long agile legs all enable moose to survive where conditions are challenging.

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continued from page 94

while an experienced naturalist serves up the best spots for viewing wildlife and stunning winter settings. The outfit’s safari-style vehicles feature popup roof hatches so guests can stand, observe, and photograph local fauna from a safe location. “This also disturbs wildlife a lot less than if we were outside the vehicle,” said Phillips, “and everyone gets a great view.” EcoTours also supplies binoculars and spotting scopes.

&

This beaver in the Snake River has an opportunity to obtain some warmth from the radiating sun. When beaver ponds freeze over, the work continues under the ice. The continual efforts of transporting sticks and branches into their lodges is necessary to keep fed.

"Our main focus is to maximize our guests’ time in the parks,” Phillips continued. "Grand Teton National Park is known for its wildlife and stunning scenery, but it is so much more. We enjoy educating our guests on the region’s wildlife, history, and geology as we take them to the great wildlife hotspots.” Part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Grand Teton National Park is home to some of the richest winter-wildlife habitat and most spectacular scenic wonders in the lower 48 states. Elk, moose, bison, and wolves all become more visible as they move onto the valley floor to escape the high country’s deep snow. “We want to connect our guests to this incredible national park, the larger ecosystem and the natural world in general,” Phillips added. “Our programs can be life changing!" Eco Tour’s guides all boast backgrounds in the sciences and love sharing their knowledge. Guide Verlin Stephens, a former member of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Recovery Team, often asks his group, “What are you wanting to see?” Stephens said, “I like them to ask questions—you ask questions and you will learn more. I treat the trip like a joint venture and a learning experience for both of us.” A number of trip options are available. From half-day to full-day excursions, all are customizable and tailored to guests’ needs, and all tours include transportation from the guests’ lodging. For snowshoe and cross-country outings, equipment is provided as well. A combo National Elk Refuge program includes a four-hour tour of Grand Teton Park, followed by a sleigh ride among the elk on the refuge and a visit to the world-renowned National Museum of Wildlife Art. Multi-day Yellowstone programs are also offered. Snacks and hot beverages are always available and lunch is included in full-day excursions. — JH SKIER

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Above: Warm night lighting and fresh snowfall lend a magical air to the Wildflower Lodge. Below: Pancakes stacked high for breakfast.

Wildflower Lodge

Photos courtesy Wildflower Lodge

C Capturing Rustic Elegance by Melissa Thomasma

At the heart of our win-

triest fantasies lies a cabin. Tucked into the woods, its windows glow with the warmth of a crackling fire as feathery snowflakes swirl to the ground.

A creek, nearly frozen, slips by on a bed of lacy ice crystals appointing the round pebbles along its edge. Moose and deer wander past and sample dormant sprigs of aspen and willows, their footfalls nearly silent on the winter earth. Inside, luxurious couches and chairs are draped with plush blankets in front of the fire: a perfect place to curl up in with a hot drink or a cocktail and great book, or to relax at with friends and spin vivid retellings of the day’s adventures. When the day draws to a close, deep, downy beds beckon, promising dreams every bit as deep and downy. At Wildflower Lodge in Jackson Hole, these dreamy details are just the beginning of a real

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winter’s tale. Private patios, a hot tub, fire pit, gourmet kitchen, laundry, luxury linens, unsurpassed mountain views – the lodge and its staff have attended to every detail. With intimate rooms for couples, Wildflower can also comfortably accommodate up to 24 guests in its entirety. Regardless of the agenda—skiing, exploring the nearby national parks, snowmobiling, or simply relaxing—one could hardly imagine a more perfect basecamp for a wintertime adventure in Jackson Hole. Two years of remodeling efforts, culminating in December of 2016, endowed Wildflower Lodge with every amenity that a family could wish for in such an idyllic setting. The entryway is lined with gear lockers and boot warmers, the kitchen cabinets and refrigerator are stocked with all the musthaves. Books, games, and movies fill shelves, lending the space a true feeling of home. Spacious common areas complement private, intimate bedrooms, all of which are appointed with chic Western charm. Mere minutes from the best

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The ideal winter vacation includes more that just unforgettable days on the slopes. It’s also everything that happens

around the edges. It’s waking up to a stack of fresh, piping hot pancakes and steaming mugs of cocoa.

that Jackson Hole has to offer, Wildflower feels as though it’s nestled deep in the Rocky Mountain wilderness. Only five minutes from the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, the lodge is ideal for guests who plan to hit the slopes. But it’s also just 10 minutes from Grand Teton National Park and the magical downtown of Jackson Hole – with all the shopping, dining, and nightlife that any visitor could hope for. That is, for those who care to leave the comfort of the lodge. “Guests tend to expect there to be some hustle and bustle, but when they arrive, everyone just

kind of stops and slows down,” said innkeeper and Personal Chef Richard Ryland. He describes the lodge as truly relaxing, peaceful and quiet – a hideaway from the chaos of the everyday world. Chef Richard and his playful, sweet canine sidekick Fozzie (Wildflower’s mascot) are dedicated to making sure that every guest’s experience is as welcoming, relaxing, and memorable as possible. Chef Richard sees that guests wake up to fresh coffee and a hot gourmet breakfast every morning. His offerings – from pancakes and sticky cinnamon rolls to made-to-order omelets – ensure

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Clockwise from top: Chef Richard Ryland prepares breakfast; Wildflower mascot Fozzie; spacious bedroom suite; steaming hot tub.

that mornings start on just the right note. After a day of brisk outdoor fun, guests arrive back at the lodge to find a simmering pot of chili or stew waiting to warm hearts and bellies. The chef is also available to create custom dinners upon request; favorite options include bison, elk, and Idaho trout. Perhaps one of the most wonderful elements of the Wildflower Lodge is how welcoming it is to families. The “Bunkroom” is every kid’s Western dream – a spacious quarter home to cozy bed nooks for little ones of all ages and w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

plenty of romping space. The young ones can enjoy the array of books and games or just lounge while enjoying movies on a flatscreen TV. The lodge also keeps many child and infant items in stock, including car seats, high chairs, strollers, and bike trailers, all so families don’t need to worry about hauling these bulky items from home. The other bedrooms, whose picturesque namesake peaks adorn the valley, are beautifully appointed in a perfect balance of rustic and luxury. Simple, elegant finishes make every unique suite

welcoming and charming. Large windows and doors that open onto private patios flood the rooms with abundant natural light and showcase the natural beauty that lies just outside. “One of the best moments here is when the wildlife comes through,” Chef Richard noted, smiling. “Recently we had a mama moose with twin calves right out the main windows just nibbling on the flower bed.” Perhaps even the wildest locals know that Wildflower Lodge is the perfect gathering spot for families. The ideal winter vacation,

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though, includes more that just unforgettable days on the slopes. It’s also everything that happens around the edges. It’s waking up to a stack of fresh, piping hot pancakes and steaming mugs of cocoa. It’s finishing the day with a cocktail and friends while resting tired legs in the radiant warmth of the fire. It’s watching the kids romp in the snow outside, filling the air with squeals and giggles. So go ahead – dream your wildest Jackson Hole ski vacation dreams. The Wildflower Lodge will make them come true. J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R

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Sled dog tours, a storybook experience by Sandra Keats

The tale is tried and true. Whether

it was Lassie and Timmy, Dorothy and Toto, Travis and Old Yeller, Duncan and Rin Tin Tin, or Buck and John Thornton, dog has always been man’s best friend.

But 12 Totos pulling Dorothy, Tin Man, Lion, and Scarecrow down the Yellow Brick Road? Not in Dorothy’s wildest dreams! Well, what if Dorothy had found herself trudging down a trail deep in the Yukon? Maybe then she might have swapped the ruby red pumps for a dog sled and her precious Toto for a team of Alaskan huskies to pull her home. Dog sledding combines that primal relationship of man and his loyal canine with the rush of whisking through snow-covered country and disappearing into the wild. It’s the Jack London storybook experience. Imagine a day where a foot of untouched powder settles over the Jackson Hole Valley. You leave your skis at home and, bundled in layer upon layer with a thermos of hot chocolate in hand, you take to the trail with a local musher. “Mush! Hike! All Right! Let’s Go!” the musher calls out to his team. The dogs explode into motion, and off you go, dog and

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man, on a picturesque journey across frozen rivers, snow-blanketed valleys, dense forest, and rugged mountains. For you this is a one-day adventure. For the musher, though, it’s a lifestyle. Just ask Jackson Hole’s eight-time Iditarod veteran Frank Teasley. It was the romantic allure that initially grabbed him and pulled him into the dog-sledding lifestyle. But now it’s the rewarding relationship between a musher and his dogs – and the commitment to those dogs – that keeps him involved year-round in this hobby. “There’s a difference between a musher and someone leading a dog team,” Teasley said. “A musher lives, eats, sleeps, and breathes dogs – 365 days a year the dogs come first. It’s like having a very large family.” Teasley, owner of Jackson Hole Iditarod Sled Dog Tours, started running dogs in 1979 with three Siberian huskies and a chair nailed to two skis. He now owns the largest touring company in the nation. He refers to his 200dog company as a “pension plan” for his vet-

Bob Woodall photos

Mush! Hike! Let’s Go!

eran racing dogs and “high school” for his younger, less experienced pups. “It’s like having more than 200 kids, which is extremely demanding, both physically and emotionally,” Teasley said. “Recognizing that every decision, like taking a vacation, is based on (the) dogs. The first priority, always, is that the dogs are taken care of.” And it’s thanks to them that Teasley has successfully raced through Oregon, Montana, Minnesota, Alaska, Wyoming, and even Argentina. They’ve won the Race to the Sky in Montana three times, the UP 200 in Michigan

Dog sledding combines that primal relationship of man and his loyal canine with the rush of whisking through snow-covered country and disappearing into the wild. It’s the Jack London storybook experience. in 2004, and hold the record for the Bear Grease race in Minnesota. Teasley’s team has run the Iditarod eight times, including their best time in 1991, a sixth-place finish out of 74 racers. That same year, they received the Sterling Silver Award for the most improved kennel and the Leonard Seppala Humanitarian Award for the “best cared-for team” in 1989. During his earlier years competing in the Iditarod, Teasley and other racers voiced concern that “The Last Great Race” wasn’t easily accessible to spectators. Spectators could w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m


A JOURNEY BACK IN TIME by Blair Pendleton

S

At Granite Hot Springs mushers are rewarded with a swim in its 105 degree water. view the start in Anchorage and maybe the finish in Nome two weeks later. But unless fans snowshoed deep into the Alaskan wilderness, sometimes in 40below-zero temperatures, most of the 1,000-mile-plus race remained a mystery. “I have to give credit to the Iditarod for putting dog sledding on the map,” Teasley noted. “It’s a great race; it will always be a great race.” But Teasley decided in 1995 he was a bigger fan of the “Stage Stop” race concept, which enables the media and spectators to see teams cross the finish line each day. So Teasley created what is now the largest dog-sled race in the lower 48 states: The Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race. Now in its 23rd year, and boasting eight

different starts and finishes in seven different Wyoming towns and one in Idaho, the 400-mile race provides an alternative to the typical marathon-style races. Teasley says this type of race is much better for the dogs than marathon races, where dogs rest only as much as they run. But a stage race allows the dogs to rest more than they run. Additionally, every dog in the race is examined by a veterinarian and “microchipped,” a high-tech procedure involving implanting a microchip under the dogs’ skin, so their vitals can be routinely checked. “The dogs have no ulterior motives,” Teasley said. “You take care of them, they take care of you.”

ounds of nature and the swooshing of the sled’s runners through the snow create the soothing soundtrack to our journey. Snow-blanketed trees seem to fly by as we mush along at nearly seven miles per hour. It seems to me, however, that we’re maxingout around 20 mph. Could be. When racing, these same dogs average a speed of 17.8 mph for a total of 60 miles! At one stop, we switch drivers, and I take a seat in the sled’s cradle to become another musher’s cargo. Riding so low to the ground offers a totally new and amazing scene. It’s as if I’m one-on-one with the dogs. I notice their every movement and begin to pick my favorites. One dog, Ally, enjoys the snow so much, she repeatedly bumps her behind into the snow bank by the trail. Another looks back at me each time we pause for a picture break, a pleading look in his eye, waiting for the cue to continue: “Alright!” Really, it sounds more like “Aaahh-ight.” But the dogs definitely understand and bolt into a run at each command. After a few hours, we make it to Granite Hot Springs, a pool constructed in 1933 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Steam rises from the 112-degree water and brilliant rays of sun poke through snow-heavy limbs hanging precariously over the spring. We excitedly make our way toward the pool to soak in its warmth.

JACKSON HOLE IDITAROD SLED DOG TOURS Hosted by Jackson Hole’s own 8-Time Veteran Iditarod Musher, Frank Teasley A recipient of Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award • Learn Mushing First Hand Drive your own sled team! • Jackson based tours in the Bridger-Teton National Forest • Meals, transportation, supplemental clothing provided • Half-Day and Full-Day Tours, Reservation Required • Serving the immediate and surrounding area • Enjoy a soak in a natural 105° hot springs on our famous Granite Creek Canyon tour For Reservations or Information

Call: 307-733-7388

JACKSON HOLE IDITAROD SLED DOG TOURS P.O. Box 1940, Jackson Hole, Wy 83001 www.jhsleddog.com

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Photos by Bob Woodall & Wade McKoy/Focus Productions, Inc.

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D • I •V •E •R •S •I •O •N •S

The Jackson Town Square and Snow King Mountain turn on the lights to illuminate the winter night.

ig cities, sprawling and humming with people and too often regarded as soulless, do have a heart, a pulse all their own. The small town of Jackson, though, distinctively lays claim to all three—soul, pulse, and heart. The Jackson Town Square, a colorful refuge distinct from the bustle around the slopes at our major ski areas, is a prime specimen.

seat cush viewing room, inspiration and awe in the same breath. Twenty-minute trailers run all day and full-length mega doses are scheduled every night. Rest the body and jump start the heart while viewing awardwinning videos of skiers, climbers, and surfers nailing it! This is antigravity-fed fun brought to life just steps away from the Town Square.

Brimming with shops, galleries, eateries and nightlife, the center of Jackson Hole demands more than a look, and promises a worthy reward. Downtown Jackson is something of a haven, decidedly free of qeues or competition or the compulsion to grab one last run or push through one last turn. The focus demanded on the slopes can happily defer to the whimsy of a stroll around the square and into dozens of nearby enterprises reflecting the Jackson Hole lifestyle. TGR-THEATRE – Lost your outdoor mojo? The remedy may lie in the digs at Teton Gravity Research’s big-screen theatre just off the Town Square. TGR, a high-octane movie production company, boasts a 20-

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Downtown Jackson shops purvey an array of top-quality items.

R PARK – Jackson Hole’s valley is big. But sometimes too much of a good thing isn’t enough. Take parks, for example. Although it borders both Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks, the valley itself recently welcomed a new one, the R Park. Winter and summer aren’t the same for walkers, bikers, strollers—and most importantly for winter recreationists – for skiers! The 40-acre playground, nestled right on w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

Bob Woodall photos

B

by Mike Calebrese

MORE TO LIFE THAN SKIING


Wade McKoy

Both Snow King and Grand Targhee mountain resorts boast slope-side tubing parks that are a popular after-ski activities and ideal for all ages. the Snake River’s banks and ideally set between Jackson, Wilson, and Teton Village, also happens to be connected to one of the country’s coolest new pedestrian spans – right over the stunning Snake River. Great video and info about the new R Park and the pathways bridge at rpark.org. Aside from its own groomed ski trails, the R Park’s trail connects to those of the Centennial pathway and the Emily’s Pond pathway, both also groomed for cross-country and skate skiers by the Teton County / Jackson Parks and Recreation Department. Already just about the best and busiest rec. outfit this side of the Mississippi, it maintains nine cross-country tracks, about 20 miles of both classic and skate terrain. For a trail map, track grooming schedules, ski conditions, and more info, visit the website: www.tetonparksandrec.org. NATURALIST TOURS – Exploring winter landscape on snowshoes or cross-country skis, while rewarding, is certainly demanding. The solitude of winter landscape overwhelms some folks. But the backcountry can yield secrets and rewards under the eye of a trained naturalist. EcoTour Adventures w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

ronment for winter-challenged visitors and help create safe learning experiences. The outfit also conducts cozier winter outings in warm safari-style vans. Hot beverages, binoculars, and insights into the winter setting are all provided. Visit jhecotouradventures.com. CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING IN THE PARKS – For the independent-minded, both Yellowstone and Grand Teton parks harbor trails and unparalleled landscape for cross-country skiiing. Conditions, access questions, or transportation possibilities are all best researched at either www.nps.gov/grte or www.nps.gov/yell.

Snowshoeing is a delightful way to explore the winter environment at a leisurely pace. offers just such an opportunity. Knowledgeable guides explain the cold-season envi-

SNOWSHOEING – Walk softly but carry a good camera, especially in mountain country! Grand Teton National Park offers rangerled snowshoe hikes at 1:30 p.m. every day, from late December to March, weather and conditions permitting. A $5 donation is requested but snowshoes are provided. A popular activity for locals and visitors, so reservations are recommended. For more details call 739-3300 or visit the park’s site: nps.gov.grte and download a PDF on cross2018

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D • I •V •E •R •S •I •O •N •S

Horsedrawn sleighs convey visitors among the thousands of wapiti that winter on the National Elk Refuge.

NATIONAL ELK REFUGE – Officially it exists as a refuge for elk. But time and circumstance now force these majestic ungulates to share that winter range with bighorn sheep, bison, mule deer, and yes, Virginia, sometimes wolves and mountain lions. Even grizzlies have been spotted crossing its scenic expanse. The National Elk Refuge rubs up against the town of Jackson, affording visitors the chance to mingle with wildlife aboard horse-drawn sleighs – unimpeded by zoo bars or cages. For the latest on the refuge, visit www.fws. gov/nationalelkrefuge.

way to appreciate this plush ermine mantle is astride a snowmobile. So saddle up and head into the great white open.

PARAGLIDING – Clear days and light winds in our valley help set the stage for another equally astonishing view of Jackson Hole – from a paraglider! This breathtaking experience requires no athletic ability, and experienced pilots can even help those a bit daunted by heights. Or, for a fresh take on over-snow travel, try your hand at snow kiting. Call 307-690-8726 or visit jhparagliding.com.

HOCKEY – “Go Moose!” is the battle cry for the Jackson Hole Moose, who play fullcheck hockey in the Elite Senior A division of the USA Hockey Association. Grab all the home action Friday and Saturday nights at Snow King Sports and Events Center. Visit the Moose online at jacksonholemoose.com. SNOWMOBILING – In most places, winter is tolerated, not embraced. But this is snow country! With so much of the white stuff carpeting Wyoming’s mountains each winter, learning to love it is a necessity. And a great

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There are several major snowmobile destinations in northwest Wyoming, each with its own special features. Some are snowmobile playgrounds, others are primarily for viewing nature’s wonders. Togwotee Pass, Granite Hot Springs, Green River Valley, and the Greys River Valley are the playgrounds, while Yellowstone and Gros Ventre areas are for observing wildlife and the natural world.

Live bands at a number of local establishments furnish music for dancers to kick up thier heels .

TRIPLE CROWN PURSUITS – Watch or be watched in these winter festivals that push everyone’s adrenalin into the fun sphere: The 26th Annual Moose Chase on Saturday, February 17, 2018, at Trail Creek at the base of Teton Pass; The Town Downhill on Snow King Mountain, March 9, 2018; and the big daddy w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

Bob Woodall photos

country skiing and snowshoeing in the park.


of them all, the Pole Pedal Paddle, number 47, is slated for Saturday, March 24, 2018, at Teton Village, along Wyoming highways 22 and 26, and on the Snake River, from South Park to Astoria. All events sponsored by the Jackson Hole Ski Club. Check ‘em out at jhskiclub.org.

route and receive your commemorative patch. Visit jhrl.com/marmot-coombs-classic. THE DICK’S DITCH CLASSIC – Jackson Hole’s premiere race event for 18 categories of skiers and snowboarders, is run on elaborate courses of man-made and natural terrain. Snowboarders face off on one weekend, skiers on the other. March 2018. Visit jacksonhole.com and scroll down to the event for details.

MARMOT COOMBS CLASSIC – Iconic skimountaineer and Jackson Hole local Doug Coombs (1957-2006) earned legions of admirers. His passion for PEDIGREE STAGE adventure skiing inSTOP SLED DOG RACE – spired countless others to explore the Don’t be put off by the backcountry and carve cumbersome title. the sidecountry. To Competitors and packs of spectators certainly commemorate his rearen’t – not when the markable skiing life, Marmot and Jackson purse is $10,000! Hole Mountain Resort Launching from Jackson’s Town Square, will again host the Marmot Coombs Classic, mushers and their enThe Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race dethusiastic charges this year in March. lights canines and their cheering fans. press on through the Cool raffle prizes, too, snowy landscape of Wyoming and Idaho. The from Marmot and K2. A party featuring live music will follow the event outside of Nick festive kickoff, on January 26, 2018, is itself reason enough to hit downtown Jackson. Go Wilson’s Cowboy CafÊ. To sign up for the online at sleddogcentral.com or event, meet at the bottom of the mountain by wyomingstagestop.org for photos of cele8:30 a.m., where you’ll pick your desired

HAPPY HOUR Wednesday - Saturday 4:00pm to 6:00pm APRÉS IN THE TPCC LOUNGE

ENJOY 1/2 OFF ALL DRINKS & OUR UNDER $10 APRÉS MENU! SERVED IN OUR BEAUTIFULLY REMODELED LOUNGE

www.tetonpines.com

(307) 733-1005

3450 N. Clubhouse Drive ~ The Village Road

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D • I •V •E •R •S •I •O •N •S brants, cool canines, and activities surrounding the event. FAT-BIKE RACES – An offshoot of mountain biking, fat biking continues to earn new adherents. And a growing number of fat-bike races are held on Nordic tracks and groomed snowmobile trails. Distances range from 15k to 30k. Grand Targhee Mountain Resort hosts races this season, and fat-bike demos are available before and after the race. Grand Targhee also allows fat bikers on its Nordic trail system throughout the season. Snow King Mountain Resort will host the Snow King Fat Bike races. For more info visit snowkingmountain.com and grandtarghee.com. JACKSON HOLE SKIJORING CHAMPIONSHIPS It originated in Scandinavia about 700 years ago as a means of transport during the winter months. But skijoring arrived in North America as a recreational pastime in the 1950s. Now a specialized competitive sport, it combines horse culture and ski culture. Skiers trust their skills and reins to cowpokes and their steeds while barreling along the track line with cheering spectators. Thundering hooves, blazing speeds, and airtime off jumps guarantee thrills for all. This year’s Shriners’ Jackson Hole Skijoring championship is slated for February 10 and 11, 2018, at Teton Village. Online at jhshriners.org

JEWELRY – GIFTS – PHOTOGRAPHY Dan Shelley Jewelers – 19 Hines Goldsmiths – 30 Jackson Hole Resort Store – 29

Skijoring delivers high-action and excitement in this ski and equine event.

SHRINERS’ ALL-AMERICAN CUTTER RACES – A Western version of horse-drawn chariot racing, this event always attracts a huge celebratory crowd during Presidents’ Day Weekend. Now in it’s 47th year, it’s slated for February 17 and 18, 2018. Teams run two abreast in a 1/4-mile sprint to the finish at the polo grounds south of Jackson. Competitors are auctioned in a Calcutta wager before each heat, so high stakes and excite-

KIDS SHOPS Teton Toys – 24

RESTAURANTS – CAFÉS Häagen–Dazs – 28 JH Buffalo Meat Company – 2 McDonald’s of Jackson Hole – 6 Pinky G’s Pizzeria – 22 Snake River Brewery & Restaurant – 13

LODGING Antler Motel – 23 Cowboy Village Resort – 11 Elk Country Inn – 10 49er Inn & Suites – 12 Jackson Hole Super 8 – 4

SPORTS SHOPS & APPAREL Hoback Sport – 9 Stio Mountain Studio – 25 Teton Gravity Research-VR – 22 Igneous Custom Skis – 1

MEDICAL SERVICES St. John’s Family Health & Urgent Care – 3 St. John’s Medical Center – 33 Teton Orthopaedics – 32

JACKSON HOLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY & MUSEUM – Another valley treasure chest worth exploring—or musing in. Ken Burns himself took advantage of its trove for his epic, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.” The valley’s bucolic ranchlands, charming town, and village areas belie the often brutal demands Mother Nature pressed on Jackson Hole’s earliest Native Americans, settlers, and visitors. A glance at the museum’s online interactive historical atlas of Jackson Hole reveals notable historical sites of dude ranching, homesteading, the National Elk Refuge, archaeology. Books and photos available for the more traditionally curious. We love this place, and it’s perched just two blocks from the town square. Truly a worthwhile visit or side trip if you’re in the downtown area. Online at jacksonhole.org. JACKSON HOLE PLAYHOUSE – The Old West has come and gone, but more than enough of it is still showcased in the Jackson Hole Playhouse, a vintage theatre just a block’s stroll off the Jackson town square. This Jackson landmark and its offerings are

TUBE PARK – MOUNTAIN COASTER Cowboy Coaster – 34 King Tubes Tubing Park – 35

MOUNTAIN GUIDES JH Mountain Guides – 2

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Bob Woodall photos

ment mark this celebration, which raises money for the Shriners’ philanthropic mission. Go online at jhshriners.org for more info and for heart-pounding videos of this classic event.


about as grounded in Jackson Hole as valley scenery. Although summers see the stage filled with lively Broadway musical performances, winter finds the Saddle Rock Restaurant and Saloon hosting dinner theatre and offering a hospitable refuge from the demands of winter recreatiop. “Snowed Inn for Christmas,” the Playhouse’s holiday themed performances, run from December 8 to January 6, but come Oscar season, February 9 to March 23, the Playhouse performers cast a humorous eye at the Oscar nominees and entertan dinner audiences with an hour-long comic performance of “Hollywood Spoofs.” At the end of the evening the audience audience votes for “Best Picture.” Reservations are required, 307-733-6994 jacksnoholeplayhouse.com. ICE SKATING – The local parks and recreation department sets up and maintains four rinks around the valley. A perfect activity for families looking to enjoy relaxing exercise. For rink locations, hours, and restrictions, visit www.tetonparksandrec.org. RECREATION CENTER – Of course we have

NOTEWORTHY MUSIC BOOKING AGENCY • The finest live music acts in the region • Jazz • Swing • Rock • Country Solos • Duos • Trios & Big Band • Impeccable references

Michael Calabrese 307-733-5459

S A number of ice skating rinks are located around the valley, including the Town Square and the Teton Village Commons.

Wine Shoppe

over 1600 Different Wines

CENTER FOR THE ARTS – Nothing fusty about this edifice, home to Jackson’s vibrant cultural community. Its campus sets the bar for regional artistic centers, replete with a first-tier performance auditorium, classrooms opening into the worlds of dance, music, theatre, visual and literary arts, and inspiring spaces for celebrations of all types. Two blocks off the Jackson town square, the center nourishes cultural appetites year-round,

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1&2 Bedrooms with full baths & kitchens

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Pizza & Pasta Restaurant Trading Post

Grocery & Gas X-Country Ski & Snow Shoe Rentals

Gift Shop Spur Bar

Wine Dinners & Wine Tastings Monthly www.dornans.com

Bob Woodall photo, Chris Newson skier

P.O. Box 289 • Wilson, WY 83014 www.noteworthymusicagency.com jhnoteworthy@gmail.com

heated indoor-recreation outlets! Even the hardiest of locals come in from the cold every now and then. Just two blocks north of the town square on 155 East Gill, Jackson’s first-rate rec. center houses a gymnasium with full-size basketball and volleyball courts, an aquatic center, locker rooms, and a public meeting room. The aquatic center consists of an eight-lane competitive-workout pool, a therapeutic pool, a leisure-water pool, a hot tub, a water slide, a teaching pool, and sauna steam rooms. Open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday; from 12 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 7 p.m., Sunday. For daily fees, call 739-5056. Go online at tetonparksandrec.org.

307-733-2415

Ski likes it’s no one’s business.

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D • I •V •E •R •S •I •O •N •S both indoors and outdoors. Something’s always happening here. Like that box of chocolates, you never know what you’ll get. Take a peek by opening the lid online at jhcenterforthearts.org.

STARSTRUCK—JACKSON HOLE STYLE – Take in the beauty of the night skies, all year long. Peer through a Dobsonian telescope while experts reveal the heavens’ majesty. As free as the night skies, too! At 7:30 on clear Friday evenings, meet at the stunning Jackson Hole Center for the Arts in downtown Jackson. Scope out the details at wyomingstargazing.org.

The widest selection of toys in the area especially Lego, Melissa & Doug, and plush animals. 10 E. Broadway South Side of Jackson Town Square Located Inside of Lee's Tees 307-200-6066

TETON COUNTY LIBRARY – Need time to chill? Or maybe to warm up? Recently expanded, Teton County Library can easily lay claim to one of the valley’s best-known secrets: Libraries are flat out sweet! And this one is second to none, from high-tech to page-tech to service and setting. Check it out, like most locals do. Go online at www.tclib.org and plug into Jackson Hole. JACKSON HOLE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM – Through the eyes of a child…. and those eyes will be wide open at this center of

HÄAGEN-DAZS ICE CREAM

Thirsty after an exhilarating day in beautiful Jackson Hole? Stop by Westside Wine & Spirits in the Aspens on Teton Village Road for a savory wine, scrumptious beer, or tempting spirit. Our knowledgable staff is here everyday from 10 am-9 pm. At the Aspens | Teton Village Road 307.733.5038 www.westsidewinejh.com

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All natural ice cream (Gluten-free flavors available). Non-dairy sorbet, huckleberry shakes, smoothies, sundaes, shakes, espresso drinks, ice cream cakes & sandwiches. We make our own waffle cones! Locally owned and operated. Since 1993, southeast corner of the Jackson Town Square. 90 E. Broadway | Jackson 307.739.1880 www.haagendazs.com

Bob Woodall

HOLE BOWL – An entertainment option right up everyone’s alley—The Hole Bowl. Ten lanes, 10 big screen TVs, food and drink to please anyone, even private lanes for parties! A boutique bowling experience with none of the pretense. Here it’s all about the fun. Jackson’s weather can turn on a dime but those outdoor adventures needn’t be rained or snowed out. Cool off, warm up, hit your stride on these first-class alleys, or try your hand at darts, pool, or in the video arcade. Parents can join the kids on lanes or settle into a couch while the brood has a blast. Tons of free parking right outside the door.

The Hole Bowl delivers apres ski fun for all ages. wonder. Perhaps the valley’s most unique attraction for kids, there’s nothing childish about it. Open year-round, programs transport kids into the worlds of water, land, and air. A sampling of the programs proves it: Sensory Exploration, Curious Kids, and Wacky Wednesday Science. A first-rate staff oversees the kids at the museum and on adventures into the valley’s wonders. For more info go to jhchildrensmuseum.org.

PINKY G’s PIZZERIA

Cozy up at Pinky G’ s Pizzeria! The local favorite. Located ½ block off Town Square. Televised on Guy Fieri’ s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Voted Best Pizza in Jackson Hole. Try the menu favorite, The Abe Froman, with spiced sausage, mozzarella, and basil. With 20 beers to choose from, full bar & live music, we are sure to keep you entertained. Jackson’ s only place OPEN LATE! 50 W. Broadway | Jackson 307.734.PINK (7465) www.pinkygs.com w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m


D • I •R •E •C •T •O •R •Y

Alpenhof Lodge

The European-style Alpenhof Lodge is located next to the tram in Teton Village. The Alpenhof is known for friendly professional service, cozy rooms and creative Swiss cuisine. Many rooms feature fireplaces and/or balconies and everyone enjoys a complimentary breakfast to start the day.

Grand Targhee Resort

P.O. Box 288, Teton Village, WY 83025 1-800-732-3244 www.alpenhoflodge.com res@alpenhoflodge.com

Alta, Wyoming 83414 800-TARGHEE (827-4433) GrandTarghee.com

Hostel

Jackson Hole Super 8

Recognized for its value, location, and atmosphere, the Hostel is a Jackson Hole tradition. Our guestrooms have either a king bed or four twin beds, daily housekeeping service, private bathrooms, free coffee & wifi, and access to our game room. All this and the lowest slope side rates. Private Room: $79-129, Bunks: $28-43 each.

Experience true Western hospitality in the heart of Jackson Hole. Just steps away from the free city bus and ski shuttle. Complimentary breakfast, evening popcorn, free wireless internet, microwave/refrigerator, and free local calls. Group rates. 750 S Hwy 89, Jackson, WY 83001 800-800-8000 / 307-733-6833 www.jacksonholesuper8.com jacksonholesuper8@wyom.net

Teton Village, Wyoming 83025 307-733-3415 www.thehostel.us, info@thehostel.us

Jackson Hole Resort Lodging

Jackson Hole Hideout B&B

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Continental Breakfast

Alpenhof Lodge Dornan’s Spur Ranch Cabins 49er Inn & Suites Grand Targhee Resort Hostel Jackson Hole Resort Lodging Jackson Hole Super 8 Jackson Hole Hideout B & B Wildflower Lodge

Rates Based on Double Occupancy

Kitchen Refrig-Microw

6175 Heck Of A Hill Road, Wilson 307-733-3233 info@jacksonholehideout.com www.jacksonholehideout.com

McCollister Drive, Teton Village, WY 83025 800-443-8613 Fax: 307-734-1077 www.jhrl.com, info@jacksonhole.com

Conveniently located in the heart of Wilson, this beautifully handcrafted lodge style B&B is sure to please. Set into the hillside amidst soaring evergreens, the Hideout features five individually decorated guest rooms with private bathrooms and patios, fresh hot breakfasts, and 24/7 access to a coffee and snack bar.

Internet Access

Conveniently located next to the Bodega Specialty Grocer in the main parking lot of Teton Village. Ski-in/Ski-out lodging and accommodations for all seasons. Affordable condos to luxury vacation homes, for family getaways and reunions. Properties available in Teton Village, the Aspens & Teton Pines.

HOTELS ~ MOTELS LODGES ~ RESORTS

Our selection of slopeside rooms will fit any style, budget and truly complete your vacation. The mountain village and rustic base area offers all the necessities to shopping, dining and access to 2,602 diverse acres. In-town vacation homes offer great access to Teton Valley and the resort.

Ski Shuttle

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($) Cost Per Night up to $100; ($$) Cost Per Night up to $250; ($$$) Cost Per Night over $250

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WYOMING WHISKEY The Bourbon Trail heads west

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by Mary Woodall Lowell

yoming has been traversed by many historic trails, notably those made famous during the 19th century’s opening of the West. But now, in the 21st century, Wyoming has become the western terminus of the “Bourbon Trail.” Once confined to distilleries in Kentucky’s Bluegrass Region, the “Bourbon Trail” now stretches 1,500 miles to the grain fields of Wyoming’s Big Horn Basin where Wyoming Whiskey is making its mark on the spirit industry from the little town of Kirby. Situated along Kirby Creek’s share of the 1864 Bridger Trail to Montana gold fields, Wyoming Whiskey’s 38-foot high, 18-inch diameter copper still rises from the basin like a manmade Devil’s Tower. Sam Mead, a two-time skiing champion in halfpipe and slopestyle USASA Nationals, runs the state-of-the-art facility, where he’s the distiller of America’s fastest growing label. In its brief six years of production, the WW brand has earned award-winning acclaim for Small Batch, Single Barrel, Outryder, and Barrel Strength Bourbon.

From cowboy heritage to whiskey fame

A modern entrepreneurial vision, Wyoming Whiskey is the child of two Jackson Hole pioneering families, the Meads and Hansens. The Hansens began homesteading around Jackson Hole in 1890, establishing one of the largest private, pastoral holdings in Teton County and, until recently, leased another 2,000 acres in Grand Teton Park. Their ranching legacy continues in the Spring Gulch meadows, home of Mead Ranch Natural Beef. In colder months, the Meads move their cattle to pastures in the Big Horn Basin around Kirby. The idea to create whiskey from all Wyoming non-GMO grains came about when Sam’s parents, attorneys Brad and Kate Mead, decided to multi-purpose their Kirby property located 270 miles northeast of the Teton slopes. Brad is the brother of current Governor Matt Mead and grandson of the late Clifford Peter Hansen, Wyoming governor (1963-1967) and U.S. Senator (1967-1978). “Both my parents are serial entrepreneurs,” Sam said. “My mother was interested in making wine. We started talking about that more seriously after we bought land in the Big Horn Basin to winter our cattle.

Head distiller Sam Mead watches sour mash stream into a fermentation tank. The reality was, we couldn’t grow grapes there because it’s too dry. But that got us thinking: ‘We’ve got corn, wheat, and barley growing in the basin.’ Whiskey just made more sense.”

Getting serious

“Thinking” took solid form when Sam’s father and business partner, David DeFazio, caught Bourbon Trail fever while attending Kentucky’s 2006 Bourbon Festival and purchased a still from Vendome Copper and Brass Works. The Louisville company, owned by another centuryplus family business, is under the leadership of fourth-generation stillmaker Rob Sherman and has been in his family since 1910. Ninety five-percent of America’s whiskey is made in Vendome equipment.

Oak barrels fill the storage barns where they will age for five years or more.

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Sherman connected Brad and David with Steve Nally, a retired Makers Mark master distiller of 33 years and Bourbon Hall of Famer. Nally enthusiastically left the easy chair to guide the setup of the still and hone the recipe for Wyoming Whiskey. “What that did for us,” said DeFazio, COO and co-founder of Wyoming Whiskey, “was to bring a traditional way of making bourbon from Kentucky to Wyoming. Our distillery is based on a Makers Mark design: a continuous column still with a doubler behind.” Though Nally moved on to other distilling ventures in 2012, his expertise positioned Wyoming Whiskey for numerous awards and accolades. Eminent whiskey expert Paul Pacult gave WW’s Small Batch four stars and “highly-recommended” status. Mark Gillespie of Whiskey Cast scored Small Batch 95 points, saying, “It’s one of the

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Bob Woodall photos

“ We’ve got corn, wheat, and barley growing in the basin. Whiskey just made more sense.” — Sam Mead


MOUNTAIN SPIRITS best bourbons I’ve ever tasted.” Whisky Advocate listed Wyoming Whiskey’s Barrel Strength Bourbon among the world’s top ten whiskeys. And Esquire Magazine recently named Wyoming Whiskey the number-one family-owned independent craft distillery in the country.

product special. But the most profound effect that Wyoming has on our whiskey is when it sits in barrels in warehouses that are in the middle of sage fields. Sage is going to impart a very different essence than whatever’s growing in Kentucky. “Whiskey in barrels evaporates during the aging process. You lose the About those Wyoming ingredients angels’ share, which creates a vacuum that pulls in air, and that air is Corn, wheat, barley and rye are Wyoming air.” grown in the Kirby vicinity and milled on Huge temperature shifts trigger the site to feed WW’s cooker. “Where the exhalation and inhalation action during still sits now used to be our roping summer and fall months. “In the space area,” said Sam. of 24 hours, we can have 70-degree Another fundamental of bourbon The Mead family ranch in Jackson Hole’s Spring Gulch is also the home swings. It can be 100 during the day making is limestone-filtered water. of Mead Ranch Natural Beef. and down in the 50s at night. That WW’s got that too. The reason bourbon forces liquid in the barrels to push against the wood when it’s hot and was once the special child mainly of the Bluegrass State is the 100suck in air when the temperature drops.” mile radius of aquifers channeled through Kentucky limestone. LimeThe terroir lungs of the Big Horn Basin with sage on their breath oxstone nixes iron, sulphur, and other undesirable compounds that idize the alcohol molecule, making it “rounder and smoother,” DeFazio negatively impact the distillation process, while the high pH of limenoted. “Our whiskey is what it is because of where it is.” stone-mothered water promotes fermentation. Wyoming Whiskey draws its water from mile-deep Paleozoic The latest from WW aquifers of the Madison Limestone Formation in Manderson, Wy. Outryder Straight American Whiskey is the freshest release of “Geologists at the University of Wyoming tell us that the water we Wyoming-aired whiskey. In equestrian-speak, an outrider is a mounted are pulling from the ground hasn’t seen the light of day in six-thouescort who conveys a racehorse to the post, at the Kentucky Derby, sand years,” Defazio said. “That brings us back to the Bronze Age.” for example. WW’s Outryder, a high-rye specialty, made it to the post The Powers of Terroir in fall of 2016 and has quickly become a favorite for its round, smooth molecules, crafted by a skiing champ in off season. And Wyoming is DeFazio has another theory about what gives Wyoming Whiskey now positioning itself as a top contender in the world of whiskey. its unique share of bourbon history-in-the-making. Terroir (the land) refers to environmental factors, including climate, soil, and flora that Mary Lowell is a poet and frequent author of articles published condition crop phenotype in a particular habitat. “Of course, it’s the on ecclesial art history. She lives in Lexington, Ky, Horse Capital grain we grow here in soils exclusive to this place that makes our of the World and host to landmarks on the Bourbon Trail.

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LOCAL BEER IS BEST Hometown brewpubs are ideal for après-ski adventures

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by Melissa Thomasma

But knocking back just any beer, when so many different locally brewed creations abound, seems an unworthy end to an epic day. Beer lovers know this, though, and when on the road to recreation hot spots they naturally seek out local craft options over megabrews or even imports. Luckily, regional small batch brews are becoming standard for most resort communities. In fact, craft beers now represent more than 10 percent of the United States’ beer industry. Also, buying local is popular among beer drinkers, who are increasingly turning away from run-of-the mill mass-produced brands. Over the last four decades a beer-crafting renaissance has seen the number of breweries in the United States explode from fewer than 100 to more than 5,000. Of course Jackson Hole and Teton Valley, Idaho, have been riding this wave of new brewpubs affording patrons a fresh way to enjoy and experience beer. Local brewing operations offer beer lovers a couple of required elements: an impressive array of inspired beers and a unique hangout spot ideal for après beverages and celebrating the day’s adventures.

Snake River Brewing

Snake River Brewing, the state’s oldest craft beer enterprise, occupies an unassuming corner in downtown Jackson. Founded in 1994, the “Brew Pub,” as it’s known to locals, is a favorite year-round watering hole. Relaxed and unpretentious, the spacious well-lit bar and dining areas welcome longtime locals and visitors alike. A large corner hearth, often crackling with log fire, and local art adorning the walls

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Wade McKoy

près ski, now as much a component of ski culture as skiing itself, should help top off a day of playing in the snowbound landscape. Downing a few brews and a shot of spirits while reveling with friends is one way to enrich the memories.

encourage patrons to kick back and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow powder hounds and perhaps a wood-fired pizza. It’s not just the unique Jackson Hole vibe that keeps valley folks coming back for another pint, though. The beer that Snake River Brewing produces is celebrated both locally and well beyond the Equality State. A variety of their beers – from longtime favorites to new and boundary-pushing concoctions – have won an avalanche of awards at beer festivals near and far. In 2017, the Brew Pub was honored with a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival for its Speargun Coffee Milk Stout. Past brewings have garnered medals for its much-loved Pako’s IPA and Jenny Lake Lager (FKA Snake River Lager).

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MOUNTAIN SPIRITS Recent years have seen the addition of canning facilities at Snake River Brewing, making it possible for adventurers to more easily pack their favorite craft beverages into the wild with them. It’s this inextricable connection between passion for the Rocky Mountain outdoors and enthusiasm for excellent beer that drives Snake River Brewing’s culture of eco-minded fun.

Wildlife Brewery photo

Wildlife Brewing

Similarly informed by the mountain-adventure lifestyle, Wildlife Brewing in Victor, Idaho, also offers an award-winning lineup of locally crafted beer. Brought to life in 2003, Wildlife Brewing began accruing awards within two years of its start. At the five-year mark, it had expanded from a growler-filling station with takeout pizza to an established pub boasting barrels of prize on-tap options and a tantalizing menu. Founder Ric Harmon embodies the deep and lasting connection between ski culture and beer culture in the region. An original member of the locally celebrated Jackson Hole Air Force, he’s spent years pushing boundaries on the slopes. Like other beer Wildlife Brewing carries on the Gelande-Quaff tradition that began at the Bear Claw Cafe in Jackson Hole. lovers, Harmon believes that the brews we petition: White Water Witt earned a gold in the Lager category, and sample after an unforgettable day on the snow should be as local Mighty Bison scored first among the Pale Ales. Obviously there’s no as the places we play in—and as memorable as the people we bad choice on tap at Wildlife Brewing. seek adventure with. His outfit’s mission is clear: “Wildlife Brewing When the sun starts to sink, and you pop your tired feet from your is an organization dedicated to building relationships by creating bindings, think – and drink – like a local by making one of these microunique beers.” breweries an après stop. Sure, you could just sip the same thing you Wildlife Brewing’s momentum seems to be building, too. Canning do at home, but when you’re in one of the most unique places on operations are now underway and that translates into access to their earth, why would you? signature Hopstafarian IPA beyond the taproom. This year saw two first-place awards at the Western Idaho Fair Community Beer Com-

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Locals

Milk Tea Productions

Dorian Densmore feeds his need for mountain time P HOTOS

COURTESY

T XEMA T RULL / M ILK T EA P RODUCTIONS |

SEGOSKIS . COM

D orian Densmore, a native of Driggs,

Idaho, began making ski videos at age 13. Through his teens and early 20s, he and his ski buddies went deep into the backcountry to film, ski, and have fun. Pre-drone era, they devised cable systems to shoot a bird’s-eye perspective. Now, of course, Densmore shoots with a drone, in addition to shooting on slope while skiing, and using all the other camera angles and tricks that make up the creative mix of today’s successful ski videos. But the number-one goal hasn’t changed – enjoy life to the max. 114

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Silas Chickering Ayers (left) films Densmore as they ski the east face of Housetop Mountain in the Tetons last spring for Milk Tea Wyoming.


Cinema Densmore and his band of merry men have skied and filmed the remote corners of Tetons. They’ve explored the mountains of Japan, South America, Alaska, and Europe, and produced numerous ski movies and video clips. In 2010 Densmore teamed up with his friend and filmmaker Brandon Gust to produce On Snow and Ice and Rock, shot in the Tetons and Alaska. Last winter he released the first of his Milk Tea video series, which was shot in Japan. His current collection of video shorts, the Sodeado Peak Series, was shot last summer in Argentina and is presented by the Sego Ski Co. on their website, segoskis.com. Densmore’s complete, finished works are posted on Vimeo/milkteaproductions, and on Instagram at @doriandancemore and @FreeSkiermagazine.

Left: Densmore skis Sodeado Peak in Cuyo, Argentina. Below: Densmore in FPI office.

Photo courtesy Txema Trull / Milk Tea Productions

The Picture of Dorian Densmore – in his own words I’ve been making ski videos with my friends for a long time, and always for fun. That’s our idea, to have fun – most importantly – in order to capture and create content as naturally as possible. Silas Chickering Ayers and I created the first Milk Tea episodes in Japan in 2016. This was after drinking lots of milk tea. The main characters of my production team are constantly revolving, but typically consist of Adria Millan (a skier from Val D’Aran, Catalonia), Tait Trautman, (a friend from Driggs) and Txema Trull (another friend from Girona, Catalonia). We all share a passion for skiing, creating ski content, and spending our lives working in the mountains. We do this because we love it – 100 percent and not for any other reason. We are a self-sustained, hard-working group of friends. We all work lots of odd jobs to fund our passion. We are from various backgrounds, but have a common goal. Sodeado Peak Sodeado Peak is an Internet video series from our summer in the Andes Mountains of Argentina. Sodeado Peak is a beautiful mountain that I have been skiing for six seasons with Adria, Txema, Alejo Sanchez (a snowboarder from Argentina) and others. Last summer and fall I got to ski Sodeado with some of my childhood friends in the Mackenzie family – Kelly, Max and Gary. We feel lucky to have teamed up with Sego Ski Co., a local business run by people with the same ambition as me – to create a nice community of people with similar ideas and good values. Sego is our presenting sponsor. Outdoor Research is also a sponsor and big help to this series. Mission Statement

Wade McKoy

Our intention is to form the best team possible, go into the mountains to ski steep lines, learn as much as we can, and shed light on important cultural issues through ski videos; to always be open to improvise, to see how things unfold; to learn to enjoy each moment, no matter what the scenario is; to ski together as friends. This is what I want to spend my life doing. — JH SKIER

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WRKSHRT

Locals

Filmmakers David Cleeland and Wade Dunstan, with pro ‘boarder Alex Yoder, rediscover centuries-old Turkish snowboard culture. PHOTOS COURTESY WADE DUNSTAN / wrkshrt.com

On location, David Cleeland (above), Nick Russell and Alex Yoder (below).

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Wade Dunstan, on location.

n Foothills, a 2016 film created by Wade Dunstan and David Cleeland (WRKSHRT) and sponsored by Patagonia clothing, professional snowboarders Alex Yoder and Nick Russell journey deep into Turkey’s Kaçkar Mountains. Their quest: to find the remote village rumored to be a centuries-old snowboarding enclave.

Alex Yoder We had seen some proof of a strange-looking board in Absinthe Films’ snowboard movie, Twe12ve. Nicolas Müller is shown riding one in Petran, Turkey. It was a very brief segment and they didn’t go into details about the boards or the culture, so we were left curious. WD Also, Jeremy Jones had filmed there, but they didn’t portray the significance of these ancient snowboards or the historic culture. We wanted to bring that story to light, if it truly existed. With our fingers crossed, we went there to seek it out. And, sure enough, we found it to be a thriving recreation in Petran, a small village deep in the mountains of northeastern Turkey. JHS Did you find out anything more about it before going?

WD Not much. We gained a little knowledge by speaking with other athletes who had ventured to these mountains. Through them, we made a Facebook connection with a Turkish individual in the area. He gave us confidence that, indeed, there was something for us to discover. JHS Alex, you narrated the film. The script seems like you wrote or co-wrote it. Is that right? AY Yes, I co-wrote the script with filmmaker Charles Post. My words were a mix of things our crew learned on the trip, and my personal findings and thoughts pertaining to the experience. Charles, a friend and a great storyteller, really helped me formulate the story into the arc that you hear in the film.

The film showed in Europe and the U.S. at small venues and in Patagonia stores. It generated buzz at the Kendal Mountain Festival in the U.K., and is a Vimeo Staff Pick. Jackson Hole Skier How did you land the Patagonia sponsorship for Foothills? Wade Dunstan We teamed up with our good friend Alex Yoder, a Patagonia ambassador, and pitched the company with our intentions – to investigate an ancient form of snowboarding that we had seen glimpses of but knew very little about.

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Cinema

Alex Yoder on his Japanese Gentemstick Mantaray snowboard (above). The reflection in his goggles shows Wade Dunstan shooting the photo. “This is actually Wade’s extra board, I left mine with Hizir,” said Yoder, shown carving the firm névé at a resort they visited near Cappadocia.

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the trailing hand and how to rely on that to turn, we got the hang of it pretty quickly. JHS Explain the scene in the film where you’re snowboarding with your modern gear, in the streets, on the sidewalks, at night, with the locals. WD We were lucky to be there during their Snowman Festival. As we wandered the streets, we found the people to be joyous and playful. They were excited to meet and greet us foreigners, and to try out our modern snowboards. JHS Is there another lasting memory from the trip? WD Although these people lived in very wintry places, they had very little conveniences. Winter luxuries like snow tires, 4wheel drives, waterproof outerwear, warm boots with traction, etc. But what they had in abundance was hot soup, hot tea, and tons of wool. It seemed that each family wore their own style of knit socks, too. JHS I heard that Foothills had a television release? AY CNN / Turkey did an expose´ on Foothills for Turkish broadcast. The Turks we met said it was a big deal for their country. They really appreciated that we portrayed their culture in a good light.

Photos courtesy Wade Dunstan, WRKSHRT

JHS The central Turkish character, Hizir, seemed like a humble man and a good craftsman. Was he also a good athlete? AY Hizir Havuz was described to us as one of the main pillars in the community. This ancient snowboarding culture seems to be fading into the background for the younger generations. He rode very well, his skills both in building and riding the boards seemed well oiled. His patience while sharing his world with us was obviously fueled by his passion for üzme tahtası (Black Sea Turkish dialect meaning a “plank that slides and floats”) and the potential we had to breathe life back into the activity with our film. JHS Here’s what you say in Foothills: “Hizir said the kids are caught up in social media and popular entertainment culture, and they’re simply not excited about Petran boarding. They don’t want to learn the craftsmanship, and as soon as they’re old enough, want to move to the city. Hizir would like to see his son share his passion, and pass it on to his children.” Alex, you and Nick built and rode your own constructions of the üzme tahtası. Describe that. It looked pretty natural. You guys were ripping. AY It took a little getting used to. The boards have little-to-no shape, no side-cut, so the ride can feel loose and hard to control. But once we figured out the importance of the stick held in

Alex Yoder rides an üzme tahtası, a “plank that slides and floats” in Turkish Black Sea dialect.

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Bob Fuziak

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ob Fuziak’s office, a tidy loft above Exposure Signs’ print shop with two 3-D printers downstairs, contains dozens of pairs of sunglasses – prototypes in various states of construction and destruction. A glass case holds several more pairs fabricated with his high-resolution 3-D printer. The walls are covered with his industrial designs, circuit-board layouts, and patents. “I’m a self-taught CAD designer, hacker, and 3-D printer guy,” said Fuziak, sweeping his arm across the room. “This has been my hobby for the past 10 years.”

I was invited to pitch my idea for economic development and diversification to Governor Mead’s ENDOW Executive Council. There’s no reason we shouldn’t be a premier eyewear manufacturer and have it be a specialty of Wyoming. It’s been a long road and similar products are now on the market. He is undeterred, though. In fact, he’s reinvigorated. “Here’s my first generation, from 2009, he said, picking up one of his early prototypes. “With some help I took an existing piece of technology, a near-eye display that plugs in to an iPod, hacked it and put it on some Kmart sunglasses to prove the pivoting system.” He took another pair off the table, a more recent 3-D-printed version. “For this one, I started with the smallest camera available on Amazon, used the elec-

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Locals

Bob Fuziak , surrounded by his industrial designs and patents. hindsightindustries.com, omniwearables.com

Bike enthusiast turned inventor tronics, designed a new pivoting housing in CAD, 3-D-printed it along with a pair of glasses, and here’s your GoPro of the future.” Under his original company moniker, HindSight Industries, Fuziak applied for and was issued several patents. Last year he and a partner formed Omni-Wearables to commercialize the technology. “I’ve been swinging for the fences every day for the last three years” he said. “The timing in the market is good right now. There are a number of companies in this space who have been unsuccessful – Snapchat and their Spectacles, and Pivothead is another. All use a fixed, forward-facing camera design that creates privacy concerns.” Therein lies the strength of Fuziak’s invention – a camera that is there when you need it, gone when you don’t. “These patents go back to 2010. Fast-forward to 2012 and you have Google Glass. People got freaked out because a camera was aimed at them all the time and nobody knew if it was on or off. People were being called ‘glasshole’ and getting threatened for wearing this device.” Fuziak saw this as an incentive – in his version, the camera docks to the side when not in use. In 2014, after years amassing the resources to do a launch, he started writing Small Business Innovation Research proposals for smart safety glasses for the National Science Foundation and tactical night vision ballistic glasses for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). He received two grants from the Wyoming Business Council to support the efforts, but did not receive Federal funding. So the following year he took his idea to

the Startup Institute, sponsored by the Central Wyoming College and Silicon Couloir. This time, Fuziak was selected. “I completed a 200-hour, college accredited course – a sort of mini-MBA in 10 weeks. I dove in with my ideas for pivoting cameras and whether or not Google had tarnished the acceptance of smart-glass devices. I was trying to determine if there is a proven market for the technology that we have. “Look at wearable cameras, the GoProtype market. That market is saturated. They shipped a lot of cameras, but they’re only reaching people who want to strap on a camera and ‘go pro.’ And there are editing issues, and the is-my-light-on question. “We trademarked the phrase, ‘Life happens in an instant, don’t miss it.’ We’d like to approach Snap Inc. and let them know we have a solution to their creepy camera glasses design that isn’t selling.” He picked up his latest prototype, a durable, sleek 3-D model, and pointed to its unique, simply designed features. “It’s got a charging port here for micro USB, a micro SD card that comes out the top, and a high/low resolution switch. Sensors turn on the camera immediately when you flip it out and turn it off when you dock it back. GoPro spent $105 million for two editing software companies (their users typically must sift through hours of footage). We are building this as a self-editing camera. “We put the camera on the left side for two reasons. One, if you’re biking, you want to brake primarily with your right hand (operates rear brake). Two, for fishing, when that fish hits, your left hand is free to flip out the camera. Then you land the fish.” continued next page w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m


Native Wilson skier designs garments

ames Hunt grew up skiing. At age one, before he could walk, he flew down the mountain in a pack on his father’s back. At two he was on the boards himself. Throughout childhood he skied with family and friends. He’s been a ski racer, a Freeride competitor, and become a savvy backcountry skier. Now, at 24 and a graduate of Art Institute of Portland, he’s had a successful start in another fluid pursuit – clothing design. Last October, Hunt’s Evolve collection showed at the opening night at Portland, Oregon’s, annual fashion week, FashioNXT. How did that happen to a ski-loving, mountain-town kid? It started with an affinity for drawing. “I found a passion for drawing, whether at school doodling or at home to kill time or have fun,” he said. “I enjoyed it and focused on it.” By his high-school years Hunt had begun to ponder turning this skill and passion into a career. He talked to his father, Rick Hunt, co-founder of the Jackson Hole Air Force and owner of Fish Creek Excavation. The younger Hunt recalled, “I remember seeing the t-shirts and hats my dad had made with the Fish Creek logo on them. I told him I wanted to learn about that process.” The father put the son in touch with Shane Hollingsworth, a local custom screen printer, for whom the young Hunt would later work and learn the trade from. Hunt majored in apparel “I drew a skier doing a grab while hand-planting a stump,” design, which gave him he said. “I got a couple rounds of t-shirts made, selling them the opportunity to utilize to family, friends, and in The his passion for drawing. Boardroom snowboard shop. I drew the designs. I took a “I love sketching the class in high school in Adobe Illustrator and learned how to details and the figures. prepare my sketches for the printing process.” And it turns out that After high school and a sewing and the brief stint at Casper College in Central Wyoming, Hunt development process began looking into design schools. Portland proved the came pretty naturally, right fit after a foray to the city so I can build the with his mom Kim, herself an on-slope fashion queen clothes I design.” among the native ski rippers.

“I went for Apparel Design,” he said of the multiple curriculums offered by the art institute. He saw an opportunity to utilize his passion for drawing. “I love sketching the details and the figures. And it turns out that sewing and the development process came pretty naturally. That has enabled me to dynamically build the clothes I design and become a more integral part of my design process.” Hunt graduated last spring, but during winter 2016 he interned with Jackson clothier Stio, where he designed multiple garments for its 2017 spring/summer menswear collection: the Coburn and the Modis Anorak jackets, and

Fuziak continued The potential for Fuziak’s smart glasses reaches far beyond the recreation industry. “I just had a call today with one of the nation’s leading medical centers, about an application for the design that could help the vision-impaired. Right now the state of the art is a clunky flip-down visor type device that magnifies images. Our hardware can support displays and wireless communication. We can make a better and lower-profile product for a cheaper price.” And do it in Wyoming. “In June I was invited to pitch my idea for economic development and diversification to Governor Mead’s ENDOW Executive Council. There’s no reason we shouldn’t be a premier eyewear manufacturer and have it be a specialty of Wyoming. I met with Senator Enzi in August when he was in Jackson during summer recess and was invited to be the keynote speaker at his Inventors Conference this fall. I’m getting it out there. “I’ve got really big ideas, Silicon-Valley level for scalability, and we can do it in Wyoming and create quality jobs. We need investors to help us finalize the engineering to be able to mass-produce the glasses. We have working models now.” For more information check out omniwearables.com and Fuziak’s other company at armsreachind.com. w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

Photos courtesy James Hunt

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James Hunt

Entrepreneurship

Hunt (above) showed his senior collection (rt, 1 of 6 pcs) at the Crystal Ballroom with his fellow graduates, and at the UpNXT Emerging Designer Competition that kicks off Portland’s Fashion Week, FashioNXT. For his latest piece, a poncho, he “redesigned a classic rainwear staple into a more contemporary version, while improving its functionality and aesthetic.” rjshunt.com another design in the works for next year. Now, back in his new hometown, Portland, things continue to blossom for James Hunt. “I showed my senior collection at the Crystal Ballroom with my other fellow graduates,” he said. “It went really well and I received good feedback.” He then auditioned for the UpNXT Emerging Designer Competition, which kicks off Portland’s Fashion Week, FashioNXT, an event that showcases fashion’s emerging designers. “During auditions, the judges really liked my collection and its mix of activewear and fashion,” he said. “They were impressed with my construction skills. “I’m most excited about presenting the newest piece in my collection, probably my favorite look. It’s a poncho, and it’s one of my favorites because I redesigned a classic rainwear staple into a more contemporary version while improving its functionality and aesthetic.” Hunt didn’t win the emerging designer competition but, he said, it was another great experience. “Both shows were great motivators to add two more looks to my Evolve collection after graduating. Now I’m looking forward to starting a new project.” But what about skiing? “Portland’s a great city, and I can ski at Timberline,” he said, noting the ski area on Mount Hood, about 90 miles from his apartment. “You can ski into August. And I’ve always wanted to progress my terrain-park skills. Growing up with a trampoline, I learned all the tricks. So it’s fun skiing up here because I can always be progressing. There’s always a flip that I haven’t tried or landed or needed to work on. “But nothing’s better than backcountry laps when I come home for Christmas.”

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Locals Index of Advertisers

APRÉS SKI, LIQUOR STORES, MUSIC

GRAND TARGHEE RESORT & VICTOR, IDAHO THE TRAP BAR & GRILLE (800) TARGHEE PG 45 WILDLIFE BREWING 208-787-2623 – PG 114

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, MOOSE DORNAN’S PIZZA & PASTA – 307-733-2415 ext 204 PG 107

JACKSON NOTEWORTHY MUSIC AGENCY – 307-733-5459 PG 109 SNAKE RIVER BREWERY – 739-2337 PG 115 WYOMING WHISKEY – wyomingwhiskey.com PG 2

JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT ALPENHOF BISTRO – 307-733-3242 PG 37 MANGY MOOSE SALOON – 307-733-4913 PG 39 MANGY MOOSE CELLARS – 307-733-4913 PG 39 NICK WILSON'S COWBOY CAFE – PG 21

ASPENS & TETON PINES TETON PINES – 307-733-1005 PG 105 WESTSIDE WINE & SPIRITS – 307-733-5038 PG 108

BACKCOUNTRY GUIDE SERVICES EXUM MOUNTAIN GUIDES – 307-733-2297 PG 79 JH BACKCOUNTRY GUIDES – 307-739-2779 PG 21 JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN GUIDES – 307-733-4979 PG 83 TETON BACKCOUNTRY GUIDES – 307-353-2900 PG 87

BUS SERVICES GRAND TARGHEE EXPRESS – 307-734-9SKI PG 45 START BUS – 307-733-4521

CUSTOM MADE SKIS & SNOWBOARDS IGNEOUS – 734-8788 PG 71 MAIDEN SKIS – 307-264-1640 PG 73 SEGO SKIS – 607-279-7080 PG 117

ECOTOURS & WILDLIFE TOURS ECOTOUR ADVENTURES – 307-690 9533 PG 97

HELI & CAT–SKIING ALASKA RENDEZVOUS LODGE & HELI GUIDES 307-734-0721, 907-822-3300 PG 6 GRAND TARGHEE SNOWCAT ADVENTURES – (800)-TARGHEE PG 45 VALDEZ HELI-SKI GUIDES – 907-835-4528 PG 7

ICE SKATING SNOW KING CENTER – 734-3000 PG 45

INFORMATION – SERVICES AVALANCHE HAZARD & WEATHER FORECAST 307-733-2664, jhavalanche.org GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK 307-739-3300 JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT GUEST SERVICE – 307-739-2753 JACKSON HOLE SKI CLUB – 733-6433 PG 59 SKI & SNOWBOARD STORAGE & LOCKERS – 307-739-2755 PG 21 SKI & SNOWBOARD STORAGE & LOCKERS @ THE HOSTEL 307-733-3415 PG 111 TETON COUNTY LIBRARY – 307-733-2164

JEWELRY – ART DANSHELLEY JEWELERS – 307-733-2259 PG 5 HINES GOLD – 307-733-5599 PG 6

KIDS SHOP – TOYS – GAMES – STUFFED TOYS TETON TOYS – 307-200-6066 PG 108

LODGING GRAND TARGHEE RESORT GRAND TARGHEE RESORT – (800) TARGHEE, GrandTarghee.com PG 111

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, MOOSE DORNAN’S SPUR RANCH CABINS – 307-733-2522 PG 107

JACKSON ANTLER INN – 307-733-2535 or 1-800-522-2406 PG 109 COWBOY VILLAGE RESORT – 307-733-3121 or 800-962-4988 PG 109 ELK COUNTRY INN – 733-2364 or 800-4-TETONS, townsquareinns.com PG 109 JACKSON HOLE HIDE OUT B&B – 307-733-3233 PG 111 JACKSON HOLE SUPER 8 – 800-800-8000/307-733-6833, jacksonholesuper8.com PG 111 49ER INN AND SUITES – 307-733-7550, 800-451-2980, townsquareinns.com PG 109 WILDFLOWER LODGE – 307-222-4400 PG 8 & 9

JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT ALPENHOF LODGE – 307-733-3242 PG 37, 109 THE HOSTEL – 307-733-3415 PG 109 JACKSON HOLE RESORT LODGING – 800-443-8613, 307-733-3990 PG 109

MUSIC MANGY MOOSE SALOON – 307-733-4913 PG 39

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NOTEWORTHY MUSIC AGENCY – 307-733-5459 PG 107 THE TRAP BAR & GRILLE (800) TARGHEE PG 45

MEDICAL & EMERGENCY CARE ST. JOHN'S CENTER OF EXCELLENCE IN ORTHOPAEDICS 888-739-7499 PG 4 ST. JOHN’S CLINIC AT TETON VILLAGE – 307-739-7346 PG 67 ST. JOHN’S FAMILY HEALTH & URGENT CARE 307-739-8999 PG 67 ST. JOHN’S EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT – 307-733-3636 PG 67 TETON ORTHOPAEDICS – 307-733-3900, 800-659-1335 PG 69

RESTAURANTS – CAFÉS – GROCERS GRAND TARGHEE RESORT THE BRANDING IRON GRILL – (800) TARGHEE PG 45 SNORKEL’S CAFE AND BISTRO – PG 45 THE TRAP BAR & GRILLE – PG 45

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, MOOSE DORNAN’S PIZZA & PASTA – 733-2415 ext 204. PG 120 DORNAN’S TRADING POST GROCERY – 733-2415 PG 120

JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT – TETON VILLAGE CASPER RESTAURANT – PG 21 CAFE 6311 – PG 21 CORBET'S CABIN – PG 21 OFF PISTE MOUNTAIN BITRO – PG 23

JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT – TETON VILLAGE ALPENHOF BISTRO – 307-733-3242 PG 37 ALPENROSE RESTAURANT – 307-733-3242 PG 37 MANGY MOOSE-RMO – 307-733-4913 PG 39 MANGY MOOSE MARKET – 307-733-4913 PG 39 NICK WILSON’S COWBOY CAFE – PG 21

JACKSON-TETON VILLAGE ROAD HÄAGEN DAZS – 307-739-1880 PG 1080 JACKSON HOLE BUFFALO MEAT – 307-733-4159 800-543-6328 PG 131 MEAD RANCH NATURAL BEEF – 307-733-0166 PG 113 McDONALD’S® OF JACKSON HOLE PG 29 PINKY G’S PIZZERIA – 307-734-PINK(7465) PG 108 PISTE MOUNTAIN BISTRO – 307-739-2675 PG 23 SNAKE RIVER BREWING – 739-2337 PG 115 THE PINES RESTAURANT – 307-733-1005 PG 105

SKI & SNOWBOARD RESORTS GRAND TARGHEE RESORT – (800) TARGHEE PG 45 JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT – 1-888-DEEP-SNO; snow conditions 307-733-2291 PG 21 SNOW KING MOUNTAIN RESORT – 307-733-3194 PG 51 SNOW KING NIGHT SKIING – 307-733-3194 PG 51

SKIING–NORDIC SKI CENTERS GRAND TARGHEE NORDIC CENTER – (800) TARGHEE PG 45 TETON PINES NORDIC CENTER 307-733-1005 PG 105

SKI & SNOWBOARD SCHOOLS GRAND TARGHEE SNOWSPORTS SCHOOL 1-(800)-TARGHEE PG 45 JACKSON HOLE KIDS RANCH – 307-739-2788. PG 21 JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN SPORTS SCHOOL – 307-739-2779 PG 21 SNOW KING MOUNTAIN SPORTS SCHOOL – 307-733-3188 PG 51

SLED DOG ADVENTURES JACKSON HOLE IDITAROD SLED DOG ADVENTURES 307-733-7388 PG 101

SNOWSHOE & CROSS COUNTRY SKI TOURS ECOTOUR ADVENTURES – 307-690 9533 PG 97

SPORTS SHOPS & APPAREL GRAND TARGHEE RESORT TETON MOUNTAIN OUTFITTERS AND BOARD SHOP – PG 45

JACKSON – TETON VILLAGE – WILSON DOOR 2 DOOR 307-733-4077 PG 31 HOBACK SPORTS – 733-5335 PG 131 HOLE IN THE WALL SNOWBOARD SHOP – 307-739-2689 PG 21 JH RESORT STORE – 307-734-6045 PG 131 JACKSON HOLE SPORTS – 307-739-2687 PG 21 NOMAD – 307-733-6838 PG 3, 129 MUDROOM – 307-201-5353 PG 3, 129 PETER GLEN SKI & SPORTS – PeterGlenn.com PG 110 STIO – (307) 201-1890 PG 35 TETON GRAVITY RESEARCH – 307-733-2181 PG 105 TETON VILLAGE SPORTS – 307-733-2181 PG 132 WILSON BACKCOUNTRY SPORTS – 307-733-5228 PG 87

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, MOOSE DORNAN’S GIFT SHOP – 733-2415, ext 301 PG 107

TUBE PARKS - MOUNTAIN COASTERS COWBOY COASTER - SNOW KING – 307-734-8823 PG 51 KING TUBES PARK - SNOW KING– 307-734-8823 PG 51 GRAND TARGHEE TUBING PARK – PG 45

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Chippy Sherman

Restaurateur

Chippy Sherman

Entrepreneurship

Wade McKoy

My pipes were frozen beyond repair and there was so much snow that I ran out of places to put it. So I closed the restaurant and went skiing. For three months.

Chippy Sherman, Chippy’s Kitchen and Catering, JH Skier for 30 years. jacksonholecatering.com welve years ago Chippy Sherman opened Chippy’s Kitchen and Catering in Wilson, Wyoming, as a way to repurpose the extra food and beverages from her already successful catering business. But last winter it was another kind of surplus that forced her to close the restaurant for three months. “My pipes were frozen beyond repair and there was so much snow that I ran out of

places to put it,” she said of the harsh winter of 2016-17. Her pragmatic landlord told Sherman that there’d be no rent due until the situation could be resolved (springtime). So Sherman went skiing. “It felt so good,” she said of her threemonth leave. “The frozen pipes were sort of a blessing in disguise. I had a life again.” Not constrained to her kitchen every day,

Jay Pistono Teton Pass Ambassador

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ay Pistono has worked as Teton Pass Ambassador since 2005. He represents the U.S. Forest Service and Friends of Pathways, with additional support from Outdoor Research, Stio, Igneous Skis, and Black Diamond. His message to all winter users: Welcome, one and all, to Teton Pass. Try to remember it’s about the place, not how important you are and whatever you are doing up there. Here are some statistics to get your head around. Teton Pass receives: • Approximately 110,000 ski and snowboard runs per winter • Over 5,000 vehicle trips per day • An average of 700 to 800 inches of snow per winter season That’s a lot of snow-riders, a lot of snow to ride, and a whole lot of drivers piloting their vehicles through the maze of parkers, walkers, and dogs, all while exposed to some very large avalanche paths. It can make for a tough mix. As resource users we must work with the w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

variables at hand and make decisions based on the implications of our sheer numbers. And keep in mind that this incredible place is good medicine for lots of people. Good medicine at an affordable price, from a recreation perspective. Realize that it could be lost. I’m lucky (I think) to be reffing the scene on Teton Pass. It seems each user wants to run the place based on their priorities. Well, here are some nuts and bolts for a successful outcome, based on the input from tons of sources and lessons learned over the decades.

• Work with all enforcement agencies, all the time: The Wyoming Dept. of Transportation, The Highway Patrol, and Teton County Search and Rescue. • Carpool and park tightly. • Take care of your pet in all regards, especially at the parking lot. • Ski, ride, and sled with respect and humility. • Spread the good word as often as you can. The rest is bonus, and we’ll take the bonus if we can get it. But we need your help and cooperation on these fundamental issues.

David Bowers

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she went retro and fell enthusiastically back into the old ski-bum lifestyle. “I skied a ton,” she said. “And I went climbing for a couple weeks at Red Rocks and Joshua Tree, and then went again in Moab.” She worked a few catering jobs and washed those dishes at nearby Nora’s restaurant when they were closed, “sneaking through the back door,” she said, though she had permission. Sherman seems well positioned to be a role model for the next generation. “All my original friends from when I moved here – all their kids work for me now,” she said with a smile and a twinkle in her eye.

Jay Pistono, a Teton Pass skier since 1977. friendsofpathways.org This will be year 40 for me skiing and riding the Pass, and I haven’t had a crappy run yet. I hope you don’t either. — Jay Pistono 2018

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Abby Paffrath Locals

Abby Paffrath Send It Batik

About Send It

The painting depicts a powder day. Or it could be a starry night. I love powder skiing and storm riding – being in the storm when no one else wants to be out there, when it’s windy, and it’s blowing sideways in the bowl, and you can hardly see. That’s the best type of day. That’s what I like. My skier’s got the twin tips, the retro pants – really “stylie.” I painted it two winters ago – that was a pretty good winter. It’s batik, an art form that I studied in Indonesia where it originated.

Artist Series Trucker Hats art4allbyabby.com

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Wade McKoy

Send It is about all the amazing local athletes and the awesome terrain at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. We have such a great community, with people getting after it, living and loving life. And no matter how hardcore you think you are, there’s always somebody out there skiing crazier lines and snowboarding bigger things. They’re sending it—all the time.


Liz Park

Wade McKoy

Art

Liz Park

Cosmic Girl Acrylic on wood About Cosmic Girl

The idea for Cosmic Girl came from a chance meeting I had with a girl on the deck at the Trap Bar at Targhee. She was spending the winter living in her truck and skiing the backcountry. That day, though, she was riding the ‘Ghee with some of her friends.

When she found out I’m an artist who paints ski scenes – among other things – she sent me a picture of her that winter, taken on Buck Mountain in the Tetons.

The final composition of Cosmic Girl is quite a bit different from her photograph. But the artwork represents her – this badass woman on a gnarly peak.

Represented by The Grand Fine Art in Jackson lizparkart.com

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Emily Boespflug Locals

Emily Boespflug Taking Flight Acrylic on canvas

About Taking Flight

Wade McKoy

My friend Danny Felice and I had been talking for some time about doing this painting. One day he brought me a photo of him skiing off a cliff, and the idea jelled.

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While I prefer to start my paintings on location, winters have proven to be a challenge. I’m forced to paint indoors, looking at photographs to help me define a dreamy winter scene. But I enjoy re-living these moments in the warmth of my studio, interpreting the beauty and stoke of the day even if I wasn’t there to take the photo. Painting explorations of the natural world fills my soul and allows me to exaggerate emotion and excitement, ultimately bringing others into the moment. I truly enjoy painting my friends and clients as they follow their bliss.

emilyboespflug.com

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Diane Benefiel

Bobbi Miller photo

Art

Diane Benefiel

Betwixt and Between – Crossing the Threshold Giclée print About Betwixt and Between – Crossing the Threshold

I created the original watercolor, also known as The Enchanted Forest, in 2012. It was my first large painting in nearly a decade and the first poster in the Teton Pass Skiing Triptych, my series of three 18x24 ski posters.

I had shelved my art career in 2000 when I joined the adrenaline-fueled world of emergency response. Then, in January, 2010, I contracted the H1N1 virus, which changed my life. Too sick to work, I lost my job with EMS.

Two years into the healing process, I was ready to re-engage my artist self. I set about to paint the most iconic view on Teton Pass, which was seared into my mind’s eye after 40 years of skiing there.

The Enchanted Forest is a place on a classic local tour where the trail leaves Olympic Bowl and enters a dark forest, what the ancient Druids called a threshold – a space betwixt and between: between dusk and dawn, winter and spring, meadow and forest, and even between illness and health. These thresholds are potent points in time and space where life transformations occur. It is a fitting image to illustrate the transformations that I’ve experienced throughout in my life.

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16x20 giclée prints of Teton Pass, Glory Bowl, and Edelweiss available at Hungry Jacks in Wilson, or from the artist.

Diane Benefiel, dulcedog22@gmail.com

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Kyle Mills

Locals

#1 New York Times Bestselling Author

Kyle Mills, at the desk. His latest book, Enemy of the State, shot straight to number one on the New York Times bestseller list. kylemills.com

Wade McKoy

really heard of hydrocarbon-eating bacteria before I started my research, but not only do they exist, they’re actually pretty common and pose a constant threat to drilling operations. Quickly the scenario went from ridiculously implausible to frighteningly simple.” What was not simple, and for many would seem implausible, was Mills’ next feat: he was twice handpicked to continue writing the series novels of a recently deceased major author. “Robert Ludlum’s people called, very much out of the blue,” he said, referring to the departed author of the Jason Bourne series. “They had read Darkness Falls, which is science oriented. They wanted me to reboot the Ludlum series, Covert One. I had some science-y ideas that I wanted to write, and I had read a lot of Ludlum’s books. I was a fan. So I struck a deal.” Mills wrote two books for that series, both were published, and then he returned to writing his own books. “Then Vince Flynn passed away, which was really sad, and also really surprising, because he’s my age,” Mills said. “He had cancer but everybody thought he was getting better. I remember thinking, ‘I hope somebody continues that series, because it’s always been one of my favorites.’ I got a call a few months later from my agent, who had been talking to Vince’s agent. They wanted to continue the series and for me to make a pitch. I’d done pretty well as a writer and made the New York Times list a few times, but Vince’s books all shoot straight to number one. He was one of the biggest authors in the world. I thought it would be interesting to write on that scale, but also a bit nerve-wracking because he has a lot of rabid fans. Would they accept me or not? Continued next page

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yle Mills, a Jackson Hole skier since 1993, wrote his first book 20 years ago as an exercise in creativity. At the time, his job in banking and his off-work passion, climbing, no longer satisfied him. He needed a creative outlet. “I was going to build furniture,” he said, “but my wife Kim commented that I wasn’t very handy – really, I don’t think she wanted me to fill the garage with tools – so she suggested that I write a novel.”

“Robert Ludlum’s people called, very much out of the blue,” he said, referring to the departed author of the Jason Bourne series. “They had read Darkness Falls, which is science oriented. They wanted me to reboot the Ludlum series, Covert One. Mills thought it was a stupid idea. He’d always avoided English classes in school. But he loved to read, so he bought a few how-towrite-a-novel books and gave it a go. “I never thought it would get published or that anybody would read it except my mom,” he said. “But some people really liked it, so I embarked on the whole soul-crushing project

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of getting it published. That was horrible. I got rejected by pretty much every self-respecting agent in New York.” Except one. Mills eventually found an agent and signed a deal. The book, Rising Phoenix, went on to become a national bestseller. “It was about poisoning the U. S. drug supply,” Mills said. “I don’t remember how I came up with the concept. I was probably just being obnoxious at a dinner party. But it was during the era of Ronald Reagan’s war on drugs, so it was timely.” Mills also had a lifetime of contacts at the FBI and DEA through his father, so he was familiar with the culture. The book wasn’t his most elegant, he said, but it was good enough to land him a two-book deal. “That was a little nerve wracking, honestly, because really, I had no idea if I could write a second book,” he said. His protagonist, maverick FBI agent Mark Beamon, was multi-dimensional, with enough lasting power for Mills to write four more books and create a thriller series. In addition, he wrote seven more novels, all one-offs. When pressed to talk specifically about one of those characters, Josh Haggerty, he balked. “I don’t remember,” he said. “I’ve written hundreds of characters, millions of words. I don’t always remember stuff I wrote 15 years ago. But somebody is talking about making a TV series out of Darkness Falls. Its concept – the destruction of the world’s oil supply – actually started out as a component of my previous book, The Second Horseman. I’d never

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Jack Clinton

Books

First-time novelist at age 60

Photo courtesy Jack Clinton

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ack Clinton, a Jackson Hole skier since 1976, left the ski/climbing-bum lifestyle early to enter academia and focus on teaching. Now approaching retirement age, he’s come full circle – returning not to adventuring, but to writing. His first novel, Clovis, will be published this winter. It’s a work he abandoned in a nascent state 19 years ago, when he became a father. Clinton left Jackson in 1984, studied English and Spanish at the University of Wyoming, studied in Spain for a winter, and earned a an education degree. He taught high school one winter in Cascade, Idaho, before returning to Laramie to complete his masters degree and work fulltime teaching high school Spanish and English. “When I was a little kid, my mother would always say, ‘Jack, you’re going to be a writer,’” he mused. “I never did anything for her to say that. But I always remembered it. And then college was over, and I was like, ‘Well, I’m sure not a writer yet.’ So I jumped in with Ken Driese, a talented photographer and climbing partner.” Clinton and Driese started writing freelance in 1993 and covered environmental stories for the Casper Star-Tribune. It wasn’t long before his bylines were included in Western Horseman and Rock & Ice.

Jack Clinton (right), with his long-time climbing and skiing partners, Wilsonites Norm and Lorna Larson. Above: Clinton’s first novel, Clovis jackclinton.com

When I was a little kid, my mother would always say, “Jack, you’re going to be a writer.” I never did anything for her to say that. But I always remembered it. “There was always an environmental angle,” he said. “Ken and I were doing pretty well for a while. And then my daughter started walking and that was the end of writing for a while.” During that stint as a writer he was also developing his ideas for Clovis. “I worked at it, dabbled at it,” he recalled. “Then parenting demanded more time, and I couldn’t work, write, and be a parent, so I put it down—for 15 years. Then Emma grew up and was not around so much. So in the last two years I wrote 90 percent of the book from those early notes and pieces.” Clovis takes readers into the complex lives of young anthropologists and archeologists who go climbing and mountaineering on their days off. They search the high western plains for artifacts, imagining in detail the lives of America’s first inhabitants. Their mission is to find and preserve valuable cultural sites, keeping ahead of the pipeline-digging gas and oil companies. Clinton spins a wonder-filled tale, poetically rendered and filled with classic, modern-day struggles. The natural world is ever present, and so are danger and death. “The inspiration for the book comes from my wife, Dana Wahlquist, who’s an anthropologist and archeologist, and now she runs a health food store,” he said. “I could see the work she did, and she always had these crazy stories about what living in those camps was like. And we were always going into the desert looking for arrowheads and flakes. Mills continued “I think everybody wanted to see the series continue. For the first novel, The Survivor, I tried to write a forgery of his style, which I’d spent a lot of time studying. He had written three pages of Survivor, and I wanted to keep them because it was the last thing he’d done. And they’re in the book—not at the beginning—but I didn’t want anybody to be able to tell which pages they were. “People really liked that book, and accepted me. So now I have a freer hand to let the books evolve and change as the world changes.”

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“The day I had the brainstorm for the book, I was on Jim Roscoe’s ranch in Pinedale. I found a broken Clovis point – they’re as old as you get, 15,000 years – right at the base of the Wind River Mountains. Dana had been feeding me these stories and I just knew at that moment, that was the book.” Long-time Jacksonites will recognize some of Clinton’s character names and place descriptions. Big Wally appears, hosting a days-long party at a place that sounds a lot like Redtop Meadows. Most of the climbing scenes are highly exaggerated memories from his days in the Winds, the Tetons, and around Tensleep, Wyoming. For most writers, the road from the manuscript to the bookshelf can be dispiriting. Clinton traveled the same daunting path. “Finding a publisher was nearly impossible,” he said. “I’m amazed that a publisher took it. I had no idea how to write a novel. I just knew that I had to write one. “Now that I’m going to writing seminars, I realize that I did everything wrong to find a publisher. I never got to talk on the phone with an agent, they just sent me emails saying, ‘No, we don’t want it and we don’t want to talk about it with you.’ I sent out blanket queries, more than 100. Maybe 200. “I finally got a small press, Harvard Square Editions, to talk to me. It was incredible. I almost died. I thought nobody was going to publish it. It was such a mess, 100 pages too long. I worked pretty steadily over the last winter, working with one of their editors, editing all winter long, back and forth, back and forth. I’ve learned so much. “Now, if I had this to do over again – and I am working on another novel –I’d find an agent. If Clovis does well, I’ll be able to find an agent. “Here I am at 60, potentially with a whole new career. When I was 35 and I had my undergraduate work done, I started writing. No idea why, other than my mother—so be careful what you tell your kids, right? “Meanwhile, I’m still a teacher. I live in Red Lodge, Montana. It’s pretty nice. Not many people. You go into the backcountry here and it’s pretty nice.”

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JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT

Mountain Characteristics

Base elevation: 6,311 ft. – Summit elevation: 10,450 ft. Vertical rise: 4,139 ft. (longest continuous in the country) Skiable terrain: 2,500 acres of in-bounds terrain Open backcountry gate system accesses over 3000-plus acres 22 miles of machine-groomed terrain 10% beginner, 40% intermediate, 50% advanced Longest run: 4.7 miles Average annual snowfall: 38 feet (456 inches)

Lifts

• One 100-Passenger Aerial Tram • Two eight-person high-speed gondola • Four detachable quad chairlifts • Four fixed-grip quad chairlifts • Two double chairlift • One fixed-grip triple chairlift • One magic carpet

SNOW KING

MOUNTAIN RESORT Mountain Characteristics

Base Elevation: 6,237 ft. Top elevation: 7,808 ft. Vertical rise: 1,571 ft. Skiable terrain: 400-plus acres 300 acres of machine-groomed terrain 15% beginner 35% intermediate 50% advanced Longest run: .9 mile

Winter Activities

• Cowboy Coaster • Night Skiing • King Tubes Snow Tubing Park • Terrain Park

Ski Lifts

• One quad chair • One triple chair • One double chair • One surface tow

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S: SANTIAGO GUZMAN

P: OSKAR ENANDER // oskarenander.com

Exclusively in Teton Village at The Mudroom and Nomad Sports.

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GRAND TARGHEE RESORT

Mountain Characteristics

Total Acreage: 2,602 Annual Average Snowfall: 500-plus inches/41-plus feet Vertical Drop: 2,270 Base Area Elevation: 7851 ft. Summit elevation 9,862 ft. 10% beginner 70% intermediate 20% advanced Longest run: 2.5 miles

Lifts

• Two High-Speed Quad Chair • One- Quad chair • One double chair • One magic carpet

Snowcat Skiing on Peaked Mountain

Skiable acres: 1,000 plus Vertical rise: 2,000 ft. Longest run: 3.2 miles

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COMMENTARY

Y’all Ski Much? Many years ago I had the good fortune to ski Steamboat for a week right at the beginning of the resort’s annual Cowboy Downhill. Seems Denver hosts a huge Stock Show and rodeo every year, so Steamboat cordially invites a herd of the country’s best cowpokes and cowgirls to come see snow and try skiing for a few days. There are roping events, balloon rides, a concert or two, some rowdy parties, a modest amount of alcohol consumption and even a 4H petting zoo for the younger fans. But the highlight is the Cowboy Downhill. Actually, it’s a fairly slow dual slalom since most of the pro bull riders and bronc busters competing have never seen skis, let alone tried to turn a pair of them around gates on snow to beat their buddies to the bottom. It’s mostly for the bragging rights, of course, but bragging rights are not unknown to that part of America that wears boots and Stetsons non-stop, day and night, summer and winter, indoors and out. But we all have our quirks. One of mine is I regard on-mountain events requiring loud music and announcers to be a great excuse to go skiing solo since most of the mountain will be empty. Like Gore-tex moths, every bugeyed party skier is irresistibly drawn to the base to attend the festivities – to share the buzz and socialize. Anyway, I grabbed a short chair that serviced the event and connected to a much longer chair I expected to be empty and headed higher. At the last possible second, a rodeo buckaroo shuffled forward and stumbled awkwardly onto the chair beside me. He wasn’t a lot younger than me, but it was pretty clear he wasn’t used to having skis on his boots or carrying poles or riding chairlifts. His jeans looked wet so I figured he had already fallen down a couple of times just getting to the bull-wheel. I don’t recall him wearing gloves or having goggles but guessed he’d get both from some happy staffers at the start-house. We rode in silence for a bit and checked out the gates being set up for the “Downhill” not far away. Then he said, “Y’all ski much?”

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I admitted that I did. He nodded to acknowledge the fact. More silence. So I took a chance and asked, “You want a few tips? For the race?” “Yessir, I sure would,” he said. “If you don’t mind.” Cowboys are very polite. So I thought about it, looked at the course again, and figured the last thing he needed was too much information. Or anything that might make him more hesitant than he already was. “Okay, here’s all you need to know…” I had his complete attention. “All you rodeo guys are very fit and fearless.” He was about to downplay that, but I went on.

Bob Woodall

by Neil Stebbins

Competitive skijoring pairs the skills of cowboy and skier at heart-stopping speeds! it loose again when you’re a gate or two from the finish and know you can make it.” “Makes sense. All what you said. But it don’t sound near as fun as just goin’ for it.” “You’re right about that. Tell you what. Do it my way for the first couple of races. If you win those, try it your way in the finals.” We sat in silence for the last few towers.

.... realize how fear is relative and how even the best at what they do are like kids on bikes with training wheels the day they decide to try something new. “And probably most of you guys aren’t nearly as good on skis as you are on huge angry livestock.” He smiled to confirm that it was true. “But since you are all competitive athletes, you will be tempted to ski faster than you can control.” He did not argue the point. “So your best chance of winning every race you run today against other cowboys is to bust out of the gate like you’re going to ski hell-bent-for-leather all the way down the course. Then let the guy skiing next to you do that. Odds are he will go too fast, get to each gate a little more late until he can no longer stay in the course, and he will crash.” He gave this some thought, then said, “So if I pretend to go fast, then, just make sure I don’t fall. I can ski slow and win the race.” “That would be my bet,” I replied. “The hard part…” He knew there’d be a catch. “The hard part will be holding back. Because that’s not your nature.” “Ya got that right.” “So maybe save your not-holding-back for the start and then let

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As we came into the landing, I said, “Put both poles in one hand, stand up when I do and sorta push away from the chair with your free hand.” He didn’t have time to say thanks. He went left without falling and I went right. I don’t know if he won his races or crashed or tried anything I recommended. But I’ll bet he had a lot of fun. As did I. As the predictably awful music and announcer babble faded in the distance, I had some great runs all by my lonesome. But I got to thinking how the rodeo guy was okay trying to ride 1,800-pound bulls for eight seconds without getting killed, but a bunny hill with gates and snow made him uneasy. It reminded me of a night in Argentiere above Chamonix. A friend of mine is famous for renting out his chalet and hosting great dinners for visiting skiers. And, if memory serves, he told me one night he was preparing dinner for some fairly famous extreme skiers when another friend of his arrived and brought a couple of big-wave surfers who had been at a pro surfing contest in Biarritz. As soon as the surfers realized

who the skiers were and the skiers realized who the surfers were, it was a love fest of “Oh my God, how do you do that?” And, “No, really! What’s it like?” And, “What’s the biggest? What’s the worst?” And, “How come you aren’t dead?” What was normal for one group was absolutely terrifying for the other. I suspect it was really fun to watch. And educational – to realize how fear is relative and how even the best at what they do are like kids on bikes with training wheels the day they decide to try something new. I know the tale made me respect bunny hills more. And funny awkward beginners who might be very good at something else. What you and I might see as everyday easy could well be the adventure of a lifetime for someone starting out. Someone not averse to taking chances, but just not used to this one. Imagine you lost some bet and decided to climb aboard a bucking bull the size of your car and risk getting tossed akimbo, landing on your head and hoping to the God of Big Belt Buckles your bull has a sense of humor and doesn’t try to stomp your expert-skier ass flat as a flapjack. I reckon right before you board your bull and the gate opens, you might want to approach one of the cowboys who do this sort of thing every weekend whether they are injured or not and politely ask, “Y’all ride much?” Neil Stebbins was the editor of Powder magazine during its formative years. He has also enjoyed working for Surfer and Road & Track magazines. His stories and features have appeared in more than 40 publications worldwide.

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Jackson Hole Skier Magazine 2018  

The Jackson Hole Skiing Magazine is a winter travelers’ guide for vacationers to the Jackson Hole Ski Resort, Grand Targhee Ski Resort, and...

Jackson Hole Skier Magazine 2018  

The Jackson Hole Skiing Magazine is a winter travelers’ guide for vacationers to the Jackson Hole Ski Resort, Grand Targhee Ski Resort, and...

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