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resorts wildlife trail maps backcountry ski-town jobs medical advice filmmakers profiles FREE


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Get up close with 16x optical zoom. Bring distant subjects super close for great photos. Plus crystal clear video, high speed linear focus, superior auto mode and backlight correction for the smallest details all in a compact size.



a77 with 16-50mm F/2.8 lens


aNEX-7 with 18-55mm lens









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The Locals’ Shop Two ski rental locations, including Snow King – 734-4425

Atomic • Volkl • K2 • Rossignol • Line Dalbello • Full Tilt • Dynafit • Salomon • Marker

OPEN DAILY 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.


SNOWBOARDS: Burton • Arbor • Prior • Ride • Jones

CLOTHING: Helly Hansen • Flylow • Westcomb • Sherpa Design Planet Earth • Burton • Outdoor Research • Oakley • Isis



Photo: Wade McKoy / Focus Productions Skier: Jeff Leger






Y E L L O W S T O N E S N O W COAC H E X C U R S I O N S Scenic adventures to Old Faithful or Yellowstone Canyon

We Specialize in Private Tours • Groups of 7 or Less Per Vehicle • Tours of Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks in the warmth & comfort of our Ford Excursions.

Photos: Bob Woodall

• Jackson’s only snowcoach to Yellowstone Canyon.

Winter Season: December 15, 2011 to March 15, 2012 Permittee of Yellowstone National Park


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• Our friendly local guides will educate & entertain with their knowledge & love of wildlife, geology, & history of Wyoming’s Yellowstone Country.

Call for Reservations:

1.800.661.4928 1.307.455.2225

Trips include: Park Fees, Hotel Transfers & Gourmet Lunch w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

No Bones About it Rediscover your active lifestyle. Consider St. John’s first for the knee, hip or shoulder replacement surgery you need. St. John’s Center of Excellence meets the stringent standards of the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons Jackson Hole’s orthopaedic specialists are renowned for their experience and credentials Nursing compassion and excellence make St. John’s a top choice in the region State-of-the-art technology for optimal outcomes -- including the area’s only surgical GPS navigation equipment Visit or call 888 739 7499 for more information

center of

excellence One Mission Many Hands

St John’s Joint Replacement Center

View St. John’s quality statistics, including our low infection rate data, at

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RESORTS 14 18 26 28 41 52 53 56 80

XC Ski Centers, Tube Parks, Ice Climbing Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Stash Parks Freeride Teams Open-Boundary Protocol Tuning Skis Snow King Mountain Grand Targhee Resort Adaptive Ski Programs

BACKCOUNTRY 40 41 41 60 66 68 72

Avalanche Season Summary 2010/2011 Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center Snow-study Schools Mountain Guides Teton Pass Helicopter Skiing in Alaska Helicopter Skiing in Wyoming & Idaho

PEOPLE & EVENTS 17 32 34 36 39 42 54 55 64 65 74 89 90

Seppi & Resi Stiegler on U.S. Ski Team Everyday Skiers Club Dick’s Ditch Banked Slalom Corbet’s Is for Kids Twitter Post-man Ski Town Jobs The Triple Crown Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club Mountaineering Record-time Ski Link Hall of Fame, Kit DesLauriers Filmmaker Profiles Local Skiers in National Media In Memoriam, Howard Henderson, Jim Kanzler

DIVERSIONS 10 13 14 73 78 79 81 84 86 92 95 96 98

Wildlife, Photography by Henry Holdsworth Driving Tips, Don’t Stress Wildlife Activities Beyond the Slopes Made in Wyoming Weather — The Endless Winter Treefight! The Whitebark Pine Saga Alpine Medical Advice Snowmobiling Mushers & Sled Dogs Business Directory Lodging Directory Resort Trail Maps Town of Jackson Map

JH SKIER websites —, JH SKIER on Facebook —

Cover: skier Jason Tattersall, Teton Pass, photo Wade McKoy Contents: unknown ‘boarder, Cody Bowl, panoramic photo Bob Woodall Published and edited by: Bob Woodall and Wade McKoy Copy Editor: Mike Calabrese Photo Editor: Eric Rohr Art Director: Janet Melvin Advertising Sales: Nanci Montgomery, Bob Woodall Contributing Photographers: Jonathan Selkowitz, Gabe Rogel, Julie Weinberger, Greg Von Doersten, Jimmy Chin, Elliott Alston, Matt Haines, Chris Wilde, Kevin Cass, Jeff Moran, Zahan Billimoria, Jessica Flammang, Jim Woodmencey, Tom Russo, Ryan Sabol

The JACKSON HOLE SKIER annual winter visitor’s guide is free when picked up at one of 160 distribution points throughout Jackson Hole. Receive one in the mail by sending $5 to JH SKIER, P.O. Box 1930, Jackson, Wyoming 83001.

Copyright—2012 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.



Gaslight Alley • Downtown Jackson Hole • 125 N.Cache • • 307.733.2259 ALL DESIGNS COPYRIGHTED

Wade McKoy photo

Jeff Leger, Moran Face 2 0 1 2 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R

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Wade McKoy / Storm Show Studios

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Elk and Grand Teton

Observing Nature

Photography by Henry H. Holdsworth Wild By Nature Gallery

by Bert Raynes


Look Ye While Ye May. Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks need us as much as we need them.

hen you visit large parks like Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, yet buffered from urbanization by surrounding national forests and all together making up the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, take every opportunity to absorb all the scenery you can lay your eyes on: endless vistas and small scenes, bear and vole and squirrel and bison; vast expanses not altered by man; wild animals going about their lives largely as they have been doing for thousands of years, behaving in response to instincts which evolved over millions of years (modified to various extents by the presence of post-industrial man during the last two centuries). While it’s not possible to return even the Yellowstone region to prehistoric splendor, there have been steps taken in that direction. The wolf was absent for most of the 1900s, man having eliminated and subsequently reintroduced the region’s top pred-


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ator. Its return is to be celebrated. The wolf belongs in Yellowstone, along with grizzly and black bears, the largest herds of elk in North America, bighorn sheep, and over 60 other mammal species. It’s now recognized that biodiversity requires large areas in which to behave normally: even large parks like Yellowstone aren’t guarantees for wildlife, or for those who wish to observe wildlife literally wild...especially when crocheted with roadways and trails. The effects of a road, a visitors’ center, or campgrounds are manifold. Foot or horse trails are major dislocations. Isolation is, except for the exceptionally hardy, lost. Ah, but what is left is splendid; you can wait until you get home to join the conservation movement, but don’t forget to do it. Right now, though, fill your eyes and mind with the shining mountains, the snow-covered steppes, the blue skies, the play of

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It’s now recognized that biodiversity requires large areas in which to behave normally: even large parks like Yellowstone aren’t guarantees for wildlife, or for

Great gray owl

those who wish to observe wildlife literally wild... especially when crocheted with roadways and trails. Pine marten

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Bull moose light and distance in the forests, the animals braving the season. For a wild animal, surviving winter in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem requires luck, skill, and good instincts and genes. So, look ye while ye may. And you still can, in the GYE, see various animals responding primarily to long-held instinctual behavior and relatively little to modern man and his many implements. It’s important and rewarding to observe them.

Bert Raynes writes a weekly column in the Jackson Hole News & Guide. He has penned four publications covering the birds and animals of Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks. His two favorite books, Valley So Sweet and Curmudgeon Chronicles, have received well-deserved, wide acclaim. Bert’s latest book is Birds of Sage and Scree.


Lesser weasel, or, in winter, ermine when its brown coat turns white

Great gray owl



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Give Wildlife a Brake!

WINTER DRIVING TIPS • Expect wildlife on our roads. This is Jackson Hole and we share this valley with wildlife. • If you encounter an animal on a road with high snow banks, allow it to move down the road at its own pace until it finds a place to jump off the road. • Scan the sides of the roads for wildlife. • Stay alert while driving; be prepared to stop. • Wildlife cross roads primarily during dawn, dusk, and at night. • If you see one elk, deer, or moose along a roadway, you are likely to see more. • If you see an animal on the road, expect the unexpected. It doesn’t instinctively know how to react to your car. Give the animal time and room to move off the road. Do not try to outrun it. • If you see a wildlife-crossing sign, pay attention. It’s there for a reason. — Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation

Don’t Stress the Wildlife Every wild animal and bird that winters in the Rocky Mountains stretches its resources simply to survive all those difficult months. Temperatures plunge to minus 40 or minus 50, access to natural foods is limited, and wild creatures must avoid their natural enemies. Survival is the first priority; surviving in good enough physical condition to be able to mate and to reproduce one’s kind next year. So: do not stress any wild animal unnecessarily! Don’t alarm it, or chase it, or mess with its flight or feeding. If you do you will likely kill it. You might not see the actual death—it may occur days later—but the responsibility would be yours. That’s not included in a good ski vacation. — Bert Raynes

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Serving Jackson’s finest pizza since 1980


Subs • Salads





or Deep Dish Crust


Beer & Wine

100% Real Cheese Fresh Meats

and Vegetables

WE DELIVER! 733-3646

120 West Broadway • One Block West of the Town Square • Open Daily

Wine Shoppe over 1600 Different Wines


Pizza & Pasta Restaurant Trading Post


1&2 Bedrooms with/full baths & kitchens

Grocery & Gas X-Country Ski & Snow Shoe Rentals


Access to cross-country trails and Teton views

Gift Shop Spur Bar – Wi-Fi ATM

12 miles North of Jackson in Moose



ECOTOUR Adventures Wilderness. Connection. Sustainability +BDLTPO )PMF 8: t 2 0 1 2 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R


Diversions by Mike Calabrese

Plenty to do in Jackson Hole when not on the slopes

Torchlight parades illuminate the slopes of Snow King, Jackson Hole, and Grand Targhee on Christmas and New Year’s Eve every year.

Don’t kid yourself: wandering through shops, eyeing and buying mementos and necessaries, is part of any visit to a new locale. Jackson and Teton Village couldn’t be more aware of this uncelebrated recreational pastime for many travelers. Exceptional outdoor gear and clothing (stuff that really works, especially in Jackson Hole winters), art, books, and jewelry are all proffered right here in the valley, many in enterprises with notable history and appealing goods. This despite the absence of mega-malls. Charming, colorfully stocked outlets are tucked into the town square and the village landscape, and never too far from an equally satisfying eatery. Naturally, shopping can only take up just so much of a visitor’s or even a local’s time. Then it’s either off to the withdrawal clinic or out to some of the valley’s prized best-kept or least-well-kept secrets. But these majestic ungulates also share that winter range with bighorn sheep, bison, mule deer, and yes, Virginia, even wolves. Set between the Teton and Gros Ventre mountain ranges, the National Elk Refuge rubs up against the town of Jackson and affords visitors the chance to mingle with wildlife–free of any zoo bars or cages. Oh, and running quietly through that expanse is one of the country’s most famous trout streams, Flat Creek. You can look, but don’t unholster that rod until late summer.

Picture This – Don’t let the scenery go to waste! Grab the camera and line up a foray with Eco Tour Adventures. Full- and half-day ventures into Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks reveal a side of nature brimming with breathtaking settings and subjects. Sunrise expeditions can be exhilarating. Coyotes, bison, wolves, sheep, mule deer, moose, elk, all take on startling clarity in morning’s early light. Healthful snacks, beverages, field guides, binoculars and scopes, and experienced guides point the way to the region’s winter wonderland. Call 307-690-9533 or go online at www.

try Western Dance Program sponsor free instruction to anyone showing up before the band hits the stage.

Paragliding – Kites-R-Fun as the staff at Jackson Hole Paragliding would say. Clear days and light winds in Jackson help set the stage for another equally astonishing view of Jackson Hole: one from a paraglider! And the experts at Jackson Hole Paragliding take full advantage of these climatic conditions. They’ll happily help launch A week-long snow scultpure competition graces Jackson’s Town Square during the Jackson Hole WinterFest. Set for February 2012, other events include novices and veterans alike JH Moose hockey games, the Moose Chase marathon X-C race, the K-9 Keg over the valley in tandem paragliding flights that lift Race, a dodgeball tournament, and the Cutter Races. off from the top of the reWestern Dancing – Work out those restless legs sort’s Bridger Gondola. This breathtaking experiwith a two-step or cowboy waltz at the Cowboy ence requires no athletic ability and the Bar on Thursday evenings between 7:30-9 p.m. experienced pilots with Jackson Hole Paragliding The Cowboy and the Dancers’ Workshop Coun- can even help those a bit daunted by heights. The

National Elk Refuge sleigh rides


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Bob Woodall photos

National Elk Refuge – Okay, it’s an elk refuge.

outfit offers flights from 10 sites in the area. Call 307-690-8726 or visit Very cool photos on the website, too!

Ice Skating – Broomball league fanatics can take a turn for the better at the indoor rink housed in the Teton County Fairgrounds Arena, right next to where cowpokes test their mettle all summer. Teton County Parks and Recreation Department also maintains a rink at Owen Bircher Park in downtown Wilson. Both are local family favorites. For more info call 733-5056. Another indoor rink, this one at the Snow King Center, is open to the public for one-and-a-halfhour sessions. Call 734-3000 for a complete rundown of hours and fees.

Moose, just north of the Jackson Hole Airport. No experience is necessary. Groups are limited to 20 adults and children over eight. Reservations are recommended. Call 739-3399 for more info. Better yet, visit the park’s site:

Shooting – Here’s one Jackson Hole winter diversion we’ll bet you hadn’t thought of: sport shooting. Skiing, dogsledding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, ski-touring all take note of the region’s bracing outdoor setting. Jackson Hole

Year-round classes and customized shooting experiences for novice shooters and experienced marksmen!

Hockey – You’ll hear it soon enough: “Go Moose!� the battle cry for the Jackson Hole Moose, who play full-check hockey in the Elite Senior A division of the USA Hockey Association. Grab all the home action on Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m. in Snow King’s Ice Arena/Center. $8 for adults and $3 for children. Call 734-5300 or go online at Incidentally, all Moose practices are open to the public. Drop by if you’re at the slopes on Snow King.

We'll bring the guns and instruction. You'll leave with the perma-grin!

Offering a Wide Range of Firearms • Low Recoil Target & Combat Pistols • Revolvers • Over-Under CZ Shotguns • AK-47 • AR-15 • Sig 556 Semi-Auto Rifle • Lever Action & Long Range Rifles

Recreation Center – Of course we have heated

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Ra ng e


Jackson Lake

Jenny Lake

Snake River 26

Teto n






Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Teton Village

Kelly 39 0

Jackson Hole Airport National Elk Refuge

N Inn

Flat Creek

Wilson Teton Pass

Jackson Snow King Ski Resort





Kitchens Suites with private hot tub room/fireplace Handicap rooms Convenience store • Laundry room Refrigerators & microwaves In-room coffee National Elk Refuge views


– Walk softly but carry a good camera, especially in mountain country! Grand Teton National Park offers ranger-led 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. Park rangers touch briefly on the lore of snowshoeing and the winter adaptation of plants and animals in the park as trekkers cover the one-and-a-half miles along the river bottom in about two hours. Dress warmly, using the layer system, and wear warm footwear. For those who would prefer to wander around indoors instead of outdoors, the visitors’ center houses exhibits on the natural history of the park. The snowshoe outings leave from the stunning Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center at




To - Yellowstone National Park

Map Š Focus Productions, Inc.

indoor-recreation outlets! Even the hardiest of locals come in from the cold every now and then. Located two blocks north of the town square on 155 East Gill, Jackson’s first-rate rec. center has 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 7395056. Go online at In case you haven’t noticed, our playground in winter boasts a lovely white wardrobe. The region is blessed with snow and lots to do out there, especially for those donning skinny skis, skate skis, or snowshoes.

Shooting Experience adds one more activity to that growing list. Highly trained and experienced instructors will tailor a lesson or event to individuals or groups at the Jackson Hole Gun Club’s site just south of town. A wide array of guns and top-notch instruction mark the Jackson Hole Shooting Experience’s offerings. The outfit works around the visitor’s schedule, seven days a week, weather permitting. Call 307-690-7921 to line up a time and instructor or visit for more info.



Hoback Junction US 189/191 To Pinedale, Rock Springs

8 0 0 . 4 3 8 . 9 3 3 8 • 3 0 7 .7 3 3 . 5 2 7 6

1935 N HWY 89 / US26 • JACKSON, WYOMING 83001 2 0 1 2 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R


Tubing Parks & Night Skiing – Save the river running for summer; hop an inner tube and run the King in winter. For prices, photos, and info go online at or call 307734-8823. Grand Targhee’s Tubing Park is just like the sledding of old, only better. Tubing at the Ghee is a blast––4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Wed. through Sun, and for only 10 bucks a day! For more, go online at Check out the resort’s huge menu of other activities, including sleigh-ride dinners, snowmobile tours, onsite ice-climbing park, backcountry ski touring, just to mention some.

The Shriners’ All-American Cutter Races

Teton County / Jackson Parks and Recreation Dept. is just about the best and busiest rec. out-

fit this side of the Mississippi. In addition to its very cool rec. center, the department maintains seven cross-country tracks, about 15 miles of both classic and skate, snow conditions permitting: 10 km in Cache Creek, 8 km in Game Creek, and shorter sections on the Snake River Levee (starting at Emily’s Pond), the Russ Garaman Trail, the Wilson Centennial School Trail, and the Melody Ranch Trail. To make tracks under the lights, drop by the trail between the valley’s middle school and Summit High School, illuminated nightly from 5-10 p.m. Novices can also sign up for skate-skiing instruction at this groomed site, just south of town and off the South Park Loop Road. For a trail map Tube Park and more info visit the website: Dial up the activity hotline, trailhead to Signal Mt. and a skied-in track north 739-6789, for track grooming schedules and ski along Cottonwood Creek. Trails and trail maps conditions, or call 733-5056 for more information can be viewed and downloaded at about skate-skiing instruction. For info, call 739-3300. Jackson Hole Historical Society & Museum – In Yellowstone, over 100 miles of skied-in While you’re online, try this address: www.jackcross-country track adorn the park. Conces- It’ll transport you to the Jacksioner-led or operated son Hole Historical snowcoaches and Society and Museum snowmobiles access and the days of yore. more remote parts. Then pull-click on Information: 307Photo Gallery for 3 4 4 - 7 3 8 1 ; starters. Find the shot w w w. n p s . g o v / y e l l ; that Ken Burns roads: 307-344-2117. dropped into his special on the history of Nordic Centers – Jackthis country’s national son Hole Resort: Sevparks. We love this enteen km of groomed place, and it’s perched skating and classic just off the town lanes. This has to be square. one of the coolest settings in the world! Teton County Library Breathtaking vistas in Need time to chill? Or every direction. Alpine maybe to warm up? lift tickets are also valid Teton County Library for the Nordic Center. can easily lay claim to Lessons and rentals one of the valley’s bestThe World Championship Gelande-Quaff is a fastavailable for cross- paced event where competitors must catch a beer known secrets: libraries country, skate skiing, mug in the air as it slides off the end of the bar and are flat out sweet! And telemarking, and snow- then quaff it down. this one is second to shoeing. Guided nature none, from high-tech to tours into Grand Teton National Park are avail- page-tech to service and setting. Check it out, like able, as well as overnighters and lunches at the most locals do. Go online at and plug OB Rock Springs Yurt. 739-2629 into Jackson Hole.


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Events The International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race. – Don’t be put off by the cumbersome title. After a festive start in Jackson’s Town Square, mushers and their enthusiastic charges press on through Wyoming and Utah’s snowy winter landscape. The kickoff itself, on January 27, 2012, is reason enough to hit downtown Jackson. Go online at for photos of cool canines, celebrants, and festivities surrounding the event. See page 79.

Shriners’ All-American Cutter Races – A Western version of horse-drawn chariot racing, the event always draws a huge festive crowd during President’s Day Weekend, this year February 18 and 19. 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 excitement mark this celebration. 733-3316,

World Championship Snowmobile Hillclimb – 2012 marks the 37th year for the World Championship Snowmobile Hillclimb, held annually on Snow King’s pitch-perfect slopes. Starting from the bottom of the resort’s steepest ski run, contestants throttle their way straight up the mountain, trying to nail the speediest highmark. Competitors come from all over the country to vie for “King/Queen of the Hill” in a four-day world-class event that benefits The Shriners’ Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City and the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Wyoming. Slated for March 22 through March 25 this year. Call 734-9653 or go online at Triple Crown pursuits – Watch or be watched in these winter festivals that push everyone’s adrenalin into the fun sphere: The Moose Chase on Saturday, February 18, 2012, at Trail Creek at the base of Teton Pass; The Town Downhill on Snow King Mountain, March 1718, 2012; and the big daddy of them all, the Pole Pedal Paddle, slated for Saturday, March 31, 2012, 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 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

Cross-Country Skiing – Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks offer the solitude and spectacle of landscape to those who venture out in it during winter. Snow coaches and snowmobiles transport lodge guests, skiers, snowshoers, and sightseers into Yellowstone. Online for more info: and now, of course, on Facebook. Grand Teton boasts 15 miles of stunning, groomed cross-country skiing from Taggart Lake

Seppi Stiegler makes U.S. Ski Team Sister Resi returns after injuries, both podium in same race Local alpine ski racer Seppi Stiegler, son of Olympic Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medalist Pepi Stiegler, had a breakthrough year in 2011. As a graduating senior on the University of Denver ski team, he won the NCAA giant slalom title, was slalom champion at the World University Games, and was named NCAA First-Team All American. The biggest moment for Seppi, though, might have been sharing the slalom podium at the 2011 Putnam Investments U.S. Alpine Championships with his older sister Resi. Team Stiegler finished third in both the men’s and women’s race. Resi Stiegler has represented the United States at every level of alpine ski racing: Topolino, Whistler Cup, Junior Worlds, World Cup, World

Championships, and the Olympics. She’s won Junior Worlds medals and U.S. titles and, if not for three injury-plagued seasons, would likely be a regular on the World Cup podium. Thankfully, 2011 proved to be her first injuryfree season in three years. She made the most of it by landing World Cup points and a top-20 finish at the World Championships, all in slalom. Sharing that slalom podium with his older sister was a special capper for Seppi. “I’m pretty lucky to have the support of such an amazing family,” he said. “Hopefully, now I can get into the realm of what they’ve been able to achieve.” —

Jackson’s Great Breakfast & Lunch Serving All Day!

Bakery & Restaurant W


roudly Br e eP


Open 7 Days a Week Breakfast & Lunch: 7am-3pm Coffee & Pastries: 3pm-7pm/6-ish 130 N. Cache 307-733-5474

Seppi Stiegler

For Over 35 Years


Dinner 5:30-9:30 Jonathan Selkowitz photos


Extensive Wine List Full Bar Open 7 days a week Call 733-3553 Corner of King & Pearl Resi Stiegler w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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Jackson Hole Welcome to Jackson Hole, world renowned for its wildness and natural splendor.



o skiers and snowboarders, the mountain-rimmed, high-altitude valley of Jackson Hole symbolizes powder snow, vast terrain, steep inclines, and virtually endless backcountry. The Safety Message posted on the tram dock puts this into perspective:

Sobering, and wholly true. Good thing there’s a gentler side to the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, and it’s everywhere you look. Even from the “Top of The World,” standing on the deck of the patrol headquarters and Corbet’s Cabin, skiers and snowboarders see they can easily negotiate the massive Rendezvous Bowl. Stretching outward from the bottom of this wide-open, scenery-laden bowl, runs that are groomed daily to pool-table smoothness spur out in two directions. Head south to Rendezvous Trail and ride a variety of pitches that deliver, alternatively, zero


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Jonathan Selkowitz photo

Our mountain is like nothing you have ever skied before! It is huge, with variable terrain, from groomed slopes to dangerous cliff areas and dangerously variable weather conditions. You must always exercise extreme caution. You could become lost. You could make a mistake and suffer personal injury or death. Protect yourself – understand the trail map and ask questions before you proceed. Obey all trail signs and markers. Please think and be careful. Give this special mountain the respect it demands!

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The late Howard Henderson skiing his beloved Granite Canyon last winter.

Wade McKoy, Teton Gravity Research

Todd Ligare

Bob Woodall

Chris Newson

gravity and G-force sensations. Or go east on Laramie traverse and drop onto one of three classics: Laramie Bowl, Amphitheater, or The Egg Cartons. These all lead to other mid- and lower-mountain groomers, like Grand, Tramline, the Gros Ventre, and Sundance Gully. Fifty-one groomed runs, and half of them fresh, each and every day. “We groom all the main runs every day,” grooming chief Shane Ward said. Nine groomers working the mountain, morning and night. That’s a lot of hours. And the newest grooming vehicle, outfitted with the latest sculpting devices, stays with the Pipe & Park crew. “They have their own brand-new cat this season,” Ward said. That will definitely make them, and the many riders of that persuasion, very happy. Snowmaking, not that this part of the Rockies has needed it lately, is a resort tool that Jackson Hole employs in mega-force. V.P. of Operations Tim Mason lists the extensive snowmaking coverage, further expanded last summer. w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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Wade McKoy photos

Jeff Annetts

Jeff Annetts

“Currently we have snowmaking on Moran and Werner runs to the base; South Pass down Teewinot Gully to the base; from the top of the Gondola down Lupine Way into Amphitheater to the bottom of Thunder lift; Gros Ventre from midway to the base; on Sundance from South Pass to the base; from the GV pump house down South Pass to Casper Lift adjacent to Casper Restaurant on lower Easy Does It; on Antelope Flats, Pooh Bear, Buck Run, and a new extension up Easy Does It. All in all, about 190 acres have snowmaking,” he noted. “We also tied into an existing line that was installed years ago on St. John’s from the w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

top of AV,” continued Mason, “which allows us to make snow on St. John’s. We added a larger pipe to supply water at the base, which affects both sides of the mountain. We added another pump and motor to the primary pump house, to pump more water up the hill.” Sounds expensive, but The Kid’s Ranch wins the dollars-spent category for summer 2011 resort projects, hands-down. A milliondollar building renovation reconfigured the people flow, smoothing the drop-off and pick-up procedures. That’ll make parents happy, although the latest thing to fire up kids is TGR’s Fall Line

since 1970


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Bob Woodall photo

Charlotte Moats

Camp. The resort’s website beats the drum: “Up-and-coming young riders spend three days learning to drop cliffs, hit jib features, and rip turns with members of the TGR cast, JHMR coaches, and TGR Grom Contest winner Daniel Tisi. The days start early, including one morning on the pre-public “Hollywood” tram, rubbing shoulders and testing helmet cams with action-sports stars Dash Long and Chris Benchetler.” That’s pretty cool. Another addition this year, the Marmot chair lift, just made lunching at the Couloir a whole lot easier. Nothing to sniff at either. Ride Marmot from the bottom of Thunder lift to the top of the Bridger Gondola when you get hungry, or thirsty, or just want to sit down and hang out on the deck or the snow patio. Or use Marmot to ride the Gondola down the mountain for a change. Seven resort restaurants provide vacationers and locals with plenty to chew on. There’s Nick Wilson’s or Café 6311 in Teton Village, and on-mountain haunts at the tram summit-house, the Gondola


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top-station, and the Casper lodge. You can even spend the night after dinner. In a yurt, no less. In Rock Springs Canyon, with a gourmet meal prepared for you. And the guide washes the dishes. That’s definitely cool. The coolest urban Jackson Hole skiers, though, reside in some very large cities. Metropolises like L.A., Dallas, Chicago, Salt Lake, Denver, and Atlanta, have daily non-stop flights to Jackson Hole. And with a 135-day season, up from 128 days last year – the longest ever, replaced by even more – hopefully, everybody got a powder clause from the boss for Christmas. So, while you’re standing on the tram dock, waiting for the next car and reading the safety message, consider its warnings and your own margin of error. Take the measure of your pulse, your attitude, and your desires. Leave your options open, and head into those big mountains, into their challenges or their many ways of ease and comfort.

Environmental Award Jackson Hole Mountain Resort won the coveted Golden Eagle Environmental Award, awarded by the National Ski Area Association, the highest standard of environmental achievement in the ski industry. Last spring, Jackson Hole celebrated its fifth year as an ISO 14001 registered resort. Only two U.S. resorts received the award, which is given to businesses that minimize their environmental impact. Specifics include purchasing sustainable food and beverage products, converting vehicles to run on waste vegetable oil, modifying furnaces to achieve a 20-percent reduction in fuel use, and recycling used motor oil, batteries, antifreeze, and snowmelt. The resort is also generating a Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Management Plan designed to further reduce energy use. This makes it the only resort to hold the triple crown of environmental management: ISO 14001 registration, GHG Inventory, and an accompanying GHG Management Plan. JHMR President Jerry Blann said, “We are honored to receive this recognition for our environmental work. Operating in the heart of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, one of the most pristine natural environments in the world, is a privilege that comes with great responsibility. We have invested in the tools to significantly reduce our energy usage and greenhouse gas output, while we continue to grow our recycling initiatives, re-double our efforts to protect the threatened whitebark pine species, and underwrite public transportation in the region.”

— Jackson Hole Skier w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m


Photos courtesy JHMR / Julie Weinberger

The carved wooden moose on Apres Vous provides Stash Park riders with an artistic rail slide.

Jackson’s Park and Pipe department a big trendsetter “The Stash® Park is the biggest thing to hit Jackson since anything hit Jackson,” said Rich Goodwin, JHMR Park and Pipe crewman.

The Gong hangs high above a snow ramp in the Casper Stash.

Jackson Hole is the latest resort to build a Stash Park, the creation of snowboard-maker Jake Burton, who has licensed six of his organic terrain parks so far: in France, Austria, New Zealand, and three in the U.S., including Killington and Tahoe. “It’s a dream come true for snowboarders,” said Ranyon d’Arge, 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 Goodwin. “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 drop-in, which makes it fun.” Stash Parks are evolutionary. “It fits well with the resort’s com-


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Elliott Alston photo

mitment to go green,” he continued. “There is no plastic, no steel. It’s all natural – deadwood, rock, and dirt. Instead of having burn piles, we make features out of forest products. We clean up the hill and recycle a lot of the deadfall. We don’t harm any live trees.” Local log craftsman Paul Turi taught the crew how to cope logs and cut better joints. “We really improved our log work over the summer,” he proudly noted.

“It’s a dream come true for snowboarders,” said Ranyon d’Arge, 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 parks also showcase the highlights of JHMR’s terrain. “Instead of trying to chase down some of the other resorts’ The Apres Vous wooden wall offers zero gravity. great urban-style, traditional ski-and- edges some of the pro riders who helped snowboard parks, the Stash concept works design the new park a couple years ago. “We had a lot of input from pro snowbetter here with our steep pitches and cross boarders,” d’Arge went on. “Travis Rice and traffic,” said d’Arge. Rob Kingwill came up this summer, and we One feature, Travis Rice Rock, acknowl-

also got creative input from some of Burton’s team riders. It was a collaborative creative process.” Each Stash Park Yeti, “Shreddie” (a mascot common to all of Burton’s parks), is uniquely reflective of its region. “Ours is a combination of a bison and a mountain man,” he noted. And then there’s The Gong. “We hung it so high off the ground, it was ridiculous,” said Goodwin. “But we built a big jump and people were ringing that thing like a bell from the first day we opened.” The Gong, a six-foot belt buckle made of bronze, tin, steel, and copper, is a work of art. “The guy who built it is an insane metal artist,” Goodwin observed. “He put hundreds of hours into this thing. It’s actually crazy that we’re bashing it with our snowboards, but he made it strong, heavy. It was quite a feat of engineering to get it off the ground.” The same might be said of the entire parks’ concept at Jackson Hole. But that larger feat was driven by the rapidly changing riding habits of today’s youth, and both have changed the face of recreation on Rendezvous Mountain. — Jackson Hole Skier


LOCATED NEXT TO THE TRAM, AT THE BASE OF THE BIG ONE. w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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The Freeride Movement

Jeff Moran

Jackson tweens and teens explore their potential in park, pipe, and big-mountain riding.

rop the term ‘freeriding’ into a conversation with folks who’re unfamiliar with skiing’s current events, and witness the puzzled or blank faces. Toss it out in front of just about any kid today, and the dialogue goes almost viral with enthusiasm. But what exactly is “freeriding?” Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club Freeride Program Director Jeff Moran’s take on it: “Freeriding is using the mountain’s natural and man-made features to the best of your ability in a non-judged environment. It’s a style of skiing or snowboarding that has no limits or rules, and is based on creativity, style, and progression.” Sounds open-minded, artistic, and low-stress. Coach Rob LaPier, of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s Anomaly Freeride Team, put it this way: “Freeriding is the all-encompassing term for everything in the ski and snowboard world that is a non-traditional approach to reaching one’s highest potential for fun in the mountains.” Okay. The concept continues to champion some pretty lofty ideals. But to really get it, you’ve got to see it for yourself. Help is on the way. Freeskiing will soon be more completely illuminated for the masses when it premieres in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Those winter games will introduce half-pipe and slopestyle events for skiers. “The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association aligns freeskiing more with snowboarding than with the traditional freestyle events – moguls, aerials, dual moguls – for skiers,” said Moran, high-


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lighting the distinction between ‘freeskiing’ and the more established term, ‘freestyle.’ “Although this distinction is true to a point, the USSA does group freeskiing and freestyle skiing together with little or no distinction between the two.” Here at home, the JHSC Freeride Program has been helping develop the skills of Jackson freeskiers and snowboarders, ages 6 through 19, since 2002. Corey Jackson, a 2011 Jackson high-school graduate, is coach Moran’s “perfect example” of a kid advancing through the program. “Every year,” said Moran, “Corey stepped it up to the next level, and last year he was competing in pro-level Grand Prix events, which are Olympic qualifiers.” Charlie Leveroni, the JHMR Anomaly Freeride Team’s “perfect example,” sacrificed his 2011 summer high-school break to attend a Park City, Utah, training program that includes early highschool graduation, clearing Charlie’s winter schedule for full-time skiing. “Charlie’s focus, determination, and hard work are paying off,” said LaPier. “He’s extremely humble and easy to work with.” The next wave of Jackson Hole rippers, already in the national spotlight, shows plenty of talent and promise, too. Sasha Johnstone is one of four athletes featured in the Disney Channel program Winter Next X, and Daniel Tisi won the 2011 Teton Gravity Research Grom Contest. “Sasha and Daniel are phenoms,” Moran said of the 12-year-olds. Continued page 30

Bob Woodall

Corey Jackson performs at last year’s Outrageous Air Show on Snow King Mountain.

Big-mountain competitions like this adult venue in Casper Bowl now also include junior events.

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Young Phenoms Ponder These freeride team riders are standouts, with podium finishes, film notoriety, and online TV appearances. Here, they answer some questions burning in our minds at the Jackson Hole Skier magazine.

Wade McKoy photo

Charlie Leveroni What’s your favorite trick or big-mountain technique? My favorite trick is a Cork 7. I’m working on a lot of new tricks now. I’m training two-days-a-week at the Olympic Park Water Ramps in Park City, Utah. Do you have an original trick? I don’t have an original trick, at least not yet. What’s your goal? My goal, for skiing, is to become a sponsored skier while pursuing film and competition opportunities. I want to be able to ski as much as I possibly can, and enjoy every second of it. What does it feel like to float, flip, and spin through the air? It’s a feeling like none other that I’ve experienced. It’s a great feeling, filled with adrenaline; it gives me a rush. If you could be another kind of animal for a day, what would you be? I’d say I’d be a bird. I’ve always wondered what it’s like to fly, effortlessly in the wind, to then drop into a dive. Do you like running gates? Skiing powder? Steeps? Cliff drops? I enjoy running gates every once in awhile. I think it’s really fun, just to make sure I can still do it. It’s always an adrenaline rush, racing through gates. People call me a park rat, but when that snow starts to fall, you won’t see me near the park. First tracks, launching cliffs, and in general skiing powder is one of the best times during the season. What is your favorite thing about skiing? The adrenaline rush of landing a new trick, hucking a cliff, or just shredding the groomers.

Daniel Tisi What’s your favorite trick or big-mountain technique? Cliff jumping is my favorite big-mountain move.


49’erInn and Suites Elk C ountry Inn AntlerInn C owboy Village Resort •

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As for tricks, I want to learn a Double-cork 10 this year. I’ve been practicing them on the trampoline all summer. Do you have an original trick? I’d have to say a Cork 720 or 900 is an original trick. I want to start learning some switch tricks. What does it feel like to float, flip, and spin through the air? It feels amazing! You feel like a boss! If you could be another kind of animal for a day, what would you be? I would want to be a mountain goat because they can do some gnarly AK (Alaska) lines. Do you like running gates? I’ve run gates in race training and it’s fun. Skiing powder? I love it! I feel like I’m floating on air. Steeps? For the most part I like steeps, but when you hit a cliff really fast it can sometimes get a little crazy. Cliff drops? This is my favorite part of big-mountain skiing! I always try to analyze and do the next biggest cliff I can find. I try to keep it so I am always progressing. What is your favorite thing about skiing? All of it!

James Hunt What’s your favorite trick or big-mountain technique? That’d have to be a backflip or a 360 with a grab. This upcoming season I’d like to learn a Cork 720. I’ve been practicing it on the trampoline for about two years and feel very comfortable with it. Do you have an original trick? No, but there are variations or combinations of grabs and flips I’ve done that, though not necessarily unique, are uncommon. What is your goal? Continued page 31

Sasha Johnstone practices on the trampoline, and his brother Vladi’s got next.

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Charlie Leveroni moonlights at the Mead Ranch in Jackson Hole (below).


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Ryan Sabol photo Greg Von Doersten photo

Daniel Tisi practices a Rodeo Seven last summer at Copper Mountain, Colorado (above).

“They each Freeride Movement continued have a huge bag of tricks and usually place first or second in half-pipe or slopestyle events.” And in the big-mountain arena, “James Hunt won the Jackson Hole Junior Freeride Competition and plans to travel and compete in other big-mountain events,” Moran said of the 17-year-old, who also placed 17th in the World Freeskiing competition at Snow Bird, Utah, last spring. The training philosophies of the ski club’s and the resort’s freeride teams follow similar paths. “We incorporate all three venues in our training program, then let the kids choose which to focus on: slopestyle and half pipe, or bigmountain riding,” Moran noted. “Freeriding is a big part of our training while we’re lapping Corbet’s (or any of the other favorites). We talk about taking time for good decision-making regarding snow conditions and line choice, whether they are freeskiing or scoping a bigmountain contest venue. Looking for a safe descent route is key. As coaches, we are constantly reading the terrain so we can provide suggestions beforehand on how to handle particular features, and afterwards on how to improve their line next time around.” Freeskiing (the discipline) trained for by freeskiing (the recreational pastime). Sounds like a good gig. LaPier emphasized the usefulness of freeskiing when teaching freeskiing. “Our training is flexible. We ride, that’s all. Most of the time we race from one jump to the next all the way down the hill,” said LaPier. “We use all of the mountain terrain available to us. We decide as a group how to spend our day, where to leave our tracks. People assume we’re parkand-pipe rats, but that’s not the case. The dedicated park-and-pipe crew do, thankfully, keep us from getting bored, but the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is like North America’s largest natural terrain park and we know it like the backs of our gloves.” Anomaly also integrates snow education into its freeride program. “We team up with Jackson Hole Mountain Guides for a few days in the backcountry, learn about snow safety while exploring the nearby terrain,” said LaPier. “Videos are also a valuable training tool. Coaches use cameras to show athletes how to improve; athletes record their adventures for fresh Facebook posts and a season-long, highlight feature.” Freeride teams everywhere just got a big helping hand on the subject of athlete placement from the USSA Training System. Moran explained, “In the past, the JHSC Freeride Program placed athletes in training groups based solely on age. Now it’s based on age, ability, experience, skill, motivation, and interest. The USSA has identified different phases of development that consider biological age, chronological age, and number of years in the sport, to create a path of progression, from entering the sport all the way up to the Olympics.” And as any parent knows, a kid not happy with his group probably won’t stick with the program. It’s a good time to be a young Jackson Hole skier who wants to freeride. To, in the coach’s words, “use the mountain’s natural and manmade features to reach one’s highest potential.” To float, flip, and spin through the air. — Jackson Hole Skier

Wade McKoy

Adult Pros Opine

Jess McMillan

Local freeride pros impressed with today’s kids programs letes. I want to get more females out there, though! Jackson native Crystal Wright, a ski racer since age two, began her big-mountain ski career at age 25. In 2011, she won freeskiing’s Red Bull Powder Disorder in Las Leñas, Argentina, won the Dick’s Ditch Banked Slalom in Jackson Hole, placed second at the Snowbird Freeskiing World Tour and at the Jackson Freeskiing Open, and placed third at Ski Arpa, Chile, a Freeskiing World Tour stop.

Matt Annetts — The freeride program in Jackson is amazing. I wish I’d had something like it. The coaches are at the top level of their sport and share so much knowledge and skill with these young, aspiring rippers. I know these kids realize how lucky they are. I’ve never seen a freeride team rider with a bad attitude, or anything except a large smile. Matt Annetts, whose entire snowboard training can be summed up with one lesson at age 10, has been entering big-mountain competitions since 2002. He won the Colorado Freeride Championships in 2002, ‘03, and ’04. He won the Northface Masters at Snowbird and placed third in the prestigious Nissan Xtreme in Verbier, Switzerland, in 2009. In 2011 he won the Nissan Freeride competition at Engadin in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

while there are no better mountains for training than right here in Jackson Hole, athletes need to do more than rip a sick line in natural terrain. They’ve got to be able to do it ‘in style.’ That means incorporating tricks and creativity, and the best place to learn tricks is in a terrain park. Jackson native Jess McMillan grew up ski racing for the Jackson Hole Ski Club and the Jackson Hole High School, then learned her big-mountain skills “from the mountains and from friends.” The 2007 Freeskiing World Tour Champion and U.S. National Champion, McMillan won the 2010 Chilean Freeskiing Championships but spent much of the 2011 ski season recovering from an injury. She plans to return to competition in 2012.

Jess McMillan — I think it’s awesome that the local youth have so many options. When I grew up in Jackson, the only option was ski racing. And, while ski racing formed me into the skier I am today, there’s so much more to skiing. At 26, after four years of competing in big-mountain events, I went to a park-and-pipe camp to learn 360s and back flips because I needed those two tricks to further my success in competition. So,

Crystal Wright — Coaching is paramount in big-mountain skiing, and the kids in today’s freeride programs are lucky to have it. Ski racing provided me with a high level of coaching, both mentally and physically. It’s also important to train at the gym, sport-specifically, to prevent injury and learn proper body mechanics. I worked with Anamoly last year and it was fun to help these kids become stronger and move more like ath-

Griffin Post — Growing up, we had no freeride coaches. It was strictly trial and error. Now that kids are getting coached you’ll see a huge progression in what’s being skied, and how it’s being skied. It’ll be cool to see these kids push the sport with the skill sets they’ll have, and at much younger ages. However, no matter how much coaching kids have, there’ll still be that trial-anderror aspect to freeriding. I think that preserves the authenticity of the sport. Griffin Post, a Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation alumni, a college division-one racer, and a two-time U.S. Extreme Freeskiing Champion, got his first film segment this year in TGR’s One for the Road. — Jackson Hole Skier

Why? ‘Cause it’s so fun to float it around. No wait, no wait! I changed my favorite trick to a Switch Double Rodeo. Why? Because it’s just fun and I can feel it the whole time around. Like, it’s just, rodeo, rodeo, and just so floaty. I saw you at last year’s Outrageous Air Show at night on Snow King. What was that like? That was scary. That jump was super scary. Probably the tallest jump I’ve been off, it was like 25 feet high. That’s not like 12 feet high. Is that the first time you’ve performed under the lights? For a thousand people, yeah. You’re up in the air, coming around (does a 360 on trampoline) and all the wind, and you’re just floating. It’s like a dream, it’s so fun. Having parents who were Olympic skiers, has that been helpful? Yeah. When we were little they would tell us, “Have you heard the story?” and they would tell

us something fun and interesting. They teach you so much about picking your goal and accomplishing it. I listen to them. If you could pick an animal to be for a day, what would you pick? A monkey. Why? I like the idea of eating bananas with my feet, and doing flips and spinning in the trees. What is your goal? To be a pro skier and be in the XGames. Do you like running gates? No, I like skiing the park mostly. Powder? Yeah. Steeps? Yeah. Cliff drops? Yeah, definitely. What’s your favorite thing about skiing? Going fast and going big. — Jackson Hole Skier

Phenoms Ponder continued To place high in the Junior Freeskiing Tour this season and land many new tricks. What does it feel like to float, flip, and spin through the air? It’s a sensation like no other! I love the feeling and that’s why I love this sport so much. If you could be another kind of animal for a day, what would you be? It would have to be a bird, because I love to fly. Do you like running gates? Skiing powder? Steeps? Cliff drops? Skiing steep powder with some fat pillow lines would be my ideal run. Even though I don’t think racing gates is that fun, I believe it’s important for skiers to at least try it a couple times. What is your favorite thing about skiing? Skiing with my friends in the powder.

Sasha Johnstone

(Talking to him while he’s taking turns on the trampoline with his brother Vladi.) What’s your favorite trick? I like doing a Big Cork 7. w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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The Everyday Skiers Club Six skiers & snowboarders, six Grand Passes scanned every day, 128 days in a row One of the classiest of rockers ever, Robert Palmer, sang, “It takes every kind of people to make what life’s about.” To that we’d add: it also takes everyday skiers. Below, the committed ones and their quest for everyday contact with winter’s white world. When did you decide to do it? I’ve skied every day for five seasons. Were there days you didn’t want to go? During the 2006-07 season there were many days I didn’t want to go, but I had my first full pass and I was going to use it. Since then, there’ve been many more days when I happily would not have gone. But I had a streak going and knew, once there, regardless of conditions, I’d enjoy myself. So I did it. How did you deal with fatigue? Fatigue is a major issue. I’ve become a back/sidecountry skier, hike and ski Granite or Four Pines daily, and really enjoy the fitness aspect. It prepares me for big-powder days when I set boot-packs and traverses and ski 3N/1S. I get stronger through January, but through February and March I can feel my body weakening and I lose 33, bartender, tennis weight. I maintain the legs instructor, JH skier since 2000 to do whatever I want, but I know I’d be stronger if I rested occasionally. Was it fun? All five seasons were definitely fun. 2006-07 was a bad winter, and the streak gave me a reason to go out in freezing, boilerplate conditions. 2007-08 was amazing and I couldn’t stop skiing. We had new snow on 66 of the first 75 days. 2008-09 was another 500-inch winter and paid me in powder for my efforts. 2009-10 was a meager 400 inches, but by then I was skiing predominantly in the backcountry and found fresh snow on a daily basis. Last year we had the amazing 100-percent opening in November. I Ted Edwards helped set the boot-pack up Four Pines on

Phil Heitman 55, self-employed, JH

skier since 1978, absent for 20 years while raising a family in the North Cascades. “I always loved getting trashed by you guys on my vacations to Jackson Hole during those off years,” he said of his friends. When did you decide to do it? Talking to Brian Rutter in the tram one day, saying, “Boy, it’d be cool to get it down to two-bucks-a-tram.” At 600 trams, with still lots of winter left, I stayed on the program to see how many trams I could get. I got 1,043. Any days you didn’t want to go? Uh huh. We went out to The Arch one day and I was pretty slow getting going the next day. But, then again, it was the perfect year: open from the get-go and no real bad stretches. How did you deal with fatigue? I didn’t have a problem with it. My body was in good shape all year. I had a couple little tweaky things, but that was it. I was just excited about skiing and being with the guys again. It was my second year back and my first full season in 20 years. Was it fun? Last year I got to ski more than most, but it ain’t diddly compared to all the skiing that went down during the 20 years I missed. Les Gibson, Dave Miller, Chris Leveroni, Brian Rutter, all the guys on the patrol and any local on the tram, those are the ones that can do it. Remember, George Hirschland has always been in line first more consistently than anyone.


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Griffin Post / TGR

opening day – that doesn’t happen every year. So I decided to put a twist on the streak: I hiked and skied OB every day last season, all 129 (The Everyday Club received one bonus day at season’s end). It added to the fatigue, but that’s where my heart is. The terrain out there is unmatched and I prefer the peace and quiet. How about Phil Heitman’s 1,043 trams? That’s an impressive number, more than eight a day. That’s a whole lot of turns and an impressive amount of vertical. I applaud the accomplishment. I average two trams: one for Granite, one for Four Pines (or my favorite unnamed drainage). It shows how different that people who do the same thing can be. w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

Wade Mckoy (top), Ted Edwards

Ted Edwards

John Beatty 49, painting contractor,

James “Fergy” Ferguson

James “Fergy” Ferguson

Wade Mckoy (top right), Bob Woodall (top left), Dennis Donovan

57, retired, JH skier since mid-1980s, missed one season due to a knee injury incurred during an armed robbery. “I was a victim of a mugging in Amsterdam. I still go there.” When did you decide to do it? Back when the resort introduced the Hundred Day Club my goal was to get 100 days. After talking about it to my friend Bearded Jeff, I found out he had skied a ‘perfect season,’ meaning he’s out there every day. Nothing like a little peer pressure. Were there days you didn’t want to go? Never. I want to go every day regardless of ice, wind, flat light – no matter the conditions. That doesn’t mean I like them. I want to see them for myself. How did you deal with fatigue? I ski mostly half days. I go to Casper Restaurant and get a chair and a beer! Was it fun? Always, you betcha’. I’ve got two in a row. Let’s make it three. What do you think of Phil Hietman’s 1,043 trams? Great for him!

JH skier since 1983 When did you decide to do it? Right about the time we lost Jimmy [Zell], I started thinking to myself, maybe this would be a good season to try and ski every day. I didn’t have a lot of work lined up. The snow kept coming, made it easy. New skis make it even easier. Old guys like us can stay out there and hang for a while. Were there days you didn’t want to go? Oh, there were plenty. We had a cold snap in January. February we didn’t get snow for a couple days. Everything got firm real fast. I had doubts. I was getting tired and sore. There’s a lot of things that keep you going out there, though. New snow is the major draw. Good to see all your friends in the tram line. It’s kind of a social thing. But the snow kept comin’. As long as it’s snowin’, I’ll be goin’. How did you deal with the fatigue? If I went hard for a couple days straight I’d back off and just ski afternoons. Some of those days the storms didn’t come until the afternoon and that’s when it started getting deep, so you’re better off sometimes waiting, and watching the weather. Was it fun? It was a lot of fun. A lot of good times out on the Hoback, doing the afternoon thing. I’d like to think it’ll happen again. My wife tells me it’s definitely not going to. But things are looking good. I got my pass, that’s a good start – a ski pass and no work.

Dennis Donovan

45-year-old night auditor, JH skier since 1999, on the first box most every day When did you decide to do it? I never really decided to ride every day. I just seemed to be on the mountain every day. It was such a great season. Were there days you didn’t want to go? No. The conditions were great all year! How did you deal with fatigue? Fatigue was never really a problem, but riding through the aches and pains that come from playing every day was. Was it fun? One of the best seasons of snowboarding for me ever! The only season I can think of that might have been better was 2007-08. I really enjoyed the East Ridge Chair! How about Heitman’s 1,043 trams? It is impressive, but not the way I would ride the mountain. I enjoy riding the upper mountain and hiking too much to do something like that. But again, very impressive.

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Dennis Donovan

What do you think of Phil Heitman’s 1,043 trams? That’s pretty amazing. He could’ve ridden the tram all the way from Philadelphia to Jackson Hole and skied from coast to coast. I was in the 500-to-600 range, about a 3.9-tramper-day average. Some days I’d do 10, some days I’d do two.

John Beatty

Pete Wikane

27, server, JH skier since 2007 When did you decide to do it? I first thought about pulling the everyday maneuver in February, 2010, sitting on the couch after an injury-shortened season. I didn’t really think it was going to happen until halfway through last winter, when it started to seem more reasonable. I had also watched Ted Edwards do it during the previous three winters, working alongside him. Were there days you didn’t want to go? Sure there were days I didn’t want to ride: prolonged high-pressure systems and, especially towards the end, when injuries and wear-and-tear started to pile up. The hardest part was getting to the bus stop. After that it wasn’t difficult to want to go. How did you deal with fatigue? It’s amazing what a few Thai Me Up beers will do to combat fatigue. Was it fun? Of course it was fun. That’s what snowboarding/skiing is all about. Even the worst day on the hill is better than the best day in an office. How about Heitman’s 1,043 trams? Most definitely impressive. That’s the first I’m hearing of this stat’. — Jackson Hole Skier 2 0 1 2 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R


Dick’s Ditch Classic

Bob Woodall photos

King of the Banked Slaloms


ot all ditches are created equal, and Dick’s proves it. Dick’s Ditch at Jackson Hole is the boss ditch in the Lower 48. Cleaving a nasty gash below The Headwall, Dick’s Ditch snakes all the way down the mountain, almost breaching Teton Village itself. Long and deep, it’s a monster. But once it fills with wind-sculpted snow and is stabilized by Mother Nature and the ski patrol, it becomes a gem yearning to be carved by surfer-style snow riders: snowboarders. Snowboarders found the ditch right away and, soon after their 1980s’ arrival, they envisioned a banked slalom event to rival the best in the West. “That was the run for snowboarding,” said Lance Pittman, one of the early local ‘boarders. “We’d crack jokes about the little ditch in Washington where they run the Mt. Baker Banked Slalom,” said Pittman. “Our ditch is way better than Baker’s ditch.” Rich Goodwin, another pilgrim in that initial wave, remembers it well, too. “We knew we’d found the sickest snowboard run ever,” he said, “and one that would make a great banked slalom race.” Making that happen would take years, yet the time was ripe to sell the idea. “There was a buzz around the corp.,” said former Terrain Park Manager Sean O’Leary. “Snow-


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boarding and the half pipe was a new focus.” And there was a host of players who kept their dreamevent in the conversation. Among them, “that old-school crew from early nineties,” including Mikey Franco, Mott Gatehouse, Billy Bacon, and Bryan Iguchi, kept the buzz going. “Robert Garrett (another local snowboarder) had a vision and had done some preliminary course sketches,” remembered O’Leary. Marketing assistant Shannon Brooks provided “some youth in the marketing department.” Ski School Director Jim Kercher “was very helpful,” and later Brian Maguire “kept the energy going.” Special Events Director Sue Mason “kept the White House (administration) on the topic.” In 1991, after a dogged and well-orchestrated effort, the inaugural Dick’s Ditch Banked Slalom kicked off. Jackson native Rob Kingwill, a long-time pro rider who was then competing in snowboarding’s World Cup, missed that premiere event. But he hasn’t missed many since, even winning it a few times. He’s got a unique perspective on Dick’s Ditch as a veteran racer at the Mt. Baker event, too. “The legendary Mount Baker Banked Slalom is the longest-running snowboard contest in the world: 25 years,” said Kingwill. “But their terrain and snowpack are very different to what you en-

counter in Jackson.” The two courses, consequently, are opposite sides of the coin. “Mount Baker has really crazy banks,” he said, “and the goal is ‘How smooth can you be?’ with these snake-like turns. Jackson is a lot gnarlier, with more rolling, funky terrain. And having jumps is unique to a banked slalom.” Destined for greatness though it was, in infancy it still needed a continued effort to survive the day. J.P. Martin, who headed park and pipe in ’98, was there.

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“Ranyon (a co-worker and later the dept. head) and I would sit up there and brainstorm on what we thought we could get away with without Spangler (the mountain manager) freaking out on us,� said Martin. “But he liked us. Our motto was, if he told you ‘No,’ then you didn’t do a good enough job on your presentation.� But the unsung hero, according to Martin, was Erica Pitts. “She was the events girl and kept it going with sponsors and insurance.� As the event gained momentum through the ‘90s, the banked slalom course itself remained as elusive as a disguise artist. It’s never the same course twice. “One year we were following Tom Bartlett (a Jackson native and a skier) through there,� recalled Ranyon d’Arge, current park and pipe leader, “and we’re like ‘Oh, we’ve got to have that line.’� Although most of Dick’s Ditch can’t be negotiated with snow-grooming machinery, the cats are used heavily in the middle section of the course. “We take a cat in there and try to shape the course differently every year,� d’Arge said, “depending on snow pack and the way that the mountain is riding. We put in a lot of bermed turns, but also lots of jumps and road gaps. In the past we’ve had hard-booters (snowboard racers) win, and we’d say, ‘We can’t let that happen. We’ve got to make more jumps.’� Hand tools still dominate the workload, though. “The lower section of the ditch is always natural,� said d’Arge, “done by hand and dictated by Mother Nature. We do a ton of hand work on it, getting it ready for weeks.� But the work doesn’t end there. After racer inspection on Friday, the crew repairs everything for the race on Saturday. “Then, Saturday night we put a ton of work into it again to get it ready for the finals on Sunday,� he said. It takes about as much work to win it as it does to build it. Rob Kingwill has won it four times or more—he can’t remember. He does remember last year’s win, though. “I actually got a belt buckle,� Kingwill said. “You’ve got to be a powerhouse to win Dick’s Ditch� Kingwill noted. “You need really strong legs.� He suggested lapping Jackson Hole “weeks and weeks and weeks� beforehand to develop the strength necessary “to power through all those banks and crazy turns.� “You need strong freeride skills, too,� Kingwill said, “which is intrinsic in someone that rides Jackson Hole every day and learns to deal with whatever the mountain throws at them.� Waxing technology plays into the race more than people might imagine. “There’s an unwritten law, a gentlemen’s code, a rule that Travis Rice and I made,� said Kingwill, “that no World Cup base preparation is allowed. No high-fluoro overlays that make it a wax race. You could wax with that back home (pre-race) but, at the event itself, you weren’t doing overlays and you were cheating if you did.� As Dick’s Ditch continues to gain stature, though, the gentlemen’s code sometimes gets overlooked. “In this day and age, there’re some really fast

riders doing everything they can to come to that finish line first,â€? said Kingwill. “It’s shifting to whoever knows how to wax.â€? That doesn’t bother Kingwill too much. “I was on the World Cup for years, so I know how to take care of my board,â€? he said. “I have a specific race board for the banked slalom, no dings, tuned and primed and as fast as I can make it.â€? Ranyon d’Arge also has a realistic grip on what it takes to win Dick’s Ditch. “To win, you’ve got to save your legs,â€? said d’Arge. “The bottom section of the course always eats people. There’s a famous hit at the bottom we call Terje (after Terje HĂĽkonsen, the legendary Norwegian snowboarder, who with his friend Bryan Iguchi first built the jump on this popular natural feature). If you can’t keep it together in the compression up the next side, then all your work’s for nothing.â€? But what, really, does it take to win Dick’s Ditch? “I was just talking to one of my buddies who’s on the U.S. Boarder-cross Team,â€? said d’Arge. “He had the best quote ever in the newspaper, something like ‘You’ve got to have the balls to ride it all the way to the bottom, and the legs to hold them up.’â€? And, just as not all ditches are created equal, neither are all snowboarders.

You’ve got to be a powerhouse to win Dick’s Ditch. You need really strong legs. — Rob Kingwill

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— Jackson Hole Skier




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Is For Kids

Big dumps whittle famed couloir down to size

ast winter the entrance to Corbet’s Couloir filled so deep with snow that it shrank the normal jump down to nothing. That opened the door to anyone with enough nerve to sidestep into the fearsome, gaping maw. Thousands of skiers and snowboarders braved this task and reaped the reward – a blissful state achieved by skiing Corbet’s steep powder slope while surrounded by Tensleep’s towering rock walls. Kids, blissful enough already, went into stellar orbit over Corbet’s last winter. Hundreds skied it, many for the first time, plenty more as return customers.

Alyosha Billimoria

We asked a few of these intrepid youngsters what was so special about last winter’s experiences in Corbet’s Couloir. One young adventurer had even written an essay, part of Laps for Literacy with the Teton Literacy Center, and won a ski pass for her good work. Here are her essay, the Corbet’s kids’ quotes, and a few photos – a sampling of young Jackson Hole skiers on the hunt for, as one put it, “Powder, fast snow, and jumps.” Chris Denis


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Chris Denis, 11: It’s a dream.

Alyosha Billimoria, 5:

I thought about it for a while, but I was worried about the big drop. My dad and I looked over and I thought maybe it was too big. Then one day we looked in and it was very snowy. I was a little nervous when I started, but I just let it go and skied to the bottom. When I got down I was happy that I did it, and that I didn’t turn around. w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

Photos, clockwise from top left: Gabe Rogel (1); Wade McKoy (3); Sara E. Van Genderen Cornish (1)


Owen Doyle, 11:

I went in with my friend on this pretty hard day and he slid off

one of the steps and hit the wall, and like, bounced off it and kept on skiing. It wasn’t

that good of a day, but it was still pretty funny.

Wyatt Doyle, 10:

It was super icy and hard [for his first time several years ago]. But I didn’t crash. I made it.

Paige Doyle, 8:

I went in twice in one day, after hiking up the headwall twice.

Owen, Wy att, and P aige Doyle

Why I love Skiing: Corbet’s Couloir and I By Andie Cornish (Age 10) There I was on March 5, 2011, standing over the one and only Corbet’s Couloir. My dad was on the left side of me and my ski instructor Tess was on the right side of me. My whole ski group was counting on me to go first to show them how to do Corbet’s. My heart was beating in my chest and my hands were sweating in my gloves. I thought to myself, “Why me? Why do I have to go first? I have never done Corbet’s before.” I looked at everyone around me and, yep, it was definitely my turn. I slowly put my brown Gotama ski in, one step at a time. I wondered if this would be a big mistake. I stood

in the chute for at least ten seconds and then jumped off. I landed on the soft powder snow. The whole way down Corbet’s my dad and Tess were saying, “You can do it. You’re already in and you have to come down now.” I trusted them and they did not lie. After I jumped I was nearly crying with excitement. I could not believe that I just did Corbet’s younger than my brother. For some brave reason I told my ski instructor I wanted to do Corbet’s again. She even wanted to do Corbet’s, so that definitely was a yes. The whole tram ride up I was scared to death. The reason was, well, I was still getting pressure from the other kids about going first to show my ski group how to do Corbet’s. Everyone in my ski group was asking me this one question the whole time. “Are you going to do Corbet’s?” I always said, “I don’t know”—when I really did. The answer was yes. I did Corbet’s Couloir twice that day and it was amazing on my part. Why I love skiing is because I get to do a lot of scary and challenging things like Corbet’s and I always know that I will reach my goals. I still have more to reach.

Vladi Johnstone, 10:

We all went in with David Coombs. His first time.

Sasha Johnstone, 12:

Johnstone , and Masha Vladi, Sasha

We went into Coombs Cave and threw snow on his dad’s plaque on the wall. I like going into Coombs Cave really fast and taking a sharp turn and going really big off it.

Masha Johnstone, 12:

See next page.


Is For Kids continued

Jeremy Emmer, 10:

The best part is skiing to Coombs Cave with my friends!

Je r


mer Em


id Dav

s mb Coo

David Coombs, 7:

It was really awesome and it was really fun. Kinda scary. I felt good after it.

Masha Johnstone, 12:

I just did it this year, actually. It’s nice in there. It’s blocking out the wind.

Marika Hanson,12:

Teton Literacy Center Teton Literacy Center provides free in-school and after-school tutoring for kindergarten through 12th grade students, and family literacy support. In 2010-11, TLC served 650 students through tutoring, after-school homework help, summer workshops and enrichment programs, and trained 103 volunteer tu-


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Masha Johnstone an d Marika Hanson

tors. To help your child develop strong literacy skills, or to volunteer as a tutor, please contact Laura West or Krista Hollis at 733-9242, or visit The fourth annual Laps for Literacy is set this year for March 11, 2012.

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Wade McKoy photos

The coaches always tell us the biggest part about Corbet’s is getting the courage to go in. You can’t see around the corner. You side-slip down, and there’s a rock face here, and a rock face here, and you have to turn or you’ll hit the rock face. So it’s kind of like wingin’ it, and you have no idea what’s going to happen.

Twitter Chatter

Kevin Brazell tweets from his Blackberry (right), and shreds powder on his day off (above).

Wade McKoy photos


Jackson Hole ski patrolman tweets snow-and-weather conditions after running daily snow-control route

he tweet went like this: “The couloir is open for the 10-11 season, come drop it while it’s hot! – Braze JHSP” And with the push of a button, canny Twitterers knew something the other skiers and snowboarders didn’t. This tweet was a particularly valuable one, too, for those riders standing in the lift line waiting for the mountain to open. This unique, new way of utilizing social media came from a brainstorming session in the resort’s marketing department. They then asked ski patrol director Jake Elkins to select a patroller to tweet a daily snow report from the mountain after running his or her early morning snow-control route. Elkins’ first choice was Kevin Brazell. “I thought Kevin would be a good fit as Twitter post-man,” said Elkins. “He’s familiar with the technology, and is a quick wit.” On his new, company-supplied Blackberry, Kevin Brazell stepped up to the smartphone and soon made news with his Corbet’s-opening tweet.

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“The first people of the season to hit Corbet’s were those who saw that tweet,” said Brazell. “It’s my route, fortunately, so I was able to know that information before anybody. The story made the newspaper.”

“I give them some insight on what skis to bring, which goggle lens, what kind of conditions to prepare for.”

Brazell’s directive as Twitter post-man is simple: provide useful customer information. “The marketing department wants a report of what we’re seeing during snow control, so people know what they’re getting into,” Brazell said. “I give them some insight on what skis to bring, which goggle lens, what kind of conditions to prepare for.”

By the end of ski season, Brazell’s Twitter posts had over 1,000 followers. Resort Communications Manager Zahan “Z” Billimoria enjoyed what he was reading. “Z liked how I worded them, said a few were all-time hits,” recalled Brazell. “I tried to write poetically, funny, just to get people out the door.” Here’s one of Z’s favorites: “March 3: The white grass grew last night. Come help us mow it down. Sun’s out right now, but it’s not gonna stay! – Braze JHSP” Billimoria said, “You just can’t buy lyrics like this. Pure alpine poetry.” — Jackson Hole Skier

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Avalanche Center Season Summary, 2010/2011

of these bulletins. It inDuring the cludes some spectacu2010/2011 season, a lar footage that was strong La Niña coingenerously provided by cided with record snow Teton Gravity Redepths that lasted well search, KGB Films, and into the summer. The Wink Inc. season began late, Air bags purchased with the first real storm at the end of the previnot arriving until the ous season were isend of October. The sued to each of our season snowfall and avalanche specialists at settled snow depths hit the start of this year. record levels in late The center has been November. December busy over the summer, had only four days with working on the develno new snow. Decemopment of the warningber snowfall and endsign observation of-month snow depths section of our website. were 140 percent of New programming will average. enable users to post January and Februobservations associary were drier, with ated with unstable snowfall at 90 percent conditions. These obof normal and end-ofservations will focus on the-month snow Knowing the snowpack history and sound route-finding ability are essential for safe backcountry skiing. areas that are experidepths at 110 percent of the 45-year average. Snowfall in March was winds and rain to an elevation of 10,500 feet. encing shooting cracks, whumphing, and blowover 200 percent of normal. Abundant snowfall Strong winds and new snow obscured the evi- ing snow and will supplement the existing occurred in April and May and cool, wet condi- dence of the avalanche that buried and killed avalanche-occurrence observations. This protions continued into June. The season snowfall these men. Dangerous conditions and weather gram will also enable users to delineate the distribution of problem layers. exceeded 700 inches. Snow depths that greatly delayed their recovery. The visual presentation of avalanche events exceeded any previous records were experienced Program improvements were implemented for in April, May, June, and July. the 2010/2011 season. Our Google Map display has been previously presented in a two-dimenThe center issued weekly snowpack sum- of avalanche activity was upgraded with the abil- sional Google Map format. The presentation of maries beginning in September and continuing ity to display snow-pit profiles, photographs of this information in the three-dimensional Google into late June. Daily morning and afternoon ava- avalanche events, and weather-station data. The Earth format is in progress and will likely manifest lanche-hazard bulletins were issued from late Oc- program can post snow pits in any format. We itself in a Google Earth display of the locations of tober into late April. At the request of Teton also configured the administrative section of our our remote automated weather stations and avaCounty Search & Rescue, morning avalanche bul- website to allow our forecasters to upload ava- lanche fatalities. A recreational trails program grant was obletins for the Teton Area were reinstituted for an lanche events, photographs, and snow pits from additional two-week period from Memorial Day any computer that has Internet access. The ava- tained in partnership with the Wyoming Trails ProWeekend until the June 12. lanche-events mapping section of our website is gram. This grant is for the purchase of a new weather station on Commissary Ridge in the Salt Most of this season’s avalanche activity oc- very popular with our knowledgeable users. curred during storms. Poor visibility and high This season’s website also featured new River Range. This station will provide snowfall, winds during the storms often obscured the ob- snowfall graphs from 10 of our snow-study plots temperature, and wind data from an area of comservation of avalanche activity. Typically only faint and 24- and 48-hour graphical displays of tem- plicated avalanche terrain that has easy access lines of filled-in crowns and hard-to-discern perature, humidity, and wind speed and direction and is very popular with local, regional, and deshumps of buried debris piles were visible when data from five of our automated wind stations. tination snowmobilers. This station is anticipated skies cleared. Numerous avalanches likely oc- The wind-data display format was provided by to be operational for 2011/12 season. The center has a new friends group. Previcurred and were not observed or recorded be- the Geospatial Science and Engineering Team at ously, the Avalanche Forecast Support Organizacause the evidence of these events was the Idaho National Laboratory. obliterated during the storms. A new wind station located on the top of tion (AFSO) acted as a local entity that received Our center had knowledge of 24 people who Fred’s Mountain was added to our network of au- donations for the center and operated under the nonprofit umbrella of the American Avalanche Aswere unintentionally caught and carried by ava- tomated weather stations. This station was pursociation. Our new organization, the Friends of lanches. Of these, three were partially buried and chased and is maintained by the ski patrol at the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center, is its own three others were fully buried. One of the fully Grand Targhee Resort. The data from the station buried persons (a snowmobiler) was recovered is collected and disseminated by the avalanche 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. This new friends group has talented people of diverse backwithout injury. Two skiers who were bivouacked center in partnership with Grand Targhee Resort grounds on its board. With their support we anin a wind moat around a large boulder in Garnet and the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. ticipate many new improvements in the design of Canyon in the Teton Range were deeply buried in Our new 11-minute avalanche awareness our website and dissemination of the center’s their tent on April 17, 2011. The storm that cre- video, More Than Meets the Eye, was posted on ated the avalanche that buried these people our website and presented to the public at a num- products through social media. This group is also expected to establish a long-term, sustainablebegan after midnight and deposited eight inches ber of educational functions. This film targets of new snow with an inch of moisture by morn- people who are familiar with our backcountry av- funding program for the center. — Bob Comey ing. This storm was accompanied by strong alanche advisories and discusses the limitations


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

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

Bob Woodall photo

Bridger-Teton National Forest

Open gates allow skiers... Beyond Resort Boundaries Those who venture beyond the boundary gates at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort should know that Teton County has led the nation in avalanche deaths since 2000, says Bob Comey, ski patroller and chief avalanche forecaster at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and director of the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center. If you do choose to ski OB, you should know the risks of skiing on terrain the ski patrol does not manage. If necessary, Teton County Sheriff’s Office and Grand Teton National Park—not the ski patrollers on the mountain—will coordinate a rescue. Jake Elkins, ski patrol director, summed up risk-management advice for out-of-bounds skiing in one word: knowledge. “The best thing they can do when they head out into the backcountry is have knowledge,� he advises. “Knowledge of the terrain, where they’re going, the most recent weather, a stability evalu-

ation. They should have knowledge of transceivers and how to use them and know the weather forecast.� If you’re the least bit unsure of your knowledge or your partners’, hire a guide, suggests Comey. They are knowledgeable, and local and cool to boot! They can lead you to deep cowboy powder with less risk than if you venture out on your own. Comey also notes that even if you’re a great skier, know the area and weather conditions, have perfect equipment and knowledgeable partners, you’re still not guaranteed a no-avalanche ski run. “What’s really important is knowing when not to go, and who not to go with,� Comey says. “Know the limitations of your partners, know the risks, and manage those risks. The really big thing is not getting caught. Some people die in a shallow burial, with no trauma.�

Bridger-Teton National Forest

Beacon Parks

Avalanche Center

Since the 1970s the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center has posted daily avalanche bulletins. The science and tools have come a long way in those 40 years. “As directed by head forecaster Bob Comey, we’re constantly improving the product,� says avalanche forecaster Mike Rheam. “We now have 16 weather stations located in the Tetons, the Wyoming range, and on Togwotee Pass. “Our newest partnership with Grand Targhee Resort will help, too, putting better instruments in the northern Tetons.� Every morning, the forecasters post data and forecasts for three regions: The Teton area, the Southwest Trails / Greys River area, and the Togwotee Pass Continental Divide area. The website has a couple new features this year, too. “Our newest product is with Google Earth,� says Rheam. “You can pull up a visual interpretation of every avalanche that has been reported to the center by using any number of parameters: date range, size, location. This will help us attain our goal to make this information transparent to everyone and should increase the information that we get from public.� Also new on the site this year are postings by the public on the Snowpit Details page. Get involved by using this exceptional resource at

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Local beacon parks typically have 10 transceivers hard-wired into a control panel. These transceivers are buried in containers and remain buried for the season. One can practice searching for 1, 2, 3, or even 10 transceivers at a time, by turning on a given number of beacons at the control panel, locating each transceiver by a probe strike, but leaving them buried. There are two beacon basins in the Tetons: one at the bottom of Rendezvous Bowl at the Jackson Hole Resort and one at Phillips Bench on Teton Pass.


Avalanche Schools and Classes

American Avalanche Institute Level I: Dec. 9-11, Jan 5-8, Jan. 26-29, Feb. 18-20, March 8-11 Level II: Dec. 17-20; Jan. 14-17; Feb. 4-7 Level III: Jan. 19-24

Jackson Hole Mountain Guides Level I: Dec. 16-18, Dec. 20-22 Jan. 6-8, Jan. 10-12, Jan. 13-15, Jan. 24-26 (Women’s course), Jan. 27-29 (Women’s Course) Feb. 3-5, Feb. 7-9 (Snowboarders Coarse), Feb. 24-26, Mar. 9-11 Level II: Feb. 16-19

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Ski Town Jobs

Chuck Melichar, maintenance manager

Chuck Melichar,

Jackson Hole Aerial Tramway maintenance manager for 18 years, previously a mountain Bedouin traveling for Doppelmayr, from Chicago to Colorado, and building lifts in Alaska, Canada, and the U.S. Pairs of skis? Three You tune them? Rarely tune skis. Generally get a new pair instead. Try to buy last year’s demos every year or so. How do you stay healthy and prevent injury? Healthy? Hell, I’m getting old! Been so beat up from nearly 40 years in this business. Try to stay and play outside as much as possible. Days before in top form? Usually in top form by the 120th day of the season. Rest days? Rest days = days off. Aprés ski? Aprés ski used to be wild a long time ago. Now involves plowing the driveway, a fire, and perhaps a movie. When do you hang it up for the season? Ski if we can after the lifts close, but usually would like to find some red-sand desert and warmer temps. What’s the best thing about your job? The technical challenges of working on these ma-


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

chines in this environment, keeping them running and safe, sending people up to the high alpine environment to find challenges of their own. My own skiing has always been a required skill to be able to carry out my job. What part of skiing do you like best? It has always been about freedom and staying on the fringes of the wild places.

Sarah Baca,

tram operator / team rider, a JH snowboarder and skier three years, from Evanston, Wyoming Pairs of skis and snowboards? One pair of skis and eight snowboards. Each year Revolution builds me a new custom board. You tune them? Yes, usually when Sarah Baca, tram conductor I am “Night Creature” at the top of the tram. well. No matter what, I want to have the enHow do you stay healthy and prevent injury? durance to ride all day, every day. I try to eat Do you train pre-season? Biking and strength healthily by incorporating a variety of food groups training mostly, but I love hiking, swimming, wakeand food colors into my daily diet. boarding, long boarding and running in the preDays to reach top form? I love charging from season. It’s important to stay mentally strong as the beginning of the season, but usually by Januw w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

Wade McKoy photos, (Teton Gravity Research top right)

Being a good skier/snowboarder is a prerequisite for some resorttown jobs, while for others it’s merely the end to the means

ary I’m riding pretty strong. Rest days? Maybe one day a week. But if I’m feeling good, then I’ll ride as long as it lasts. Aprés ski? Sometimes I’ll just take it easy and rest, but other times I’ll go to Nick Wilson’s, the VC and/or the Moose… and occasionally I will slap my roommates with a bag of wine. When do you hang it up for the season? In years past I opted for an endless winter by going to Argentina during our summer months. Now that I am a little older, I appreciate the summer more, and this year my last day of riding was July 12 on the South Teton. What’s the best thing about your job? The view and taking tram laps on my break. What part of skiing do you like the best? I love exploring the mountains through snowboarding. When riding all season you get to experience all types of terrain and weather conditions. Skiing and snowboarding allow you to be in the “now.” You are focused on what the weather is doing, where the wind is blowing, and on each and every line you pick and turn you make. All other distractions of life leave your mind, and the only thing that is left is how incredible that moment truly is.

Todd Ligare, professional big-mountain freeskier

Dave Miller, lead guide supervisor, a JH skier 29 years, from Kansas City, Missouri Pairs of skis? Two pairs new each year, unless I destroy them on rocks. You tune them? Most of the time. I wax and tune every day. But TVS does them sometimes, too. How do you stay healthy and prevent injury? Do you train pre-season? I ride my bike every Dave Miller, ski guide

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day in summer and fall. And I don’t do stupid things while skiing. I’m not 20 anymore. Days to reach top form? Normally it takes 20 days to feel really good, tight, on your skis, but I can non-stop from day one because of all the cycling I do. Rest days? Once a week. It’s smart for longevity to let your muscles regroup. But I do also go on stretches of up to 20 days without a rest day. Aprés ski? Once in a while I’ll meet clients for a beer, but I’m not a huge aprés guy. We’ve all

been here so long. That’s a first-five-year deal. When do you hang it up for the season? It depends. A lot of times I jump on the bike; 130 days is plenty for me. What’s the best thing about your job? All the amazing skiing. I got to ski with Dougie (Coombs) in the best terrain in the world. And I get to meet and work with interesting people. We’re in a small bubble here, so meeting the international people who come in is good. What part of skiing do you like the best? Steep, deep-powder skiing. 2 0 1 2 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R


Get plenty of rest, eat a good diet, and pace myself on the hill. I get into a gym a couple times a week, and mix in alternative winter activities like XC skiing or snowshoeing. Do you train pre-season? The stronger you are when the lifts open, the better. During the summer I hike and mountain bike the trails, and jog to the top of the tram. In the late fall, I take a ski-fitness class to help me get in more defined ski shape. Days to reach top form? After about 10 days of skiing I’m feeling pretty good. The day I can do seven trams and a Hoback sweep, I know I’m ready. Rest days? As a mountain host, I work two days per week and usually try to free ski a couple days, so fitting in rest days is easy. Still, I like to get in a day or two XC with my Malamute and also hit the gym twice if possible. Aprés ski? Nick’s at the base of the Tram for my Shifty with fellow mountain hosts and employees. When do you hang it up for the season? Varies with conditions, certainly, but usually only a few weeks into April. Last spring I had a great time enjoying the 10th Mountain Division huts in Colorado—incredible backcountry skiing in spectacular mountain terrain. What’s the best thing about your job? Helping skiers, enhancing their experience. It’s the best gig on the mountain. My boss is the best, the people we work with are all great. Plus, I get to ski all day long on what is arguably the best mountain in the West, and meet people from all around the world. What part of skiing do you like the best? Sharing the experience with friends. Skiing offpiste under blue skies after a several inches of nice, light snow. And being in the zone, where every turn is seemingly effortless. Feeling good after a great non-stop, top-to-bottom run. Or a great run down Gros Ventre, where every turn brings out a loud ‘Yahoo!’ That’s the perfect run. Try to make every day have at least one. And then get up tomorrow and do it all over again.

Peter “Chanman” Chandler, musiPeter “Chanman” Chandler, musician


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Rob Weed, mountain host, a JH skier 34 years, from Wayzata, Minnesota Pairs of skis? Three. Acquired a fatter, allmountain / powder ski last year. You tune them? No. I leave that to the pros in the ski shop. How do you stay healthy and prevent injury?

Photos: Tom Russo (top); Wade McKoy

cian, JH skier since 1978, from Falmouth, Maine Pairs of skis? Two. Getting a pair of rockers this year. I buy new skis or boots every other year. You tune them? I do tune my own skis, but also get a pro tune one or two times a year. How do you stay healthy and prevent injury? Do you train pre-season? I run: road, trail, and marathons. I play foot-bag. I play golf. I stretch and have an upside down hanging unit to avoid injury. I’m also wiser about my choice of terrain. I don’t have a preseason training routine. Days to reach top form? I usually feel on top of the boards by Christmas. Rest days? I take a lot more rest days than I used to. I ski about 4 days a week. Aprés ski? Hopefully, I’m playing a paying gig. Otherwise, I go to the Village Café. When do you hang it up for the season? It changes from year to year. Lately, the off-sea-

son means more time to practice music and book the summer season. I hang ‘em up for the year when the resort closes. I bring ‘em back out for the random excursion. What’s the best thing about your job? The best thing about my job is that I play music I love, with musicians I love, at a ski mountain I love, for a community I love, in the season I love. What part of skiing do you like best? Technical terrain. I love powder, I love skiing with my friends, I love the aprés scene. I loved air in the past, but what kept me in Jackson was the easy access to so many steep, technical runs.

Rob Weed, ski host w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

Bob Woodall

A.J. Cargill, merchandise manager, ski patroller

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Chris Leveroni, ski instructor

31 years Pairs of skis? Only recently accumulated a quiver: four pairs of Kastles. I don’t get a new pair every year. I take good care of them. You tune them? I wax every day and touch them up with a stone and side file between major tunes. For that I take them to Gov’s shop once or twice a month. How do you stay healthy and prevent injury? Do you train pre-season? Lots of rest, not drinking a lot, skiing hard every day. I like to ice skate and walk lower Gros Ventre for preseason training. Days to reach top form? It’s mid-to-late January before I peak. Rest days? Seldom take a day off. Most seasons are every day. Aprés ski? Usually a Shifty at Nick’s. If I’ve got tip money, the VC for a Shake-a-Day. When do you hang it up for the season? I quit when the lifts close. What’s the best thing about your job? Meeting cool people, lunching at Four Seasons. What part of skiing do you like the best? The anticipation of the first run every day.

Kirk Speckhals (Sparky), ski patroller, a JH skier 32 years, from Faribault, Minnesota Any ski-industry sponsors? No, but I have a sticker on a pair of skis that says “No one cares if you’re sponsored!” Pairs of skis? I have too many beaters and not enough freshies, but I get at least a new pair every year…RPK is tough on skis during setup! You tune them? I prefer to leave that to the awesome ski techs we have in Teton Village. How do you stay healthy and prevent in-

Kirk Speckhals, ski patrolman


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Griffin Post, professional big-mountain freeskier

jury? Do you train pre-season? As much biking and hiking as I can get, and hopefully a quick transition to a skiable snowpack in the fall. Days before in top form? I’m still searching for “top form” but hopefully the burn is gone by mid-December. Rest days? Whenever life’s realities get in the way of skiing. Aprés ski? Look for a cold beer and good friends that like to talk about skiing. When do you hang it up for the season? It depends on the weather: if it’s too cold to do anything else, or the trails are buried in snow, go skiing! What’s the best thing about your job? Early

morning runs and keeping the mountain safe. What part of skiing do you like the best? No matter what the conditions are, there is always some fun to be had somewhere!

Pat Davidsaver,

ski mechanic, owner Hole Ball of Wax, a JH skier 30 years, from Madison, Wisconsin Pairs of skis? Six, couple of new pairs every year. You tune them? What? How do you stay healthy and prevent injury? Stretch. Do you train pre-season? Yes, I bike, hike, swim. Days to reach top form? 25 w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

Wade McKoy photos, Teton Gravity Research (ski)

Chris Leveroni, ski instructor, a JH skier

Crystal Wright, pro skier, strength and conditioning coach, personal trainer

Rest days? Twice a week Aprés ski? Go to work. When do you hang it up for the season? Mid-June. The lifts close only here. I do what you do when they don’t run the tram. Snowbird, Beartooth, Targhee, the pass, the park. What’s the best thing about your job? The boss. What part of skiing do you like best? Freefalling G-force at speed.

Crystal Wright, pro skier / strength and conditioning coach / personal trainer, born and raised in Jackson Hole Pairs of skis? Three. I’m lucky to be sponsored by Head, so I don’t buy skis. Before that I bought a new pair every two years. You tune them? I used to, and I can tune them, but the guys at Pepi’s do such an amazing job, better than I can do. How do you stay healthy and prevent injury? I try to eat well and take care of myself. I train at the gym at least two days a week, even through the season, to maintain muscle memory and stabilizer muscles, to prevent injury. Do you train pre-season? I bike, hike, climb, and train four days a week at the gym. I notice such a difference in my skiing at the beginning of the year and how my body feels.

Kate Schade, health food entrepreneur

Days to reach top form? With pre-season training, within two weeks I feel very strong and ready to ski at my ability. Rest days? I’m bad about taking rest days, but I try to at least take one day a week off with no physical activity. I think it is really important. Aprés ski? I don’t aprés as much as I used to, but I do enjoy having a few beers at Cascade or the Moose after skiing if I don’t have to rush off to work. When do you hang it up for the season? I try and continue skiing in the Tetons and Winds as long as the snow will let me. Last year I didn’t hang up the skis until after the Fourth of July. What’s the best thing about your jobs? As a pro-skier, I travel and ski all over the world with amazing people and for amazing companies. The best perk, though, is skiing at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. As a trainer, I help people feel physically and mentally better about their bodies and it’s rewarding to witness the results. My two jobs are becoming harder and harder to juggle, but I like to keep skiing as my passion and training as my job. What part of skiing do you like best? I love that no matter what the conditions, I still enjoy skiing. I’m constantly pushed and humbled every day. And nothing beats ripping around Jackson with a bunch of different, amazing skiers and friends.

Kate Schade, Owner/CEO Tram Bar LLC

dba Kate’s, a JH and Teton Valley skier 18 years, from Palmyra, New York Pairs of skis: Two. I, unfortunately, rarely buy new ones. I use my equipment pretty much till it’s unusable. Then I buy another pair. You tune them? I wax and sharpen, but I always have some quick wax with me for those needed times. How do you stay healthy and prevent injury? I eat well (as organic and local as I am able) and keep fit, but it hasn’t prevented injury. My newer summer passion on the dirt bike has had its consequences. Do you train pre-season? I feel like I am always in training. In the beginning of and during the

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Wade McKoy photos, Teton Gravity Research (ski)

winter when I can’t ski, I often run, night (headlamp) or day, with my backpack, post-holing in wooded hills behind my house. It’s a great allover-body workout. I certainly do strength/weight training as well when I am able. And cardio classes with Lisa Smith-Batchen in Driggs have kept me more fit than I could ever imagine. Days to reach top form? Generally within a couple of months I feel the strongest, but it depends on how the snow is. If it’s delicious, I’ll get in form faster because I’m skiing more... of course! Rest days? Too many, but I never rest anymore. It used to be that a “day off” meant a day off from skiing. Now a day off means that I have the whole day to go ski in the backcountry or at one of the ski hills. At age 40, I have transferred to a desk job...never thought I’d be saying that! Aprés ski? These days I go to work most of the time après ski (weekdays) and drink coffee. After a whole day of skiing, I love to have a cocktail, eat a tasty meal, be warm and toasty somewhere, and make sure my ski gear is drying out for next time. When do you hang it up for the season?

Todd Ligare, professional big-mountain freeskier


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Hannah Horigan, cocktail waitress turned grad student w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

“I practice yoga regularly, stand up paddleboard, cruiser bike, and drink Bud Light – not necessarily in that order.” —Mike McLaughlin Mike McLaughlin, snowboard instructor, a JH snowboarder and skier 20 winters, from Cranston, Rhode Island Pairs of skis? Three pairs of alpine skis, one pair of teles, five snowboards. I replace them when trashed or when I can’t live without the latest. You tune them? Most of the time, thanks to my connection with Pepi’s and Lowrider Boardshop. How do you stay healthy and prevent injury? Do you train pre-season? I practice yoga

regularly, stand up paddleboard, cruiser bike, and drink Bud Light – not necessarily in that order. Days to reach top form? One. Rest days? One day a week. It’s hard not to go to the hill on a day off, though. Aprés ski? Mondays: Shifty at Nick’s; Tuesdays: PBR on the couch at Lowrider; Wednesdays: Aprés band at the Moose; Thursdays: Shifty at Nick’s; Fridays: Spaten at the Alpenhof Bistro; Saturdays: Tommy’s Margarita at Cascade; Sundays: Day of rest.

Mike McLaughlin, snowboard instructor



cocktail waitress turned grad student, a JH skier seven years, from Galway, New York Pairs of skis? A handful. I get a new pair or two each year. You tune them? Not any more. The guys at Pepi Stiegler Sports do them for me. How do you stay healthy and prevent injury? Do you train pre-season? Eat healthy, work out by running preseason and go to Crystal Wright’s ski-fitness classes. Then I ski hard every day. Days to reach top form? You can always get in better shape. It’s a continuous thing. Rest days? Your body tells you when you need one. It’s important to take rest days. But it’s also a hard thing to do when it’s hammering snow every day. Aprés ski? Go to work. Or have a beer to celebrate the day. When do you hang it up for the season? It’s not a set date. I can get a wild hair in June and go for it. By then, though, I’m hoping summer is happening. I ski the Pass through April and May, maybe go on a ski trip somewhere when our lifts close. What’s the best thing about your job? The people I work with are great. What part of skiing do you like best? I love being outside in the mountains. They really let you know how small you are and how lucky we are to be playing in such amazing places. Yes, I love powder days, too! w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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I definitely feel lucky that I’ve had a lifetime’s worth of skiing already, especially with the exceptionally long seasons we have here. So, I hang em’ up early and take weekend trips out of town to get on my dirt bike. If there’s some great corn skiing, I’ll certainly pull ‘em out again to get a little when I can. What’s the best thing about your job? The team I work with, interacting with our customers, forming relationships and partnerships with some really amazing people, the promise of creating a great company culture, and our ultimate goal: to support and promote play and sustainable organic farming (two things I am very passionate about). What part of skiing do you like best? Skiing in fresh, clean, white powder creates, in me, a clear, white mind and an invigorated soul. That is peace. And it’s an addictive state to be in.



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Wade McKoy photos

Jess McMillan, professional big-mountain freeskier

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When do you hang it up for the season? I’ll go to closing weekend at the ‘Ghee. Maybe get a few days over in Sun Valley. Hike a couple times for some corn. Then I’m done. What’s the best thing about your job? Sharing an awesome mountain experience with people from all walks of life. What part of skiing do you like the best? I like it when they put that powder in.

Jason Tattersall and Andy Maurice, entrepreneurs in com-

mercial and residential window cleaning, JH skiers 25 & 15 years, from Milford, Michigan, & Seattle, Washington Pairs of skis? JT: 10 pairs. AM: A few pairs You tune them? JT: I never tune them and never have them tuned. I don’t even wax them. I don’t like sharp edges and like them going a little slower. AM: I tune my own skis plus get a onceover from a local sports shop at the beginning of the year. How do you stay healthy and prevent injury? Do you train pre-season? JT: I eat right, go to the gym, ride my bike during winter and summer. AM: I stay in good shape by doing things every day. I run, bike, climb, and hike in the summer. I alpine and skate ski, run, swim in the winter. Stretching and doing yoga also keeps the body from sustaining injury. Days to reach top form? JT: I roll into winter in top athletic form, but I’m ski-ready after January 1. By then I’ve got my feet underneath me, and I like to make sure the mountains are filled in. AM: It normally takes a couple of weeks of hiking Glory and skiing in-bounds before I feel like I am in topnotch shape for the season. Rest days? JT: That depends on how much it’s snowing. I try to take rest days, for sure, but it’s w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

usually when the snow goes to hell. AM: I normally take one or two rest days a week. It’s hard to take those days if the snow is good, though. One day I try to do something else: swimming at the rec. center or skate-skiing in the park. Après ski? JT: Go to the gym or go to work. I don’t party during winter. AM: If I don’t have to go to work that night (bartending is my other job), I normally have a few beers in the Village. When do you hang it up for the season? JT: I hang it up after March and jump on the bike, unless I can go to Chamonix. If I could, I’d go to Europe every spring. AM: I love all sorts of sports, so getting on with another one in April is fine with me. What’s the best thing about your job? JT: It’s clean work – I’m not a mess when I come home. And I have a lot of it, a lot of nice clients and nice homes. AM: The best thing about my job, along with having Jason as a business partner, is being our own boss. I started washing windows when I was 15. A part-time job. But the job got me through college and helped me pay for things. Turns out, when I moved to Jackson I ran into Jason, who also washed windows. This summer was our eighth year of being our own boss. We are personable with everyone we clean for, making new friends each year. What part of skiing do you like the best? JT: The backcountry, and shooting photos. I like to get out, to get away from people. And I like the exercise of skinning. AM: Skiing is liberating. Skinning in the park or on the pass is a meditative experience. You really don’t run into many people. Skiing makes me appreciate everything that I have. My lifestyle of small-town living. I love this place. Every day makes me appreciate it more and more. Big-city living? You can keep it! — Jackson Hole Skier


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Ski Tune Jobs Ski mechanics ply time-won skills with high-tech machinery



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Eric Seymore at the bench

stone grinder. And he knows the 13-year-old machine will soon be retired. “Replacement costs are between $180,000 and $250,000,” he acknowledged. “These are Swiss machines, and it’s a pretty big project to swap one out.” But the newest, perhaps most innovative piece of equipment sits on the waxing table at Jackson Hole Sports. “We just got a UV waxer,” Wilson said. “It puts a thin film of wax on the ski and melts it into the base with ultraviolet light. There’s no scraping, no extra wax, no waste. It minimizes by 10-fold the amount of wax we use.” That’s good, since some fatties are starting to look almost like snowboards. New ski designs sometimes change the way they get tuned, too. The most radical new skis even inspire fresh thinking about base shapes. “With rocker skis people want more of a hull shape as opposed to a flat ski,” said Hoback’s Paluga. “But the materials and tools are the same – the same belts, same files, same stones.” Belts, files, stones, rotary disks. Tools of the trade. Spinning, rolling, cutting. Sounds like you need a college degree to tune skis, and you do. At least a four-year skiing degree from UJH – The University of Jackson Hole. — Jackson Hole Skier w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

Photos: Wade McKoy (top); Bob Woodall (bottom)

here’s one ski town job in Jackson Hole ago, we investigated some different edging mathat takes a pedigree to land and a career move chines.” Their search led to Europe, where Masselink spent a month training with a German to hold on to – ski tuning and repair. The résumés of local ski mechanics run deep company. “The Reichmann DTSU Pro has more moving with experience – 15, 20, even 30 years tuning and repairing skis and mounting bindings. It’s a parts than some cars,” he said. “It does an ablifestyle profession for workers who put skiing solute perfect finish on the ski in 30 seconds, both side edge and base edges at the same time. first, or at least in the very top tier of their priorities (most start work at 4 p.m. – after skiing). And Ours is the first one in service in North America.” Rick Wilson of Jackson because these guys love to ski, their customers – and the “We still finish every Hole Sports takes pride in his new edging machine, too. shop managers – know that tune with a hand base- “The Wintersteiger Trim Disk on any given day, all season long, their skis get tuned by bevel. That means with puts a 600-grit ceramic polish on the edge,” he said, capable, caring hands. every single ski, we’re “and cuts a very precise Work starts at day’s end still getting down and bevel on both side edges and when lifts stop turning and tuners fire up the tools. Malooking at it closely on both base edges at the same time.” chinery hums to life in the our final passes.” The speedy new edger workshop, serious sounding helps Jackson Hole Sports beasts like the Montana stay on top of their large fleet of rental and demo Twister, the Reichmann DTSU, and Wintersteiger’s ceramic disk edgers and Ptex guns. skis. “We were shaping thousands of skis by The crew assembles and dives into work, fresh hand,” Wilson said. “That was a tall order. The with memories of skiing on well-tuned skis and skis are in much better shape these days.” Pepi Stiegler Sports’ Spencer Rank, another snowboards. “Skiing is effortless when the skis work prop- proponent of hand tuning, also appreciates his erly,” said Rick Wilson, service manager for Jack- shop’s marvelous machines. He describes diason Hole Sports. “They should cut, not smear, mond-impregnated belts, wheel-feed systems, Ptex extruders and rotary disk edge polishers. through the snow.” Hoback Sports service manager Matt Paluga “The stone grinder is probably the most imporcan’t imagine it any other way. “Once you expe- tant machine in terms of providing a glossy finish rience skiing on tuned skis,” he said, “it’s hard to ski on improperly tuned or worn-out equipment.” Smooth is the word Spencer Rank of Pepi Stiegler Sports uses. “Everything should be smooth,” said Rank. “The way the ski comes into the turn should be smooth, the way it comes out of a turn should be smooth.” To do a volume of highperformance ski tunes, ski shops invest thousands – even up to a whopping quarter-million bucks – in specialized machinery. Braden Masselink, service manager at TVS Sports, explained one such unit, their Montana Twister, a big, green, noisy hunk of steel that grabs the Tommy Moe knows a good ski tune when he hears it. ski and takes it through the works, structuring its on the base of the ski, imparting structure, and making sure the ski stays absolutely flat,” he said. base with stone-ground perfection. Some equipment is fully automated, but “We select our structures after considering snow temperature, air temperature, and water Hoback’s Matt Paluga thinks that approach content,” he said. “Using combinations of those sometimes takes the tech out of the tune. “Every factors, we’re able to structure the ski for optimal tune we do, we still finish it with a hand basebevel,” Paluga said. “What that does, with every glide.” single ski, we’re still getting down and looking at When it comes to ski edges, though, the move from hand tuning to using machinery was a slow it closely on our final passes.” TVS’s Masselink also relies on experience one. “We’d been strictly a hand-tuning shop for when setting the controls of their fully manual many years,” said Masselink. “Then, four years


The“Town Hill”

The landmark Snow King Mountain towers above the town of Jackson.

by Mike Calabrese

Photos: Wade McKoy (bottom); Bob Woodall (top)

Ask any local about the “Town Hill” and immediately, the words “Snow King” color and shape the conversation. Everyone around here knows at least something of its history, its terrain, its vital role in Jackson life year-round. Trot out the term Hausberg, though, and those same locals likely will go mute, dumbfounded, possibly irritated by the unexpected foray into Deutsch territory. A brief venture into ‘the Google’ could quickly dissolve the chance for insult or ire. Hausberg, the German word for ‘home mountain,’ or better yet, ‘house hill,’ evokes a fondness Torchlight parades, a long-time tradition on The King and pride for the same type of landscent intact, but no less exhilarated than those scape features among the German’s as “Snow pioneers of snow-season recreation. King” does for the Jackson Hole populace. The ‘Google’ thing attests to Snow King’s apSnow King’s role as the ‘town hill’ might lack peal to winter’s treasure hunters, even in its nasthe historical dust of similar alpine features in Eucent form. A You Tube clip, “Rare Footage rope, but the mountain lays claim to its own colorJackson Wyoming Snow King Resort 1940,” capful, Western heritage. Back in the 1920s, sheer tures a sizable gathering of cold-weather enthuexhaustion and boredom with winters plagued siasts festooning the hillside above a many valley souls. A bitter-cold snow season, snow-blanketed town and valley. This, even beoften rivaling expedition-length ordeals into the fore the famous Rafferty Lift arctic, drove some Jackson Back in the 1920s, after hauling was installed in 1946. Hole sufferers in search of unThe now legendary Neil usual relief. To wit: after haul- rough-cut 10-foot wooden planks ing rough-cut 10-foot wooden up the King’s demanding vertical, Rafferty breathed life into the planks up the King’s demand- early-day adventurers would then ski area in 1939, when he ining vertical, early-day adven- “ski” the fall line with nothing stalled a 4,000-foot tow rope turers would then “ski” the fall more than a single pole to steer on the bottom half of Snow King. Powered by an old line with nothing more than a themselves away from disaster. Ford tractor engine, “(s)kiers single pole to steer themwere towed up the bottom half of Snow King by selves away from disaster and on to the valley holding on to a stick that was attached to a rope floor. Few surviving accounts attest to the safety that was clamped onto the cable with a wrench. of these antics. Lift tickets cost $2.95 for a full day of skiing.” Today, of course, hearty and health-conscious There’s no record of complaints about the indevotees hike, bike, run, or ride up Wyoming’s oldest ski area year-round. Most complete the de- convenience of holding fast to a tow rope. Same w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

for lift-ticket prices. Ironically, despite the advent of a lift system (named for Rafferty himself), Snow King still harbors a tow rope, strategically placed just outside the hotel’s front door. Kids and adults still cling to it enthusiastically as beginners get their first taste of fall-line fun. But Snow King’s historical fabric isn’t limited to hardware. Its ski school was founded by hall-offamer Bill Briggs, the first guy gutsy (insane?) enough to ski the Grand Teton. Briggs, also a founding member of the Stagecoach Band, created a ski school at Snow King that has nurtured thousands of adept long-boarders and even some Olympic material. Snow King’s in-town location and hospitality, for instance, spurred one of its homegrown skiers onto the world Olympic scene. Jackson native Andy Chambers trained and competed with the U.S. Ski Team in the men’s downhill for eight years before settling back into a Jackson lifestyle. His insight into the King’s challenges may sound cliché coming from many of us, but not from Chambers: “It’s a difficult mountain to ski: if you learn to ski on it, you can ski anywhere.” Seventy-two years after its humble beginnings, Snow King affords its guests more than just respite from boredom. On-site activities now include skiing, snowboarding, tubing, ice-skating, lessons, and the town of Jackson within walking distance. The hill’s 400 acres and 1,572 feet of vertical are now serviced by one triple-chair, two double-chairs, a surface tow, and a tubing tow. Snowmaking and night skiing ensure plenty of opportunity for those who just can’t get enough. And, if by winter’s end, boredom with skiing has taken root, kill the ennui by competing in or viewing the World Championship Snowmobile Hill Climb March 24-27, held on the historic slopes of Snow King, Jackson’s own Hausberg. 2 0 1 2 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R


Triple Crown 2011 Triple Crown men’s champ George Putnam runs the Town Downhill.

Jackson skiers compete in three events to become king of the hole The season opener is the classic Moose very Rocky Mountain ski town clamors for top Chase, this year set for February 18, 2012, during billing on the winter fun map. Jackson Hole’s no exception. But one element sets it apart President’s Day weekend. Winding through the valley’s famous Trail Creek Nordic Center, the from other resort destinations: its colorful, grueling Moose Chase attracts upwards of 250 athletes of season-long competition, the Triple Crown. Fortunately, visitors and locals alike can wit- all ages and abilities. The center reposes at the base of Teton Pass and is a much-lauded former ness all or part of this ski-town pursuit. And they training site for the U.S. Olympic Biathlon team. can do it as participants or spectators, always Despite some of the Moose Chase’s Olympicduring festive contests. Best of all, the main batquality terrain, 1k, 5k, 15k, and 30k slots ensure tles are slated for three different weekends durthat novices and exing the snow-drenched perts alike can all nab winter season Jackson roles as skiers or sideHole is famous for. liners. And yes, someTriple Crown aspitimes there are moose rants don’t get off easy. wandering through the To snag the trophy, an track’s dense lodgeindividual must assert pole or meadow porwinning technique on tions. As local naturalist alpine and cross-countreasure Bert Raynes try skis, race their road says of the moose, bicycles in sometimes “Leave ‘em alone.” less than charming For what may be the weather, and cap it off coolest insight into this in a highly specialized beloved romp through down-river kayak on The Moose Chase attracts upwards of 250 racers. the woods, visit the the Snake River, its waJackson Hole Ski club’s website (www.jhskiters absolutely unwelcoming to most boaters in, where an animated GPS depiction of early spring. But recreationists can take heart. For although the course and a full array of photos document Triple Crown winners vie for points during each the 2011 Moose Chase. By March, winter’s chidden sun is shifting back race, most participants simply contend for fun and to the northern hemisphere, but skiing in Jackson prizes in each of the three separate competitions. All are run in first-rate fashion by the Jackson Hole continues drawing fans, for races and spectating. March 17-18 of 2012 will find historic Snow King Ski club, an organization with a rich history.



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PPP cyclists pedal 19.8 miles from Teton Village to the Snake River’s South Park Bridge.

Mountain sporting crowds on its breathtaking hillside for the 30th Annual Town Downhill. The second leg for skiers chasing that Triple Crown, the Town Downill’s course injects speed and daring into the competition as some of the more intense participants try to pile on additional points in their quest for the final prize. This historic race has drawn some serious competitors in the past, among them former Olympian Tommy Moe. Equally notable, the town, through its Jackw w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

Clockwise from top left: Jonathan Selkowitz (2); Bob Woodall (2); Jackson Hole Ski & Snowboard Club (1)

by Mike Calabrese

The three competitions that define the Triple Crown also make for easy viewing by visitors and ensure that competitors can play to their passions or their strengths – or both.

The Snake River is a cold boating venue in late March.

son Hole Ski Club, is one of the few remaining places in the country to “organize and support a non-sanctioned downhill race.” Competitors top the 100 mark, and as many as 500 spectators line the slopes to witness entrants assail the “heart-throbbing MiniHahnenkamm course” marked off on some of the King’s more demanding terrain. Unassailable video proof waits right here at our website: The ski club hasn’t skimped on the color of fun for this event either. Photos at attest to the enthusiasm of celebrants. One of the categories clearly accounts for some of the revelry creating the hoopla. The Fat and Baggy division takes the lead here, but pro, masters, junior, am- Kathleen Crowley, 2011 Triple Crown female champ runs the TDH. Triple Crown pursuit, it’s that lone male and feateur, Telemark, and snowboard pools ensure male who will by this point be waiting to see if plenty of heat for other racers. The set piece of the Triple Crown’s season- their points add up to a victory. The alpine leg barrels down the Jackson Hole long point pursuit, though, is the Pole Pedal PadMountain Resort, followed by the Nordic leg and dle. The PPP, as every local – young and old – will attest, highlights both winter itself and the valley then the bicycling portion. The day’s menu is landscape in what is undoubtedly the most fes- topped off by the boating stretch on the Snake tive testament to mountain-country exploits. The River. Cold water and sometimes almost satanic end-of-season romp sports every age bracket weather are no match for the grit of participants. Contestants and spectators alike gather at the and an array of categories, as a visit to base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort for a confirms. ebratory awards ceremony, followed by a concert The three competitions that define the Triple Crown also make for easy viewing by visitors and and fireworks. Oh, and the winners of the Triple Crown likely won’t mind if their names are reensure that competitors can play to their passions or their strengths – or both. Skiers, bikers, vealed post-season. After all, last season’s prize boaters, and celebrants in costumes and crafts, was a 20-day pass at the Jackson Hole Mountain some outrageously adorned, cap off the Triple Resort. Not bad for competitors who savor the Crown competition, this year tagged for March entire ski season exploiting what already makes 31, 2012. Spectators enjoy PPP as much as the Jackson Hole so famous: its unsurpassed skiing. contestants, many cheering entrants along the And, thanks to the Jackson Hole Ski Club, it’s a routes. Family teams, fun teams, recreation season packed with festive events and the best in teams, and, of course, adrenalin-pumping racing competition. teams are all hallmarks of the PPP. But in the

JACKSON HOLE SKI AND SNOWBOARD CLUB The driving force behind Jackson Hole’s celebrated winters is, in a word, Nature. Well, for purists, it may be two words: Mother Nature. But if 10 feet of cold blue smoke blankets the valley’s terrain in winter, and no one is around to hear it… Okay, fractured analogy. Still, without people to play in that powder, to revel in it, to sing its praises, all that snow and terrain is little more than garnish on the planet, curb appeal to extraterrestrials. In our valley, hooking up at least some of Mother Nature’s winter bounty and Homo sapiens falls in part to the Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club. Now entering it 74th year, the hometown organization is one of the oldest consecutively run ski clubs in the country. And its guiding hand shapes many events that visitors – and locals – may not be aware of. Alpine director and head coach Bridger Call notes that around 350 athletes fill out the club’s current development roster. But nearly 4,000 supporters purchased ski club memberships last season to help fund its training programs. That may account for the organization’s unwavering insistence on quality when overseeing some of its most high-profile public events: The Town Downw w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

hill, The Moose Chase, Pole Pedal Paddle and, of late, The Pica’s Margarita Cup. In between those hallmarks of Jackson Hole winters, the club and its devoted coaching staff nurture the competitive futures of youngsters in alpine, Nordic, snowboard, and freeride training regimens. These kids comprise the core of the next generation of skiers (not coincidentally the key element in two of the club’s notable programs: Next Generation Skiers and Next Generation Snowboarders.) The club’s mission statement limns the broader picture, though: “To inspire fun, fitness, sportsmanship, and personal achievement in young athletes through training, academic support, and competition.” Aside from the obvious commitment by staff and supporters, those objectives, not surprisingly, require money––over $300,000 annually. The funds also underwrite scholarships. Many county residents work their tails off to keep their families in the community and their kids in programs whose financial lifelines are sometimes as fickle as real estate markets. So fundraising, through the above-mentioned events, club memberships,

and donations, is a year-in-year-out enterprise. Andy Chambers, original executive club director and eight-year veteran of the U.S. Ski Team, noted that, “It’s one of those athletic programs that teaches kids responsibility, being competitive, and how to organize your time and studies.” Chambers, born and raised in Jackson, is now the father of four, and will soon be nurturing next generation skiers of his own as his brood takes to the slopes. A $30 membership to the club garners the holder discounts at more than 90 valley businesses, among them a $10 Grand Targhee lift ticket and a two-for-one massage at the Four Season, perks even the most distant visitor can enjoy during even the briefest of stays. In total, that 30 bucks could save the buyer over $1,500 in local discounts. Not a bad investment into a community program as much a part of the local fabric as winter, kids, and skiing are to Jackson Hole. For more information, to donate or purchase a club membership, visit the group’s website: or call 307-733-6433. Or drop by its offices at 100 E. Snow King Avenue, at the Snow King Center. — Mike Calabrese 2 0 1 2 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R


Grand Targhee Resort Winter playground on Tetons’ west slope


ot far from Jackson Hole, nestled into the western foothills of the mighty Tetons, Grand Targhee sits high above the hayfields of Driggs, Idaho, a rural yet cosmopolitan mountain town. A drive up Ski Hill Road ends at the picturesque resort, cradled in dense forests of evergreen and aspen. Gentle, open ground stretches upslope.

Gabe Rogel photos

Open powder fields bordered with rime-iced trees, Targhee’s signature look.

Dreamcatcher high-speed quad chair lift conveys skiers to groomed delights.


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Good ski country, covered with deep snow, replenished often. A magical place. Ken Rider, Targhee’s new director of marketing, got his first look at the magical place 15 years ago, up from Breckenridge with some buddies to ski Jackson Hole. After three days of good skiing on 10-dayold snow, they awoke on the fourth morning to a big surprise. Snow reports showed six inches new at Grand Targhee. A glance out their hotel window near Jackson’s Town Square revealed no new snow. w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

Skiers: John Beal (above); Lauren Parker (left)

“We wondered how that could be,” said Rider. “We drove to Targhee and, wow, we skied boot-top powder on President’s Day Weekend and had the mountain to ourselves. That doesn’t happen in Colorado with the I-70 crowd.” Great snow, more snow, fewer people, more mellow – soothing ingredients of Targhee’s magic. Some cagey Jackson Hole skiers have rediscovered this. Among them, Ned Brown and Clint Cook, longtime tram-dock fixtures, who now sometimes hide out at the ‘Ghee. w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

“I call up,” said Brown, “and if it’s three inches at the village and a foot at Targhee, I’ll go there.” One ingredient for the magic, a higher base elevation, makes for light, dry snow, top to bottom. “I ski untracked from nine to noon, then go to work,” said Brown. “And, usually, stop someplace for lunch.” A restaurant owner, Brown’s interest goes beyond the snow reports. “Clint likes to go eat after skiing,” said Brown. “We always hit the restaurants over there, check out the new ones, find little places. We 2 0 1 2 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R


Kevin Cass photo

found one with buck-twenty-five tacos. Kinda’ cool. A little journey.” Benny Wilson, Teton Village old-timer, also knows of this journey. “It’s a really good ski hill,” he said. “Intermediate, expert, and beginner runs all within a few thousand feet.

And powder. And those massive, gnar’ cliffs on the backside.” Those backside cliffs attracted other Jackson Hole skiers, such as Jason Tattersall, as they did notable Targhee locals like Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, who grew up skiing among those crags. “People love air,” said Tattersall. “When we go over there with Sage or Pierre (Jamie Pierre, world-record cliff drop, Grand Targhee, 2008), you can’t even peel them out of there with a spatula. They don’t want to leave.” Jackson leaper Jeff Leger also follows this air theory. “That’s really what peaked my interest in Targhee from the get-go,” said Leger, “and I wasn’t let down The annual Spring Cardboard Box Derby, fun for kids of all ages by what I found. The


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Skier: Jake Hawkes

cliffs back there are legendary.” Leger also recognizes that Targhee’s big picture includes more than just big air. “If the big jumping doesn’t happen, then we’re skiing the most relaxing powder,” he said. “It has both, that’s the thing. You can go over there with your family and ski beautiful, gentle, family slopes and in the afternoon break the world record on a cliff.” Now that’s variety for you. Other, less dramatic, examples of variety add to the magic mix. “What’s really good,” said Wilson, “is go tele’-skiing in the morning, put on your snowboard or alpine skis for the afternoon, hit the terrain park, and then go for a crosscountry jaunt on those massive trails. Or ski another powder run with a Teton View after an easy hike up Mary’s Nipple. “All that, and it’s still got that small-skiarea vibe.” Tattersall discovered the family-friendly nature of Grand Targhee as a kid himself. “I loved the place,” he said of early family ski trips when he was a Michigan high school student. w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

Wade McKoy photo

At the Grand Targhee summit, crystal-coated evergreens and a soaring skier frame the Teton Range.

Now he’s the one with kids. And he’s still at Targhee. “It’s perfect for the mom-and-pop show,” he said. “They have the Magic Carpet, the little kids terrain park, the big terrain park, the woodsy run with eyeballs and rabbits on the trees. ‘Daddy, look at the rabbit, look at the eyeballs.’ The kids love it.” Jeff Leger looks forward to that aspect of Targhee one day with his newborn, Lucy. “If you were to take Grand Targhee out of the shadows of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and place it anywhere else, it’s top notch.” he said. That’s what’s so great. It’s not that it’s undiscovered; it’s underrated because of the hype Jackson gets. Targhee flies under the radar.” Ken Rider sees that as part of the magic, but part of his challenge as well.

tractions, and a big-screen TV. Birthday and special event packages are available. Siriusware Point of Sales System – Resort-wide charging capability for lodging guests, new ticket and pass scanning system for all.

Environmental Record 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’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. — Jackson Hole Skier

“What’s really good, is go tele’-skiing in the morning, put on your snowboard or alpine skis for the afternoon, hit the terrain park, and then go for a cross-country jaunt on those massive trails.” “It’s still an unknown gem,” he said. “The people in the know, know it. How do we get a few of those people to bring a few of their friends, and get them in the know?” Jackson Hole skiers who love Grand Targhee could be part of the answer. “It’s awesome, having the reciprocal, complementary mountains,” Rider said. “You get the big mountains on both sides— Jackson and Targhee fit together very well.”

What’s New Terrain Park – Entered from Lower Sweetwater, the four-to-six rails and a jump section has two lines of features, one for beginners and one for more advanced skiers and riders. Two new Prinoth Bison X grooming cats, designed with extreme articulation of dozer and tiller implements, are used to build the terrain park features. New winch anchor points installed on Lost Groomer, Chief Joseph Bowl, and Sitting Bull Ridge mean more groomed runs on a daily basis. Arcade – Centrally located in the Resort Plaza, the Arcade features video games, atw w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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Get a guide and go If doing one simple, good thing for yourself could solve everything, then hiring a guide might just be that ultimate good thing for skiers. Because no matter what the weather or what the general ski conditions might be, a good guide’s client will have an excellent day in the mountains. Jackson Hole is home to many such good guides. The Tetons have drawn them here, the world-renowned mountain range acting as a beacon to all top mountaineers. Listen to the reasoning of these knowledgeable local guides.

What can clients do as preparation for having a good day? Jeff Jung, RST: Give yourself 48-to-72 hours of acclimatization before heading out with a guide. Too many people get off the plane from a place like Chicago or New York in great condition and ready to go, but wind up having a bad experience due to improper ac-


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Wade McKoy photo

Why hire a guide? Aimee Barnes, Jackson Hole Mountain Guides: A guide gets skiers into the powder faster and with fewer hassles. Guides also help their clients make the most out of a limited time schedule by choosing ski tours best suited to the client’s experience level. Lynne Wolf, Rendezvous SkiTours: You get a stability analysis that’s based not on a single snapshot, but on an understanding of the entire winter’s problems. And you get the guide’s knowledge – where to find the goods, how to stitch together your day so that you get great skiing that fits your ability. Tom Turiano, Jackson Hole Resort Guides: Because suddenly the size of Jackson Hole magnifies exponentially and much more terrain becomes available to you. Guides know all the best spots and can select among them for the best snow for that particular day and that particular client or group. Nat Patridge, Exum Mountain Guides: A professional ski guide’s proficiency in snowpack and stability assessment is the most obvious reason. Less obvious, but equally important, is the opportunity to experience the mountains through the eyes of a seasoned traveler. Guides have creative ways to link together terrain, assembling a progressive tour with exciting descents, maximum vertical, and few repeat runs.

climatization. Also, make sure all your gear is in working order. If you bring your own skis, make sure they are well waxed and the bindings work properly. The participant should show up with an adventurous attitude, a belly full of breakfast (plenty of fat and protein: eggs and spuds are our ultimate skier’s breakfast), and be well rested and well hydrated. Do not show up with a hangover. Aimee Barnes, JHMG: Take only what you need and follow the equipment list provided by the outfitter. These equipment lists are w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

Dave Miller, lead guide supervisor for the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

specific and based on experience. Packing too much makes for too heavy a load. Not packing efficiently limits where you can go. Nat Patridge, EMG: Clients need to have good, lightweight, modern gear and know how to operate it proficiently. For instance, when I first got my first pair of Dynafit bindings, I practiced using them in my living room. I put my boot into the binding and put the binding into ski mode and tour mode repeatedly, until I got it right every time. Learn these systems in the warmth and comfort of your w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

home. Then, once outside, you’re simply skiing, not fussing with learning your gear in winter conditions. And be fit, rested, and ready to rip. Lynne Wolf, RST: It helps if you already know how to put on your skins, how to skin uphill, and how to dress. Then there’s the mental side of things. Even if you have already done a bit of backcountry skiing, come in with an open mind. Prepare to get some tips and change the way you do things. And don’t come in with your heart 2 0 1 2 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R


Wade McKoy photos

First tracks in Cody Bowl, a prize worth the hike (above) Fresh powder snow (left), made easy and fun for those with modern ski gear

“I like to link canyons and ski-descents into long tours, never repeating the same descent route (unless it was phenomenal). This keeps it very interesting and feels more like a journey.” —Nat Patridge set on a goal, because the snow stability might not let you do what you want to do.

What are some of your favorite local ski tours? Tom Turiano: I have a secret spot several canyons out from the tram. When I call in on the radio and say I’m going to Grandmother’s House, all the guides know where


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I’m taking my clients. It’s a nice tour, has a couple or three climbs, a bunch of skiing between climbs, and culminates in untracked tree skiing. I’ve got the best shots all picked out. Lynne Wolf: One of my classic favorites is to start from the top of Teton Pass and work my way west. You get a little boost from the road and, unlike in the park where you climb up

3,000 feet, ski one run, and you’re done, you get a little taste of powder skiing as incentive to climb back up again for another run. Jeff Jung: Mt. Taylor is an easily accessible 10,000-foot peak and offers a myriad of downhill options as well as a great climb. It’s a big mountain that deserves respect. Any of the ski runs in Grand Teton Park – one of the most beautiful places on the planet – are w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

Fat skis allow riders to carve through wind-slabbed snow with ease. Skier: Hannah Horigan

also a great way to spend a day. Aimee Barnes: Twenty-five Short is always a fun tour, the Tetons providing an amazing backdrop. It has a great warm-up on the flats, a nice steep hike that gets the heart rate up, a beautiful view, and lots of terrain to ski on the way back to the car. Nat Patridge: I prefer to ski in Grand Teton National Park, where the runs are big and the snow is great. When I started skiing there years ago, I would yo-yo the same run because that was the easiest thing to do for

a beginning backcountry skier. Now I like to link canyons and ski-descents into long tours, never repeating the same descent route (unless it was phenomenal). This keeps it very interesting and feels more like a journey.


Personalized day tours a nd catered hut trips in the serenity of the Teton backcou ntry

Describe the ideal client. Tom Turiano: There are three or four guys who pop into mind right away. They’re highly skilled, but not super gung ho. They’re relaxed, mellow, easygoing, and they trust me to take them to the safest and


EXPERIENCE WINTER WTH EXUM MOUNTAIN GUIDES • Backcountry Skiing • Avalanche Courses • Ski Mountaineering • Ice Climbing

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w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

Grand Teton National Park South Jenny Lake Box 56 • Moose, WY 83012 EXUM IS AN AUTHORIZED CONCESSION OF GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK

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Tribute to Fallen Friend Results in Record-time Ski Link It started as a tribute to their former ski partner Wray Landon, but their blistering pace resulted in a new ski-mountaineering record for climbing and descending the Grand, Middle and South Tetons in one push.

Relaxed, mellow, and easygoing – the perfect client. Skier: Griffin Post


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Guided skiing continued from page 63 best snow. They just like to be outside and ski good snow. Lynne Wolf: Jane Galley, who lives in Kelly. She’s local, she comes with five of her best girlfriends. They all come with this great attitude and they let me put together the day. This will be the seventh year I’ve been working with them, so I know what they like and they trust me, trust my stability assessment. If I say, “Nope, today’s not the day to ski these big, steep bowls off Baldy Knoll yurt,” they’ll say, “OK.” They don’t have a lot of wanting. They want to go into the backcountry and get some untracked. Jeff Jung: Each client that I’ve worked with has added something special to my outlook. One client stands out in my memory, though. A 62-year-old Tele-skier from Tokyo, Japan. His enthusiasm for the sport of backcountry skiing, as well as the outdoor winter world, was infectious and made him

a joy to ski with. Even today, I think of him and the tours we’ve shared together as I get pumped for another ski season. Aimee Barnes: I have a few clients that I love to guide every year. Why? One: you build relationships with long-term clients. Two: after awhile they become your ski partner and you’re able to plan tours that are fun ski days and are less like work. Nat Patridge: I have a few clients who come back year after year to ski together. What I enjoy about guiding them is their interest in improving, their interest in learning, and their enthusiasm for the sport. I’ve watched many clients progress from barely making it up a 2,500-foot climb to now skiing all day and accumulating 6,500 feet of vertical, day after day, throughout a week. I enjoy watching improved proficiency, fitness, and psych. — Jackson Hole Skier w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

Wade McKoy photo (left); Nate Brown photo (above)

outing on Teton Pass. He brought up an overwhelming idea: skiing the three central Teton peaks in one push, in winter. I laughed, hesitantly, knowing that before I could get my head around it, he would probably do it. In reality, that was the last time I would see Wray, as he was killed the next day when an avalanche swept him off the precipitous south face of the South Teton. Nate and Wray were budding friends, too. In fact, Nate was initially swept in the same avalanche that killed Wray, but was able to step off the slab in time. That fateful day was to be their first alpine adNate Brown, Brian Harder, and venture together and, of course, Zahan Billimoria set off from Lupine their last. Meadows at 5:15 a.m., July 2, 2011. Ever since Wray’s death we Upon completion of the route, the have wanted to complete this tracar-to-car time of 10 hours 39 minverse. Wray’s dream was to do it in utes broke the old record by a mere winter, and complete the traverse 16 minutes. Here are excerpts from via the logical south side of the Billimoria’s report, which can by South Teton (ironically, where he read in its entirety at Kate’sRealwas killed). This remains — JHS pleted, the winter stage adding complexity to the equation (no runWe climbed the Grand in just ning water, post-holing through winunder four hours, soloing the ice ter snow, additional clothing and pitches on both ascent and descent. avalanche equipment, etc.) but that Harder, who had been suffering was just the kind of alpine problem from stomach problems earlier in that Wray loved working away at the week, headed back to the valand finding solutions to. ley, his legs giving out. From the Credit for this project also goes to bottom of the Stettner, I struggled Jimmy Chin, who in June of 2008 to follow Nate’s blistering pace to completed the traverse solo, car to the lower saddle. car in a standard-setting 10 hours 55 From the Saddle, we headed tominutes – a major inspiration for wards the Middle Teton and went Zahan Billimoria chases Nate Brown up the Grand Teton on the record-setting day. Wray, and by extension Nate and carefully up the exposed rock on Brian Harder is seen far behind as he retreats due to illness. me. And we credit Stephen Koch the North Ridge and traversed into and Mark Newcomb, who in the midamazing day in the mountains. the NW Ice Couloir. The technical climbing diffinineties completed the traverse in under 18 hours. The Background: culties were largely over at that point and we In February of 2010, my friend Wray Landon made up lost time by working as a team and — Zahan Billimoria and I were chatting after an early-morning ski staying motivated for a fast finish. It was an

Kit DesLauriers in Ski Hall of Fame

“When Kit DesLauriers successfully skied from the summit of 29,035-ft. Mt. Everest on Oct. 18, 2006, she became the first person to ski from the summit of the highest peak on each continent, aka the Seven Summits. She has the distinction of being the first person to make a ski descent of the Polish Glacier on Aconcagua and the first female to make a complete ski descent of Vinson Massif in Antarctica. The skiing exploits of the unassuming resident of Teton Village, Wyoming, include winning the Women’s 2004 and 2005 U.S. Freeskiing World Tour Title and 2005 U.S. Freeskiing Nationals. Off the skis, the multi-dimensional DesLauriers is a member of The North Face Global Athlete Team, a mountain climber, an accomplished stonemason and the mother of two daughters.

for the

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In 2010 she journeyed to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and made a first ski descent of the highest mountain in the Brooks Range of Alaska. A ski mountaineer extraordinaire, DesLauriers knows about achievements.” Of the recognition, DesLauriers stated, “I have always loved to be outside in the natural world. Moving through it on skis is simply my medium for experiencing life. I first met my husband, Rob, on a ski expedition to Siberia in 1999. When I moved to Jackson to be with him and first saw the Grand Teton in winter, I knew I wanted to feel what it was like to be up there experiencing it on skis. The same desire to see the rest of the world was the largest draw for me to complete my project to ski the Seven Summits. Now, the honor of being inducted into the Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame makes me feel such gratitude for the kind words and efforts of those who made it happen. In my heart, I know I never pursued any of my ski accomplishments for anything other than the personal experience of it.” — Jackson Hole Skier

Kit DesLauriers skis Mount Everest.

Ski Guides Photo: Greg Collins

Jimmy Chin photos

Teton Village resident Kit DesLauriers was inducted into the International Ski Hall of Fame on September 22, 2011, in Park City, Utah. As reported by Brandon Zimmerman in the Jackson Hole News and Guide, DesLauriers is the sixth person with Jackson Hole ties to be inducted into the Hall. The others are Neil Rafferty, Paul McCollister, Bill Briggs, Pepi Stiegler, and Pete Karns. DesLauriers was nominated three years ago by Jim Sullivan, longtime Snow King ski area manager. Sullivan had read a story about her achievements in the 2007-08 winter edition of Jackson Hole Magazine. Having learned of her accomplishments, Sullivan nominated DesLauriers for the Intermountain Hall of Fame, and was determined to see it through, Zimmerman reported. After three years of lobbying by Sullivan, DesLauriers was finally selected, one of four nominees who were pulled this year from a field of 35. The plaque honoring DesLauriers in the Will and Jean Pickett Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame at the Alf Engen Ski Museum in Utah Olympic Park, reads:

Backcountry Experience

Avalanche Education Ski Mountaineering Backcountry Skiing Ice Climbing 800-239-7642 307-733-4979

Jackson Hole Mountain Guides & Climbing School

JHMG is an authorized concessioner of Grand Teton National Park and is permitted by the Bridger-Teton and Shoshone National Forests.

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Hiking for turns in the alpine glow

Sunrise brings many things. A fresh start. Breakfast. Another 40 winks. Choices. The “dawn patrol’s” choice is to rise in darkness.

This disparate but committed few, a group of skiers the likes of which every ski town across the globe counts among its citizenry, roll out in the pre-dawn blackness and fire up their motor vehicles. Headlights pierce the inky roadway as they drive to the trailhead. Headlamps create a dome of silence as they hike or skin for their early-morning ski run. Pale sunlight gains brightness as the dawn patrol quickly ascends. The frail sound of their boots crushing cold snow slips through the wind, through the stillness. Crystalline air and sundogs paint a shimmering curtain as the dawn patrol makes its way up favorite routes, well outside the boundaries of the ski areas. Often, this platoon of driven skiers and ‘boarders trek the slopes of Teton Pass. Not a bad place to hike and ski under the rosy glow of the rising sun. The motives of this devoted small group vary. A run before work. A run be-


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Photos: Wade McKoy

Cache and Jackson peaks etch a silhouette on the valley’s eastern horizon during sunrise in Jackson Hole.

fore skiing the resort. A run while it’s quiet, before too many other people show up. A morning workout. Walking the dog. A growing number of these early-hour backcountry habitués, though, have caught the attention of Teton Pass Ambassador Jay Pistono. He’s up there every day. He’s seen the dawn patrol’s work and he likes the boot-pack up Mount Glory these early risers put in. “They do a good job of setting the track in the good place, far looker’s left,” said Pistono. “They don’t wander out into Twin Slides.” Guys like middle school principal Bo Miller. “A lot of people break trail, but he’s in a league of his own,” said Pistono. “I watched him on a day the Village was closed. Bo was doing this little fish-swim move, wallowing. Took him 20 minutes to go 100 feet. He just kept going. A great spirit.” In his ambassador role over the past five-plus years, Pistono has continued to drive home good backcountry protocol. “I’m working on it, it’s a goal,” he said. “The whole mood is gradually imw w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

Dawn patroller Jason Tattersall visits Trench Town, plowing up a cloud of cold smoke lit by the alpenglow.

proving. There’s a local code, and I’m impressed with how many people are willing to stand by it. They will stop you from dropping in behind someone else too soon, not like at some other backcountry areas where it’s a free-forall. We’re pretty solid. Visiting skiers are impressed.” Statistics compiled by the U.S. Forest Service estimate Teton Pass receives 60,000 ski or snowboard runs per year. “It’s important for people to be aware of those numbers,” he said. “With that many runs made each season, people really need to consider all the consequences and take responsibility for the run they are doing.” Consequences like avalanches that can bury other users, including the biggest user group of all – motorists. Last year when a skier-caused avalanche briefly closed the highway, over 600 complaint calls went to the Wyoming Department of Transportation in Cheyenne. “That’s a lot of complaints from one incident,” said Pistono. “WYDOT was not happy with us for that one.” w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

It’s a work in progress, and though the majority of Teton Pass skiers and snowboarders are knowledgeable, Pistono still sees too many uninformed winter backcountry users. “I have to explain to some people that in some bowls, at some times, it doesn’t matter,” he said. “You could hold hands with ten people and ski it together. Like Edelweiss when it’s tracked. But some people say, ‘Why didn’t you say anything to them.’ Well, you’ve got historical record, the snowpack, and so on. I can’t give them a class at the moment, but maybe they should take one.” Ultimately, though, Pistono’s awareness of Teton Pass’s dangerous beauty is filtering through the hardy lot traversing its topography. “Lots of locals, though, have deputized themselves to serve in an educational role,” said Pistono. Most notably, perhaps, the excellent track setters of the dawn patrol. — Jackson Hole Skier 2 0 1 2 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R


Alaska’s Chugach Range stretches beyond the horizon as a helicopter leaves a group of skiers at the top for another run.

Valdez’s Chugach Range a leading destination for Alaska-bound heli-skiers Helicopter skiing in Alaska is many things to many people: a pilgrimage for the faithful ski addict, an annual junket for ski-industry businessmen, a stage for ski-flick crews. Once sampled, though, heli-skiing is a difficult concoction to give up. Below are some adventure stories told by guides employed in premier helicopter-skiing services on Thompson Pass. This is highcountry lore. At its center, the peaks that tower above the infamous village of Valdez, where Alaskan heli-skiing started when local skiers began to dig their economy out of the Exxon oil-spill depression. To this day the Chugach Range remains the leading destination for Alaska-bound heli-skiers. These stories reveal why.

Alaska Rendezvous Heli-Guides Theo Meiners, owner, operator, and lead guide of Alaska Rendezvous Heli-Guides, is a ski instructor, a PSIA examiner, a Steep Skiing Camps instructor, and a race coach. He has worked as a ski patrol trainer on Snow King Mountain in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and in Chile at Centro de Ski, El Colorado. The flight into Get a Clue was itself memorable. The helicopter sailed up and over Fork-It-In and dove steeply through a sucker hole in the sky. The pilot used his ship to stomp out the landing zone, its rotor spinning, picking up snow and surrounding us with a tornado of powder that took five minutes to clear. OMG. I had to push open the door and clear away the snow. I stepped off the skid and sunk to my armpits. Oh no. Ski-boot penetration was chest deep. That’s not in the textbooks. It was cold, so cold the snowflakes were perfectly stellar crystals. Beautiful, each flake as big as a nickel, so much air in the snow. I swam back toward the ski basket. It was completely buried and out of sight. To my surprise, I could move. The snow was deep but it was mostly air. 68

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Oh Lord, could it be true? The question is always the same, “To go, or not to go.” The passengers exited, each one’s face shocked at the sight of deep-piled, perfect snow on the steepest run ever. Everyone was set. Thumbs up. The bird flew away. Another powder tornado covered us completely in rotor wash. I used my shovel like a broom to make the landing perfect for the crews that followed, brushing away four to five feet of the perfect snow. Skis on. Over to the slope to assess the hazard. Again, brushing the snow away, looking at the interface of the new-snow-old-snow layer. A contact point, sticky old feathers and small sastrugi kept it holding. The crystals will fall to sloughs, but no cracks. No visual evidence of activity on adjacent mountains. High-speed sloughs demand high-speed powder descents. My crew of pro-riders were down, ready to ride. Avalungs, airbags, helmets. They where chompin’ and ready. The start was steep. Straight run to get speed. To float, slam your turns and keep rolling. Questions? Doubts? No falls! You could sink into oblivion. OK, it is a go. There is only one first run: my right as a guide, as an w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

Photos: Matt Haines / courtesy Alaska Rendezvous Heli-Guides (top left, bottom right); Chris Wilde (top center and right).

Helicopter Skiing in

Chutes hold cold powder snow through which skiers descend to the glaciers below.

opener. Read it and eat it. No way back; just full-throttle flying with your feet barely in contact with Mother Earth. Nothing is finer. Words can describe experiences that some people may never otherwise know. Bliss. Nirvana. Heaven on Earth. Freedom. All are just words, though. This was something else. This was the best run of my life. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, universe. I’m alive today, more so, because of this gift.

Dave Miller has skied multiple first-descents in the Chugach Mountains, many with his friend, the late Doug Coombs. He has been guiding skiers for 23 years at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and for six years in Alaska. Opening The Wall for the season, a 3,500-foot, sustained 45- to 50-degree face in the Books, skiing with Doug Coombs. Bluebird day, kind of windy, one meter new snow. In-your-face cold smoke. The snow had a thin, soft wind-slab layer on top. While I was skiing, high-speed sloughs were raging down the slope in front of me. Then, as I’m watching for a possible avalanche, all of a sudden the high-speed sloughs started blowing 100-foot

The Northern Lights illuminate the Alaskan sky over the Alaska Rendezvous Lodge.

sheets of the wind-slab layer 50 feet into the air! At this point I’m getting face shots watching this unbelievable visual 1,000 feet below. Another first-of-the-season opening, Forty-and-a-half Mile, skiing with Emily and Doug Coombs. Three feet of five-percent blower pow’. Cold smoke. Doug said, ‘Go for it, Miller.’ I cut the top of the 45- to 50-degree couloir and perched myself on a spine and watched Doug drop in. All you could see were the willow flagging stakes strapped to his pack two feet above his head. Of course he ripped the run. Em’ dropped in and looked like w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

a mole trenching underground. It was awesome that day! Double over-thehead snow!

Endless bowls, faces, chutes, and spines – that’s AK.

Robb Maris came to the Alaska Rendezvous family in 2007 after honing his skills in Jackson Hole since age 18. At 16, his eyes were opened to skiing the wild country by a chance meeting with Doug Coombs on an Oregon surf beach.That encounter led to his understudy work with the Jackson Hole Air Force. My first look at Alaska I saw a giant candy store. Not one you’d find at the super market. More like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. On drugs. It was huge. In AK we have more than a little Willy Wonka trolley car to cart us around the chocolate factory. We have these ships called helicopters that we use to go play in this gigantic candy store, to fly us anywhere we want, when it’s safe, and experience the biggest thrills, the biggest sugar rushes that you could ever imagine. Everybody that goes up to AK has this mental image: ‘It will be great.’ But once you get there you realize, ‘I’ve just gotten myself into the greatest ski experience that possibly will ever be.’ I was quickly subjected to this phenomenon. Relating Alaska to Jackson: instead of having Pucker Face in front of me, ‘Oh cool, a 600- to 800-foot face, then a run out,’ I now have Pucker Face times five, or times eight. It’s a completely different mindset of, ‘OK, I don’t quite see the run-out, I don’t know how many rollovers I’m going to encounter, but everything I learned on Pucker Face better apply to this right now, to its absolute maximum! The consequences are far more serious. But there is another side to Alaskan skiing that caters to a broader audience, that doesn’t follow all the hype surrounding the crazy, gnarly, and extreme. Alaska offers more than high-angle skiing. We go to lower-angle glacial tongues for skiers who don’t want to be on high-angle slopes. We look at the layout of goodies presented. We’ve got a Nirvana bliss for every type of skier, from upper intermediate through advanced. We’ve got some Willy Wonka Chocolate for everyone.

Valdez Heli-Ski Guides Scott Raynor, Valdez Heli-Ski Guides owner and operator since 2000, when he purchased the company from Doug Coombs, began his Alaska heli-ski guide career in 1996 doing snow-safety and film work. A member of the American Avalanche Association, Scott has worked in Alaska, Chile, and New Zealand as a lead guide, an avalanche forecaster, and an operations director. We’d had a great week of skiing: stable snow, perfect corn, and sweet pow’ on the north aspects. A fast-moving storm rolled through overnight 2 0 1 2 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R


and it rained just a bit at sea level. I didn’t expect more than a few inches of new snow on the north aspects. Back then there were no remote weather stations. The pilot dropped us off on the shoulder, and I skied over to the start of the run and dug a quick pit. On my way over I was shocked at the amount of new snow. My pit revealed a stable four feet of the driest, lightest snow I had ever seen. I clapped my hands and the powder floated up like dust in the still air. It rocked my world to see snow like this in Valdez and the middle of May. I gave my clients instructions to wait and watch, and then started skiing. The run is nothing radical—1,800 feet vertical, 38-degree pitch, straight fall line—but it’s sweet. As the slope rolled over, though, the snow depth went overhead and blinded me.

Doug Workman, VHSG guide since 2004, with courses in Professional Avalanche Level 3, Winter Weather Forecasting, and AMGA Ski Mountaineering, has worked as a ski guide, an avalanche forecaster, and an avalanche instructor. Doug also works for Jackson Hole Ski Patrol, Jackson Hole Mountain Guides, Alaska Mountaineering School, and High Mountain Heli-Skiing in Jackson Hole.

VHSG offers the world’s steepest guided heliskiing. The following is an account of an experienced group who took advantage of good snow stability, good weather, and good timing to do one of our more adventuresome descents. The week started out rather sporty. As the storm’s new snow settled we had a few avalanches to deal with, but the boys did not appear rattled. My clients were about as strong and savvy as a guide could hope for: Jackson Hole ski patrollers Sparky Speckhals, Hollis Brooks, Al Walker, and Drew Kneeland. It was my first year working on the ski patrol and it was my turn to show these guys the ropes. By the time the storm’s snow had settled, the boys’ nerves were cauterized—they had grown accustomed to tight mountaintop landing zones and the occasional “billy goating” into a couloir or onto a face. So skiing into the unknown did not faze them a bit. And the unknown it was, as not one of us had skied down The Elephant before. The east face of The Elephant is a sustained 45degree, 5,000-foot face with convoluted couloirs weaving in and out of each other. From the top all you can see is the Cleave Glacier at the bottom. You can’t see how you’re going to get there. Our pilot, Drew Rose, was second to none. On the snow and in the air, these guys had my back. And that’s what it takes to do a mountaineeringstyle descent, a descent that requires route finding, stable snow, a pilot who will put you there, and clients that are game and capable. We ogled the Elephant’s underside while descending cliff-bound couloirs that go all the way to the bottom. We skied in and out of the inter-

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Photo: Matt Haines, courtesy Alaska Rendezvous Heli-Guides

Glaciers sometimes create other-worldly snowscapes.

“Going Lights Out” is awesome in a resort, but in Valdez on a big, open slope—that’s different. Reminding myself that the snow stability was good, I kept skiing with no visibility whatsoever. I was skiing under the snow for a good 45 seconds. The powder was stuffing my mouth as fast as I could spit it out. It was so deep I was floating. Finally I felt the slope angle starting to lessen and I came up for air. I stopped and looked back at my tracks. It looked more like a trench than a ski track. Trench Town. That’s what we call those rare conditions. I radioed to my clients that it was super deep, but safe, and to relax and enjoy the run. I watched them ski down one by one and have never seen people so ecstatic. They were skiing the deepest powder humanly possible in the wildest terrain on earth. That was 14 years ago. I’ve skied steeper runs, longer runs, and more exotic runs, but when someone asks me about my best run in Valdez, that was it.

twined couloirs, onto faces, and into other couloirs, and finally past the ice cave to our helicopter sitting there waiting for us at the bottom. When I get to ski a gem like that, with a group like that, it can make their whole trip...and my whole season.

Jeff Zell, VHSG guide since 1997, has skied and guided in the Chugach longer than any other guide on Thompson Pass. Jeff’s history in the area dates back to 1993, when he placed second in the World Extreme Ski Championships. A certified PSIA Level 3 ski instructor, Jeff taught skiing and now guides at the Jackson Hole Resort. You always remember skiing the classics: Diamond, Pyramid, Elephant, Happy Top, Meteorite, The Wall. A couple years ago I had a good go at Meteorite—skied it four times in one season, after not having skied it for nearly 10 years. I think it’s one of the best ski runs in the Chugach, a long, steep ramp that you see every day driving from Valdez. You’re not expecting it to be blower at the end of April, but we got to the top and the wind was blowing up the thing and it must’ve been five below zero. I started off the top skiing only a couple inches new snow, but once I got onto the big ramp, the powder was three feet deep the whole way down. My face was so cold from the powder that I had an ice-cream headache. Another time, one of Coombs’s old clients, a big Will Ferrell fan, says something about Ferrell smushing two words together. So we found a peak where we could smush two runs together. Two side-by-side chutes, one called Tenacious, the other called Awesome. We skied them at the same time and called it Tenawesome. One side has big, puffy pillows and it narrows down into a couple couloirs. The other side has some steep spines. They are good, steep runs. It was boot-top powder that day, too. Sloughs running down. Tenawesome! — Jackson Hole Skier

Historic Tsaina Lodge Reopens The Tsaina Lodge on Thompson Pass, high above the infamous port town of Valdez, Alaska, was legendary in the 1990s as a frontier ski and snowboard hangout. The bar, the bedrooms, the RVs camped in the parking lot – not to mention the occasional snow cave out back – were all ingredients of the fabled gathering place featured in dozens of magazine articles and projected onto movie screens the world over. Freelance writer Susan Reifer, for example, wrote in Freeze: “Originally built in 1951 as a roadhouse for truckers rolling over the Alaska highway, the Tsaina has metamorphosed into arguably the best and certainly the most perfectly located skier bar on earth. Vintage snowshoes hung from the ceiling. Little Feat’s “Time Loves a Hero� reverberated off the woodpaneled walls, shaking the moose antlers. Skiers munched on caribou jerky, oblivious to the batteries draining away in their still transmitting Pieps. Climbing holds were attached above the doorways and at least half the customers were wearing harnesses. A Mountain Man’s Country Club.� Men’s Journal went a step further with its ode to the lodge: “There are two places in the universe where a skier can buzz a glacier at 120 miles

per hour with a chopper pilot, ski 20,000 vertical feet, and relive it all each evening over French wine and grilled halibut: Heaven and Valdez, Alaska. On an epic powder day even God would choose the latter. At the Tsaina Lodge, 40 miles northeast of Valdez, weary alpinists commune with ski-film crews and such elite snowboarders as Julie Zell and Terje Haakonsen as they scarf salmon burgers and quaff Guinness. Days end with a sauna and a deep slumber in one of the lodge’s handconstructed log cabins. Waking up under a handmade quilt, in a cabin overlooking the Tsaina River and the tail of the Worthington Glacier, will make any wayfarer question what he has to go home to.� The legendary Tsaina, closed for a number of years now, reopens in 2012 with a new, 24-room, 36-guest-capacity lodge. While the original building couldn’t be saved, the new construction was designed with the same theme as the old lodge. Patrons will recognize some of the original wood, historical items, and pieces of the bar. Seven-day bookings, accommodations for the day skier to hang out in, and RV facilities are offered by the lodge. The high-end restaurant features an excellent selection of entrees each evening. Lunches. — Jackson Hole Skier


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Photos: Wade McKoy

Ease into the Jackson Hole backcountry

Untracked powder skiing in a safe environment, with the added bonus of helicopter rides — that’s High Mountain Heli-Skiing.

One glance around Jackson Hole’s snowblanketed mountain ranges jumpstarts every skier’s imagination, not to mention the heart. All that snow begging to be laid into. Problem: Access. Solution? Heli-skiing! And, since 1974, High Mountain Heli-Skiing has been offering its clients

the ultimate deep-powder helicopter-skiing experience in Jackson Hole—untracked snow in the backcountry within a safety cocoon provided by guides. Owner Jon Shick’s 30-plus winters as the company’s lead guide, avalanche forecaster, and


Enjoy the pure powder experience. Ski the high mountains where pristine bowls and forested glades go on forever.

Box 173, Teton Village, Wy 83025 • 307-733-3274 • Fax 307-733-3529 • email:


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currently managing partner suit him well as he steers High Mountain Heli-Skiing into its 38th season. Shick’s orientation talk tells potential clients all they need to know. “For the first-time heli-skier, the ultimate experience is the very first run. It’s the adventure of riding in the helicopter and being dropped off on top of the mountain. Once the helicopter leaves and you look around, it’s silent and all you have is untracked snow below you. That’s the rush that you’re going to get from heli-skiing. I often hear from some of our guests, ‘Best of day of our lives.’ “Our terrain is vast, 305,000 acres. It includes a wide variety of open bowls, steep chutes, enchanted forests, and glades. We probably have some of the best powder skiing in all of the country. “You can sign up for a day of helicopter skiing by yourself, or you can come with your friends. We pair one guide with five guests. Bring your own group of five for the best value and experience. “A day of helicopter skiing with High Mountain Heli-Skiing is six runs and about 12,000 to 15,000 total vertical feet. It includes a deli lunch. We ask that our guests be advanced to expert skiers. Snowboarders are also welcome and we ask that they be advanced to expert level as well. “Safety is our primary concern, not only on the snow, but around the helicopter. Briefings are conducted every day and we make sure everybody understands what’s expected of them before we actually bring them into the backcountry. “At the end of the day we hear all kinds of comments. Mostly it’s the best skiing they’ve ever had, or the best day of their lives. Some even say ‘better than sex,’ but we usually advise them not to tell that to their spouse. “For the ultimate deep-powder experience give us a call. We’d love to show you the adventure of helicopter skiing.” — Jackson Hole Skier w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

Made In Wyoming From jewelry to jerky, beer to boards, it’s made in the Cowboy State DanShelley Jewelers – Dan Harrison What brought DanShelley Jewelers to Wyoming in the first place? While attending Utah State University we worked in Jackson for a summer. This is the hook that generated a desire to live and work in a beautiful environment. Our creativity could be stimulated, plus offering an opportunity to grow. Established 1976. What is unique about your made-in-Wyoming product? Within a design format of both literal and interpretive expressions of our surrounds, we can offer our clientele original jewelry creations using materials from Wyoming and the surrounding states. Hines Goldsmiths – Carolyn Hines and Gary Smith

Dan Harrison

What brought you to Wyoming in the first place? I was born and raised in Wyoming. Gary moved here about 27 years ago from Denver because it was a small, safe mountain town with great skiing and lots of opportunities. What is unique about your made-in-Wyoming product? Our product is uniquely Jackson Hole since it depicts the Teton Mountain range as viewed from the Snake River overlook. Our details truly represent this glorious mountain range—we even put river rocks in the Snake River in our pendants.

Igneous Skis – Mike Parris What brought Igneous to Wyoming in the first place? Adam Sherman, a skier who couldn’t keep up with his snowboarder buddies, solved this problem in 1993 by building a new kind of ski – longer, fatter, and burlier. “Adam wanted to make skis that would hold up to the terrain and conditions in Jackson Hole,” says Mike Parris, who, along with his partner Mott Gatehouse, runs the ski company Sherman founded 18 years ago. “He wanted to hook up his buddies with their dream ski, as if they were pro riders.” What is unique about your made-in-Wyoming product? We’re making a lot of completely new prototypes, full custom shapes and constructions, new and different concepts in styles of skis and snowboards.

Gary Smith

Mike Parris

Dan Marino

Cory Buenning

Jackson Hole Buffalo Meat – Dan Marino

Photos: Wade McKoy (5); courtesy Pinedale Roundup (1)

What brought you to Wyoming in the first place? I first moved to Jackson Hole as an 18-year-old outdoors bum (ski instructing, river guiding and hunting). After I arrived, I spent most of my time teaching skiing and running the river as a guide. I later purchased Jackson Hole Buffalo Company and have been successfully operating this business ever since. What is unique about your made-in-Wyoming product? All of our products are artisan (hand made). Our salamis, jerky, smoked roasts, steaks, burger are all prepared in-house here in Jackson. We keep as much of our product as local and sustainable as possible. Our local commitment not only helps out the environment, it also is beneficial to our community.

Snake River Brewing – Chris Erickson, Cory Buenning, Ryan Brogan, Tim Harland, Bob Fuziak What brought SRB to Wyoming in the first place? Albert Upsher owned a beer distributorship in Oregon and vacationed in Jackson Hole throughout the 80s and early 90s. With the craft-brewing craze going full bore in the northwest and Jackson Hole having but one small brewery in Wilson at the time, Albert sold his distributorship, moved to Jackson and built Snake River Brewing in 1993. Since then it’s become the most award-winning small brewery in America. What is unique about your made-in-Wyoming product? Although our beers are made locally in Jackson Hole, they emulate and represent brews from around the globe. From Belgian ales to German lagers, Snake River beers are made true to style, with local, regional, and international ingredients. Wind River Brewing – Richie Strom and Eric Berg What brought you to Wyoming in the first place? We were always here. What is unique about your made-in-Wyoming product? The water used to produce our beer comes from the Wind River Mountain glacier fields. We were the first Wyoming Brewery to can its beer. w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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Filmmaker Profiles Locally bred, action-sports filmmakers thrive in Jackson Hole’s nurturing environment. Nothing compares to the high-flying energy of a theater packed with winter sports enthusiasts hooting at the spectacle of top athletes riding the big mountains. Gala events, these movie premieres come replete with prizes, pros signing posters, and parties. Stoking the party-like fire for snow-hounds barely able to wait for winter’s advent, Jackson Hole filmmakers pitch full-tilt




footage, images, and challenges. Here are some of the A-list forces behind the Jackson Hole cinema wonder-ground. Teton Gravity Research Steve and Todd Jones

Jacques Parker, artist A World War II veteran with the 10th Mountain Division, Jacques Parker created sketches of Italian war scenes that he witnessed. “I had the unique opportunity (whenever possible) to capture on paper the scenes as they occurred…the villages, children, people, the Alpini and partisans we worked with; the combat in those mountains,” Parker once explained for an exhibit of his art. The Jackson Hole Skier recently spoke by phone with Jacques to get the background for his artwork seen here. After the war, Parker hung around Aspen, Colorado, “as we all did, until the money ran out.” Broke and living in New Jersey with his mother and sister, he found himself doing art on assignment for Ski Illustrated, which later became SKI. “Ski Illustrated, published in New York City, was in its infancy,” Jacques said. “I looked at the masthead and there was no art director.” He made a formal sketch – “a certain look in


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design, typography, and illustration” – and the magazine publisher approved it. “They paid me a modest fee,” he said, “I began to run the show a little bit, as much as I could.” In 1947 he created this illustration for an article on early filmmaking. “Hollywood was beginning to notice Sun Valley,” Jacques said. “Sonja Henie, the champion figure skater, made a movie there. Otto Lang was Sun Valley’s chief ski instructor and filmmaker, one of those real Austrian guys, handsome, good-looking, tan, hanging out with (movie actress) Claudette Colbert, that kind of stuff. “I did it on a drawing board, leaning against a dresser, the other end in my lap. I said, ‘Hey, listen. I can play with this and have a good time.’ And I did. You know, the boy-girl story, the director, and all of the rest of it. “I still think it has merit. It’s funky, yeah. It’s cool and funky at the same time.” — Jackson Hole Skier

One For The Road

Take us through the leaps in camera equipment over your 17-year careers. TJ: We began TGR with one 16-mm film camera, eventually acquiring six. The high-def digital cameras didn’t have a cinematic look and feel until about three years ago when RED Digital Cinema woke us up. And when Canon added video to their digital still cameras, that further changed the industry. SJ: We shot One For The Road with Canon DSLRs, the RED, and the Phantom high-speed camera. The whole movie. Not one frame of film. First time ever. TJ: Helmet-cam technology has always been a huge part of TGR. We used the earliest designs made by V.I.O., which went from being pretty “janky” tools that had 50- to 40-percent success ratio, to a 90-percent success ratio while shooting in high-def. We’ve added a lot of different tracking and motion cinema devices to our repertoire: helicopters, helicopter mounts, jib arms, sliders, dollies, cable cameras. That stuff’s all been huge. We use the w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

Steve and Todd Jones

Tyler mount, a gyro-stabilized side mount on the helicopter. That let’s you get really intimate with the action. When was the first time you hung out of the helicopter door? TJ: When we shot The Continuum, but the footage was shaky. SJ: One of the techniques that Mike Hatchet, of Standard Films, showed us: when you’re hanging out the side of a helicopter, take your down jacket and wrap it around the camera body to dampen it. TJ: We still, to this day, shoot hand-held out of a helicopter for certain things but, more and more, we tend to bring in different gyrostabilizer mounts. What’s your goal for your films? SJ: The simple goal: to showcase the most progressive riding on the planet with the most stunning cinematography. To inspire people to get out and enjoy the mountains. To have people know that boundaries exist, and to go beyond those. Really, to stoke people out. TJ: One continued goal is to be on the cutting edge of filmmaking and to be doing some of the most progressive stuff out there.

Photos: Wade McKoy

Who are some of your favorite filmmakers? TJ: Stumpy (the legendary Greg Stump) was one of the biggest inspirations. When we saw The Blizzard of Oz and License to Thrill it gave us a desire. Wow, what a way to make a living! Another inspiration – this is a weird one – in the nineties we skied in a Warren Miller film, a Jackson Hole seg’ featuring the Zell brothers and the Jones brothers. The experience wasn’t great. They just wanted us to make little slashes through the frame and we wanted to capture the epic Jackson Hole terrain. They didn’t want that, and they communicated to our sponsors that we weren’t very good to work with. SJ: Jimmy [Zell] took off for a Dead show. They said, “Where’s Jimmy?” and Jeff tried to say he had a cold. Finally, after four days, Jeff said, “He’s not coming back.” TJ: We were blackballed from filming at that point. Our sponsors clipped us, but we loved what we were doing, so we went commercial fishing, made a bunch of money, bought a 16-mm film camera and made The Continuum. SJ: The other huge influence was Mike Hatchet. Those guys were doing really hard-hitting stuff, were showing the whole line, shooting all in film, w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

really progressive, connected with youth culture and action sports. He was a huge pioneer in that whole Alaska-style, bigmountain approach to filmmaking. TJ: I concur. They would go deep without any concern for money. SJ: Coombs loved them. Todd was the heli-guide for Hatchet, watching this stuff go down, and would come back saying, “This is how we want to run TGR.” What do you look for in an athlete? SJ: Guys who are stoked to be in the mountains, who regard it as fun as much as a job, who are reTGR athletes go big on the North Shore in Granite Canyon’s south fork. spectful to other people, and who have an exceptional level of them and are trying to figure out how that will be structured. This was the first year we dove in athleticism, talent, and a super-creative mind. TJ: We have a tight-knit group, and associate heavily to the cable space, and we got some rewith people who appreciate the mountains, are ally amazing stuff. safe, and can be part of a team. Everything we do Would you rather be freeskiing? is team-oriented. And we look for riders who are on the progressive edge, pushing the boundaries SJ: We started TGR as a way to continue to ride our skis and snowboards as much as possible for of the sport. the rest of our lives. That was the goal, the motiWhat do you look for in a soundtrack? vation. In that sense, yeah, I’d probably rather be TJ: To marry music with action sports, to match freeriding. But I love making movies. I’m super the imagery to the scene. Music is a huge part of passionate about it. story lines and content. One For The Road won TJ: Freeriding is still a huge component of what Best Soundtrack at Montreal’s film fest, IF3. We we do. We work a ton more now, but we get epic runs all over the world and get to see things most showcase progression of sport and progression of music. But we also bring in legendary music: people don’t even dream of. Robert Earl Keen, for example, an old country artist, “The road goes on forever and the party KGB Productions never ends,” a legendary song. For the cable-mounted footage in One For The Road, I noticed that you brought in filmmaker Brandon Gust. We brought Brandon Gust and Dorian Densmore onto the team, used their setup, and are now trying to evolve that setup. We want to work with

Sam Pope and Chris Kitchen

Wyoming Triumph

What is the goal, the vision, the purpose, the message of your films? SP: Most of our films are very place-centric. We 2 0 1 2 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R


biling, they have to want to hang out with us and be someone we get along with.

where I had grown up. Then, hooking up with friends and capturing these special moments— that got me in the game.

What equipment do you use?

Warren Miller, Greg Stump, and outside the ski genre, Stephen Spielberg, George Lucas, and the classic Westerns of Clint Eastwood. They can tell a story without the dialogue or narration so common in ski films and let the audience interpret it for themselves. It’s not an editor’s vision, it’s the emotion that the film evokes. There is no right or wrong, no rules on how to interpret it. It’s whatever emotion builds from a scene, which can be a slightly different thing in each person.

What do you look for in a soundtrack?

Sam Pope and Chris Kitchen

got involved in this business to tell stories, to deliver messages. CK: The goal: to showcase the way we see skiing and sports. The message: it’s a good time, in beautiful places, with interesting individuals and characters. If we keep both of those alive, the purpose is to inspire others, like presenting the idea that a 60-year-old ski bum works in a restaurant to be able to survive and live in a ski town. What is it that you like about filmmaking? SP: Initially I liked the idea of story and content. After a while I started to appreciate the more artistic side of it, the beauty of the image. The coolest thing about movies, you can mix both of those things. CK: I like the travel, and the challenge. You can plan every aspect of the shoot – whether it’s skiing or a car commercial – and chances are, once you get on location, nothing is going to go that way. SP: No two days are the same, ever. That’s pretty cool, I think. What or who inspired you to take up filmmaking? Who is your favorite filmmaker? CK: One of the first films I saw in Jackson was Shelter, a surf film by Chris Malloy. It was less about “Look how cool we are,” and more like, “This is our lifestyle.” It was inspiring that they made it seem attainable. I’d never been surfing in my life but the movie made me think I could do it and that it’s a good lifestyle. SP: You get done watching that movie and you want to go hang with those guys, want to be doing what they’re doing. I think when you get done watching our films Freedom Riders and Wyoming Triumph, you’ll say, “Those guys have a good life. That looks like fun. They appreciate where they are.” CK: And, as a kid growing up, we’d watch the old TGR films. SP: We’d watch Uprising every two days. What do you look for in your athletes? SP: In Jackson, good skiers are a dime a dozen. But it’s a rare combination to find someone who’s really good and also very professional. CK: The realization that it’s not freeskiing. On a good day the athletes will ski three or four runs. An average day, only two. And someone who is safe. Twice this year we called people off lines. And, since you spend a lot of time together in cars, cramped hotel rooms, hiking, and snowmo-


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SP: I’d always been a fan of Chris Malloy’s soundtracks and I finally got a chance to talk to him at the Alpinist Film Festival in Jackson some years ago. He wants songs that people haven’t heard before, so they develop a connection with that sound via his movie. We try to follow those same lines. Is filmmaking your job or a hobby? CK: Around 2007, when we made Sublimation Experiment, I was still guiding fishing. I realized that if we’d committed full-time, the movie could be better. SP: It’s a tough jump to make, to quit your other job and go full-fledged into filmmaking. That’s a crux moment. CK: It’s working out now. Developing the commercial side of the business has helped in a couple of ways. Action-sports techniques, when applied to commercial work, make the product better, and vise versa. The two play off each other. Wouldn’t you rather be freeskiing? SP: Yes. But you’ve got to make a living and, as far as a job goes, it’s been good. CK: I’d rather be freeskiing, but I have such a love and passion for the image. There are many times when I’m freeskiing that I think, “Oh man, if I had my camera, I could get a sweet shot right here.”

Storm Show Studios

Darrell Miller

Action Jackson

What is the goal, the vision, the purpose, the message of your films?

What do you look for in athletes? Getting the shot – it’s good to want that – but if you miss the beauty of being in the mountains, the look and movement of clouds, the texture of snow, the birds flying, you miss the point. It’s good to have people who can rip a big line, but that’s not everything. You want to be in the mountains with people you feel safe with and who enjoy being there. And you want very little ego, not people who are high on themselves. There are so many ripping skiers here. If you think highly of yourself, just look around. Annetts and Tierney are the best, but they don’t see themselves that way. Ego doesn’t help make the movie better. What equipment do you use? We have moved into high-def, but I still only use point-and-shoot cameras because they are quick to pull out and shoot. The bigger cameras take longer to set up. I like to snowboard, too, and smaller cameras equate to a lighter backpack. A lighter backpack makes it easier for me to rip gnarly lines and jump cliffs along with fellow athletes in our films. What do you look for in a soundtrack? I look for music that evokes emotion and that fits with the type of skiing: mellow, like reggae, for powder, and for the burlier lines, heavierhitting music to get the adrenaline going.

To inspire people to set higher personal goals. To show through video that they, Is filmmaking your too, can climb mountains. To get away job or a hobby? from the glamorous, Hollywood side of filmmaking that’s so prominent in the At this point in my big-budget films and show more of the Darrell Miller career it is my real substance of our day out there. I’ve always livelihood. We’ve all been told to try and do looked at the mountains as a Pink Floyd scene – something you love, but you gotta be able to trippy. I bring that to the movie by using graph- pay the bills with that. ics, animation, or effects. Wouldn’t you rather be freeskiing? What or who inspired you to take up filmmaking? Even though I’m filming, I’m still rippin’ with my Growing up in Jackson and watching Warren buddies. Sometimes I have to give up a line so I Miller movies as a kid, I was captivated by seeing can film them doing it, but seeing your friend rip Jackson Hole depicted in those movies. Seeing it is satisfying, too. So I feel like I’m freeskiing Jackson Hole photos in magazines, and seeing anyway. what TGR accomplished, opened my eyes to

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Photos: Wade McKoy (KGB); Jessica Flammang (SSS)

SP/CK: The Canon 7D, and we really like the Panasonic HVX. Jibs, sliders, a Steady Cam, V.I.O. head-cameras, matte boxes. Keep it basic and burly. The super high-end cameras get beat down.

Who are your favorite filmmakers?

FunBlock Rich Goodwin and Blake Paul

Photo montage: FunBlock

Any Ideas? Aaron Robinson’s Manifest

is awesome, too. There’re no rules in snowboarding. And it’s one of the only ways in a ski town to get girls. What or who inspired you to take up filmmaking? RG: Jason Moriarty was the first person I worked for. I helped his crew make a couple snowboard movies and Slednecks 1 and 2. Then Jamie Mossberg, Mike Hatchet, and Justin Hostynek took me under their wings and taught me everything. But Travis, Willy, Lance, Cutter, Blake, Cam, Nicolas, and the Guch have done more to inspire my filmmaking than anyone. BP: My brother inspired me, for sure. He was always filming and would make videos at the end of the season. I looked up to him, always wanted to do what he did. I grew up loving snowboarding, watching all the videos, and just being like, “I wanna do that.” Who is your favorite filmmaker?

Blake Paul and Rich Goodwin

What is the goal, the vision, the purpose, the message of your films? RG: FunBlock is snowboard and skateboard action mixed with comedy. We’ll leave the serious stuff to the other guys. BP: To get viewers hyped to go out and shred and get stoked on snowboarding. To create a name for FunBlock while keeping things fun and exciting. To inspire, and interpret the feelings that snowboarding gives. What is it that you like about filmmaking? RG: Filmmaking is a part of our lifestyle. Ever since the first one of us snowboarded off a cliff, there always had to be another friend in the crew who took it upon themselves to film it. BP: There’s a lot to like, and a lot to hate. What’s fun is when everything goes right – when you come home at the end of the day with a satisfied feeling and a bunch of shots. That’s epic. Having the freedom to create anything you want

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RG: Probably Whitey and his Kingpin movies, but he doesn’t make shred vids any longer. Everyone should dig around and watch Mikey Leblanc and Mark Frank Montoya kill it. BP: That’s a tough one: Rich Goodwin. What equipment do you use? RG: Super 16. And HD cameras. And of course Final Cut Pro. BP: Pretty much anything that records video, from an iPhone to a Panasonic HVX. We are usually running low on equipment ‘cause we are always leasing it to Brain Farm*. What has the revolution in helmet cams done to help the biz? RG: It hasn’t revolutionized the camera operator, that’s for sure. If anything, helmet cams make you dumb. News Flash: unless you’re Travis Rice or some European base jumper named “Steinhard,” that camera angle sucks. And don’t forget to edit, which, to me, means throw away 90 percent of your footage. Short and sweet is better than any other formula.

BP: It’s helped for sure. It’s cool to see the rider’seye view. When the riding is sick, the footage is sick. Although I think it’s getting a bit played out. Every single person and their mom is out using one at the resort. What do you look for in a soundtrack? RG: A solid mixture. Pretend you’re the club DJ. You can never let a song play for more than a minute. But this is a casual philosophy. When I’m feeling lazy, I’ll be the first guy to let every song play to the bitter end just to milk the clock. But when I‘m inspired, I prefer to change the vibe so the edits don’t come out so monotone. BP: Whatever looks good with the footage. One rider’s style goes well with metal, another’s with hip hop. It’s all about variety, and letting the athlete choose their song. Is filmmaking your job or a hobby? RG: It’s more like going to college. I major in snowboarding, with minors in marketing, business, creative writing, photo, and film. I shoot and edit for money. My hobby is promoting athletes and motivating them to have perfection and creativity. Meanwhile, I just hope for boxes and boxes of free gear and plane tickets. BP: It’s a ‘jobby.’ It’s mostly for fun, but sometimes you gotta deal with the job side of it. Wouldn’t you rather be freeriding? RG: I’d rather have someone pay me to shoot film in Alaska than have to pay my own way to just freeride. I have years of powder riding ahead of me when I’m old. For now I want to travel, make money, create bodies of work, and promote Jackson Hole snowboarding. BP: When there’s powder, yes. But then, when you’re sitting at home later with no footage of the past week, you’re bummed. It’s all about the right balance. *Local film company Brain Farm (Curtis Morgan, Travis Rice), busy with nationwide Art of Flight premieres, photo-shoots with Cosmopolitan, latenight appearances on Conan, and hobnobbing with Justin Timberlake, could not be reached for this interview. — Jackson Hole Skier

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? The

Looking Back on the Epic Weather of 2010-2011

By Jim Woodmencey

On September 10, 2010, a foot of snow accumulated above 9,000-ft. in the Tetons, creating this white-on-green scene at Rendezvous Mountain. Most of that snow melted as temperatures warmed during the following Indian Summer. But the storm was just the first volley, a shot over the bow, a harbinger of what was to come.

El Niño and La Niña have nearly become household words over the past 10 years.

Although, I’d venture to say that most people would probably have trouble explaining the complex meteorological workings of the phenomena, if asked to do so at a cocktail party. Skiers and snowboarders, however, have come up with their own literal translation of these terms that is pretty simple: “El Niño means No Snow, and La Niña means More Snow”. That’s scientific enough for me, and last winter was the quintessential example of what La Niña really means for Jackson Hole. Some locals were calling the winter of 20102011 “the biggest” or “the best winter ever,” and by many measures it was. Maybe not the “biggest” snowfall winter inside of the ski season, but without a doubt it was the Energizer Bunny of winters – it kept going, and going, and going… As the old saying goes, there are really only two seasons in Jackson Hole: “There’s nine months of winter and there’s three months of bad skiing.” Last year, it was down to maybe just one or two months of bad skiing.

Snow From Beginning to End Our first taste of snow in the mountains came on September 10, 2010, with a foot of snow above 9,000-ft. in the Tetons. Most of that snow melted as temperatures warmed during some late Indian Summer-type weather. But that was just the first volley, a shot over the bow, a harbinger of what was to come. Between October 23 and October 26, 2010, we got slammed with an epic early season snowstorm. This was the first snow of the season to the valley floor, and accumulations in the mountains were upwards of 2 to 3 feet over the four days. Skiers flocked to Teton Pass to ride powder before Halloween. In a sense, this one storm gave us our base for the winter. That doesn’t happen very often. The other thing that doesn’t happen very often is, it kept snowing, and snowing, and snowing… By the time the local ski areas opened, just after Thanksgiving, the settled snow depths at the upper elevations had already hit 50 inches. There


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Not Over Yet have been numerous years when we didn’t have The lifts may have stopped at JHMR (Grand snow that deep on New Year’s Day. For the first time ever the Jackson Hole Moun- Targhee remained open until April 17), but the tain Resort opened the entire mountain, top to snow did not, and it was the post-season that really made this past winter extraordinary. bottom, wall to wall, on opening day. It dumped like it was still January right into By the time we got to Groundhog’s Day (Feb. 2, 2011), the “halfway point” of the winter season, early May, with approximately 150 inches of addithe mountain had recorded over 300 inches of tional snowfall at the 9,500-ft. elevation. All of that snowfall and there was a settled snow depth in snow fell after the ski area had closed. By then the winter’s snow total was excess of 7 feet on the pushing 700 inches. upper mountain. Deep The Bridger-Teton Avalanche The snow pack finally enough to bury the averCenter post April 30, 2011 peaked on May 10, a full five age-size Christmas tree. weeks after JHMR closed, “The relentless barrage of snowBy President’s Day with the settled snow depth Weekend there was over storms that pounded the area ended at the bottom of Rendezvous 100 inches of settled snow, at the beginning of this week. PreviBowl kissing 174 inches. which pretty much covers ously it snowed for 40 days and 40 That’s fourteen and a half all rocks, and good-size nights (March 14 through April 21). feet! Just about deep enough boulders, and even taller During this siege the Rendezvous to completely bury the averChristmas trees. Bowl Snow Study Plot at the Jackage one-story house. There was a brief lull in son Hole Mountain Resort received The snow pack slowly, the storms in early March, 216 inches (18 feet) of new snow very slowly, began to recede but for the rest of the with 21.5 inches of moisture. At the in June. The last day it month and into April, the beginning of this week snow depths snowed in the mountains was snowfall was relentless. were deeper than any other recorded on June 19, two days before The regular ski season day in the past 45 seasons.” the summer solstice. At that at JHMR ended on April 3, point in time, 10 feet of snow 2011, well before this winstill remained on the ground at the 9,500-ft. elevater was even close to calling it quits. A grand total of 532 inches of snow had been bestowed upon tion in the Tetons. In some places up high, that this mountain: that left behind a settled snow snow never melted all summer. By my count, from Sept. 10 to June 19, that’s depth of 140 inches, still nearly 12-feet deep at a little more than nine months of winter weather, 9,500-ft. on closing day! In the history of JHMR there have been only and the skiing was actually good right through two other winters with a deeper snow pack on July 2011. It would not be an overstatement to say that April 3: The winter of 1981-82 and the winter of 1996-97. There were also only two other winters this was a “winter of glacial proportions.” It may be a long time before we see a winter as exwith more snowfall, 1996-97 and 2007-08. tended as 2010-2011. But it has left Jackson Hole skiers chanting, “Viva La Niña!” Snow Comparison At Rendezvous Bowl (9,500-ft.) Jackson Hole Mt Resort Winter thru April 3rd

1981-82 1996-97 2007-08 2009-10 2010-11

Total Snowfall (in.) Settled Snow Depth (in.)

522 576 559 394 532

156 151 133 92 140

Jim Woodmencey is a meteorologist for MountainWeather™ in Jackson Hole. His forecasts can be heard each weekday morning on the local radio stations, KZ95 (95.3 FM) and KJAX 93.3 FM. Or you can read all about it on his website:

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Jim Woodmencey

Endless Winter

Treefight Fighting to save the whitebark pine The dead trees’ brown color first got the attention of Jackson-based filmmaker David Gonzales while he was skiing. “They are up high in the alpine, where you’ve been skiing your whole life in Jackson Hole,” said Gonzales. “The big, old, gnarled trees above 8,500 feet, at the Jackson Hole Resort, in the park on top of Wimpy’s Knob and 25 Short – completely denuded in the last five years.” Whitebark pines, a prolific evergreen species in Jackson Hole and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, are rapidly dying, part of widespread tree loss occurring across western North America. Gonzales decided to do something about it. He made a film that became a call, and a catalyst, to action. “The original idea behind Treefight was to make a film that would get people into the forest so they could see for themselves what’s going on,” said Gonzales. His film Seeing Red does exactly that. “It’s only when you see it up close – the scale of it, how quickly it’s happening, to what extent

Photos: Wade Mckoy (top); Bob Woodall

Whitebark pines, a prolific evergreen species in Jackson Hole and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, are rapidly dying, part of widespread tree loss occurring across western North America. we’ve lost this really amazing tree – that your mind is blown.” This particular pine species turns out to be of paramount importance to our region’s ecosystem. “They form the protective roof over the Rockies,” said Gonzales. “They provide cover for deer that use those high forests for calving. They shade summer snowpack, regulating runoff so that it lasts throughout the summer. They replenish the very thin alpine soil and prevent erosion.” Perhaps, though, the whitebark’s most amazing function is as food. “Their cones produce nuts,” Gonzales explained, “and these pine nuts are an important source of protein to the entire ecosystem.” Grizzly bears depend on whitebark pine nuts to help them fatten up for winter, especially after losing another important food source: spawning cutthroat trout, which have greatly diminished with the proliferation of non-native fish species. “With the loss of the whitebark, the grizzlies are definitely going to be in trouble,” said Gonzales. For two summers, Treefight volunteers have stapled pheromone packets to trees in acreswide areas. The hormone transmits a message to the mountain pine beetles – rapidly killing countless pines as they proliferate in a warming climate – that the nearest trees are already occupied. “It just sucks every time you lose a whitebark w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

One of the many thousands of ancient, beetle-killed whitebark pine trees.

pine,” said Gonzales, “these thousand-year-old trees growing out of rocks and creating the best food energy in the forest. I think there is something actually kind of magical about that fact.” He continued, “We live here and we take it for granted that it’s wild, that you see these crazy animals everywhere you look. But it’s all dependent on a healthy forest, where there’s lots of food being created and places for creatures to live. “That’s why it really bums me out to lose these amazing trees. And it should bum anybody out that loves it here. These trees are what helps keep this entire place alive.” To view the film and for more information or to get involved, go to — Jackson Hole Skier

Skier: Jason Tattersall

Pheromone packets attached to trees can discourage beetles from infesting them. 2 0 1 2 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R


Adaptive Ski Programs Story by Kurt Henry

“It’s not a disability, it’s a possibility!” That’s the thinking at Teton Adaptive Sports. And its newly titled adaptive-skiing programs, administered through the Jackson Hole Mountain Sports School, all reflect this mindset. Older, traditional designations – handicapped skiing, disabled skiing, and skiing for the physically challenged – simply no longer apply. “Adaptive” implies circumstances that require and can in fact be better served by alternative approaches. Additional or different equipment, various techniques, or adjustments in instruction now expand and shape those approaches. Blind skiers, for example, employ a guide, navigating through verbal commands, sounds, and smells, literally feeling their way down Riding gravity the mountain. Recreationists with impairments that prohibit or make it difinstead of wrestling ficult to stand or walk can ride a sit ski with it is one of those (a seat mounted over either one or two skis) and handheld outriggers (ski magical experiences tips mounted on forearm crutches). that connect us all. Individuals with developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy, autism, or Down’s Syndrome often learn differently and may benefit from an alternative instructional style, possibly in combination with physical assistance and additional equipment. Advances in prosthetics over the last five years have created unique, new opportunities. Above-the-knee single amputees can ski or snowboard two legged. Even some bi-lateral amputees have shelved the sit ski and are skiing standing up. Whatever the circumstances, virtually everyone can access the ski hill. And everyone should. Riding gravity instead of wrestling with it is one of those magical experiences that connect us all. As one adaptive skier put it: “I fall down, I get up. I fall down, I get up. Pretty soon I’m falling down less and linking some turns. I’m having a hell of a good time, just like everybody else.” So what’s possible? To the staff at Teton Adaptive Sports, everything’s possible. There are no limits. Lessons are available in all disciplines for all ages and ability levels. For more information contact Kurt Henry at 307-6993554 or

A sit-skier negotiates the expert-only, black-diamond Downhill Chute

Last March, U.S. Paralympic Medalist and World Champion Chris Devlin-Young visited Jackson Hole Mountain Resort as a guest coach for the third JH Adaptive Steep and Deep Camp. He and Jackson Hole Mountain Sports School Adaptive instructors Jason Malczyk and Nate Carey provided an instructional progression that led to sit-skier descents of the Cirque, Broadway, the Downhill Chute, Bivouac Woods, the Lower Faces, and the Hobacks. Continuing with his practice of leading by example, on an early bird tram and slopes boasting 14 inches of fresh powder, Chris Devlin-Young made history, becoming the first sit-skier to descend Corbet’s Couloir unassisted. Blind skier Paul Schafer guided by JHMSSA instructor Pete Bartlett made some history of his own, knocking off descents of the Expert Chutes, Tower 3 Chute, Alta Chutes 1, 2, and 3, and, along with several sit skiers, racked up multiple out-ofbounds runs. Yep. Everything’s possible. Adaptive ski programs bring friends together to share the joys of winter.


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Bob Woodall photos

JH Adaptive Steep and Deep Camp

Alpine Medical Advice Accidents happen, or so the saying goes. More detailed information on high-altitude illnesses is available online at

Accidents happen, or so the saying 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 offered some practical advice that could keep your interaction with the doctor along the lines of skierto-skier rather than patient-to-doctor.

Snow Blindness If you think “ultraviolet keratitis” sounds bad, try pouring some sand in your eyes for a real preview of this medical condition. Snow blindness hurts and, on top of the pain, you can’t see very well. It’s easily prevented, though, by putting on protective sunglasses or goggles. But it’s also easy to forget the eyewear on a cloudy day when the danger still lurks. “The sun’s UV rays are invisible,” said Greenbaum, “and they reflect off the snow equally in bright sun and cloudy conditions.”

Injury Due To Icy Environment

Cold-related Injuries: Frostbite and 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.” Be aware of extreme-cold and wind-chill 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.”

Wade McKoy photos

Altitude Sickness “If you live below elevation 5,000 feet, which, by the way, includes ski areas in Vermont and Whistler, BC,” noted Greenbaum, “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,” said Greenbaum, “hydration is the number-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 altitude sickness. Arrive on your vacation rested, not exhausted.” w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

Dangerous hazards are out there.

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),” said Greenbaum. 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 to any shoe and turn even slippery tennis shoes into ice grippers. It also helps to walk in a shuffling gate rather than in long strides. Driving a vehicle on slick roads without the proper tires and winter driving skills not only endangers yourself and your passengers, it also puts all other drivers and pedestrians at risk of injury or death. So, please: if you’re not a pro at driving in snow country, consider taking the START bus. The Southern Teton Area Rapid Transit is a convenient public transportation system.

During the first few days at altitudes above 5,000 feet, it helps to avoid alcoholic beverages and sleeping pills. Those drugs inhibit proper acclimatization. Coffee drinkers are in luck, though. If you drink it regularly, don’t stop. It’s safe at high altitudes and suddenly stopping can actually cause AMSlike symptoms. Preventative medicine is an option for those who’ve previously had AMS, or for those with a history of heart or lung disease or sleep apnea. Consult your physician before coming to altitude. If you develop signs of AMS you should return to valley elevations. Do not go higher until your symptoms have resolved, which usually occurs within Severe wind and cold can quickly bring about frostbite. 24 hours. Rest and Pick up a schedule at any of the bus stops, or onavoid drinking alcohol and taking sedatives or line at sleeping pills as you recover. Aspirin and other anti-inflammatories can help prevent a headache Injury Due To Fatigue that often occurs with AMS. You’ve likely heard it before, but it’s more than The more serious life-threatening high-altitude just clever wordplay: most ski accidents happen illnesses – cerebral edema and pulmonary on the last run of the day. Of course, if you get inedema – are possible but rarely occur in resort settings. Symptoms include exhaustion, drowsi- jured while skiing, it probably will be your last run ness, severe weakness, confusion, irritability, that day. But last-run fatigue is no joke. “The majority of our ski-and-snowboard pacough, and breathlessness at rest. High-altitude climbers more commonly contract these ill- tients arrive in the ER between noon and four,” nesses, which can be deadly and require imme- said Greenbaum. “And they usually tell a classic, diate medical attention. Continued on page 83 2 0 1 2 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R


Physicians for the US Ski Teams

Joshua Beck MD Heidi Jost MD David Khoury MD

Peter Rork MD Geoffrey Skene DO Rafael Williams MD

Medical Advice by Jeremiah Clinton, MD

BROKEN BONES: Avoiding orthopaedic injuries

Caring For All Your Orthopaedic Needs

Bob Woodall

Sports Medicine • Rehabilitation Fracture Management • Arthroscopy Knee & Shoulder • Foot & Ankle Hand & Upper Extremity • Spine Care Board Certified

Dangerous cliff bands are just a few of the places where skiers and snowboarders can incur injuries.



Jackson • Wilson • Afton • Pinedale • Big Piney Lander • Riverton • Rock Springs • Green River


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As one might expect, skier experience is the biggest factor in avoiding orthopaedic injuries during your vacation. That being said, most mistakes that people make leading to fractured bones, torn ligaments, and pulled muscles are avoidable with the use of common sense. Remember: not all runs are created equal. A black diamond at Jackson Hole may not be the same as a black diamond at your local resort. The rating system is area specific, so be careful when you start making those first turns. Work into the harder runs as you develop a better understanding of the mountain. Fatigue plays a major role in ski and snowboard injuries. The “last run” phenomenon is real. Many visitors to Jackson come from much lower elevations, and with the decrease in oxygen, the body will fatigue even faster. If you are planning a ski vacation, make use of the time before you arrive and do sport-specific training such as a dry-land ski-fitness class. If you can’t find a ski specific workout, engage in aerobic fitness three days a week and include interval training. Do strength training the other two days, and include lower and upper body as well as core strengthening. Also, train for the movements of skiing with plyometric and agility exercises. A few days with a personal trainer to set up a

program will allow you to enjoy your time on the slopes, decrease your risk of injury, and may be money well spent. And listen to what your body is trying to tell you: when your legs are Jell-O and every turn is on the verge of sending you out of control, call it a day and enjoy some après ski activities. Proper equipment is crucial. The number of knee injuries and lower leg fractures has decreased significantly with the advancement of binding technology. However, having improperly fitted equipment not only doesn’t help, but also may increase your risk of injury. Shoulder injuries account for roughly onethird of skiing-related injuries and almost half of snowboarding injuries. Using good technique and sound judgment, to avoid hard falls, are probably your best tools for preventing these injures. Finally, remember that broken bones will usually heal but spinal cord and brain injuries are devastating–and often permanent. Wearing a helmet is the only protection you can provide to your brain. Most spinal cord injuries occur during jumps and at high speeds. If you are going to drop a cliff, be certain of your landing zone and assess for unseen obstacles or varied snow before dropping in. Most importantly, using common sense can keep you on the slopes and out of the emergency room or, worse yet, the operating room. w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

Medical Advice by Dave Khoury, MD

KNEE INJURIES: Why they occur with skiers Some of the most common skiing injuries involve the ligaments of the knee. A ski can generate tremendous torque through the knee, particularly when the bindings do not release. When the force transmitted through the knee exceeds the capacity of the ligaments and muscles to resist, injury can occur. The most common knee

heal, and often surgery is required to rebuild the ACL and stabilize the knee. Not all knee injuries can be prevented, but there are some steps we can take to protect our knees before and during the ski season. Beginning the ski season with good strength and conditioning can minimize risks. Improving strength in the hamstrings and quadriceps can help protect the knee ligaments. Strong core muscles can help stabilize the body over the knees, while also reducing the risk of knee injury. With good conditioning we are less likely to fatigue at the end of the day, which predisposes the knee to injury. A strengthening program in a gym is a good place to start. A pre-season ski-conditioning class is

another great way to hit the slopes with strength and endurance. Here’s a technical tip to help protect the knee while skiing: Most ACL tears occur when the skier is off-balance to the rear (in the “back seat”), with the hips below the level of the knees and the uphill arm back and behind. This position translates significant torque to the ACL. In order to prevent this fall pattern, maintain balance and control while keeping the arms forward and the hips over the knees. The knee is particularly susceptible to injury with snow sports. I hope these tips will help you safely enjoy our Wyoming winter.

Here’s a technical tip to help protect the knee while skiing: Most ACL tears occur when the skier is off-balance to the rear (in the “back seat”), with the hips below the level of the knees and the uphill arm back and behind. injuries are to the medial collateral ligament (MCL) and the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), while occasionally more than one ligament is injured. The severity of knee injuries varies widely. Partial injuries to the MCL tend to heal without surgery and a strong, stable knee is often achieved in a matter of weeks. ACL injuries tend to not

Alpine Medical Advice Continued from page 81

late-day ski story in which they were tired.” He explained that if more people realized the increased susceptibility to injury when fatigued from skiing ‘The Big One,’ the more specific skiand-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,’” said Greenbaum. “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,” he 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. — Jackson Hole Skier w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

Four convenient locations treating everything from breaks & sprains to major health emergencies In Jackson Emergency Department 625 E. Broadway

307 733 3636

Family Health & Urgent Care 1415 S. Highway 89 307 739 8999 In Teton Village Clinic at Teton Village Cody House, Teton Village 307 739 7346 In Driggs, Idaho 4Peaks Clinic & Urgent Care 852 Valley Center Drive 208 354 4757

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The Great White Open

Vast fields of powder await snowmobilers who venture off the trail.

n most of the country, winter and snowstorms are tolerated, but not embraced. Well, not here. After all, 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 way to love this plush white carpet is astride a snowmobile. So saddle up and head into the Great White Open. Northwest Wyoming straddles the stunning Continental Divide and is blessed with some of the best snowmobile landscapes available in the world, a veritable winter playground for snowmobile enthusiasts. Snowmobiles provide quick access to even the deepest reaches of the winter backcountry. Within a few minutes you can be far from the highway and immersed in the Rocky Mountains’ winter beauty.

Can I ride a snowmobile? Snowmobiles are pretty stable items. If you can drive an automobile and you have an opposable thumb and forefinger, you should be able to ride down a groomed trail to, say, Old Faithful Geyser. You squeeze the throttle with your right thumb and the brake with your left hand. It may take a few

miles to get the feel of the trail, but most riders can master the basics quickly. Riding off-trail, though, will require a bit more experience. Offtrail snowmobiling – prohibited in national parks – is a skill-intensive sport. And just as driving a car down the road doesn’t qualify one to race in the Monte Carlo Grand Prix, steering a snowmobile along groomed trails is vastly different from finessing it through woodlands and powder fields at breakneck speeds.

Guided or go it alone?

If you have never snowmobiled before, by all means go guided. All tour companies offer guided-trip packages. They usually provide transportation from your lodging and they all supply the warm clothes needed for a comfortable experience. Continental or hot breakfasts and hot lunches usually round out the package. The guides, of course, are trained in snowmobile and winter safety and have a handle on the area’s flora,




307-733-2237 1-800-647-2561 email:


Granite Hot Springs • Togwotee



Ye l l o w s t o n e N a t i o n a l P a r k

WE PROVIDE: • Transportation to and from your Jackson Hole lodging • Breakfast & Lunch • Snowmobile Gear

• Granite Hot Springs • Continental Divide • Gros Ventre • Togwotee • Greys River • 84

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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.

The variety of terrain, trail, snow, and scenery is unequalled anywhere else.

• Snowcoach – Snowmobile Yellowstone National Park • Continental Divide •


Where to go?

Yellowstone National Park

Tops on many travelers’ lists is Yellowstone National Park. Snowmobiling through the park is a great way to experience this wonderland. The steam from geysers and hot springs is accentuated by the cold, crisp air. Herds of bison and elk graze the geyser basins, where the earth’s heat keeps the snow melted away from the summer grasses. If you’ve never been to Yellowstone, then a visit should be on your must-do list. Winter access to the park is from December 15 to March 15. But make no mistake: Yellowstone is not a snowmobile playground! The machine is merely personal transportation through the scenic and natural wonders of the park. Travel is restricted to the groomed roadways. All off-road travel is prohibited and the speed limit is enforced at 35 mph from West Yellowstone to Old Faithful and at 45 mph on all other park roads. Snowmobiles actually offer less access than do automobiles in the summer. Contrary to some misperceptions, snowmobiles and riders cannot wander wherever they want in the park. All this info will be stressed by your guides, though, as private citizens are no longer allowed to snowmobile in the park, even if they have the required four-stroke machines. New National Park Service restrictions have cut the number of machines allowed to enter the park. This number is spread among the four entrances. Therefore it is extremely important to w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

Wade McKoy photos


fauna, and history. Modern machines have evolved into a whole new beast from those of just 10 years ago. New designs and increased power allow ‘slednecks’ to access more extreme terrain than ever before. But along with greater access comes greater danger. A large percentage of backcountry avalanche fatalities are snowmobilers, and riders should be mindful of this. Unguided rentals, though, are a great way to see the country at one’s own pace, except in Yellowstone, which is closed to all but commercially guided parties. But be sure to be prepared for severe winter conditions, and know where you are going. Wyoming winters can be painfully brutal for the unprepared. Just ask Olympic Gold Medalist Rulon Gardiner. After getting separated from his snowmobile party, he grew disoriented and then bogged down his machine. He spent a night out in below-zero temperatures, and lost a toe to frostbite because of it. So never head into the backcountry alone!

* Free Snowmobile Shuttle From Teton Village & Jackson - Call for Details Airport drop off available after rental

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b n Hole in Jackso

Yellowstone Park Tours • Old Faithful • Canyon • Multi-Day Tours Powerful, modern snowmachines are increasingly popular with backcountry skiers and snowboarders, and with recreational sledders, too.

book a trip early. The plan allows up to 318 commercially guided, Best Available Technology (BAT) snowmobiles, and up to 78 commercially guided snowcoaches in a day in Yellowstone for the 2011-2012 winter seasons. The plan also continues to provide for motorized oversnow travel over Sylvan Pass and the East Entrance road.

Granite Hot Springs While Yellowstone abounds with hot springs, taking a plunge in one of them is not an option. Not only are most too hot, but swimming in them is illegal. So if you crave a dip in a 100-degree pool in the great outdoors, head to Granite Hot Springs. The natural hot spring-fed pool, set amidst the imposing Gros Ventre mountains, is just part of a day trip up Granite Creek. Unlike in Yellowstone park, snowmobilers can go off-trail and romp in the powder fields that the area offers. This would be a good break-in for those who want to nudge the snowmobile learning curve.

Also Tours to Granite Hot Springs Togwotee Pass - Grays River Rent & Ride on family-friendly Groomed trails from our Lodge

Guided or Unguided Half Day - Full Day - Multi Day • Transportation available from • Powder Snowmobiles or your lodging Trail Riders • Ride to mountain lodges for lunch • Trail or Open Field Powder Riding • Located at the CDST Trailhead • Double-Rider Machines Available for Togwotee at the base • Clothing, Helmet & Boots Included of the mountain Jackson Hole, Wyoming


Togwotee Pass If you want to really boot it up a notch, though, head to the Togwotee Pass area, where thousands of square miles of terrain await exploring. This is true powder-busting, cornice-bashing, zoom-across-a-wide-open-field-ofpowder country. But there’s more to world-class snowmobiling than wide-open terrain. Amid the Gros Ventre, Absaroka, Wyoming, and Wind River mountain ranges, the scenery is second to none. The visibility on clear days can reach upwards of 150 miles. The Breccia Cliffs and the Pinnacle Buttes tower over this playground and the Tetons loom majestically in the distance.

Jackson Hole SNOWMOBILE TOURS Specialist in Scenic & Backcountry Tours

Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail Snaking its way through the Togwotee Pass area is the Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail (CDST). The groomed trail follows the Wind River Range and includes trail systems in the Lander, Pinedale, Dubois, Togwotee Pass, Jackson Hole, and Gros Ventre areas. The CDST runs from Lander (the southeast end) to West Yellowstone (the northwest end). It generally parallels the Continental Divide and actually crosses it four times. The variety of terrain, trail, snow and scenery is unequalled anywhere else. This sparkling chain strung among the mountains is decorated with many jewels along its length. A vast network of groomed side trails connects a patchwork of open meadows.

Gros Ventre River Wildlife viewing is high on many visitors’ to-do lists. And a trip up the Gros Ventre Valley offers riders just that – and then some. Starting just above the Gros Ventre Slide, the trail closely follows the summer road. Since this is critical winter game habitat, travel is mostly restricted to the roadway. Willow bottomlands are prime moose habitat and bighorn sheep inhabit the cliffs to the north of the trail. Twenty miles up the Gros Ventre is an elk feeding ground. In the past few years these wintering elk have attracted the attention of recently re-introduced wolves, so wolf sightings have become a distinct possibility. Beyond the elk feeding grounds the terrain opens up and affords some offtrail riding. But please respect the wildlife closure areas. Disturbing wildlife causes stress, and that stress can cause the unnecessary death of an animal.

Greys River Valley South of Jackson, near the mouth of the Snake River Canyon, lies the Greys River Valley, one of the locals’ favorite spots. This playground serves up everything a snowmobiler could want: towering mountains, great trail riding, and unlimited backcountry, the ultimate riding and powder-hunting grounds. — Jackson Hole Skier





? Yellowstone ? Old Faithful ? ? Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone ? ? Granite Hot Springs ? ? Continental Divide Trail ? Togwotee Pass ? 2 – 3 Day All-inclusive Tours of Yellowstone available.

Breakfast, lunch and transportation to and from your lodging. Let our expert guides show you the beauty of the Teton Mountains this winter . Go-On-Your-Own Rental Sleds – Best Deal in Town email: P.O. Box 11037 • 945 W. Broadway Jackson, WY 83002

1-800-633-1733 or 307-733-6850

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Husky-Powered Sleds I

The towering Gros Ventre Mountain Range is ever present on the trip to Granite Hot Springs.


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These dogs can run a hundred miles a day in the big races like the Iditarod and Yukon Quest. And when the urge strikes them, they throw back their muzzles and sing to the moon like their ancestors, an eerie northern song. The musher has to know all the quirks of each dog, and has to teach them all to get along together while at the same time getting them in shape. Learning how to care for these high-powered canine athletes is an art. When the team gets to the point of being well trained and cooperating smoothly with the musher, it is an unbelievably satisfying way to travel. The speed and power of the dogs is a surprise to some; a well-trained team can really cover some ground. It is almost soundless travel, not much more noise than a wolf pack on the run. A little clinking from dog-collar rings and tags, the creak of the sled, and the whooshing of the runners gliding over the snow are the sole sounds accompanying the musher. Only in Hollywood do sled dogs bark on the run. And the musher speaks only when needed, commanding with a soft “gee” or “haw.” My dogs don’t mind if I also sing a bit, as long as I don’t get too rowdy. A few ears will flick back, and I know it’s time to behave. It’s true that the musher often gets to stand on the sled runners as the dogs trot down the trail. But if you think this means just standing still, guess again. The musher has to be constantly watching the trail ahead and adjusting her balance accordingly. A miscalculation may throw her over the handle bar if she’s not paying attention. What a rush it is, leaning and ducking, kicking and running on the hills behind the dogs, one of the pack! And there’s magic in the stories left tracked into the frozen surface of the snow, tales of the 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 (3); Wade Mckoy (1)

By Libby Riddles grew up skiing, skating, and playing in the snow, so I also enjoy being outside in the winter. And I love animals. This would partly explain why I’ve lived in Alaska for 30some years, and have logged thousands of miles on a sled pulled by the wildest, coolest dogs on the planet, Alaskan huskies. These 40- to 60-pound dogs can outrun, out-eat, and outlive most other breeds of dogs. The northern Natives invented dog sledding, an ingenious style of travel perfect for snow country. Huskies are one of the oldest breeds, and are almost undoubtedly descended from wolves. Their independence can make them as difficult to train as cats, but they also display the special loyalty and lovability of a dog. It’s the muscle that sometimes gets them into trouble. Don’t they know that a dog nose imploding into a human lip is going to hurt a bit? Many of these beautiful northern dogs still retain their wolfish markings, even if we have bred them to be smaller and have shorter fur. The blue eyes or mixed blue and brown eyes are famous traits of the husky, although collies and a few other breeds exhibit this coloration as well. Huskies can sometimes be good pets. But be prepared for a dog that can’t be trusted running loose: running away from home is a husky’s favorite hobby! They also sometimes enjoy eating small animals and fighting with other dogs. So if you can accept their wildness and keep them out of trouble, they can be great companions. Modern-day huskies may be purebreds, but are more likely mixed breed “Alaskan” huskies. Strains of hunting hound, pointer, saluki, or others may color the bloodlines of the dogs traditionally from the native villages.

“Add golden orange light to drop-dead beautiful wild country, the symmetry of the dogs and their shadows as they run, and the artful aspect of this ancient sport is hard to miss.”

On the trail, dogs are silent as they go about their work.

few stealthy creatures who inhabit the wintertime. Otter slides and wolf tracks four times the size of my biggest dog. What are they hunting here? The dogs glide quietly over the snow, making their own tracks, fitting gracefully into the still wilderness. Moose tracks will put us on the alert; a moose in a bad mood can be lethal to sled dogs. Winter’s short days are conducive to monster sunrises and sunsets. Add golden orange light to drop-dead beautiful wild country, the symmetry of the dogs and their shadows as they run, and the artful aspect of this ancient sport is hard to miss. It is all so beautiful – and almost impossible to capture on film. But still I try.

When dog mushing started, it was a Native thing. But then the explorers and gold seekers took up the habit. Today there are Native mushers still involved with dog mushing, but the sport has truly gone global. Mushers can be found not only in Alaska, Canada, and Greenland, but also in New Zealand, Scotland, Scandinavia, The Rockies, even in South Africa. In cool climates without reliable snow, mushers train and race “dry-land” style by using wheeled rigs such as lightweight titanium trikes, dog scooters, and bicycles. Or they simply run behind the sled dog, a method called cani-crossing. People with just one or two athletic dogs can be mushers, too. A lot of mushers run pointers Continued next page

Dealing with a string of dogs that are anxious to run takes time and plenty of patience.

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

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

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The festive ceremonial start of the race takes place on the Jackson Town Square.

The 17th Annual International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race (IPSSSDR) begins in Jackson on Friday, January 27, 2012, and ends in Park City, Utah, on February 4. The 2012 Jackson race send-off starts with the Jackson Hole Winter Fest/Pig Roast on the town square at 5 p.m. Music, food booths, and lots of hot chocolate keep the crowds in a festive mood. The race begins at 6:30 p.m. and is followed by a torchlight parade and fireworks show on Snow King Mountain at 8 p.m. The next day, the race heads on to stages in Lander, Pinedale, Big Piney/Marbleton, Alpine, Kemmerer/Evanston, Bridger Valley/Mountain View, Evanston/Lyman, and the big finish in Park City, Utah. The (IPSSSDR) was founded in 1996 by local musher Frank Teasley to make sled dog racing more accessible to the public. With its unique “stage-stop” format, the race breaks in a different community each night. Wyoming’s small towns host festivities for mushers and spectators that include banquets, barbeques, Dutch-oven dinners, pancake feeds, snowshoe softball, dog parades, and ice-sculpture demonstrations. Teasley attributes the IPSSSDR popularity to its small-town Wyoming hosts, who attract mushers to the race. “We hear each year how much the teams enjoy meeting and staying with the people of Wyoming.” —

or pointers crossed with huskies. These types of these beautiful, exuberant spirits who teach us so dogs could never sleep a night out on the snow, much and share their love, their enthusiasm for a job well done, and a life well lived. but can they ever burn up a trail, even if they don’t look like “sled dogs!” There is a small number of professional lifelong mushers today, mushers like multiple and current champion Lance Mackey, four-time champion Jeff King, cancer survivor Deedee Jonrowe, the “Guy From Montana” (Doug Swingly), and Jackson Hole’s Frank Teasley, to name a few. Other mushers mostly do tours with their dogs, or a combination of racing and giving tours, a more reliable way to support a sled-dog habit than racing, and a perfect solution for dogs that may not be fast enough for a racing team. Even the littlest musher in the littlest Traveling at the speed of dog lets mushers take in the intown is part of the mushing family. We credible mountain scenery. have fun get-togethers and also support Libby Riddles, the first woman to win the Idieach other during the hard times. We come from tarod Sled Dog Race, is a lecturer and author of many different walks of life, but share our love for three books, Race Across Alaska, Storm Run, and the peaceful moments out on the wild trails – and Danger: the Dog Yard Cat. She lives in Homer, for winter. Mostly, though, it’s the dogs we love, Alaska, and has a kennel of 40 Alaskan Huskies.


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Bob Woodall photos

Mushing continued from page 87

STARS IN YOUR EYES Local talent takes to the national stage Late-night talk show host Conan O’brien, he of the lofty red tonsorial feature, was spotted last winter at Teton Village. Nothing unusual about media notables drifting into our ken around here, given the glittering appeal of world-class slopes that characterize the valley. Jackson Hole, though, is host and home to its own stars, and their wanderings don’t go unnoticed either. High-profile snowboarder Travis Rice, for example, brought his own brand of celebrity to Conan’s main haunt when he sat on his stage just this past November. But it’s this season’s print medium, replete with hometown names, that’s providing big-time exposure. Too wit: Big-mountain skier and artist Lynsey Dyer is captured in a full-page Eddie Bauer First Ascent ad in Powder Magazine, spotlighting both her skiing and her artwork. Dyer and her signature goggles also grace a full-page Gordini gloves and goggles ad in Powder Mag. Not to be outdone, valley native Crystal Wright is showcased as a professional skier and competition rodeo cowgirl in that same magazine illustrated with the photography of Jackson’s own Jonathan Selkowitz.


Jackson Hole’s backcountry also racks up some more exposure through a Fischer skis ad in Freeskier Magazine centered around resident Jeff Annetts. POV proponent Andrew Whiteford claims a fullpage profile and interview in Freeskier, with an additional nod to publisher Wade McKoy’s ski-action photography. Jimmy Chin, whose presence over the globe is almost as ubiquitous as his award-winning photography, peers from the cover of Outside Magazine. Chin’s production company, Camp 4 Collective, recently released a prime-time commercial he wrote, directed, produced, and starred in. And just last May, Chin grabbed the cover photo in National Geographic and inside photo credits for an article focusing on climbing walls in Yosemite National Park. Marmot, the clothier and not the regional rock pile denizen, doesn’t stint on its outdoor worthiness either, as shown in a fullpage ad sporting local Mike Leake in action framed by local photog Gabe Rogel. So don’t stop the presses! Keep ‘em going with the stuff Jackson Hole is made of.


— Mike Calabrese

• The finest live music acts in the region • Jazz, Swing, Rock, Country, Solos, Duos, Trios & Big Band • Impeccable references Michael Calabrese • 307-733-5459 P.O. Box 289 • Wilson, WY 83014 E-mail: w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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Jim Kanzler O

n April 17, 2011, the Jackson Hole ski and climbing community lost a long-time member. Jim “Rathole” Kanzler passed away a few days shy of his 63rd birthday. Kanzler joined the Jackson Hole Ski Patrol in 1978. He patrolled until 1986, and then moved into avalanche forecasting for the Bridger-Teton National Forest from 19861997. He worked for Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s IT department from 1999 until his death. Born in Spokane, Washington, in 1948, he grew up in Columbia Falls, Washington. Following the death of his father Hal, in 1967, he moved to Butte, Montana, with his mother Jean and younger brother Jerry. Kanzler was an avid climber and skier. While still in grade school, he started out climbing on the mountains and peaks in Glacier National Park and the Flathead Mountains of Montana. He went on to make epic first ascents in Glacier Park, the Beartooth Range, the Canadian Rockies, and climbed on expeditions in Alaska and China. He starting as a ski patroller at Bridger Bowl near Bozeman, Montana, in 1968, and later became the first ski-patrol director at Big Sky Ski Resort from 1972-1978. Prior to Big Sky’s opening, he played a major role mapping terrain and

developing routes and procedures for avalanche control on Lone Mountain. “Jim was a good snow technician and a great leader,” said Beep Dixon, who patrolled with Kanzler at both Bridger Bowl and Big Sky. “He could sit down and listen, and he could command. The guy knew what he was doing.” According to “Dougal” McCarty, “Jim had an even disposition, a great sense of humor, and superior patrolling skills.” McCarty also patrolled at Big Sky and was a regular climbing partner. “We never questioned his decisions and would have followed him anywhere.” Jim Kanzler instructs students during an avalanche awareness course in the 1980s. When he moved to Jackson Hole, Kanzler signed on with forward; he always looked at the world as a place he couldn’t conExum Mountain Guides, in Grand Teton National Park from 1977 to trol. He loved being out and doing things.” 1999. He guided the north face of the Grand and rose to the rank Long-time friend and climbing partner Terry Kennedy recalled of senior guide with Exum. Former Exum Chief Guide and friend that “Jim would walk into the ski-patrol room full of cranky, hungRon Matous said of him, “James was the consummate guide, and over ski patrollers every morning, two hours before sunrise and light never let his personal travails interfere with his client’s pleasure.” the place up. Climbing, he took the sharp end of the rope when the Kanzler transitioned into avalanche forecasting using field data chips were down.” and computers during the years 1986 to 1997 and is credited with Kanzler’s nicknames, “Rat Hole”, “Ratty” or “RH,” according to being the first person to put avalanche forecasting on the Internet. Kennedy, actually developed from a misunderstanding. Kanzler’s atAccording to Angus Thuermer, co-editor of the Jackson Hole News & Guide, Kanzler became deeply involved in avalanche fore- titude and prowess had earned him the nickname “Reinhold,” after world-famous Italian climber, Reinhold Messner. One evening at a casting after his brother Jerry and four others died in an avalanche in 1969 while attempting a winter ascent of the north face of Gla- party in his Big Sky home, his six-year-old son Jamie asked, ”Daddy, why do they call you Reinhold?” Someone thought Jamie had said cier National Park’s Mount Cleveland, a story chronicled in The White Death: Tragedy and Heroism in an Avalanche Zone, by “rat hole,” and, noted Kennedy, “the following laughter tagged Kanzler with a name that stuck like an overdriven piton.” McKay Jenkins. “He was a very sharing person with his information and his Compiled from posts in by Terry Kennedy, knowledge, “ said Phil Steck, former JHMR ski patrolman and close The Hungry Horse News, and others. friend. “Jim was a very genuine person, very honest, very straight-


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Wade McKoy photo

He went on to make epic first ascents in Glacier Park, the Beartooth Range, the Canadian Rockies, and climbed on expeditions in Alaska and China.

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Howard Henderson

Bob Woodall photo (top); Wade McKoy photo (bottom)


nless you are a Swift.Silent.Deep. fan or a Jackson Hole local, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of Howie “Hollywood” Henderson. Because to most people outside of this corner of Wyoming, Howie was just one of those older guys you see in the lift line that doesn’t attract much attention beyond his 6-foot-2 frame. You might think he’s just a linebacker-built man probably past his prime. A guy with bad knees out for a blue square and a burger. And that assessment would be terribly wrong. Howie, who died of a heart attack on September 24, 2011, at the age of 53, was just the opposite. This was a guy who would take out skiers half his age and pummel them into submission. A pioneer of out-of-bounds skiing at Jackson and co-founder of the Jackson Hole Air Force, Howie was such a part of Jackson ski culture that he has a run named after Jackson Hole Air Force co-founder Howard Henderson flies with three other pilots. him—the Howie Chute. There is an entire catliterature, and Addie, 16, is a junior at Jackson egory of skiing these days called “sidecounA pioneer of out-of-bounds skiHole High School. “They were everything to try” that wouldn’t be jack without Howie. him,” says Abigail. “They were the house surHowie was so strong that after Jackson ing at Jackson and co-founder of rounding his life.” Hole closed for the season, on April 3, he Wilson wrote of Henderson on his Facebook the Jackson Hole Air Force, Howie skinned up 4,000 vertical feet to ski his page: “Last night Howie Hollywood Henderson beloved Granite Canyon nearly every weekwas such a part of Jackson ski culpassed away and a huge hole opened up in the end, often by himself. “He was a solid, clean night sky. We will all remember him for every skier,” says fellow Air Forcer Paul Huser. ture that he has a run named after reason in the book but once again we are re“And he went to Granite Canyon religiously.” minded that our time here on earth is short and him—the Howie Chute. He was so in love with the Jackson Hole sweet. Our hearts soar out to friends and famski area that in the summer of 2006 ily… (sic) so get out there today and do somehe hiked it 133 times, staking claim as thing… climb , ride, run, walk, hug, comfort the Master of the Mountain. This season, weary, send out good good vibes (sic).” he hiked it 75 times, and had sumTroy Beauchamp, co-producer of mitted the day before he died. Swift.Silent.Deep., had the opportunity to get “Howie was one of the most imto know Henderson during the making of the portant catalysts in the ski history of film, shooting and interviewing him. He says Jackson Hole,” says Rick Armstrong, trying to keep up with Henderson in his favorite who moved to the valley in 1989 and haunts were true highlights in his skiing career, sought to be part of Howie’s Air and that Howie’s responses during interviews Force. “He was a no-BS, no-comprowere poetic. “They were the best days of skimise powder skier. He encouraged ing in my life, following Howie through Granite and welcomed all who dared to folCanyon,” Beauchamp says. low. He was a legend in Granite This past year, Powder magazine invited Canyon, doing multiple laps daily.” Henderson to be part of its annual ski demo in Henderson moved to Jackson Jackson called Powder Week. While everyone from Michigan as a med student in attendance was in awe of his skiing ability more than 30 years ago. In the 2009 film became known as “Hollywood,” explains in and endurance, he remained humble and graSwift.Silent.Deep., which chronicles the rise of Swift.Silent.Deep., this is how the Air Force cious. Henderson repeatedly thanked the magtook shape, as the skiers continually tried to go the Jackson Hole Air Force, Henderson says, “I azine staff for including him, when it should’ve bigger than each other. Eventually, the Air went to college, was going to be a doctor, and been the other way around. We felt honored to Force’s rebellious attack beyond the ropes led I go into my old man’s office and I’m like, ‘I’m be included in his world, where his commitment to the resort opening its backcountry gates in not going to be a doctor, I’m going to be a ski to skiing powder was unequaled. He was a true bum. You got a problem with that, or what?’ 1999, a move that is widely regarded as one of soul skier, a man of the mountains and a friend the most important policy decisions in skiing And he said, ‘Not if you do it in Jackson Hole.’” of many. over the past few decades. As a way to make a living on the hill, he Powder extends its deepest condolences to In 1998, Henderson started his own constarted Teton Video, where he’d film tourists all of Henderson’s family and friends. struction firm, and this past year was recently skiing and then edit their own ski video. Soon An education fund for Howard’s daughters enough, he started pointing his camera at his engaged to his girlfriend, Abigail Moore. He has is set up at the Bank of Jackson Hole, where two daughters, Garnet and Addie, from a prefriends like Benny Wilson, Tom Bartlett, Jon donations may be made. Hunt and Doug Coombs skiing Jackson’s leg- vious marriage. Garnet, 20, is a junior at Co— Matt Hansen, Global Editor, lumbia University studying dance and English endary terrain and powder. As Henderson, who

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GRAND TARGHEE Ski-in-ski-out access from 96 lodging rooms, deluxe hotel & condo units. Full service spa. 1-800-TARGHEE email: PG 59 GRAND TARGHEE SPA Outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, steam, sports massage, mud wraps. 1-800-TARGHEE PG 59

THE TRAP BAR & GRILLE Lunch, apres ski snacks, light dinner. Cocktails, micro-brew beers, wine, apres ski special. Live entertainment and special sports events. 1-800-TARGHEE PG 59

DORNAN’S PIZZA & PASTA Specialty pizzas, calzones, salads, pastas, sandwiches. Enjoy great food & the best view of the Tetons. Full-service bar, open for lunch. M-F 11:30-3; Sat/Sun 11:30-5; Bar 10-6. 733-2415 ext 204. PG 13

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK DORNAN’S SPUR RANCH CABINS 1 & 2 bedroom log cabins with full kitchen & living room. Located on the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park at Moose, with breathtaking views of the Tetons. 307-733-2522 PG 13

JACKSON ANTLER INN Downtown Jackson. 100 units, hot tub, some fireplaces & suites, meeting room, fitness room. Ski & snowmobile packages available & ski shuttle. 43 W Pearl. 307-733-2535 or 1800-522-2406 PG 29 COWBOY VILLAGE RESORT In the heart of Jackson Hole, offers 82 individual log cabins accommodating groups of 2–6 people. Property amenities include kitchens in all cabins and two hot tubs. Ski & snowmobile packages available & ski shuttle.120 South Flat Creek Drive. 307-733-3121or 800-962-4988 PG 29 ELK COUNTRY INN 88 units with 25 new log cabins. Family units with lofts. Hot tub & guest laundry. Ski & snowmobile packages available & ski shuttle. 480 W Pearl. 733-2364 or 800-4-TETONS PG 29 JACKSON HOLE SUPER 8 Experience true western hospitality in the heart of Jackson Hole. Complimentary breakfast, evening popcorn, free wireless internet, microwave/refrigerator. Custom packages & group rates., 750 S Hwy 89, Jackson, 800-800-8000/307-733-6833 PG 95 MOTEL 6 Remodeled! Remarkable! Clean, friendly, affordable. Pet friendly, kids under 18 stay free. Guest laundry, free local calls, free morning coffee & local newspaper. We have WiFi access and expanded cable in every room.600 So. Hwy 89,, 307733-1620 Reservations call: 800-4MOTEL6 PG 51 & 95 FLAT CREEK INN 1-mile north of the town square, across from the National Elk Refuge. Convenient location provides easy access to everything you will need to make your vacation a memorable one! Breathtaking views of the Gros Ventre Mtns. & the Sleeping Indian. 1035 N Hwy 89, 1-800-438-9338 307-733-5276 PG 15 & 95 49ER INN AND SUITES Downtown Jackson. 142 units, 30 fireplace suites. indoor & outdoor hot tubs—fitness room—meeting facilities—continental breakfast. Ski & snowmobile packages available & ski shuttle. 330 W Pearl. 307-733-7550 or 1-800-4512980 PG 29 MOUNTAIN PROPERTY MANAGEMENT offers a wide selection of Jackson Hole lodging, featuring vacation rental homes, condos, and cabins to suit all tastes and budgets., 800992-9948 or 307-733-1648 PG 95 PAINTED BUFFALO INN provides comfortable lodging in the heart of downtown Jackson. Swimming pool, sauna, continental breakfast, WiFi & shuttle stops are just a few of the conveniences we offer our guest. 400 West Broadway, 800-288-3866 / 307-733-4340 PG 95

TETON VILLAGE & VILLAGE ROAD ALPENHOF LODGE European style lodging & dining at the base of JHMR. Hot tub, pool, sauna, massage therapy, all in a cozy lodge setting with friendly professional staff. 307-733-3242 PG 95 THE HOSTEL A friendly lodge, come and stay with us. Enjoy a comfortable, pleasant & inexpensive stay at the base of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. High season:1 or 2 persons $79, 3 or 4 Persons $89. Low season:1 or 2 persons $69, 3 or 4 persons $79. Bunk room: $25-32., 307-733-3415 PG 95 JACKSON HOLE RESORT LODGING Conveniently located next to the Teton Village Market, Ski-in/ski-out lodging & accommodation for all seasons. Affordable condos to luxury vacation homes, for family getaways and reunions. 800-443-8613, 307-733-3990 PG 95 TETON CLUB Ski-in, Ski-out, trailside condo located at the base of the JH Mt Resort. 2 & 3 bedroom exquisitely furnished condominiums and 5-star service make this property the only place to stay while in Jackson Hole. 866-352-9777 PG 25

TOGWOTEE PASS TRIANGLE C RANCH Complete winter recreation packages, “The Old West In Winter”–dog sled trips, snowmobile excursions, snowcoach to Yellowstone, lodging, meals. Transportation available. 800-661-4928 PG 4


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DORNAN’S PIZZA & PASTA Enjoy great food & the best view of the Tetons. Full-service bar, open for lunch. M-F 11:30-3; Sat/Sun 11:30-5; Bar 10-6. 733-2415 ext 204. PG 13

THE BUNNERY Best breakfast in town, served all day. Fresh baked pastries & we proudly brew Starbucks Coffee. On North Cache, 1 block north of the town square. 734-0075. PG 17 JACKSON HOLE BUFFALO MEAT Buffalo: jerky, salami, smoked roast, steaks & burger. Elk: steaks, burger & jerky. Gift packs, smoked trout & more! Free Samples. Certified 100% natural. We ship. South end of Jackson, in Smith’s Plaza. 733-4159/800-5436328 PG 2 FLAT CREEK MART A full convenience store with fuel station, 2 miles north of the town square, open from 6 am- 10 pm daily! Stop by for some munchies and a full tank on your way to the park, or top off your tank before returning your car to the airport! PG 15 MacPHALE’S BURGERS ...For Burger Lovers! 100% premium certified Angus beef fresh ground daily. Burger buns baked fresh daily. Fries fresh cut daily. 399 West Broadway. 307-733-8744. PG 47 McDONALD’S® OF JACKSON HOLE Where quality, service, cleanliness & value are a tradition. Featuring McDonald’s® freshly prepared breakfasts & regular menu favorites. WiFi available for your convenience. 5:00am–midnight. 1110 West Broadway at highway 22. PG 35 MOUNTAIN HIGH PIZZA PIE, also subs, salads, calzones. Traditional, whole wheat, or deep dish crusts. fresh veggie toppings. 11 am to 10 pm. On Broadway across from the Wort Hotel. WE DELIVER. 733-3646 PG 13 SNAKE RIVER BREWERY & RESTAURANT The Great American Beer Festival’s Small Brewery of The Year, 2000 & 2001. Serving tasty brews, burgers, delicious pizzas, pastas & sandwiches. Free WiFi. From 11:30 am to Midnight, 7 days a week. 739-2337 PG 41 SWEETWATER RESTAURANT Locals’ favorite since 1976. Lunch & dinner in a log cabin. Homemade soups, salads, burgers, sandwiches, lamb, steaks, full bar, deadly desserts & extensive wine list. Corner King and Pearl. 733-3553 PG 17 TETON STEAKHOUSE Breakfast buffet, lunch & dinner. Steaks, salad bar, chicken, seafood. A local favorite! Corner of Pearl & Cache across from Antler Inn. A place where things are still the same. 733-2639 PG 49

JACKSON SNAKE RIVER BREWERY The Great American Beer Festival’s Small Brewery of The Year, 2000 & 2001. Serving tasty brews, delicious pizzas, pastas & sandwiches. Free WiFi. From 11:30 am to Midnight, 7 days a week. 739-2337 PG 41

JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT TETON VILLAGE & VILLAGE ROAD NICK WILSON'S COWBOY CAFE Located next to the Tram. Breakfast, Smokehouse style lunch, daily specials, burgers, chili, snacks and more. Vibrant Apres Ski Happy Hour 3-6pm with food and drink specials. PG 25 VILLAGE CAFE Next to the JH Tram dock. Breakfast, lunch & Aprés Ski. Espresso, baked goods, wraps, sandwiches & the best pizza. 7am-10pm. Locals' aprés ski spot with full bar. 732-CAFE PG 27

PINEDALE, WYOMING WIND RIVER BREWING COMPANY Located in downtown Pinedale, Wyoming. The pub features handcrafted superior brews and many pub favorites including salads, homemade soups, appetizers, burgers, and fine steaks; all with generous portions.PG 51

MUSIC NOTEWORTHY MUSIC AGENCY Provides entertainment for all types of occasions. Call Mike Calabrese, 307-733-5459 pg 89

DINING – RESTAURANTS – CAFÉS GRAND TARGHEE– TETON VALLEY, IDAHO GRAND TARGHEE RESORT 5 restaurants serving a complete variety of food – gourmet dinners to snacks. Breakfast, lunch, dinner & dinner sleigh rides. Fare includes: Pastries, espressos, sandwiches, salads, burgers, pizza, steaks, Mexican & Italian, blackened foods. PG 59 THE TRAP BAR & GRILLE Lunch, aprés ski snacks, light dinner. Cocktails, micro-brew beers, wine, aprés ski special. Live entertainment and special sports events. 1-800-TARGHEE PG 59

NICK WILSON’S Cowboy Cafe in the Tram building, daily specials, sandwiches, burgers, chili, snacks & beer, wine & liquor. Breakfastlunch & aprés ski, 7:30am-6pm daily, happy hour 3-6pm. PG 25 VILLAGE CAFE Next to the JH Tram dock. Breakfast, lunch & Aprés Ski. Espresso, baked goods, wraps, sandwiches & the best pizza. 7am-10pm. Local's aprés ski spot with full bar. 732-CAFE PG 27

ON THE MOUNTAIN AT THE JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT CASPER RESTAURANT Cozy mid-mountain skiers/boarders retreat. Specialty burgers, burritos, a warm up station serving hot drinks with a kick, and a new Bloody Mary Bar. PG 21 CAFE 6311 Base of the Bridger Gondola, serving toasted bagels, breakfast burritos, ever popular designer wrap sandwiches, and espresso and coffee drinks served all day. Open daily in the winter. PG 25 CORBET'S CABIN Top-of-the-World waffles at the top of the tram on Rendezvous Mountain, quick snacks, hot drinks with unlimited views that are on the house. PG 25 COULOIR RESTAURANT FINE dining at 9,095 ft. Step off the Gondola and walk into a contemporary & hip restaurant. Exceptional hospitality, delectable American cuisine with Rocky Mountain roots. Reservations recommended. 307-739-2675 PG 21 HEADWALL PIZZA AND DELI Located at the top of the Bridger Gondola, a quick stop to get you back on the slopes. Serving fresh pizza, Kobe hot dogs with unique toppings, housemade soups and gourmet grab and go items. PG 21 RENDEZVOUS RESTAURANT AT 9,095 FT. offering fresh salads, soups, Asian bowls and stir fries, grill meats and baked potatoes. Great view of Rendezvous Mountain and Corbet’s Couloir. PG 21

Bob Woodall Photos: Teton Village & Jackson Hole Mountain Resort(top); aprés ski at the Bridger Gondola (center); World Championship Gelande Quaff (right)


SPORTS SHOPS ? APPAREL ? JEWELRY ? SKIING SPORTS SHOPS & APPAREL GRAND TARGHEE – TETON VALLEY, IDAHO GRAND TARGHEE SPORTS & RENTAL SHOPS carry apparel, downhill & Nordic skis, snowboards, and accessories for adults and children. 1-800-TARGHEE, rentals—307-353-2300 PG 59

JACKSON–TETON VILLAGE–WILSON HOBACK SPORTS Featuring the latest Wintersteiger tuning machines. Overnight repairs, full ski & snowboard rental shop, retail sales of major brands, specializing in expert boot-fitting. Located in Jackson at 520 W. Broadway. 733-5335 PG 4 HOLE IN THE WALL SNOWBOARD SHOP Teton Village's original Snowboard Shop. Boards and Demos from Burton, Option, Nidecker, & Lib Tech, Never Summer. Technical outerwear from Arc’teryx, Burton, 686, Roxy and more, upstairs in the Bridger Center at the base of the gondola. 307-739-2689. PG 25 JACK DENNIS OUTDOOR SHOP The finest outerwear & hard goods for the whole family. Complete rental department, performance demos, overnight repair. Located in Teton Village 7336838 & on the town square 733-3270 PG 2 JACKSON HOLE SPORTS THE mountain ski shop. We stock Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, Patagonia, Eider, Fischer, Rossignol, K2, Salomon, Dynastar, and more. Full service mountainside rental shop & experienced repair, tuning & boot-fitting services. Located in the Bridger Center at the base of the gondola. 307739-2687 PG 25 LOWRIDER BOARD SHOP Specialty service and retail shop run for snowboarders by snowboarders, at the base of the tram, next to Pepi's in the Olympic Plaza, Teton Village 733-4505 PG 35 PEPI STIEGLER SPORTS The most exclusive collection of high performance skis and skiwear for the distinguishing resort shopper. Offering quality service, attention to detail and the best tune in Jackson Hole. Find us in Teton Village in the big white building next to Teton Mountain Lodge. 733-45045 PG 2 PETER GLEN SKI & SPORTS Huge selection of ski & snowboard clothing equipment & accessories for men, women, & children, including Spyder, Obermeyer, Bogner, Burton, K2 & more! PG 88 TETON VILLAGE SPORTS Jackson Hole’s largest ski & snowboard rental & demo center. Online reservations. Völkl, Tecnica, Head, Rossignol, Salomon, Marker, The North Face, Arcteryx, Cloudveil, Bogner, Black Diamond,Patagonia, and Arbor. Custom footbeds, repair shop, In the Crystal Springs Lodge. 733-2181. PG 100

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK DORNAN’S GIFT SHOP Rental & sales of cross-country skis, snow shoes. 733-2415, ext 301 In the Moose Village, Grand Teton National Park. PG 13

SKIS CUSTOM MADE – FACTORY DIRECT JACKSON HOLE IGNEOUS Custom Skis, hand-crafted in Jackson Hole. 734-8788 PG 45

GIFTS & GROCERIES JACKSON JH RESORT STORE The official logo store of JH Mountain Resort, the source for logo apparel and gifts. Located on the town square, it is the in-town connection for lift tickets, snow conditions and activities. 734-6045 PG 25

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK DORNAN’S GIFT SHOP In the Moose Village, Grand Teton National Park. 733-2415, ext 301 PG 13 DORNAN’S TRADING POST GROCERY Open 8-5 daily. X-Country and snow shoe rentals. Gourmet cheeses & specialty foods, full grocery, gas available 24 hour. ATM 733-2415, ext 201; In the Moose Village, Grand Teton National Park. PG 13

ICE SKATING SNOW KING CENTER at the base of Snow King Ski Area offers indoor daily public skating. For an updated schedule and prices call 734-3000 OWEN BIRCHER PARK Outdoor public rink, illuminated 6-10 p.m. nightly, downtown Wilson 733-5056.

JEWELRY – ART DANSHELLEY JEWELERS Wearable works of art created by Dan & Shelley, plus other designers using gold & gems. From diamonds to elk ivory & Teton charms. Gaslight Alley, just off the town square. 733-2259 PG 7 HINES GOLDSMITH Designers of the Teton pendant, ring, charm and bracelet since 1970. Bucking Bronco and Elk Ivory jewelry, large selection of gold and silver charms, etched barware depicting the Tetons and Bucking Bronco. 80 Center Street, East Side of Town Square, 307-733-5599 PG 23


SNO; snow conditions 307-733-2291; Ski School and activities 307739-2779 PG 25 NIGHT SKIING AT SNOW KING RESORT Tuesday-Saturday until 8:00pm. PG 53 SNOW KING SKI RESORT 307-733-5200 PG 53

SKI & SNOWBOARD SCHOOLS GRAND TARGHEE SNOWSPORTS SCHOOL is under the direction of Mark Hanson.1-800-TARGHEE (827-4433) PG 59 JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN SPORTS SCHOOL The complete mountain experience with children’s programs, private and group ski, snowboard, telemark or adaptive lessons, and specialty camps. 307739-2779 PG 25

NORDIC SKI CENTERS GRAND TARGHEE NORDIC CENTER Offers 15 KM of groomed and skating lanes. 1-800-TARGHEE PG 59 JACKSON HOLE NORDIC CENTER Located in Teton Village, it is a full service X-C operation, with 17 KM of machine groomed trails and track including a new dog loop. Full & half day tours into Grand Teton National Park. Rentals, clinic & lessons. 307-7392629. PG 25 NORDIC CENTERS Six maintained tracks and centers are open to the public in the Jackson Hole & Yellowstone area. See PAGE 14

TUBE PARKS-TERRAIN PARKS KING TUBES SNOW TUBING PARK At Snow King Resort GRAND TARGHEE TUBING PARK At the base of Targhee Resort 1800-TARGHEE PG 59 JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT Check out the terrain parks, halfpipe, and new Burton Stash Parks. PG 25

CHILD & TEEN SERVICES JACKSON HOLE KIDS RANCH Located in the Cody House at JHMR. Infant & child care: ages 6 month-years. Ski/snowboard programs for ages 3-17 years. Kids Ranch participants experience Fort Wyoming, an outdoor playground with a Magic Carpet surface lift. Teen camps available during Christmas, President's Week and Spring Break. 307-739-2788.PG 25 KIDS CLUB Grand Targhee Resort has a variety of programs for children, including evening programs just for kids! Our professional child care staff can handle from infants to age 14. Baby sitting by appointment. PG 59

HELI & CAT–SKIING ALASKA RENDEZVOUS LODGE & HELI GUIDES, a full-service lodge, operates out of Valdez, Alaska, from March 1 through September. We offer full-service guides for Heli-skiing, whitewater rafting & fishing., 307-734-0721, 907-8223300 PG 71 GRAND TARGHEE SNOWCAT POWDER ADVENTURES 500 acres reserved for Snow Cat skiing at Grand Targhee Resort 1-800TARGHEE PG 59 HIGH MOUNTAIN HELI-SKIING flies skiers into the mountains around Jackson Hole for day-long powder-skiing excursions for intermediate to expert skiers. 733-3274 PG 72 VALDEZ HELI-SKI GUIDES Our heli-skiing is unlike anything you could ever imagine. Runs are long & adventurous, up to 5,000 vertical. Deep powder is the norm. We cater to advanced & expert skiers & riders so groups are always small., 907-835-4528 PG 70

SHOOTING SPORTS JACKSON HOLE SHOOTING EXPERIENCE Safe, educational, and FUN. Customized entertainment shooting experiences for novice

shooters and experienced marksmen! Individuals, families, reunions & corporate events. Come have a BLAST! 307-690-7921 PG 15

SKI MOUNTAINEERING, AVALANCHE INFORMATION, GUIDE SERVICES AVALANCHE HAZARD & WEATHER FORECAST 307-733-2664 see story PAGE 41 EXUM MOUNTAIN GUIDES From beginners to experts, Exum has a guide for you and Marmot has the outdoor gear you need. Backcountry skiing, ski touring, avalanche programs, winter mountaineering, Ice Climbing., (307)7332297 PG 63 GRAND TARGHEE GUIDES Guided snowcat trips to Peaked Mountain, mountain tours, X-C, backcountry, and alpine tours, 1800-TARGHEE PG 59 JACKSON HOLE BACKCOUNTRY GUIDES Experience the Teton backcountry with a certified guide to reach untracked powder and challenging runs. Call Jackson Hole Mountain Sports School, 307739-2779. PG 25 JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN GUIDES Since 1968. Join JHMG for a day of untracked powder & solitude. Novice to expert ski tours, Teton ski mountaineering, Level 1,2 & 3 avalanche courses & ice climbing. AMGA accredited. 307-733-4979 PG 65 RENDEZVOUS BACKCOUNTRY TOURS Operates the only hut system in the Tetons, allowing you an unparalleled backcountry experience with our professional guides. Since 1986. Daily Tours for all abilities in Grand Teton Park & Teton Pass. 877-754-4887 PG 63

MASSAGE GUA GUA JIAO FOOT MASSAGE Deep, firm combine gentle re’flexible. According to reflexology principle, with proper combination of deep tissue and Swedish massage, to release your stress. 970 W. Broadway, 209,Jackson, 307-413-4280 PG 88

MEDICAL SERVICES & EMERGENCY CARE J AC K S O N H O L E , W YO M I N G ST. JOHN'S CENTER OF EXCELLENCE IN ORTHOPAEDICS Jackson Hole's orthopaedic specialists are renowned for their experience in knee, hip or shoulder replacement procedures and State-of-the-art technology. 888-739-7499 or visit PG 5 ST. JOHN’S CLINIC AT TETON VILLAGE Medical Clinic for winter sports injuries and ailments. Open 7 days a week during ski season. Staffed with board-certified emergency medicine physicians. Located at the Kids Ranch Building, Cody House, 307-739-7346. PG 83 ST. JOHN’S FAMILY HEALTH & URGENT CARE Walk-ins welcome. X-ray & laboratory services on-site so doctors can assess & treat your condition promptly. Open extended hours, evenings & weekends. In the Smith’s Plaza, 1415 S. Hwy 89, 307-739-8999 PG 83 ST. JOHN’S EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT Staffed 24/7 by board-certified emergency medicine physicians. St. John’s offers comprehensive hospital care including diagnostic imaging, certified Clinical Laboratory & Surgery Center services. 625 E. Broadway, 307-733-3636 PG 83 TETON ORTHOPAEDICS has a team of doctors and physical therapists that offer a full spectrum of medical care devoted to diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation. Same-day appointments available. 307-7333900,800-659-1335 555 East Broadway next to St John’s Medical Center PG 82

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Rates Based on Double Occupancy



BUS SERVICE GRAND TARGHEE EXPRESS Daily transportation from Jackson Hole & Teton Village to Grand Targhee. PG 59 START BUS Jackson to Teton Village – Schedules , routes & fares are available at bus stops, lodgings & information centers. 733-4521



INFORMATION – SERVICES AVALANCHE HAZARD & WEATHER FORECAST 307-733-2664 see story PAGE 40 FOCUSPRODUCTIONS.COM Subscribe to our magazines, order posters & photography. Read the online editions of Jackson Hole Skier, Teton & Yellowstone Country Adventure Guide, & the Jackson Hole Dining Guide.


PHOTOGRAPHY DD CAMERA CORRAL Jackson’s oldest full-service camera store. Binoculars, digital & film cameras, including Nikon, Canon, Leica. Friendly & knowledgeable staff. 2-hour film & digital processing.



SNOWMOBILING GRAND TETON PARK SNOWMOBILE RENTALS Guided OR unguided snowmobile tours to Togwotee Pass, Yellowstone & Granite Hot Springs: Family Friendly on groomed trail, clothing *Free Shuttle Van, Airport drop-off included. 800-563- 6469, 307-733-1980 PG 85 JACKSON HOLE SNOWMOBILE TOURS Over 20 years of family guided tours. Yellowstone, Granite Hot Springs, Togwotee Pass & Continental Divide. Current model powder & 4-stroke snowmobiles, experience makes the difference. 733-6850, 800-6331733 PG 85 ROCKY MOUNTAIN SNOWMOBILE TOURS Day & multi-day tours of Yellowstone, Gros Ventre, Togwotee, Granite Hot Springs & Greys River. Day tours include breakfast, lunch & transportation. 733-2237 800-647-2561. email: PG 84 SNOWMOBILEPACKAGE.COM Guided tours to Yellowstone, Old Faithful or Canyon. Tours to all areas: Granite Hot Springs, Togwotee Pass, Greys River. Rentals on groomed trails. *Free Shuttle Bus 307-543-2052, 800-924-2052 PG 85 TRIANGLE C RANCH TOURS Multi-day trips on the Continental Divide Trail. Polaris powder machines, clothing included, transportation available. Lodging, snowmobile from your cabin. 800661-4928 PG 4

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK 307-739-3300 JACKSON HOLE & GREATER YELLOWSTONE VISITORS’ CENTER on North Cache Street in Jackson has information on all activities in the area. Mon-Fri 8:00-5:00, Sat-Sun 10-2 pm. or call the JACKSON HOLE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. 733-3316 JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT GUEST SERVICE located next to the tram ticket windows. Information on mountain/valley activities & events, daily snow & weather conditions, vertical foot club, lost & found. 307-739-2753 PG 25 JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN HOSTS Complimentary Mountain orientation tours leave from the front of Walk Festival Hall in Teton Village at 9:30 am daily. Hosts can answer questions & assist with anything from airline schedules to off mountain activities. 7392697 PG 25 JACKSON HOLE SKI CLUB Since 1938 has provided a ski education foundation for Alpine, Nordic & Snowboard junior racers. For discounts on local services & merchandise, buy a membership at local ski shops. 733-6433 PG 55 LOST OR STOLEN SKIS should be reported to the Sheriff’s Office 733-4052 or through the Guest Service Center, 739-2753. SKI & SNOWBOARD STORAGE & LOCKERS Leave your gear at the mountain, convenient lockers & basket check available at the Bridger Center. 739-2755 PG 25 TETON COUNTY LIBRARY has 50,000 books including a skiing and mountain climbing section, periodicals, newspapers, historical information and photographs. M-Th 10-9, Fri 10-5:30, Sat 10-5, Sun 1-5. Closed legal holidays. Corner of Snow King & Virginian Lane. 733-2164 US POST OFFICE: Teton Village: M-F 9:30-4, Sat 9-12, 733-3575; In Jackson: New P.O.-corner of Powderhorn Ln & Maple Way; Old P.O.-corner of Pearl Av. & Millward St. 733-3650. YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK 307-344-7381

JACKSON HOLE ECO TOURS ADVENTURES offers a variety of wildlife viewing in the Jackson Hole, Grand Teton, and Yellowstone Ecosystems. Eco Tour Adventures focuses on creating a sustainable touring business to help protect the wild nature of our environment. (307) 690-9533 PG 13


SNOWCOACH TOURS — YELLOWSTONE YELLOWSTONE SNOWCOACH EXCURSIONS Triangle C Ranch Ride in the luxurious comfort of an over-the-snow Ford Excursion. Experienced & knowledgeable guides. Private trips available. 800661-4928 PG 4


JACKSON HOLE IDITAROD SLED DOG ADVENTURES Half & full day trips into the Teton backcountry & Granite Hot Springs. Learn mushing first hand, drive your own sled team. Meals, transportation, supplemental clothing provided. 307-733-7388 PG 87

60 So. Cache, across from Eddie Bauer. 307-733-3831 PG 3, 11, 77, 97 & 98 FOCUS PRODUCTIONS INC. Products include the Jackson Hole Skier, JH Dining Guide, Mountain Country Magazine & ski posters. Commercial photography, stock photo file & editorial assignment. 307-733-6995. WILD BY NATURE GALLERY features the wildlife & landscape photography of Henry H. Holdsworth. Behind the Wort Hotel, 95 West Deloney. 307-733-8877 PG 49

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Bob Woodall photos: Grand Teton National Park (top); Otters in Yellowstone Lake (center)

Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole, Wyoming


Lodging Directory Flat Creek Inn & Mart

Located directly across from the National Elk Refuge & 2-miles north of the Jackson Town Square and 2 miles from GT National Park, our convenient location provides guests with easy access to everything you will need to make your vacation a memorable one! Awaken to breathtaking views of the Gros Ventre Mountains and the Sleeping Indian. 1035 North Highway 89 Jackson, Wyoming 83001 1-800-438-9338 307-733-5276


We make it cheaper and easier for you to ski the legendary Jackson Hole Mountain Resort while staying slopeside. Filled to the rafters with ambiance, we offer both private rooms with private bathrooms, and the chance to mingle with your fellow travelers, Hostelstyle. High season: 1 or 2 persons $79, 3 or 4 Persons $89. Low season: 1 or 2 persons $69, 3 or 4 Persons $79.Bunk room:$25-32. Teton Village, Wyoming 83025 307-733-3415,

Jackson Hole Super 8

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, cable TV with HBO and free local calls. Ski packages & group rates. 750 S Hwy 89, Jackson, WY 83001 800-800-8000 / 307-733-6833

Mountain Property Management

We offer a wide selection of Jackson Hole lodging, featuring vacation rental homes, condos and cabins to suit all tastes and budgets. A broad selection of properties cater to the diverse requirements of visitors. Rentals range in size from one-bedroom condos to custom luxury mountain estates. Many properties are located minutes from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Grand Teton National Park or the southern entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Jackson, Wyoming 83001 1-800-992-9948 307-733-1648

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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. P.O. Box 288, Teton Village, WY 83025 1-800-732-3244

Grand Targhee Resort

Grand Targhee Resort offers visitors an array of Western-style lodging options. Guests can choose to stay at one of our four slopeside accommodations or in one of our many in-town condo, town home or single family home vacation rental units. We have something for everyone! Alta, Wyoming 83414 800-TARGHEE (827-4433)

Jackson Hole Resort Lodging We offer the largest number of Jackson Hole vacation lodging rental properties in Teton Village, as well as condo rentals and homes at The Aspens and Teton Pines. Whether you’re looking for traditional Jackson Hole mountain charm or a more luxurious lodging experience, we have it all. McCollister Drive, Teton Village, WY 83025 800-443-8613 Fax: 307-734-1077,

Motel 6 Resort in Jackson

Two miles from historic town square, 1 block from free bus shuttle, Next to Kmart shopping center with shops and restaurants. All guest rooms were completely remodeled spring 2009. Guest rooms surround a park like setting for picnics and our swimming pool. Guest laundries, free local calls, free morning coffee,WIFI access & expanded cable. Pet friendly & kids under 18 stay free 600 So. Hwy 89, Jackson, Wy 83001 307-733-1620 Fax: 307-734-9175 Reservations Number 1-800-466-8356

Painted Buffalo Inn

The Painted Buffalo Inn offers comfortable rooms for the budget conscious traveler. Unwind in our sauna or indoor pool and wake up to a continental breakfast. Weʼre located 3 blocks from the town square with a shuttle stop to Teton Village on-site. Mention this ad when booking and receive 10% off when you stay between 12/1/11– 5/1/12. 400 West Broadway, Jackson, WY 83001 800-288-3866 / 307-733-4340 2 0 1 2 JAC KS O N H O L E S K I E R


JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT Mountain Characteristics Skiable terrain: 2,500 acres, 10% beginner, 40% intermediate, 50% advanced. Base elevation 6,311 ft., Summit elevation: 10,450 ft. Vertical rise: 4,139 ft. (longest continuous in the country). 22 miles of machine groomed terrain. Longest run: 4.7 miles. Average annual snowfall: 38 feet (456 inches).

Ski Lifts 1 100-passenger Aerial Tram 1 eight-passenger gondola, 6 quad chairs (2 high speed) 2 triple chairs, 2 double chair 1 magic carpet surface lift

SNOW KING SKI AREA Mountain Characteristics Skiable terrain: 400 plus acres, 15% beginner, 25% intermediate, 60% advanced. Vertical rise: 1,571 ft. Longest run: 9/10 mile. Base Elevation: 6,300 ft. Top elevation 7,871 ft. 300 acres of machine groomed terrain. • Night Skiing. • KingTubes Snow Tubing Park. • Half Pipe & Terrain Park

Ski Lifts 1 triple chair, 2 double chairs 1 surface tow.


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GRAND TARGHEE RESORT Mountain Characteristics Lift serviced terrain: 2,000 acres, 10% beginner, 70% intermediate, 20% advanced. Vertical rise: 2,000 ft. Longest run: 2.5 miles. Base elevation: 8,000 ft. Top elevation: 10,000 ft. Average annual snowfall: 42 ft. (504 inches). 500 acres groomed terrain.

Ski Lifts

2-High Speed Quad Chair, 1-Quad chair, 1 double chair, 1 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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START Bus S N O W K I N G AV E offices & Jackson Public Works










START BUS STOPS Schedules, Routes, Stops & Fares are available at Bus Stops, Lodgings, & Information Centers, or call 733-4521.







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Center Fo r The Arts



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LODGING 89 To: GRAND TETON & YELLOWSTONE Antler Motel – 16 Meeting Place for 26 NATIONAL PARKS 191 National Elk Refuge WYOMING Cowboy Village Resort – 21 JACKSON HOLE AIRPORT 189 Sleigh Rides Elk Country Inn – 19 TOGWOTEE PASS ELEVATION: 6,209 FEET Jackson Hole & Flat Creek Inn & Mart – 1 Greater 1,892 METERS Ye l l o w s t o n e 49er Inn – 22 MAP NOT TO SCALE Visitors’ PERRY ST © 2012 Focus Productions Inc. Center Jackson Hole Super 8 – 29 TETON COUNTY Mountain Property Management – 27 U. S. FOREST HISTORICAL CENTER SERVICE Motel 6 Resort in Jackson – 28 MERCELL Painted Buffalo Inn – 18 ••• H O M E R A N C H County PA R K I N G Teton MASSAGE Recreation LOT Center GILL AVE • Gua Gue Jiao Foot Massage – 25 • • MILLER PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEO PARK 2 3 TO W N 6 DD Camera Corral – 14 PA R K I N G K JH MUSEUM LOT 4 5 Wild By Nature Gallery – 4 EE DELONEY AVE S T. J O H N ' S R JACKSON C SKI & SPORTING GOODS SHOPS H O S P I TA L 7 AT TOWN Hoback Sports – 20 L 10 9 8 F SQUARE 17 Jack Dennis Sports – 12 EAST BROADWAY ••• WEST. BROADWAY ••• Igneous Custom Skis – 30 11 12 18 SNOWMOBILING Jackson Hole 14 PEARL AVE 13 15 JACKSON Snowmobile Tours – 24 TOWN HALL ••• 19 $ BANK 22 16 Q r SHERIFF'S Rocky Mountain Tours – 33 COUNTY JAIL TO W N 20 21 OFFICE U . S . P OS T T FLA

APPAREL Hoback Sports – 20 Jack Dennis Outdoor Shop – 12 ART - JEWELRY - GIFTS -HOME DanShelley Jewelers – 5 Hines Goldsmith – 7 Jackson Hole Resort Store – 8 DINING & ENTERTAINMENT Blue Lion Restaurant – 2 The Bunnery – 6 Jackson Hole Buffalo Meats – 31 MacPhale’s Burgers – 17 McDonald's of Jackson Hole – 26 Mountain High Pizza – 11 Snake River Brewery & Restaurant – 23 Sweetwater Restaurant – 15 Teton Steakhouse – 13 MEDICAL SERVICES & EMERGENCY CARE St. John’s Family Health & Urgent Care – 32 St. John’s Center of Excellence in Orthopaedics – 10 St. John’s Emergency Department – 10 Teton Orthopaedics – 9 MOUNTAIN GUIDES & HELICOPTER SKIING High Mountain Heli-Skiing - 24 Jackson Hole Mountain Guides – 3




Shot in the

Back Todd Ligare goes big during a Teton Gravity Research film-shoot on Cardiac Ridge in the Jackson Hole Resort backcountry. “I’m gonna throw a front flip off the fattest part of that cliff,” he said over the radio. The gobsmacked cameramen made double-sure they were ready. A rough calculation taken from this image measures the drop at about 150 feet. He was not injured. Mad props, Todd!

Wade McKoy photos

This photo-merged image combines 18 frames shot with a 600-mm lens. The leap appears in TGR’s latest film, One for the Road.

Todd Ligare

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Jackson Hole Skier Magazine 2012  

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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