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Winter Visitor’s Guide


Experience the Old West in a New Way.

Mesquite grilled Steaks, Game, and other New West selections, all served in our authentic lodge. Enjoy our extensive collection of scotch, bourbon and draft beer & extensive wine selection. STEAK & GAME HOUSE

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862 W. BROADWAY • 733-3287


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SKI • BIKE • BOARD • HIKE

“The Locals’ Shop” 520 W. BROADWAY OPEN DAILY

733-5335

Volkl • Rossignol K2 • Dalbello • Tecnica Marker • Salomon • Full Tilt

On Broadway across from Bubba’s

SNOWBOARDS:

Burton • Arbor • Prior • Ride • Vans CLOTHING:

Obermeyer • Orage • Vans Sherpa • Burton • Oakley www.hobacksports.com DEMOS A RENTALS A REPAIR A SKIS A SNOWBOARDS A OUTWEAR

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 Experience the spell of the Old West in Winter,,,,in comfort Scenic adventures to Old Faithful or Yellowstone Canyon

Photos: Bob Woodall

Exclusive tours of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks in the warmth & comfort of our Ford Excursions. Our friendly local guides will educate and entertain you with their knowledge of the wildlife, geology, history and love of the Yellowstone Country. We Specialize in Private Tours! Call for Reservations:

Winter Season: December 15, 2009 to March 15, 2010

Permittee of Yellowstone National Park

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1.800.661.4928 1.307.455.2225 www.trianglec.com

Trips include • Hotel Transfers • Gourmet Lunch • All-day Refreshments

Photo: Wade McKoy / Focus Productions Skier: Jeff Leger

SKIS, BOOTS, & BINDINGS:


“WESTERN REFLECTONS”

34 YEARS OF INSPIRATION AT 6000 FT. JEWELRY ORIGINALS Gaslight Alley • Downtown Jackson Hole • 125 N.Cache www.danshelley.com • info@danshelley.com • 307.733.2259 A LL DESIGNS C OPYRIGHTED


See page 56 for the “Making Of”


resorts 14 18 26 30 30 31 32 38 58 61

XC Ski Centers Jackson Hole Classics New Marketing Chief Open-Boundary Protocol Adaptive Snow Sports Terrain Park & Superpipe Grand Targhee Roots Rustic Inn Next Generation JH Air Force Since the Beginning

backcountry

42 Mountain Guides 46 Tips for Safer Backcountry Travel 48 Helicopter & Snowcat Skiing

news

47 Hall of Fame Inducts Doug Coombs 53 Crystal Wright – World Freeski Champ 63 In Memoriam

Cover photo by Bob Woodall

Contents photo by Wade McKoy

diversions 8 12 16 56 64 68 71 74 76 78

Wildlife and National Parks Activities Beyond the Slopes Made in Jackson Hole The Making of Swift. Silent. Deep. Snowmobiling Mushers & Sled Dogs Business Directory Lodging Directory Resort Maps Town of Jackson Map

Publishers: Bob Woodall and Wade McKoy Managing Editor, Staff Writer: Wade McKoy Copy Editor: Mike Calabrese Senior Editor: Bob Woodall Photo Editors: Wade McKoy, Bob Woodall, Eric Rohr Art Director: Janet Melvin Advertising Sales: Nanci Montgomery Editorial Assistant: Eric Rohr Distribution Manager: Jeff Leger

Skiers: Cover—Rob LaPier, Contents—Jeff Leger

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 Focus Productions Inc, P.O. Box 1930, Jackson, Wyoming 83001.

Copyright—2009 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. JH SKIER web sites — focusproductions.com, jhskier.net JH SKIER on Facebook — Jackson Hole Mountain Photography


Winter Wildlife Elk hold the ground, ducks the water, along Mammoth Hot Springs’ thermal features in Yellowstone National Park.

The subnivian space of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks

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Story by Bert Raynes

bout 60 mammal species live in Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks and their adjoining national forests and wilderness areas. With the exception of pronghorn antelope, none migrate from winter. How do they survive six months of continual snow cover and temperatures as low as –40º F? Some hibernate or sleep: grizzly and black bears, marmots, ground squirrels, bats, chipmunks, some mouse species. Other mammals fight for survival above the snow: moose, elk, bison, bighorn sheep, snowshoe hare, tree squirrels, and their predators or scavengers, wolves, coyotes, foxes, cougars, lynx, wolverines, martins. What about the others, the seldom seen? How do they survive, staying active and in at least one instance, even reproducing? It’s all because of subnivian space. Subnivian space is a thin air layer varying in thickness from perhaps a half-inch

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Photos by Henry H. Holdsworth — Wild By Nature Gallery

to several inches, existing between a snow layer and the soil surface beneath. Falling snow builds up on the irregular earth surface, fallen leaves, and coniferous needle litter, forming a complex of arches and domes. Heat from unfrozen soil and from decomposition of vegetable matter melts contact snow, which will then refreeze to form an ice layer, adding strength and insulating properties. This ceiling will persist so long as the snow cover persists. Losing snow cover is normally not a Greater Yellowstone event until the April or May months. In this under-snow air space a surprisingly large variety of life can exist. Beetles, mites, spiders, and other organisms remain active there. Many small animals, such as voles, shrews, and mice utilize this space, coming to the surface if carbon dioxide buildup requires them to dig to the snow surface. These little animals then become vulnerable to foxes, coyotes, and

Jays are undaunted by Jackson winters.

The light wanes; a red fox awaits the right moment.


A well-known young grizzly, one of three cubs and a sow often viewed along a Teton Park roadside from 2006 to 2008, warns off nearby observers. Sadly, this male’s sister was killed last September by a hunter who stumbled upon the bear feeding on a moose carcass. Blood-smeared from helping carry a deer his partner had shot, the hunter feared that the bear would attack him if it closed distance from the 40-yard encounter. After an investigation by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the hunter was cited for taking a grizzly bear without a license. The incident occurred days before a federal judge in Montana placed the bears back under the protection of the federal Endangered Species Act. — from reports in the Jackson Hole News & Guide

The American Bison, more commonly called buffalo, weigh up to a ton, can run 30-miles-per hour, and should never be approached.

Swans, normally the picture of both aerial and reposed grace, work feverishly to gain the speed needed for flight.

A familiar and entertaining sight for wildlife viewers, a coyote pounces, perhaps having located a mouse or vole by a noise the unlucky creature has made. A bull moose can also employ his massive antlers for the delicate act of scratching. w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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Great gray owls dive into the snow, having located a mouse or vole by any noise the unlucky mammal has made. The West’s most controversial subject: the wolf

Bull moose scrape their paddles on aspens to shed their velvet.

Wolves, reintroduced into the West in the ‘90s, are again thriving in some of the nation’s most beautiful and foreboding geography. continued from page 8

other predators. The subnivian space itself isn’t immune from vulnerability to various predators. If a vole can dig up to the snow surface, an ermine or fox can dig down to the air layer. Foxes and coyotes are regularly seen plunging or digging through the snow and coming out with a prey item. Great gray owls dive into the snow, having located a mouse or vole by any noise the unlucky mammal has made. Survival during the long winter season in the Yellowstone Ecosystem is a daily, even a minute-by-minute, struggle for each of its wild creatures. That list includes the mammals who live on the snow cover, in the air, and those who survive unseen beneath the snow. Give a thought, give a care, to what may live beneath your feet, your skis, your over-snow vehicles in a season still teeming with life.

Pelicans,like anglers,ply regional rivers for fish.

Bert Raynes writes a weekly column in the Jackson Hole News & Guide and has penned five books on birds and animals of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Bison, using their massive heads, forage for subnivian grasses under winter’s mantle.

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A beaver shakes hard to shed water after a winter swim.


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Plenty to do in Jackson Hole when not on the slopes by Mike Calabrese

National Elk Refuge SHOPPING? It may not be at the top of everyone’s list, but it is on everyone’s list! I’m still shipping out Hungry Jack’s logo mugs to relatives and friends after 36 years of living in Jackson Hole. And my wife and I are still buying outdoor gear, art, books, and jewelry proffered right here in the valley. Sure, some of the national chains have cast down their lot among the Jackson Hole enterprises, but local businesses have created and maintained their own niches – all to the benefit of shoppers searching for that special something for themselves or the folks back home. No mega-malls in our valley – just real commerce, with real people, in real stores, in downtown Jackson or right in the heart of Teton Village. 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 head out to some of the valley’s notable least- and best-kept secrets.

ELK REFUGE—The only thing perhaps more breathtaking around here than the Tetons is the wildlife that inhabits the surrounding valley. To take them both in – at the same time, no less – climb aboard a horsedrawn sleigh and glide gracefully through thousands of majestic elk wintering on the National Elk Refuge. Sleighs are run seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. by the same folks who provide food and fun at their Bar T Five chuckwagon shows all summer. Adults pay $18; youngsters 6-12, $14; and tikes under 5 pay nothing. Visitors can call 733-5386 or go online at BarT5.com to reserve a seat on the sleigh. No need for reservations, though, unless a large private tour would better fit the bill. Or simply drop by the Greater Yellowstone Region Visitor Center on north Cache, right next to the elk refuge. The whole shebang can be arranged at the center. And don’t forget the camera! WILDLIFE SAFARI—If you landed at our airport, or

drove into our valley from any direction, more than likely you spotted some of our internationally famous wildlife: the obvious notables, the big ones – the elk, the deer, the moose, the bison. The very fauna that make Jackson Hole the center of the universe for wildlife viewing. But the complex Yellowstone/Teton region is home to an ecosystem’s worth of equally impressive smaller residents, including wolves, lynx, bald eagles, otters, mountain lions, bighorn sheep, creatures that may be revealed only to a persistent few, or those smart enough to sign on to a tour with Teton Science School’s Wildlife Expeditions. Start here: www.wildlifeexpeditions.org or call 1-888-945-3567.

WESTERN DANCING—Restless legs? Work ‘em out with a two-step or cowboy waltz at the Cowboy Bar on Thursday evenings between 7:30-9 p.m. The Cowboy and the Dancers’ Workshop Country Western Dance Program sponsor free instruction to anyone showing

double h bar national elk refuge sleigh rides

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Enjoy a piece of Western History while riding in a horse drawn sleigh

See Wildlife up close, surrounded by the scenic landscapes of Jackson Hole

Call Today! 307-733-0277 or 800-772-5386

Departs From Jackson Hole Visitor Center 532 N. Cache St.

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Henry H. Holdsworth, Elk Refuge; Bob Woodall, bull rider & tube park

DIVERSIONS 2010


SNOWSHOEING —Walk softly but carry a good

The snowshoe outings leave from the stunning Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center at 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.

up before the band hits the stage.

TUBING PARKS & NIGHT SKIING—Save the river

PARAGLIDING—Clear days and light winds in Jack-

running for summer; hop an inner tube and run the King and Targhee in winter.

son help set the stage for another equally astonishing view of Jackson Hole: from a paraglider! And the experts at Jackson Hole Paragliding take full advantage of these conditions. They’ll happily help launch novices and veterans alike over the valley in tandem paragliding flights that lift off from the top of the resort’s Bridger Gondola. This breathtaking experience requires no athletic ability and the experienced pilots with Jackson Hole Paragliding can even help those a bit daunted by heights. The outfit offers flights from 10 sites in the area. Call 690-tram or visit jhparagliding.com.

Snow King’s tube park is tons of fun, Mon.-Fri.

Serving All Day!

Bakery & Restaurant roudly Br e eP

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The Jackson Hole Mountain Resort throws a party near the end of ski season. The 5th Annual Mountain Festival, March 26-28, 2010, includes ski racing, live music, the legendary Pole Pedal Paddle race and awards ceremony, and the grand finale – a free concert under the stars. And, yes, you can ride a mechanical bull!

camera, especially in mountain country! Grand Teton National Park offers ranger-led snowshoe hikes at 2 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 oneand-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.

Jackson’s Great Breakfast & Lunch

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steam rooms. Open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, from 12 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 7 p.m., Sunday. For daily fees, call 739-9025. Go online at www.teton.wyo.org/parks 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.

®

Open 7 Days a Week Breakfast & Lunch: 7am-3pm Coffee & Pastries: 3pm-7pm 130 N. Cache 734-0075 www.bunnery.com

AwardWinning Brews & Incredible Food!

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-half-hour sessions. Call 734-3000 for a complete rundown of hours and fees.

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 20 Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m. in Snow King’s Ice Arena/Center. $8 for adults and $4 for children. Call 734-5300 or go online at jacksonholemoose.com. RECREATION CENTER—Of course we have heated 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 competitiveworkout pool, a therapeutic pool, a leisure-water pool, a hot tub, a water slide, a teaching pool, and sauna and w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

Snow King Tube Park from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., weekends from noon till 8 p.m. And if shopping and daytime demands keep you off the slopes during the day, try the King’s night-skiing ticket: 20 bucks will get you on the hill from 4-7 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

265 S. MILLWARD ST. 307.739 .BEE www.snakeriverbrewing.com R (2337) FOOD SERVED 11:30am - 11:00pm HAPPY HOURS 4:00pm - 6:00 pm DAILY SPECIALS!

Grand Targhee’s Tubing Park is just like the sledding of old, only better. Tubing at the Ghee is a blast. $10 per person, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Wed. through Sun. Tubing Season Pass $49. CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING IN YELLOWSTONE AND GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARKS—Two of the nation’s most famous parks are true wonderlands under winter’s white mantle. The solitude and spectacle of landscape will leave indelible memories on those who venture out in it during winter. Grand Teton boasts 15 miles of stunning, groomed cross-country skiing from Taggart Lake trailhead to Signal Mt. and a skied-in track north along Cottonwood Creek. Trails and trail maps can be viewed and down2 0 1 0 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R

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A torchlight parade bejewels the slopes of Snow King Mountain every New Year’s Eve and for the start of the Stage Stop Sled Dog Race in January. Both Jackson Hole and Grand Targhee resorts boast torchlight parades on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve. Festive ski area employees and other participating skiers, flares held aloft, course down the slopes in figureeight formation.

loaded at www.nps.gov/grte . For info, call 739-3300. In Yellowstone, over 100 miles of skied-in cross-country track adorn the park. Use snowcoaches as access to more remote parts. Information: 307-344-7381; Web: www.nps.gov/yell; roads: 307-344-2117.

Loop Road. For a trail map and more info. visit the website: tetonwyo.org/parks. Dial up the activity hotline, 739-6789, for track grooming schedules and ski conditions, or call 733-5056 for more information about skate-skiing instruction.

NORDIC CENTERS—Jackson Hole Resort: Seven-

TETON COUNTY LIBRARY—Need time to chill? Or

teen km of groomed skating and classic lanes. This has to be one of coolest settings in the world! Breathtaking vistas in every direction. Alpine lift tickets are also valid for the Nordic Center. Lessons and rentals available for cross-country, skate skiing, telemarking, and snowshoeing. Guided nature tours into Grand Teton National Park are available, as well as overnighters and lunches at the OB Rock Springs Yurt. 739-2629

maybe warm up? Teton County Library can easily lay claim to one of the valley’s best-known secrets: Libraries are flat out sweet! And this one plays second to none, from high-tech to page-tech to service and setting. Check it out, like most locals do. Go online at www.tclib.org and plug into Jackson Hole.

Teton County / Jackson Parks and Recreation Dept. is just about the best and busiest rec. outfit this side of the Mississippi. In addition to its 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

SKI JACKSON HOLE

49’er Inn and Suites Elk Country Inn Antler Inn Cowboy Village Resort •

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JACKSONHOLEHISTORICALSOCIETY&MUSEUM While you’re online, try this address: www.jacksonholehistory.org. It’ll transport you to the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum and the days of yore. Then pull-click on Photo Gallery for starters. Find the shot that Ken Burns dropped into his special on the history of this country’s national parks. We love this place!

EVENTS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SNOWMOBILE HILLCLIMB—2010, an anniversary year, marks the 35th year for the World Championship Snowmobile Hillclimb, held annually on Snow King’s 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 high-mark. 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 25 through March 28, this year. Call 7349653 or go online at snowdevils.org

Bob Woodall photos; Briggs photo courtesy Bill Briggs

Torchlight Parade and fireworks on Snow King Mountain

SHRINERS’ ALL-AMERICAN CUTTER RACES—

This Western version of horse-drawn chariot racing always draws a huge crowd during President’s Day Weekend every February. Teams run two abreast in a 1/4-mile sprint to the finish at the polo grounds south of Jackson. Teams are auctioned in a Calcutta wager before each heat, so high stakes and excitement mark this event. 733-3316, jacksonholechamber.com. 

Cutter Races

3 Days Skiing • 4 Nights Lodging • Starting at $249

Great Ski Packages Complimentary Ski Shuttles Fireplace Suites . Log Cabins . Hotel Rooms Hot Tubs . Saunas . Fitness rooms Rooms for Every Budget The Town Square Inns are located in the heart of Jackson Hole, just minutes from world-renowned skiing at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. www.townsquareinns.com . Jackson, Wyoming Reservations 1-800-4-TETONS


Bill Briggs: Mixing Music and Mountains

In Jackson Hole, the name of Bill Briggs is synonymous with what seem like two completely unrelated features: The Grand Teton and the Stagecoach Bar. But in Jackson Hole pretty much every local, from newbies to oldies like me, can rattle off Bill’s connection to both valley icons: Bill Briggs was the first to ski the Grand Teton and Bill Briggs is the father of a band that takes the stage every Sunday night in downtown Wilson. His skiing and music achievements, though, have finally gone national. Last April, Briggs was

Jimmy Zell

Goatstock Benefit

inducted into the U.S. National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. And the attendees were in for a surprise. When Briggs accepted the award, he regaled the appreciative crowd with music, story, and song as he wielded his trusty autoharp, bringing the crowd to its feet. “Music is as big a part of my life as skiing and climbing have been,” Briggs recalled. And the induction ceremony at Deer Valley in April 2009 clearly moved Briggs, who is well known for his self-effacement. “It was a grand occasion,” he said, “with 200 or so attending, perhaps half dear friends come to celebrate my skiing achievement and those of Cary Adgate, Nelson Carmichael, and Liz McIntyre (daughter of a Dartmouth College classmate.)” The founder of The Great American Ski School here in Jackson, Briggs’s enthusiasm for life, especially his music life, is undiminished, even as he performs through his 7th decade. His performance at the induction ceremony was no exception. “Blew away everyone there,” he recounted. “Once or twice in a lifetime, one can ‘do something perfectly.’” That musical endeavor at the ceremony “was the biggest ‘perfectly-for-theoccasion’ I’ve ever done,” Briggs added. And in true Bill Briggs fashion, he concluded, “Hopefully I can do another some day.” — Mike Calabrese

For Over 30 Years

Lunch 11:30-2:30 UNIQUE SANDWICHES HOMEMADE SOUPS & SALADS

Dinner 5:30-9:30 VEGETARIAN SPECIALS LAMB, FRESH SEAFOOD, TROUT & GAME

Extensive Wine List Full Bar Open 7 days a week sweetwaterjackson.com Call 733-3553 Corner of King & Pearl

“Jimmy Zell is one of the best skiers to ever hit this area,” wrote Goatstock originator Big Wally in his promotion statement. “He created the ‘Silent’ part of the ‘Swift, Silent, Deep’ credo of the Jackson Hole Air Force and pioneered many routes that people now ski in the Jackson Hole backcountry.” Ten years ago Jimmy was paralyzed from the waist down in a paragliding accident in Mexico. He fought his way back to an independent lifestyle, even returning to the slopes in a sit-ski. Last summer Jimmy underwent an additional four operations because of complications from the paralysis. Jimmy beamed at his long-time friends among the 5,000 attendees. The goats (antelope, actually) roasted over an open fire to music by Rotating Superstructure, the Rocknuts, Calle Mambo, the Chanman Roots Band, and Mandatory Air. Food vendors, shuttle buses, and the allimportant bar – each brilliantly manned by volunteers – made for a successful event, despite Jackson’s devilish fall weather. Goatstock, an intermittent gathering, celebrates Big Wally’s penchant for both fundraising and fun-raising. — Jackson Hole Skier w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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Pull on the jacket, shove a handful of elk jerky and chocolate in the pockets, grab the skis, hit the slopes. It’s all here, made in Jackson Hole.

Igneous Igneous owner Mike Parris builds about 100 pairs of skis a year. His south-Jackson factory is festooned with presses, planers, saws, and sanders. In front of graffiti-painted walls stand stacks of lumber, rolls of fiberglass, and racks of skis. With the help of Mike Tierney, Mot Gatehouse, and Aaron Dahill, Parris and the Igneous crew spend 365 days a year laboring at those skis. Fortunately, the factory is next to the Jackson Skate Park, and that keeps the crew sane during the long snowless summer. Parris begins the customized process with an interview on how and where a buyer skis, while also determining his or her size. The client can choose from available shapes or design a totally new one, and then specify the stiffness, flex pattern, and fiberglass lay-up to customize the ride. Aesthetics of the ski are also within the buyer’s control. Various wood top-sheets – even original art designed by Mike Tierney, inhouse artist and Igneous team charger – are available. Mike Parris at the band saw The level of personal attention given to each step for each ski is remarkable. The moment the maple and ash arrive at the factory, epoxy. After being pressed, excess material is cut away, sidewalls are each piece is inspected. The straight pieces that will stay strong in the core shaped, and bases are hand-flattened and stone-ground. Steel edges are are alternated by hand to build matched pairs of cores. The crazy, knotted hand-tuned and polished. Three coats of wax are ironed into the base, and pieces are sliced and planed down to one-of-a-kind top sheets. Everything one is lovingly melted onto the top, to keep snow from sticking. The skis are now ready to be united with their new owners, but only else goes to a pile for future bonfires. The cores are shaped and customprofiled for varying stiffness and flex pattern. Bases and edges are fit by when Parris deems the slopes are ready, too – with enough snow. No early hand into the ski mold. Skis are laid up with fiberglass, rubber foil, and season dings allowed on a fresh pair of Igneous custom skis.

Jackson Hole Buffalo Meat

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buffalo and elk (wild game meat is illegal to sell in Wyoming). The buffalo ranches are in eastern Wyoming, South Dakota, and the elk ranches are in Idaho. “It’s not legal to raise elk in Wyoming because of the abundant wild herds,” said Dan. “We bring in the raw materials – the whole rib eye, whole New York Strip, etc. – and, using our processing plant, we cut them into rib eyes and New York Strips, then vacuum-pack it, label it for commercial sale,” said Dan. “The vacuumpacker is a big unit. We could easily vacuum-pack a couple thousand pounds a day with our machinery. We do the same processing for hunters and fisherman.” “We make salami, smoked roast, burger, steaks, prime rib – every cut of meat you have in cattle, we do with elk and buffalo,” Dan proudly noted. “It’s one-hundred percent naturally raised. No antibiotics, steroids, or growth hormones are used. One nice thing about buffalo and elk: they are a more eco-friendly species. They don’t graze to the ground, they roam.” Buffalo and elk meat, Dan also pointed out, promotes the natural, healthy, made-in-Jackson Hole idea and lifestyle.

Wade McKoy photos; Ortega photo courtesy Oscar Ortega

Dan Marino at the smoker

“We created this jerky for skiers, hikers, climbers, bikers, any outdoorsman, really,” said Dan Marino, owner of Jackson Hole Buffalo Meat. “It’ll keep you awake.” It’s in the energy formulation, he explained. “We use pharmaceutical-grade white ginseng,” Dan continued. “It’s very difficult to get, not an over-the-counter product.” The Wild Times Buffalo Jerky, with its special energy-boosting formula of white ginseng and vitamin B12, sounds like an essential element for the backpack. Made from all-natural free-range buffalo, the meat is sliced and spiced with the special energy formula and other secret spices. It cures in the cooler for two days; then goes in the smoker, where it is racked, cooked, and dried. “Each batch is individually tested for quality,” said Dan. “That’s the most fun part.” The factory is in the back of the store, and gets lots of attention from the bureaucrats, as game meat should. “We are fully inspected by the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Dept of Agriculture, and the FDA,” said Dan. The meat comes from naturally ranch-raised


Cloudveil Much of the clothing on your back took a year-and-a-half to get there, hundreds of man hours, and more than a few minds weighing-in. Active-wear manufacturing, from product conceptualization to coats in stores, is a long road. “The product team is working on spring 2011 right now,” said Sarah Hubbard, Cloudveil’s PR account manager last fall. The Cloudveil Design Team starts with a basic idea for a new garment, then works in their downtown Jackson office with freelance designers located across the country. Options are discussed and designs weighted before several designers are selected. For Cloudveil’s latest creation, the FirsTurn Jacket, Senior Product Line Manager Donna Veraguth and the Cloudveil production team worked with freelancer Kim Brannock from Sy Designs. The FirsTurn took three or four iterations before completion. From these final designs, a prototype is built. Fabric and color selection are, of course, key. Veraguth explained that the Cyclone™ Soft Shell fabric was chosen for its combination of 2way stretch, high-loft non-pilling interior face

fabric, and a polyester/spandex woven blend. The fabric has been tested extensively by Cloudveil’s parent company, Spyder Active Sports, as well as by Cloudveil’s athlete team. It’s proven itself the perfect choice. Most garments go through about three prototypes, sent one-at-a-time from the manufacturer overseas. The design team in Jackson makes changes and new protos are sent every 4-to-6 weeks for approval until all conDesigns go through a number of iterations before completion. struction elements are correct. Athletes com- are sent to the sales reps for dealer showings. The plete video product reviews on the Cloudveil completed and final product is delivered to stores website a year in advance of the product release. in July for the Fall/Winter launch in October. Outside magazine chose the FirsTurn, a The prototype then gets approved for the right spec pack – things like zipper pulls and softshell jacket, as this year’s “Gear of the Year” trims – and becomes a “sale sample.” These sam- winner. Cloudveil is credited with starting the ples are shown to “rep teams” at the fall sales “Softshell Revolution” over 12 years ago and meeting for feedback, and shown at the annual considers the latest award an honor. Outdoor Retailer show in January. In the spring, — Jackson Hole Skier when the dealers make their orders, the samples

Atelier Ortega Jackson’s an outdoor Mecca for sure. But it could also become a chocolate Mecca if international award-winning chocalatier Oscar Ortega has his way. Ortega’s shop, Atelier Ortega, is a local secret that won’t remain a local secret long. His divine chocolate creations of artisan chocolates and fine pastries rival anything anywhere on the planet. And now his shop, located on Scott Lane, is complete with seating for patrons and an open kitchen, where his craft is practiced in public view. Ortega has competed with the best of the best at the World Chocolate Masters competition. His handmade chocolate confections are as appealing to the palette as they are to the eye, his bon bons in fact a provocative visual feast. Exotic delicacies like Saffron Vanilla Chocolate, Rose Chocolate, Honey Balsamic Chocolate, Chipotle Chile, Espresso Chocolate tempt even the most experienced chocoholic to try something new in the world of cocoa concoctions. Ortega’s culinary accomplishments include stints in the U.K., France, Italy, Mexico, and the U.S. — Mike Calabrese Oscar Ortega at the World Chocolate Masters

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Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

ts if L ic s s la C , rs e is ru C ic s s la Classic Powder, C

photo caption for here


by Jill Adler ou arrive at the Jackson Hole tram dock and a sign greets you: “This mountain is like nothing you’ve experienced before.” Jackson sets the standard for intense ski terrain, thigh-burning trails, and intimidating slopes. But underneath its Mamma Bear exterior lies a gentle giant you’ll find in the early morning hours and midday sun. Rolling cruisers that beg you to hug your edges and open up your arc. The next time someone suggests you cruise down Gros Ventre (GrowVant), Rendezvous Trail, Sundance, Werner, don’t shy away because these are ‘feeder’ runs, bowling alleys, or simply groomers. These runs are Jackson’s backbone and your ETicket to speed and grace; the classics that will be forever etched in your ski cla s-si brain even after you 1. Belongin c adj. g to th do venture into highest rank or e cla Cheyenne Woods or e ss; Serving as the stablishe d model o the Alta Chutes. r standa

Jackson Hole skiers Jess McMillan (left) and Tommy Moe (above), cruise Tensleep Bowl and the Gros Ventre.

rd; H lasting sig aving nificance or worth ; endurin g.

Wade McKoy (left, rt);

Everyone who has skied Jackson (or dreams of visiting) knows of The Hobacks, 3,000 vertical feet of sustained pitch, open faces, and gladed trees; Corbet’s Couloir, a stomach-dropping chute off the tram with a nearly vertical entrance named for Jackson Hole ski instructor and mountain guide Barry Corbet; and steep, wide Rendezvous Bowl with its extreme wind and breathtaking views. But there is another group of classics

Bob Woodall (top)

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Ski patrolman Kevin Brazell enjoys the fruits of his labor. 2 0 1 0 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R

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Wade McKoy photo

Trevor Hiatt launches into the crystal light.


that often goes unnoticed as you race toward Après Vous, Sublette, the Bridger Gondola or the tram. Amid the bowls, cliffs, couloirs, trees, and backcountry gates, the original Jackson Hole trails cut in 1965 remain classic cruisers for everyone from Dad to Tommy Moe. “Getting an early up and being the first to ‘mach’ down any of these runs is always a highlight of the day. Whether arcing fresh cord’ or boot-top hero pow’, there’s something surreal about having first tracks on these classic Jackson slopes,” said Lynsey Dyer, the latest Warren Miller starlet. “With no one else on the hill yet, these runs turn into roller coasters and you can really fly. Your heart is in your throat because it’s one of the only chances you get to really let ‘em go!”

Amid the bowls, cliffs, couloirs, trees, and backcountry gates, the original Jackson Hole trails cut in 1965 remain classic cruisers for everyone from Dad to Tommy Moe. Talking “maching,” Rendezvous Trail is the easiest route from the top of the tram to the lower faces, and its twin sisters two canyons north, Amphitheater and the Gros Ventre, served as the original World Cup downhill course on the mountain. “Amphitheater skied onto from Tensleep Bowl and the Downhill Chute is the old World Cup downhill course that Franz Klammer said is the best in North America,” said Olympic Gold Medalist Moe. “It’s the best when it is super smooth and nobody’s on it; you see way down the slope and make big fast turns and end up right at the tram – and go hit it again.” Rendezvous Trail may be one of the most scenic groomers on the mountain as well. Stunning views on all sides inspire as you skirt along the edge of Rock Springs Canyon. “On inversion days the view out over the sea of clouds in the valley always makes my jaw drop as I’m cruising along,” said freeskier Charlotte Moats. “It never fails to remind me why I love living here.” R Trail is also the fastest way down to the bottom of the mountain when you’re lapping the tram. “When I used w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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to go up on the early tram with my mom, I would love to cruise down all of Rendezvous Trail and hit the Hoback roller,” recalled 2009 World Freeskiing Champ Crystal Wright. She also credits Werner run on Après Vous for her stamina. “It has an awesome pitch but is steeper than people give it credit for. I spent a lot of time racing and training on this run and still love to cruise it early season as a leg burner and warm-up for the rest of the mountain.” Head to Après Vous Mountain and Werner when you’re hunting for impeccable grooming and few crowds. “It’s the classic race run,” said Moe. “Bring your GS boards.” More than half of Jackson Hole caters to experts, but that leaves half for those

Double vision: Trevor Hiatt — same wild place, same way, different day. There’s something about Charlotte...Moats, maching down Sundance.

Wade McKoy photos; Bob Woodall (Corbetʼs)

Tram over Corbet’s Couloir, aerial view Olympic Downhill Gold cruiser Tommy Moe

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“Whether arcing fresh cord’ or boot-top hero pow’, there’s something surreal about having first tracks on these classic Jackson slopes.”

Dave Miller attacks the steep ‘n deep on Cody Peak.

Wade McKoy photos; Bob Woodall (Jess)

Jess McMillan cruises powder in The Cirque.

Lynsey Dyer, cruise-affected

Jeff Leger goes weightless in Casper Bowl.


who dig long, groomed trails that tease you to perfect your technique or open up the throttle. “I remember bombing down lower Gros Ventre on frosty mornings when I was seven,” said Moats. “It was the ultimate chance to see just how fast you could really go. Just steep enough to gain speed quickly, but wide and forgiving enough to let her rip. The last couple of rollers never failed to make my stomach rise and leave me giggling.” With its sustained pitch, GV will also be your favorite run down to the bottom of the Gondola for 2,784 feet of thigh-numbing vert. Jackson’s trails are named after historic Wyoming places, people, and events. Gros Ventre refers to the valley’s eastern mountains and the French name given to the Indian tribe for which they are named. Rendezvous is from the historic trading gatherings that occurred between 1825 and 1840 during the height of the Rocky Mountain fur-trade era. Werner honors Buddy Werner, one of the best American ski racers of the ‘50s and ‘60s and top contender for Jackson’s Ski School Director position until he died in an avalanche in Switzerland in 1964. Sundance Gully (aka Dilly Dally Alley) is named after the town near Devil’s Tower in eastern Wyoming. “Sundance Gully is one of my favorite runs off the Bridger Gondola,” said Moe of this classic groomer. With consistent fall line and steep trees to dabble into on either side, 2,600 vertical feet await. “Be patient and wait for your space to enjoy laying big GS turns on the walls the whole way down,” Tommy suggested. The gully is a favorite for kids and adults who can’t resist ripping wallto-wall turns on the inward sloping banks. “Cruising down the gully with snow sparkling in the air and the valley below in all its glory is a wonderful way to start the day,” added Moats. GV, R-Trail, Werner, Sundance. These are the trails that gave roots to Jackson’s legendary and gnarly terrain. These are the trails where “skilebrities” like Tommy Moe, the DesLauriers, and Lynsey Dyer first tasted speed in the Tetons. These are the classic cruisers of Jackson Hole.  A professional skier, Jill Adler is a true mountain girl and an award-winning writer and broadcaster, playing out of Park City, Utah, but roadtripping regularly to Jackson.

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A Chip Off the Old Block Chip Carey

Chip Carey in his favorite office Tommy Moe on one of his favs’

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L

Like countless others, Jackson Hole’s new marketing chief started his ski-industry career as a ski bum. No surprise there. But his early link to Jackson Hole might be. “At Sugarloaf I convinced the general manager, Harry Baxter (who became Jackson Hole’s Marketing Director in 1974), that I was a photographer,” Chip Carey recalled. Before that leap of faith, though, Chip took a more traditional approach. “It was December 1969,” Carey said. “I went to Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, right out of college – classroom to the slopes – and got a job as a waiter.” And he’s made sure skiing was part of every job ever since. “Oh yeah,” he said. “Better be.” Last September we interviewed Carey, a former Keene, New Hampshire, resident, in his new Jackson Hole office, which looks out onto the tram.

Jackson Hole Skier: After being a waiter/ski bum, what was your second resort job? Chip Carey: I started what may have been the first courtesy patrol in the country at Waterville Valley. In those days we always had long lift lines – 45 minutes, 50 minutes was common. So we’d go out on weekends and keep everybody straight, everybody happy. JHS: So you created your own position? Carey: Yep, had to. JHS: And your third resort job? Carey: At Sugarloaf I convinced the general manager, Harry Baxter, that I was a photographer. Senator Ed Muskie was at the resort, writing a speech announcing his run for President of the United States. Harry called me and I showed up. Everybody was shooting the common angle and I took a little different approach. My shot was the one that went all over, AP, UPI, all over the country. A month later I was sitting in the Mountain Photographer’s seat and he was gone. Then I found a 16mm camera in a closet, the type used for news gathering back in the old days, so I started doing television stuff, shooting and distributing it. JHS: Harry Baxter became a major force at the Jackson Hole Ski Resort as marketing director from 1974 until 1992. What was he like back then? Carey: Harry was really an important person in my early career. I was a typical ski bum. Didn’t have much responsibility nor did I take on much

Bob Woodall (Moe); Photo courtesy Chip Carey

A visit with Jackson Hole’s new Chief of Marketing,


responsibility. Harry’s such a great All those things were big jumps in promoter. I considered him my men- their day. tor. I learned the value of PR and proI went full-time at the vice presimotions, and my career went that way. dent level in ‘87. Did that for 10 years My plan was to be at Sugarloaf for at Sugarloaf, then moved to The one year. I stayed 26 years. Harry left Canyons Resort in Park City, Utah, as for Jackson Hole in ’74 (to become their vice president in sales and marmarketing director, a position he held keting. Then moved to headquarters at the Jackson Hole Ski Area until to oversee marketing for all eight of 1992), and I continued to develop dif- their resorts. The 2000s have been ferent things, all even more exciting based around my from a marketcameras, writing, i ng/te chnolog y The 2000s have been and technology. point of view. The even more exciting The key was takInternet, wow, from a marketing/ ing advantage of what a tool it has technology point of what was going on been! The opporaround the resort tunity it presents is view. The Internet, and blow it up into unlimited. wow, what a tool it has something that JHS: What’s been! The opportunity meant something your marketing to people. I started plan for Jackson it presents is unlimited. college in engiHole? neering, so using Carey: (Points technology in marketing came natu- to a thick stack of paper on the desk.) rally to me. It has always been part of It’s right here, just getting done today. my marketing and has helped me Not even bound yet. We’ve been getovercome a lot of marketing and com- ting everybody’s plans written down, munication challenges. Like buying ideas from others in the marketing defax machines for newspaper people partment. Everybody’s stamp is on that didn’t have them yet so I could that document and everybody particmore efficiently communicate with ipates in a successful marketing team. them. I had six TV stations in Maine The key is getting your team all going and I’d shoot six different reels of film in the right direction. They all have and send them off with guests return- ideas. My job is to corral them. ing home to various stations. Then I’d The biggest thing for us is catchsend the copy via fax. ing up with everybody else in the Those early days of cable televi- world on the technology side and how sion, Sugarloaf was the first ski resort we are using the Internet and social in the country to have a cable channel. networks. Technology is our friend, Winter Park launched in the same year whether it’s the fax machine back in and RSN (Resort Sports Network) ger- 1971, cable TV in the early ‘80s, the minated from that. Going online in Internet in the mid ‘90s and the Interthe mid ‘90s, Sugarloaf had the first net of today – RSS feeds, blogs, podfull-color html Website. It was big casts, social networking and all these news. The New York Times featured us other sites that are popping up like on the cover of the business section. Linked In, Digg, Delicious. Today the We beat out Aspen by about a month. Internet is the biggest and most pow-

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Bob Woodall

Hannah Horigan, The Cirque


erful tool available to marketers. Eighty percent of Jackson Hole’s customers were on our Website before they came here. JHS: Will you have the ski hosts out there doing a roving Twitter? Carey: There will be more Twitterers, if you will. There is definitely a place for it. But I could easily name 25 sites other than Facebook and Twitter where you better be doing something. Especially if you want search engines to find your Website. JHS: So the result of this marketing document will become apparent as the ads start coming out? Carey: The ads were coming out before this was even done. You can’t stop the train, the train is moving and I had to jump on. There are many sides to Jackson Hole. I think it’s been a one-sided story. We are going to try and broaden our appeal. We can’t just be the home of the extreme skier. I know that is not a unique idea. The difference will be how we integrate that into the whole operation of the resort, from grooming to snowmaking to the level of service we provide. If you look at the intermediate skier, that level and up, and people who are aspiring to be a better skier, that’s who we really need to go after. And it’s a bigger market than they’ve been going after recently. I continually point out there’s another lift, besides the tram, that 98% of the ski resorts in the country would love to have – the gondola. The gondola goes to terrain that is suitable for a larger audience. We can’t let the tram steal the whole show. But it’s more than advertising. I’ve spent a lot of time with operations and other management. We need to broaden the appeal and not just pay it lip service. If somebody wants to cut back on grooming someplace, it’s my job to talk to them about it and make sure their reasoning is well thought out. Our ski hosts rank the highest in our surveys for their service levels. They are doing a fantastic job. We want to bring everybody up to that level, too, and get benchmarks for service. We measure people and hold those departments accountable for their scores. It’ll come around. People here are dedicated, passionate. We just need to make sure we nurture that guest-services thing. I’m the guests’ advocate. That’s my numberone job. I will be with people. I will listen to them. I’ll be out and they won’t know who I am at times. I’ll be in places where they may not expect me. You get some of your best information sitting in a hot tub at the hotel. Standing in a lift line. You’ve got to know the product – so yes, absolutely, I will be skiing. And not always at 8:30 in the morning. Not the first tram. But the second tram. Or the last tram. You learn a lot more at the end of the day, after they’ve had the experience. Often times you’ll see me putting on my ski clothes at 2:30 in the afternoon. Or going over to the parking lot and the shuttle buses. We do a great job of welcoming people but we also need to do a great job of shaking their hands at the end of the day and waving goodbye.  w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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Beyond Resort Boundaries Rick Armstrong, Central Couloir, Cody Peak

hose 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, said Bob Comey, ski patroller and chief avalanche forecaster at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and director of the BridgerTeton 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 advised. “Knowledge of the terrain, where they’re going, the most recent weather, a stability evaluation. 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, suggested 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 noted 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 said. “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.” — Lauren M. Whaley

Adaptive Snow Sports T

he Jackson Hole Mountain Sports School offers opportunities to “Ride the Big One” to individuals of all abilities, from first-day beginners to advanced levels, including children and adults with disabilities. The J.H. Adaptive Program serves people of all ages and any form of disability, including, but not limited to, amputees, and those with autism, cerebral palsy, developmental and cognitive disabilities, hearing-impairments, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, strokes, and visual impairments. All lessons are one-onone, with specially trained instructors in ski-

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ing, snowboarding, XC skiing, and snowshoeing, and include an all-day, all-mountain lift ticket, and the use of any equipment needed. This season will see the second Adaptive Steep and Deep Camp as well as the first Fall Line Adaptive Teen Camp for intermediate to advanced adaptive skiers/riders ages 13 to 18. The J.H. Mountain Sports School is developing these “inclusion” camps in an effort to offer new and exciting mountain sports opportunities for adaptive athletes. Please call Ryan Burke at 307-690-4774 for more information. — Kurt Henry

Wade McKoy photo (top, right); Amos Callenberge photo, Courtesy Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (left)

T


Terrain Park & Superpipe B

eginning skiers and riders could visit the Little Britches terrain park on Antelope Flats, which features rails, little jumps, and mini-table tops. “The mini-park is one of the big attractions on any given day at Jackson Hole, where all levels of people can come through and hit some small, fun jumps and rails,” pro snowboarder Rob Kingwill said. Experts can check out the Rodeo Grounds terrain park off the Aprés Vous lift. “There is a great assortment of rails and boxes to choose from,” Kingwill said, “all linked together with fun medium-sized jumps. The park is a great place to get some experience under your belt before you head off into the backcountry to build that big jump and land the trick of your dreams.” “The pipe is a full-size superpipe, extra long for being able to link together all your tricks,” Kingwill said. “The great thing is, you can ride the pipe all day and never hike once, thanks to the handle-tow right next to the pipe. This lets you focus on your tricks and not your cardio.” Resort administrators remind skiers and riders that skiing and riding in control applies to park and pipe areas too. They advise park and pipe visitors to look before they leap, make sure landings are clear, and clear themselves out of the landing area after sticking their tricks. For more information on the two terrain parks, superpipe, and upcoming competitions and events, visit: www.jacksonhole.com. — Lauren M. Whaley

Teton Village Freeride Team coach Trevor Hiatt styles an aerial trick off Cody Peak’s Hidden Arch Rock.

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Grand Targhee Resort Roots, Rock Stars, and Soul by Wade McKoy

Wade McKoy photo

Grand Targhee has always been like that. Ski magazine readers ranked it among the top five for Best Snow the past 13 years, and this year placed it third. Skiing readers listed it sixth in the category. “The key is consistency,” said Grand Targhee Resort Communications Manager Shannon Brooks Hamby. “Storms come in on a regular basis, continually refreshing the slopes. That makes us one of the best resorts for consistent snow in the country. Our 500-inch annual snowfall average is well-known among passionate skiers and snowboarders.” More and more people are figuring that out, evidenced by the burgeoning local ski community. And that seems just fine to born-and-raised locals like 26-year-old Gary Mackenzie and his brother Max. “For a long time there weren’t many other skiers around my age,” said Gary. “Now there are lots. Skiers and snowboarders who’ve come and

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stayed. We are riding with everybody these days. Tele-skiers, snowboarders, snowmobilers.” Another local who’s skied Targhee since age three, Mike Leake, also noted an increase in the local ski community. “The typical story is, people come here in their 20s for some random reason, or after college to ski bum for a while, and never leave,” he said. Originally from nearby Idaho Falls, Idaho, Mike began skiing Targhee with his parents every weekend. “The ski area hasn’t changed much,” he noted, “except the lift lines got shorter (!) when the Dreamcatcher High Speed Quad replaced the old Bannock Chair Lift.” Local kids, then and now, are brought into skiing through two important local cultural amenities: the Winter Sports school program, and the Grand Targhee Ski Team. “They almost got rid of the Winter Sports program one year,” recalled Gary, “and I didn’t know if I could stay in school!”


Trevor Hiatt gets rad on Peaked’s north side.


But Winter Sports is still going strong and the ski team has morphed into the Teton Valley Ski Education Foundation (TVSEF), a hybrid of the Idaho Falls Ski Team from Skyline High School and the Targhee Ski Team from Teton High School. They continue to be a big influence on the local ski community, as yet another graduate and participant since age three, 19-yearold Dorian Densmore, testified. “The ski team was a huge part of my life,” Dorian said. “And they’re still here, volunteering and keeping lots of kids learning.” Started by local rancher Dana Mackenzie – Gary’s dad – and some of his buddies, the Grand Targhee Ski Team took advantage of every opportunity. Gary remembered when Jackson Hole’s Tommy Moe won his Olympic Gold Medal, “Dad arranged for us to ski with Tommy and he taught us how to do a 360.” continued page 37

Dorian Densmore drops into Steve Baugh Bowl.

Grand Targhee is a leader in environmental resort practices, honored with the prestigious 2009 Golden Eagle Award for Environmental Excellence.

Dorian likes to hike.

Jason Tattersall skis a favorite line off the backside.

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Wade McKoy photos

Jeff Annetts, chest deep and choking.


Kids 6-12 yrs. Lift Tickets Just $19!

TM


“When I was a kid,

building jumps over on Mary’s, we’d see guys coming down

Peaked’s north face,

hucking A Shoot and

Goal Post. I realized I

Wade McKoy photos

wanted to do that.”

Danny Felice goes cliff diving, his favorite part of skiing Targhee.

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“Dad always said Targhee could produce water over the cliffs above Parking Lot Rocks some world-class skiers, too,” he said. “He with low-flow shower heads and a tanker truck,” coached Sage Cathe said. tabriga-Alosa and The ice-climbing helped him realize his classes are taught by potential, but I think we Christian and his profeswere all shaped by that sional mountain guides. mountain as much as He is a permitee of the anything. Sage was a Caribou-Targhee Nasenior at Teton High tional Forest and operwhen I was a freshman. ates with Targhee’s We thought he was so cooperation. cool. He would give ski “This winter the racing his full, and then focus is on presenting he’d go off powderthe most value for hounding. We’d follow guests,” Shannon him and watch.” pointed out. “Aggressive Now, of course, deals, great snow–and everybody follows Sage lots of it–uncrowded Gary Mackenzie, ready to hike. around the silver screen slopes, and a variety of in Teton Gravity Research ski movies and terrain make us one of the best values. We are a throughout the pages of Powder magazine. hidden secret.”  Mike Leake also took his ski-team training onto the world ski scene, competing in the International Free Skiing Association (IFSA) World Tour. He won in Kirkwood, California, and had several other top-ten finishes. Now he’s got a real job as an engineer in Driggs, Idaho, the trendy town at the bottom of Ski Hill Road. But he still manages to ski every day, and is working with Targhee’s marketing director, John Urdi, helping put the resort on the map for extreme-skiing competitions. “I want to help them build a reputation,” said Mike, “develop events, get locals involved and develop a team, bring in the media, see what we can create.” And it’s working. Shannon cited one of the big signature events this year, the Targhee Tee Off, an IFSA Junior Qualifier to be held in the cliffs on Peaked Mountain’s north face. “That’s where I first saw people going big,” said Gary of the mountain accessed by Sacagawea Chair Lift and with guided snowcat skiing off its summit. “When I was a kid, building jumps over on Mary’s, we’d see guys coming down Peaked’s north face, hucking A Shoot and Goal Post. I realized I wanted to do that.” Mary’s Nipple, the sidecountry peak with the provocative name, is the site of another signature event, the Mary’s Nipple Breast Cancer Fundraiser in the Tetons. Last year’s inaugural race raised $5,000 for St. John’s Oncology Fund as participants counted their laps and raised money from pledges by skiing the hike-accessed mountain adjacent to the ski-area boundary. There’s no shortage of action at Targhee this year, with Nordic and snowshoe series races, a U.S. Ski Mountaineering Association randonnee event, and a U.S. Ski Association Moguls Competition. The resort is especially excited about the new ice-climbing facility. “For a resort to have access to top-roped ice-climbing instruction is pretty unusual, as far as I know,” Shannon said.” Christian Santelices and his company, Aerial Boundaries, offers ice-climbing classes at his new manmade ice flow, Teton Ice Park. “We spray w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

Amenties & Details Shuttle from and to Teton Village, and ski the ‘Ghee for $88 Ski School The Grand Targhee Ski & Snowboard School; PSIA/AASI instruction; a tremendous value for kids and adults; adaptive programs Tube Park $10, Magic Carpet lift Guided Snowcat Skiing 20,000 vertical off the summit of Peaked Mountain, with Teton Views Nordic Skiing 15 km of groomed skating lanes and tracks through wooded glades and scenic meadows

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The by Jeff Burke

S

ecluded downtown luxury may sound like an

oxymoron. Rest assured it is not. Three blocks from Jackson’s Town Square, the newly designed Rustic Inn marries serene cabin living with sophisti-

cated modern amenities. The first of its kind within offers a variety of upscale accommodations with a true sense of place.

Photos courtesy Rustic Inn at Jackson Hole; skier photo of Rob Lapier by Wade McKoy; Teton photo by Bob Woodall

town limits, the Rustic Inn Creekside Resort & Spa

The lobby opens to a comfortable lounge and wine bar (above). Swans frequent Flat Creek as it flows next to the Inn (left).

“I think that the Rustic’s charm is in being able in the hotels we own together; I’m just a small Fully updated with all of today’s creature comto provide a truly relaxing retreat while essentially partner. Jerry was born into the hotel business and forts, the cabins remain as an ode to the past while being right downtown,” said General Manager started young, sweeping parking lots and the like, providing families with an opportunity to explore Stacey Brogan. “Guests can enjoy all that the town doing all the stuff kids do growing up in the hotel the much-loved legacy of the great American of Jackson has to offer and within minutes be en- business. A little later, I grew up the same way, Western frontier. joying the comforts of their tranquil cabin.” On the other hand, “a lot of people coming learning firsthand at my parent’s mom-and-pop Before the Rustic’s advent, it was necessary to motel.” The Johnsons’ lifetime of experience in the to Jackson want to stay somewhere nice and new, go far afield to find this sort of luxury in Jackson hospitality industry, paired with a keen eye for the but they’d like it to be rustic too,” Johnson continHole. With easy access to world-class ski resorts, future, has proven a winning combination. ued, explaining why the Johnsons also built 75 national parks, shopping, nightlife, and the airOriginally homesteaded in 1918 by the Rem- luxury stand-alone cabins. The crown jewels of port, the decision to purchase the property was an ington family, this seven-acre property has been the resort, these 400-square foot cabins feature easy one for owners Jerry and Jeremy Johnson. completely renovated inside and out. Seventy of vaulted ceilings, chic Western décor, 42-inch flat “We couldn’t pass it up,” said Jeremy. “There the 145 available rooms are historic originals screen televisions with surround sound, lavishly will never be an opportunity to buy a piece of land (some dating back to the Remingtons’ arrival). appointed bathrooms, microwave and refrigeralike this again. You are three blocks tor, plush double pillow-top matfrom downtown and you feel like tresses, fine linens, and large you are in Yellowstone.” private verandas. And there’s not a For decades the property was sound, save the ripple and hum of home to the Wagon Wheel Village, babbling Flat Creek. “There might which included the Wagon Wheel be traffic on the road,” said JohnMotel, Indian Trader Gifts, Log son, “but when you stay in a creekCabin Saloon, Wagon Wheel side cabin, you can’t hear a thing.” Campground, Wagon Wheel VilAn environmentally poignant lage Liquor, and Route 89 Smokeaspect of the Rustic project involves house Diner. On June 29, 2007, that the restoration of Flat Creek, which all changed. Johnson Resort Propruns along the hillside portions of erties purchased the Wagon Wheel the property. A lot of trash and genproperty on North Cache and set eral misuse had plagued this particabout bringing an ambitious new ular stretch of the creek, and it vision to life. wasn’t easy to undo the damage. Jeremy is almost reverent when “We disposed of lots of debris that discussing his partnership with his littered the shoreline,” Johnson reuncle Jerry. “He’s a majority partner The fitness center is nestled among the trees in a cozy, winterized gazebo. counted. “The place was a junkyard

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Located on the north side of Jackson on U.S. Highway 89 and next to Flat Creek, the Rustic Inn (in above photo, near the top of town) is near all of Jackson Hole’s many winter activities.

for many years.” In cooperation with several entities, including the Town of Jackson, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and the Flat Creek Watershed Management Group, the Rustic Inn is working on restoring an important habitat for the native trout, deer, moose, songbirds, and beaver that inhabit the area. In summer, the grounds along Flat Creek are now lush, green, and alive with freshly planted native grasses and willows. The winding landscaped foot trails and creek-side decks afford guests the perfect vantage point for viewing a variety of wildlife while

One of the original Jackson Town Square Elk Antler Arches now graces the Inn’s property. Sold at auction in 2007, to finance a new arch on the square, the old arch was moved intact to its new home. w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

their children fish the creek. As far as the neighborhood goes, the north end of town has long been a work in progress. “Most visitors arrive from either the parks or the airport, which makes the North Cache corridor a welcome mat for urban Jackson. There Ski on Snow King Mountain and at the Jackson Hole Mounare several restoration tain Resort, both a short distance away from the Rustic Inn. and development plans in the works,” said Brogan. dle the details.” Visitors are encouraged to spend “NoBo, as I’ve heard it called (North the day skiing at Teton Village or Snow King Reof Broadway), will definitely come sort, taking the free shuttle service to and from the slopes. Après-ski, guests might retire to their into its own in the coming years.” And there is a reason for it, be- cabin for an afternoon snooze, take a dip in the lieves Brogan. “Many people would prefer to stay outdoor heated pool or spend some time with a in town and take a shuttle to ski at Teton Village, therapist from The Rustic Spa getting the kinks out which allows them to shop and dine in downtown for the next day’s activities. Once rested, they can Jackson when the ski day comes to an end,” she join the party at the Rustic Bar for some Meditersaid. “There was a definite need for full-service ranean tapas and something special from the eclectic wine cellar. “We try to create an unforgetluxury accommodation in town.” The Rustic Inn offers winter ski packages and table experience,” noted Johnson. Conveniently, more. The resort’s central location allows easy ac- guests are just a complimentary ride away from cess to a broad variety of recreational pursuits and Jackson’s esteemed dining, shopping, and enterthe staff is well prepared to share Jackson’s diverse tainment. Last but not least, guests start the day winter culture with their guests. Activities go far with a gourmet hot breakfast buffet that has bebeyond skiing, extending to other adventures such come something of a legend with Rustic aficionaas dog sledding, snowshoeing, snowmobile tours dos, and again, it’s included with each guest’s stay. The Rustic Inn opened in June 2008 and has and winter-wildlife viewing expeditions. The Rustic Inn has partnered with several outstanding out- been making friends ever since. A diligent pursuit fitters, and the hospitable guest services team takes of excellence paired with inherent natural beauty great pride in helping visitors plan their own sets The Rustic Inn Creekside Resort and Spa apart. For more information, visit: www.rusticinunique exploration of Jackson’s wonders. There are several perks to staying at the Rus- natjh.com, or call 800-323-9279.  tic. For example, complimentary airport shuttles Jeff Burke is a freelance writer living in in the Rustic’s Escalade are included with a lodger’s Jackson, Wyoming. stay. “We are there for our guests,” said Johnson. “The goal is for our guests to relax while we han2 0 1 0 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R

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Drift asleep to the babbling creek, rustling pines & gently falling snowflakes

800-323-9279

www.rusticinnatjh.com | 475 north cache jackson, wyoming


Wade McKoy photos

Guides ski close-to-resort sidecountry like Rock Springs Bowl (above, skier Trevor Hiatt) as well as more remote reaches of Jackson Hole (skiers Jeff Annetts and John Fitzgerald, bottom and left).


BACKCOUNTRY SKIING Get a Guide and Go By Jeff Burke

he face of skiing has changed. Today’s skiers and snowboarders often seek something more visceral and real than the experience found inside resort boundaries. Fat skis, rocker-tip skis, and alpine touring gear all facilitate the search for wild snow in the backcountry. This adventure quest presents new challenges and increased responsibilities for oneself, one’s partners, and the environment. Understanding the complex elements that govern the natural world in winter takes years of experience and study. The consequences of leaving resort boundaries and venturing off-piste don’t often show themselves until it’s too late for unwary travelers. Gaining requisite skills is attainable, though, and in the greater Jackson Hole area there are several outfitters who guide and educate people in all aspects of backcountry awareness and travel. The common thread shared by each outfitter is the desire to create skiing experiences that both challenge and engage

T

the clients while simultaneously maintaining a safe and yet thrilling environment. At the core of the guiding experience lies a desire to introduce people to the many facets of the backcountry. Outfitters Jackson Hole Mountain Guides Away from the resort, Jackson Hole Mountain Guides (JHMG) offers guided ski trips throughout the valley and a variety of educational courses on winter skills, camping, touring, ski mountaineering, and expedition training. Rob Hess, IFMGA-certified guide, owner of Jackson Hole Mountain Guides (and a lead guide at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort), stresses the importance of education. “We want to teach people to be smart in the backcountry,” he said. “This includes general comfort, efficient travel skills, and basic backcountry safety considerations – practical skills that emphasize good judgment and effective route-finding, not overly

Veteran guide Dave Miller carries loads of ski miles and stories to match in his outstanding resume.

Understanding the complex elements that govern the natural world in winter takes years of experience and study. w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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Gail Jensen tours the high country of Grand Teton National Park.

Wade McKoy photos

Tucker Mead takes a flying leap into sunset on Teton Pass.

Rob LaPier gets Western in the southern Tetons.

Kevin Brazell pokes around the cliffs in the Teton wonder-world.


scientific at the beginning, but enough said owner Diane Jung, “is that we are information to help people enjoy the the only guide service to offer overnight powder while acknowledging the ava- yurt trips in the wilderness, where clients lanche reality out there.” can truly experience the backcountry. Their low client-to-guide ratio works We also are one of the few outfitters who to the long-term benhave permits to guide efit of the individual. on the south side of A solid working knowl“Guides know the Teton Pass, an area edge of terrain, weather area,” continued that offers a plethora Hess. “They know of great ski terrain in patterns, and snowpack is where to access the times of high avaparamount to the success best terrain, the most lanche danger.” fun environment, and A general misconof any guide service. they help mitigate ception of tourists any hazards. But, in who come to the valaddition, guides provide an educational ley is that if the ski conditions at the reexperience and increase the learning sorts are less than ideal, then the curve for what the client would have backcountry must be just as bad. And done on their own.” that couldn’t be farther from the truth. JHMG operates nearly everywhere in “My husband and I are in the backthe Tetons, including the high peaks and, country almost every day,” said Jung, ultimately, the Grand Teton. Depending “and we know what’s going on with the on the strength, skills, and desires of the weather, the snow, which way the winds client, they strive to provide a thorough are blowing, how hard they’re blowing, and enriching experience. how much snow is moving, and which aspects are skiing well.” Rendezvous Backcountry Tours A solid working knowledge of terRendezvous Backcountry Tours ofrain, weather patterns, and snowpack is fers day tours, overnight camping trips, and multi-day yurt tours for all ability paramount to the success of any guide levels of skiers, snowboarders, and service. “In the backcountry,” concluded snowshoers. They guide on Teton Pass, Jung, “even if it hasn’t snowed in weeks, in Grand Teton National Park, and in the Targhee National Forest on the western and you are savvy, you can generally find good snow, at least on one aspect. slope of the Tetons. “What makes our program unique,” You may have to hike a little farther for

Ski Guides Photo: Greg Collins

for the

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

Backcountry Experience

freshies, or ski the trees, but it’s generally always out there and we know where it is.” Jackson Hole Mountain Resort “The options are endless,” said Eric Henderson, head guide of the ski area’s Jackson Hole Alpine Guides. “For advanced skiers we have unrivaled terrain,

Untracked!

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

877.754.4887 www.SkiTheTetons.com

Avalanche Education Ski Mountaineering Backcountry Skiing Ice Climbing

www.jhmg.com 800-239-7642 307-733-4979

Jackson Hole Mountain Guides & Climbing School

A licensed concessioner of Grand Teton National Park. Permitted by Bridger-Teton and Shoshone National Forests

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in terms of lift-accessed backcountry. But for the new person we offer easier terrain that is a great place to learn about backcountry travel.” At the heart of every trip is Henderson’s desire to leave the clients with more than just good turns. “We give our clients an avalanche scenario, beacon practice, a snowpit overview, and constant updates of terrain analysis. We like to train clients, give them the tools, and instill the drive to bring them to the backcountry, which, by the way, does not always mean extreme. Some of our best backcountry runs are world-class powder fields that are moderate in angle and perfect for all levels of skiers. If a client comes to us that has the desire and passion for this sport, but their skill level is not up to par, then we can customize a progression that fits their needs. As guides we strive to create a safe, enjoyable, and balanced experience that blends wilderness, mechanized skiing, and freedom.” 

The Baldy Knoll Yurt, surrounded by ski slopes and big views of the southern Tetons.

Jeff Burke is a freelance writer living in Jackson, Wyoming.

Tips for Safe(er) out-of-bounds travel For a daily avalanche-hazard forecast go to www.jhavalanche.org or call 733-2664.

Kevin Brazell sniffs out some sidecountry powder in the Crags.

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Wade McKoy photos

Knowledge: • Know the area and the terrain where you plan to ski. • Know the area above and below where you plan to ski; sometimes small avalanches carry people over cliffs or into terrain traps. • Know the weather and weather forecast. • Know how to use your rescue equipment (and make sure your partners do, too). • Know how to read snow conditions and terrain. • Know how to ski expertly; out-of-bounds terrain is expert skiing, even in the sunniest of conditions. Equipment and Companion: • Always check jhavalanche.org or call the hot line before venturing out of bounds. • Always wear a transceiver and carry a probe, shovel, and extra layers. • Always check your transceiver’s batteries before venturing out. • Always ski with a partner. • Always tell someone in-bounds where you’re going and check in when you return. • Always go with someone who knows what they’re doing. If unsure, hire a guide. • Never go alone!


Doug Coombs Inducted into U.S. Ski Hall of Fame

Wade McKoy photos

By Amanda Ricker and Karin Ronnow, Bozeman Daily Chronicle

Doug Coombs, first descent, Happy Top, Chugach Mtns, early 1990s

The late, legendary Doug Coombs is among the eight skiers in the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame’s 2009 class of inductees.

“The life of Doug Coombs reads like the résumé of five people, but he lived his life simply and with deep joy and great energy,” notes a biographical sketch on the Marmot web site.

“He lived to be in the mountains and once said in an interview, ‘The mountains are my religion.’ He went to this church often and taught those around him to be respectful and humble in the mountains.” The Michigan-based Hall of Fame noted that, “As a skier, Doug Coombs almost single-handedly popularized the concept of adventure skiing. Although there were others who skied the extreme, Doug was the first to develop a systematic approach to safely guiding recreational skiers in big mountains. To this end, Coombs conceived of and operated the first commercial helicopter skiing business in the Alaska’s Chugach Mountains near Valdez, became a fully certified IFMGA guide (International Federation of Mountain Guides Association), guided the first

ski clients on the Grand Teton for Exum in Jackson, WY, and ran his Steep Skiing Camps in Switzerland, France, and Greenland. During the course of his lifetime he helped open up controlled access to Jackson Hole, Wyoming’s backcountry, won the World Extreme Skiing Championships twice, and was a member of several U.S. Powder 8 Championship teams. Coombs was the consummate expert skier, technically proficient, physically efficient and beautiful to watch. Most importantly, he loved to share his passion for skiing with others and helped thousands of skiers have the best day of their lives on the snow.” Coombs died in April 2006, at age 48, while trying to rescue a friend during a skiing accident in France. In the wake of his death, literally every w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

Doug on the summit of Mt. Vinson, 1999

skiing publication in the world, along with almost every major newspaper in the United States, ran a story on Coombs and his contributions to the sport. The movie Steep, the first mainstream film about the history of big-mountain skiing, virtually became his epitaph. Coombs was on the Montana State University ski team in the late 1970s and earned a rep-

utation for making the most difficult terrain look easy. He was “incredibly precise and sure-footed,” Tom Jungst, who hiked the Ridge at Bridger Bowl with Coombs in those days, told the Chronicle when Coombs died. Bozeman Photographer Lonnie Ball worked with Coombs and recalled an extreme-skiing contest at Bridger where Coombs jumped a cliff, smacked into a tree and “slithered down.” “He kept skiing and won the event,” Ball told the Chronicle in 2006. Coombs also had a reputation for getting by on little or no money, his finances typically

being quite lean. He often slept in the back of his Volkswagen van. One winter, rather than pay $35 a month to room with his MSU ski teammates, he rented a homeowner’s outdoor, screened-in porch for half that amount and simply bundled up on cold winter nights. “There are just so many stories,” Jungst said.

Coombs became known in Bozeman as the “Clark Kent of skiing,” a friendly, approachable guy who transformed into Superman when on skis. He worked as a stuntman in Hollywood movies, even skiing a frozen waterfall for the film Aspen Extreme. “Doug always had a boyish enthusiasm that drew you to him like a magnet,” Rusty Squire, Coombs’ former MSU teammate and friend, told the Chronicle in 2006. The formal induction ceremony will take place in Colorado in April 2010. 


Photos, clockwise from top left: Brad Gamble on Stairway to Heaven, Chugach Mtns, Alaska, April 1992; Former guide Mark Newcomb leads clients safely through a glacier field; Newcomb again on the Chugach’s picturesque Iguana Backs, Thompson Pass, near Valdez, Alaska; A High Mountains helicopter drops happy skiers deep into the Snake River Range, Wyoming; Eric Rohr skis the steep ‘n deep Snakes, Grand Tetons in the distance; the chopper zooms down to pick up another load.

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Helicopter and Snowcat

SKIING

Wade McKoy photos

High Mountain Heli-Skiing

One glance around Jackson Hole’s snow-blanketed 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 (HMH) has been offering its guests 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 currently managing partner suit him well as he steers High Mountain Heli-Skiing into its 36th season. Shick’s helicopters, state-of-the-art Bell 407s, convey skiers into some of the region’s finest forest and glades, where they rack up 12,000 to 15,000 vertical feet in a typical day. Terrain options include the Snake River and Palisades mountain ranges and portions of the Hoback, Teton, and Gros Ventre mountain ranges, places that transfix even the locals with their alpine grandeur. Each HMH guide, trained in outdoor emergency care, CPR, avalanche-hazard forecasting and mountain rescue,

rounds out every group of five skiers. Because the terrain ranges from intermediate to expert, skiers and boarders should be at the advanced level. But, said Shick, “if a skier can link turns down Rendezvous Bowl and the Hobacks, they can ski anything we do.” Although Shick and his crew have expanded their efforts to uncover Mother Nature’s finest powder stashes, concern for wilderness areas has informed the company’s efforts to secure the right white stuff. Jackson Hole heli-skiers won’t notice much difference this year, despite a recent court decision that, over a four-year period, scales back HMH’s skier days in the Palisades Wilderness Study Area, his most popular and successful terrain. Shick is currently working with the Forest Service to open new terrain. This winter HMH will explore several areas with potential for new helicopter-skiing terrain while they await a decision from the Forest Service. Shick hopes to incorporate the new terrain into his special use permit by winter 2012. In the interim HMH will move most of its skiing farther west, into Idaho and south of the Snake River. “We are committed

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to doing everything we can to continue providing the high-quality powder-skiing experience our guests are accustomed to while assuring protection of forest resources,” said Shick. www.heliskijackson.com, info@heliskijackson.com, (307) 733-3274

Wade McKoy / Valdez Heli-Ski Guides photos

Valdez Heli-Ski Guides

Alaskan ski runs have it all: long steep pitches, huge mellow expanses, spectacular views.

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When Scott Raynor bought Valdez Heli-Ski Guides (VHSG) from Doug and Emily Coombs 10 years ago, he didn’t waver from the founders’ concept: offering the finest guided steep-skiing in the world. “They were the originals,” said Raynor. “They started it all. We are proud of our roots.” To that end, VHSG caters exclusively to advanced and expert skiers and riders. “That’s what Doug Coombs founded the company on,” said Raynor. “It was our niche then, and still is today. It’s made us the largest operation in Valdez and one of the largest in the country.” VHSG employs three helicopters and 13 guides to cover 600 ski runs spread over 24 different ski circuits. “We are constantly moving around the Chugach,” said Raynor. “We don’t go to one place and farm the same four runs all day. We ski six to 10 different runs a day, stability allowing. We might even hopscotch through two or three ski circuits each day. We are not afraid to spend a little extra time in the air to give people that mind-blowing experi-

ence they come to Alaska for. You will never hear our guides tell you to ‘keep it tight.’ You don’t come to Alaska to keep it tight.” Utilizing the original landing pad on Thompson Pass, Raynor has added an operations cabin and a 1,200-square-foot client center. Guests stay at the bottom of the pass in the fishing village of Valdez, Alaska, where hotels, restaurants, and bars overlook the famous boat harbor. His highly skilled and strong guide staff comes with world-class pedigrees. Among them, Jackson Hole locals Jeff Zell, Doug Workman, Eric Henderson, and Jamie Weeks. All take their clients to first-rate powder. “Every one of our guides is qualified to open our biggest runs,” Raynor said. “So whether you are the first group out, or the last, you’re going to get great untracked powder.” Top-notch pilots complete the picture. “Our pilots have tons of hours flying in the Chugach,” said Raynor, “which gives us the ability to get to the top of the most amazing runs.” VHSG’s clients span a wide variety of backgrounds, from the rich and famous to the lifty saving his pennies for a dream trip to Alaska. And everybody gets their money’s worth. Likeminded skiers and riders are grouped together and the common denominator is often a desire for steep terrain. “When Doug Coombs started the business


Alaska Rendezvous Heli-Guides

If you can ski the Hobacks, the Lower Faces, or Rendezvous Bowl, you can ski the Chugach and have a great time doing it,� said Alaska Rendezvous Heli Guides owner Theo Meiners. Meiners should know. A 31-year veteran of the Jackson Hole Ski School with 14 years of guiding in Alaska, he has strong ties to both places. His heli-ski lodge on Thompson Pass, 50 miles northeast of Valdez, Alaska, reflects an affinity for Jackson Hole’s Rendezvous Mountain. Meiners wanted ‘rendezvous’ in the name, and since Alaskan fur trappers still gather, or rendezvous, in the lengthening days of February, just as the fur trappers did in Jackson’s Hole in the 1800s, the name applies perfectly to both mountain havens. “The Rendezvous,� as his clients, employ-

ees, and locals call it, occupies a unique position on Thompson Pass. Most storms clear from the north and often open a “blue hole� where the lodge resides, affording guests more skiing time. In fact, its location makes The Rendezvous the most distant heli company from Valdez, helping it lay claim to the most skier days in the area. The lodge’s ski season begins on February 28, when a full 10 hours of daylight illuminates the Chugach, and ends with the 17-hour days of early May. The absolute wildness and adventure of heli-skiing in Alaska is iconic, but also unique in a truly Alaskan way. “It’s really upside-down mountaineering,� noted Meiners in a twoedged proclamation: the guides and clients always start at the top, and they use machines to get there. “We are mechanized backcountry skiers, but that’s how we feel about it in Alaska,� he explained. “Alaskans use airplanes, snowmobiles, snowcats, and helicopters to ski.� As for the helicopters, they have never been more powerful. “We live in an incredible time for aeronautic development,� Meiners continued. “The helicopters we use are fantastic, and the pilots’ skills are unbelievable, too. They open so much more of the range for us. We can nitpick all the details and do some really exciting skiing in a really short period of time.� Perhaps, though, the key to the lodge’s growing appeal is its motel and restaurant with

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Wade McKoy / Valdez Heli-Ski Guides photos

in 1993,� said Raynor, “nobody was guiding terrain like this. VHSG developed steep guiding technique and skills, and we continue to expand on it. There’s no better place to go for a steep-skiing heli-adventure than Valdez HeliSki Guides.� Packages come in a wide variety, from three to seven days. “And a seven-day package means seven days of skiing,� said Raynor. w w w. v a l d e z h e l i s k i g u i d e s . c o m , info@valdezheliskiguides.com, 907-835-4528

Dwarfed by huge peaks and snowfields, Scott Raynor leads the way through paradise.

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Wade McKoy

Jeff Leger, Snake River Range, Wyoming

bar and liquor store. “Modern conveniences – hot water, comfortable rooms, great food, a secure base – that’s all very important,” Meiners emphasized. “People have to feel really comfortable so they can relax after the stress from being in the wilds.” The Rendezvous is also the only heli company that offers full amenities on site to guests and guides. Guests therefore get more skiing in because they aren’t traveling an hour in the morning from Valdez and an hour in the evening to return to base. On badweather days it also means that guests can be notified at a moment’s notice when the storm is clearing and it’s time to launch. The motel sports a massage area, a laundromat, and eight large rooms with queen-size beds, private baths, and telephone/data lines. “People

can sit in their rooms and go online with their computers or conveniently talk on the phone to friends back home.” Or they can step out onto the porch and view their ski day. “Right out my door is the ‘front nine,’ ” Meiners said. “They all have pyramid-shaped north faces and long slopes, some with 5,200-verticalfoot runs. In a week, my clients ski about 40 runs and 200,000 vertical.” Some of the biggest hits in the area are the Rendezvous’ patron mountains: Billy Mitchell, Happiness, and Fork It In. And beyond that doorstep is a wide, wide world of Alaska skiing. “Our permit includes five mountain ranges, and we ski ‘em all,” he proudly noted. Jackson Hole skiers love Alaska, but these days clients also come from places like Vail and

HIGH MOUNTAIN HELI - SKIING

Aspen, and they come in groups, too. “It’s nice when skiers are familiar with one another,” Meiners continued. “If you are happy with your group and used to each other’s pace, it really helps soften the required skill sets. You don’t have to be a daredevil to come up to Alaska.” The Rendezvous caters to a variety of spending habits, accommodating those who want to be a bit more aggressive as well as the more budgetminded. Amazing runs are found close to home for people who can’t afford eight- or ten-run days farther afield. And the snow? “We get snowstorms like Florida gets hurricanes,” he boasted. “The average snowfall at sea level is 350 inches, and on Thompson Pass is 600-to-700 inches, with 1,200 inches in some years.” Clearly, folks comfortable skiing Rendezvous Bowl and the Hobacks in Jackson Hole should consider a vacation with Alaska Rendezvous Heli Guides and find out what all the hype is really about. www.arlinc.com, info@ARLinc.com, 1-888634-0721

Grand Targhee SnowCat Adventures

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 www.heliskijackson.com • email: heli-ski@wyoming.com

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One of the hallmarks of the Grand Targhee experience is a SnowCat Adventure on Peaked Mountain, complete with breathtaking views of the Grand Teton’s west aspect. Twelve skiers or snowboarders utilize a huge powder reserve of 600 acres for up to 20,000 vertical feet of skiing per day. Follow the expert guides through expansive north-facing bowls, mellow gladed cruisers, and steep treed pitches. The mountain boasts 10 new trails this year, with average runs hitting 2,000 vertical feet. Some trails drop 2,200 vertical feet through a variety of pitches. The average number of runs per day is 10 to 12, and the daily vertical is from 14,000 to 20,000 feet. Riders should be at least intermediate level, able to link turns in all conditions, and should be comfortable riding in trees and able to avoid natural obstacles. Frequent SnowCat riders can purchase the Cat Club Card and save on five full-days of cat skiing. www.grandtarghee.com, 800-827-4433, 307353-2300 — Jackson Hole Skier


Wade McKoy photos

Big-Mountain Champions

Crystal Wright, Jackson born and raised, skis her home mountain to hone her A-game skills.

2009 World Freeskiing Champ Crystal Wright joins an elite group of Jackson Hole women Jackson Hole produces more contest-winning big-mountain freeskiers and snowboarders than does any other locale. True or False? I’m betting it’s True. Especially regarding women. Since 2000, five Jackson Hole women have held the overall title in the two current competitive extreme-ski tours – the International Free Skiers Association (IFSA) events, and the Freeride World Tour (FWT): Jessica Baker, Kit DesLauriers, Lynsey Dyer, Jess McMillan, and Crystal Wright. Emily Gladstone Coombs won the original extreme-ski competition, the World Extreme Skiing Championships (WESC) in Valdez, Alaska, in 1992 and Julie Vance placed second in ’93. Greta Gaines was the WESC women’s snowboarder champ in ’92, and Julie Zell won three consecutive Queen of the Hill extreme-snowboarding competitions from 1994 to ’96, also in Valdez. That makes nine Jackson women big-mountain champions. And the men? Two Jackson men have snowboarded their way into big air and half-pipe fame and another is gaining ground in big-mountain events: Rob Kingwill, Travis Rice, and Matt Annetts. Doug Coombs was the WESC champ in 1991 and “93, Jon Hunt in ‘92, and Jimmy Zell a very close second in ‘93. Last year, Jackson born-and-raised Crystal w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

Wright captured the IFSA Free Skiing World Tour crown after two near misses in ’07 and ’08. She dominated her third World Tour, ecstatic to finally come away with a win. “I’d go into the finals in first place and something would always go wrong,” Crystal said. “A couple of falls from picking too hard a line, or not scoring enough points from trying too easy a line. “You play a mental game. There’s a lot more to it than just skiing a line you want to ski. By the third year I had the strategy figured out.” Kirkwood, California, presented the most challenging competition conditions Crystal had ever experienced. “Once again, I was in first place going into the finals,” she said. “The weather came in, the mountain socked in, and I was skiing by feel, down sheer ice, on a very steep slope with cliffs all around.” Sounds like plenty of space for something to go awry. But this time Crystal took such a commanding lead that no one could catch her during the one remaining event in Alaska. This season Crystal competes in the invitational Freeride World Tour, by virtue of her ’09 IFSA World Tour win. “This year I will do a little of both tours and try to advance in the FWT ranking,” she said. She’ll join another Jackson champ, the 2007 IFSA Freeskiing World Tour winner and third-

year veteran FWT competitor, Jess McMillan. “I’m psyched to have a travel partner and a training buddy,” Jess said. As you might expect, nerve-racking episodes, often doled out by the weather, lurk in most competitors’ careers. And Jess McMillan has had some doozies. Leading the 2008 IFSA tour after winning it in ’07, Jess suddenly ran into a big problem in Tignes, France. The event date was moved forward due to snow conditions. Scurrying to change her flights, she arrived at midnight before the big day – without her luggage, which didn’t show up in time for the competition. “So I rented some boots and borrowed a pair of skis from another competitor,” she said. “And I chose a competitive line. It’s hard not to push yourself, even when you’re on unfamiliar gear.” After her first jump, carrying “a lot of heat,” Jess turned hard, threw a shoe, and tomahawked 1,500 feet to the bottom, narrowly missing a cliff band on the way down. “I’ve decided if my gear isn’t there, I won’t compete,” she said. “But on the other hand, when you fly half way across the world, you gotta give it a shot, right? “It was frustrating because at that point I was winning the tour, and that sealed the deal. I finished second.” 2 0 1 0 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R

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Travis Rice have made themselves household names in their extreme activity of choice, halfpipe and big-air events. They both made a move into big-mountain freeriding during the inaugural Natural Selections event in Jackson Hole in 2007. The same year Kinger won the inaugural North Face Masters of Snowboarding (NFMS) bigmountain event, and was joined last year by Jackson rider Matt Annetts, who posted strong and advanced to the FWT big show.

controlled or refined as a halfpipe or slope-style contest. You never know what will happen. For example, I thought I had the Kirkwood event in the bag after I flashed a really scary line, but then I hit a chunk of ice in the easy part of the run out, old avy debris hiding under the snow. A tough break for me, but that stuff happens.” He made up for it, though, in yet another radical discipline. “Last season, I rode in the legendary Mount Baker Banked Slalom and after the Jess McMillan

“So we have three Jackson Hole athletes on the World Freelance Tour,”said Jess McMillan. “Out of 40 total from the world, that’s pretty good.”

Keeping it together as a pro-skier can not only be frustrating, it can also be a juggling act. In 2009, Jess won the WFT event at Sochi, Russia, and then went to Japan to film for a month with a ski movie company. “I got pretty beat up,” she said. “Hucking. Lots of air time. The filmers wanted to see that from a girl.” She came back to the competition circuit in rough shape. “None of my shock absorbers worked and I had bad results in Tignes and Squaw,” she said. “Then by Verbier, I started feeling it again. I placed second there and wound up third overall.” Making an early statement this year in the kick-off WFT event last September in La Parva, Chile, she missed first place by a mere half point. “It’s a little crazy,” she said, “to go to a competition with only four ski days under your belt. Just like riding a bike, right?” Riding a bike and kayaking is exactly what she’d been doing all summer right up to that moment in the starting gate. Jess’s analysis on what it takes to win in the WFT: 1. Be incredibly good at scouting and memorizing a line from a photo – inspection is by sight only; no skiing is allowed at the venue 30 days prior to the event. 2. Be honest with yourself – “Can I rip that line, or is it above my ability?” 3. Be willing to throw it out there – ski a line that pushes your ability, plan on the possibility of taking a fall, and know how to deal with the consequences if a fall occurs. Snowboarders Rob “Kinger” Kingwill and

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competition I talked them into letting us run the course riding backwards, which is called riding fakie,” he said. “About ten of us did it, and I won. This year they are making it a legit category. That was fun, pioneering a new event on a really, really gnarly course.” Then there’s Travis Rice, the son of a Jackson Hole ski patrolman and who has become one of the most winning snowboarders in history. Rob Kingwill saw him burst onto the big-air competition scene in an unforgettable way. In Kinger’s words: “Before Travis Rice became Travis Rice (before he got famous), he was just a 16-year-old kid on the Jackson Hole Ski Club Snowboard Team. His coach, Dan Adams, took him to the U.S. Open back East in 1997. They had a big-air contest, and it was a big deal, with a big crowd. They wouldn’t let Travis jump. It was by invitation only, for pro riders, but he wanted to do it so bad that he managed to figure out a way to poach the jump. He took his shirt off, came through the crowd, ducked under the ropes, pointed it at the jump, threw a double back flip, and stomped it, first time hitting this jump. I remember those jumps being really scary, in Stratton, Vermont, usually really icy. He just stomped it and rode back into the crowd at the bottom, 5,000 people cheering with open arms. They took him in, he had to get out of there so he didn’t get kicked off the mountain. He’s won a few of those since then.” Kinger continued: “Travis will say, ‘Yeah whatever,’ but he’s won everything. A few years ago he said, ‘I need to win every major big-air event there is, all in one season.’ That’s what his goal was. I think he won all but one. He was on a mission.” — Jackson Hole Skier

Bob Woodall photos; Wade McKoy (Jess)

Rob Kingwill

“I’m not a big competitor,” Matt said after winning an NFMS event at Snowbird, Utah, last year, “but it’s kind of fun to get together and push yourself at these events. I always used to psyche myself up and would try too hard and make mistakes. This year I just had fun. That’s the best way to go about it.” The Snowbird win led to an invitation to the Freeride World Tour event at Squaw Valley and the FWT finals in Verbier, Switzerland, where Matt qualified for the World Tour. “So we have three Jackson Hole athletes on the WFT,” said Jess McMillan. “Out of 40 total from the world, that’s pretty good.” “The best part about competing,” said Matt, “is seeing new places and hanging out with new people. They are all great riders, always pushing one another; all have different styles. We learn from one another. In a way, it’s not a true competition. Everybody wants to win but nobody wants to see somebody Travis Rice (rt), with his dad, Paul else lose.” Kingwill had always wanted to make a run at the bigmountain competition scene and finally saw his opportunity three years ago in the inaugural North Face Masters of Snowboarding. “It was my first big-mountain contest,” said Kinger. “I went up there to win it, and I won it. After riding Jackson Hole all winter, I was ready. This place breeds the strongest riders in the world. I am now fully chasing the big-mountain tours, and last year I got third at Snowbird and sixth in Kirkwood. Big-mountain contests are tough – there are so many variables to deal with. It isn’t as


“Tommy Moe won some obscure metallic prize for going fast. Then he moved to Jackson Hole so he could do it for fun.” — Skiing Magazine

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The Making of...

A documentary film on the Jackson Hole Air Force A great idea germinates in a fertile field. “I was hanging out in the tramline,” remembered ski-film producer Jon Klaczkiewicz, “hearing different stories about the way it used to be, getting clued in about the Jackson Hole Air Force.” JK – the moniker TGR folks bestowed on him when they couldn’t pronounce or spell his last name – had just seen Stacy Peralta’s classic skateboard documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys. The year, 2001. “I realized the Air Force story was also worthy of a film,” JK said. Jon Klaczkiewicz and Troy Beauchamp speak at the movie’s World Premiere in Salt Lake City, Utah, last winter. Trevor Hiatt

Wade McKoy photos

A few years passed, and on the heels of JK’s production success with TGR’s High Life, and his own films, Reverence – the Kent Kreitler Story and Waiting Game, he started trying to sell his Jackson Hole Air Force film project to the usual suspects. “People didn’t really understand what I was trying to do,” he said. “I wanted to make a film that was credible with the core, but would also appeal to the mainstream. Translating that into financial support from sponsors is really, really hard. The ski-film formula is so set in its ways. I obviously can’t say, ‘Hey, your latest, greatest pro skier is going to be in this film and I’m going to feature your skis, or goggles, or outerwear,’ because we were dealing with historical subject matter.” Finally Jeff Wogoman at Cloudveil nibbled at the idea and provided startup money. JK teamed up with his friend, documentary filmmaker Troy Beauchamp, and the two went to work filming interviews with the main characters. “Once we got back into the edit room,” said Troy, “we started realizing that these were truly great stories, that we just have to make this film happen, push it through. But the seed money from Cloudveil was gone before we even started editing the film.” “I don’t think we realized what we’d gotten ourselves into,” JK said.

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The next step, sifting through the extensive archival footage, was exciting but a bit overwhelming. “It was a difficult project, with footage sources from all over the place, bringing different mediums together,” said JK. But Swift, Silent, Deep had come to life in the minds of these two co-producers. “Howard Henderson’s Teton Video footage is unbelievable,” said Troy. “Old VHS. Washed out color. Maybe on any other project it wouldn’t have had the charm, but for ours it was just awesome. And the content! Some of the slapstick behavior, a bunch of guys out having a blast, the spirit really came through on that. “Rick Hunt has a lot of 16 mm film of his brother Jon and of Doug Coombs that nobody had seen before. And the quality is first-rate. “And once we started getting into the archives of Wade McKoy and Bob Woodall, that was the bridge.” Out of money, supporting the project with their own cash and the goodwill of the archival content providers – who, after all, are also the film’s subjects – they forged ahead. One year later they had a rough cut and started working on promotional materials. But the funds to make the film never came. “We kept plugging along,” said Troy. “We were able to get Warren Miller in the film, and he told us right off, while I was setting up the camera for his interview, ‘The only reason I’m doing this, I watched your rough cut. Nobody tells the story about skiing any more, and I like this and want to be a part of it.’ That was huge for us and a kick to meet the guy.” Finally, in January 2009, the film premiered in Salt Lake City at the X-Dance Film Festival. Their first audience feedback: complete and total engagement. The crowd loved the film. “When you are watching and editing a film over a two-year period,” said Troy, “it’s hard to be objective. You think it’s great, but you really don’t know. The X-Dance premiere was a great turnout, people from Jackson and Utah, pro skiers from all over. The Utah governor came and brought 25 people from his office. At t h a t Benny Wilson

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Conor Horigan

point we realized that this thing really translates.” Still without funding to purchase music and footage licensing, the nagging question remained unanswered: Would they be able to release the film? “It was a pretty deflating feeling,” JK remembered. “We wanted the music to match the era,” said JK, “and that type of music cost a lot of money.” “All those songs are classic rock and roll,” said Troy. “They are cross-generational. When I hear a song like Riders on the Storm, even though I wasn’t around when it was fresh, I can definitely remember the first time I heard it. That was a big part of the film and we didn’t want to compromise.” In that dark eleventh hour, when it seemed no one, save a few film festival audiences, would ever see Swift, Silent, Deep, rescue arrived. Air Force member Rick Armstrong brought in a couple of executive producers, local ski-culture aficionado Craig Atkins, and John Paul Beeghly, who produced the 2003 surf film, Step Into Liquid. “They came to the plate when no one else did,” said JK. “I’d like to give them a huge shout-out.” Finally, with money to buy those expensive music rights, the film was released. It is available on DVD and can be seen in select theaters on its world tour. “We are trying to get a broadcast release,” said JK, “so an even larger audience can see this. We’ve had great support from Powder magazine, and Salomon has now jumped on board with Rick Armstrong’s help. That’s a real testament to what people are feeling from the story.”

“People are emailing us from all around the country,” said Troy, “and from Europe, asking, ‘Where can we see the film? Is it coming to Norway? Is it coming to Italy?’ People from the States are saying, ‘Thank you for making this film. It’s making me feel good. This is the best ski film I’ve ever seen.’That’s a charge, man. A really good buzz. “We showed the film in Jackson last year to a tough crowd, but we were pleasantly surprised: the feedback was great. People went in skeptical and came out really smiling.” “This community is so passionate about what it does,” said JK, “and everybody has such a strong opinion about their ski experience. We raised some subject matter that was tough to deal with in this community.” A couple of missing interviews might have softened some unavoidable demonizing of a few subjects. “We tried to interview all the players,” said JK. “Some weren’t interested and I didn’t try and push it. We could have glorified the conflict much more. We had interview content that was far more aggressive than what we put in the film. I tried to treat it respectfully. Everybody still lives here and everybody is friends now.” Rewriting history is always possible when interviewing people about turbulent times. “I’ve gotten a couple comments regarding that,” JK admitted. “But it’s not for me to say what’s wrong and what’s right. It’s different people’s opinions.” For all the buzz and excitement in the film’s release, JK and Troy have a long way to go to break even financially. “Honestly,” JK said, “if I ever get my expenses back out of it I will be incredibly psyched. I’m not sure that’s feasible. We are hoping we can get those 11th-hour executive producers paid back and be able to pay the archival content providers. We have a long way to go. “But I think this film has a long shelf life. We don’t have a lot of marketing dollars, but with social marketing, as more and more people see it and spread the word, it will become a classic ski film that you have to see.” “I’ve been a cameraman for 20 years,” said Troy, “and you just don’t get a story like this. This was a lucky endeavor: the story, the energy the people bring. This is a film full of characters. “We kicked off the theater tour in New York City. That’s big. You know what they say about NYC: ‘If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.’ We hooked up with the New York’s Diamond Dog Ski Club and they rented the theater at the School for Visual Arts. They say it’s the best high-definition theater in Manhattan and are expecting a big turnout. The buzz is going.” Get the DVD, available in select ski shops throughout the country and at www.swiftsilentdeep.com. If your ski shop doesn't have it, they should. — Jackson Hole Skier 2 0 1 0 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R

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Sarah Muccino

n o i t a r e n e G t x e N The Air Force le Of the Jackson Ho

They had kids. These renegade skiers of the ‘70s and ‘80s who ducked ropes, dodged the sheriff and ski patrol, and risked getting their ski pass clipped. Twenty, thirty years later, they are married with children. And, no big surprise, they raised and are raising them on skis.

rrel es in the pickle ba Rick Hunt with Jam

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Rick Hunt’s first born, 15-year-old James, rode on his father’s back in a pickle barrel at 10 months of age. “It was a cold winter,” said Rick, “so I cut out an opening in a five-pound pickle barrel, taped on a motorcycle visor, and bungee corded it to a backpack. He had his own little environment to hang out in.” Howard Henderson’s daughter Garnet, a smiling one-year-old riding herd in a backpack with her skiing dad and mother, Mariah, began giving commentary to her chauffeur at two years old, saying, “Faster Daddy, faster,” and, in powder, “This is perfect.” Skiing with their babies in backpacks is a common thread of Air Force parentage. Witness the scene in the movie Steep, where Doug Coombs skis home with his two-year-old son David in a backpack, playing their number counting game: “Fifteen, sixteen, seventeen,” son repeating after father. Theo Meiners’s daughter Alex had her first ski pass at three months, rode in the baby backpack with her dad, and was standing on skis in her backyard before she could walk. “I have no memories of not being able to ski,” she said.

Mycah Miller

Now a young adult, her life was shaped by these men in these mountains. “Benny (Wilson), Steve (Hass), Jimmy and Jeff (Zell), and Bryan (Rutter) were like uncles,” Alex said. “I remember seeing Bryan in the tram line and a few times skiing with him down Rendezvous Bowl, although, as a little person with little legs not being able to keep up. I remember


skiing with Jeff and my dad into the Alta Chutes, and attending Steve’s funeral and the sadness I saw in the people I had known my whole life. I think that was the first time I really understood what these ski pioneers had done and how important their actions were.” The power of this legacy has moved some JHAF kids to give tribute. “When Mycah Miller won the Special Olympics,” said Emily Coombs,

Theo Meiners’s daughter Alex had her first ski pass at three months, rode in the baby backpack with her dad, and was standing on skis in her backyard before she could walk. “I have no memories of not being able to ski,” she said.

Photos, both pages, clockwise from top left: Dave Muccino, Jonathan Selkowitz, Wade McKoy, Sally Miller, Kim and Rick Hunt collection

“on the podium she said, ‘I did it for Doug Coombs.’ At another race she said, ‘Doug’s spirit came into my body and I won.’ She loved him.” It’s a well-known fact that kids need mentors, and Air Force kids have lots of good ones. Dave Muccino’s daughter, 12-year-old Sarah, wrote in her diary when she was nine, “My dad’s Dave ‘The Wave’ Muccino, but I’m ‘The Wavelet.’ I plan to be as great a skier as my dad. But for now I’m happy to be able to ski and just be myself, ‘The Wavelet!’ What I love about skiing is that no matter what I’m doing (as long as it not a white out) I always have a great time. Skiing is not about who is a better skier (even if it is nice to be good) it’s about who has love for skiing.” Some of these kids have grown up to surpass their father’s skiing prowess. Brittany Miller, 2008 Wyoming Slalom Champion and today a University of Wyoming student, grew up skiing with her dad, Dave, and his Jackson Hole Air Force buddies. “One of my most vivid memories,” said Howard Henderson, “is Dave and I skiing with Brittany on Après Vous. She was in middle school, a really good racer. We were skiing as fast as we could and she’d get several hundred yards in front of us, then throw ‘em sideways and stop in a huge cloud of dust. We’d go charging by her and she would take off and pass us again. It was a continuous cycle. Hilarious.” But, for all this ski talent, it seems none of these parents pushed it when their kids got old enough to choose. “I take David skiing if he wants to go,” said Emily, “but if he wants to stay home and play with toys, we do that. The pressure can ruin it for kids if you make them go. You see that in all sports. David does have a passion for skiing, and natural ability, drive, and competitiveness, in all sports. But he likes other things, too: soccer, biking, swimming, gymnastics, piano… “David was basically born on the snow. It’s a world he knows and loves. He has a strong connection with his daddy there and he still thinks of him when he is skiing now. Doug and I both had strong connections with our fathers through skiing.” w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

Perrin Hunt

When the “snowboarding” word comes around, and with kids it usually does, some of the Air Force parents have a unique way of dealing with that. “When our kids were younger, they wanted to ride snowboards,” said Kim Hunt. “We told them ‘OK, but first learn to ski.’” The Hunt Rule: learn to ski well enough to do Corbet’s Couloir, then, if you still want to, learn to snowboard. “It worked pretty well,” Kim said. “David (the younger Hunt son) jumped into Corbet’s on skis when he

David Coombs


in college now, has been skiing since he was two. I can remember one time, on a huge powder day way back in the late ‘80s, riding up Thunder and seeing Johnny taking Johanis down the Egg Carton. Snow up to his chin and he wasn’t moving. The kid is three feet tall and there’s three feet of new snow!” Benny’s brother, Mike Wilson, has two sons,

I can remember one time, on a huge powder day way back in the late ‘80s, riding up Thunder and seeing Johnny taking Johanis down the Egg Carton. Snow up to his chin and he wasn’t moving. The kid is three feet tall and there’s three feet of new snow!” Sam and Colby. Sam carries the Air Force torch. “Sam has all the JHAF memorabilia in his room,” said Mike. “He and his friends watch ski films, read the Jackson Hole Skier and Powder magazines, and become energized to push the limits.” Sam takes a film class at the Jackson Hole High School and is now filming and editing the skiing exploits of him and his buddies. They built

John and Risto Beatty

weekends, but something that I could enjoy doing for the rest of my life. They have shown me that the mountains are something to be respected, and that if not properly respected, they can take your life. The Air Force is a brotherhood of likeminded individuals who love the mountains and will do anything for the next deep powder line. That is one of the major lessons I have learned while growing up as a second generation Air Forcer. Whenever I am skiing powder it feels like all my stress and all of my worries have gone away and were replaced by a feeling of pure euphoria. — Sam Wilson continued page 62

David and James Hunt

a new hut on the mountain for RMP, the Rendezvous Mountain Pirates, and have stickers to pass out. Sam and Colby Wilson both wrote essays on the JHAF:

David Hunt as a 3rd grader

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Growing up as a second-generation Air Force kid has affected my life in many ways. The Air Force has allowed me to meet all my mentors, from Benny Wilson, to Robb Maris, to Dave “The Wave” Muccino. All of these men have taught me that skiing is not just something to do on the

Mattias Wilson

Photos, clockwise from top left: Wade McKoy, Rhea Beatty, Ben Wilson, Kim Hunt, Rick Hunt

Colby Wilson

was in second grade and James did it in fifth grade. Then James decided not to go the snowboard route.” David learned to snowboard with the Wilson School program, but soon went back to skiing. “He found he could go a lot more places on his skis,” Kim said. Sometimes the parents are led by the kids. “The first time I skied Corbet’s was with my two boys and Rick,” Kim said. And Dave The Wave will climb the Grand this summer with his daughter Sarah. “It is such a gift to see these kids stoked doing the things that we love,” said Wave. “I’m not sure who the biggest winners are, them or us. Sarah wants to climb the Grand when she’s 14, so I’m pretty sure she will take me with her. It would be my first time up the Grand, too.” Howard Henderson knows these kids about as well as he knows their parents. “Tom Bartlett’s kids are good skiers,” said Howard, “and Adam McCool’s kids. And Charlie Leveroni, raised right on the hill, he’s really good. John Beatty’s son Risto was the Wyoming Junior Varsity champion in slalom and GS, and Johanis,


Since the Beginning Pierre and Christiane Maréchal have been doing tram time from year one

photos courtesy Pierre and Christiane Maréchal

French expats Pierre and Christiane Maréchal have been skiing Jackson Hole every winter since discovering it 43 years ago. Now, at 82 and 80 years of age, they ski four or five trams and a couple chair lifts four to five days a week. They stumbled upon Jackson Hole and the tram completely by accident said Pierre, on “a typical European trip to Yellowstone,” in 1966 with their two sons, 10- and 11-year-old Laurent and François. They wandered south and stopped for the night at The Wagon Wheel in Jackson Hole, the Tetons hiding in darkness. Daylight brought a number of surprises. Good skiers all, the next morning the young family looked up at Snow King Mountain. “It looked far better than Lake Louise at the time,” said Pierre. They had just moved to Calgary, Canada, on a temporary assignment with an oil company, and Lake Louise was their nearest ski area. They inquired about Snow King and were told, “Yes, it is operating in winter, but go across the river and see the brand new tram that has been built,” recalled Pierre. “When we saw it,” Pierre said, “we were so impressed that we decided to come back and ski the following winter.” Last spring, 43 years later, I visited Pierre and Christiane in their Jackson Hole home. Over a couple beers, I learned parts of their story. It says something of history, ski culture, and change. Of lives well spent, and lives continuing to be well spent. Your first sight of the Jackson Hole Ski Area, how did that strike you? Pierre: In 1965 we spent the winter skiing in Chamonix. The Grands Montets had recently opened, with two trams leading to steep slopes and a vertical of 2,000 meters. But then we moved to Canada… To find Jackson nearby, and so much like Chamonix, was a perfect surprise. Christiane: For people from the Alps it was wonderful here. There were not many resorts like this in America, and Canada had nothing comparable. What were those early years like? Pierre: It was very friendly and affordable. At the Village you had the Mangy Moose, the Seven Levels, TVS was tiny, the Alpenhof, the Sojourner, and the Hostel. Look at this old menu from the Mangy Moose with a New York steak for $4.40 and beer for 50 cents. The lift ticket was $7 a day, and if you wanted to take the tram, it was $2 extra. Christiane: I was feeling at home in this small alpine village at the bottom of these beautiful

Christiane Lebano n, 1955, 195cm ski s & fuseaux pants Below: Christiane and Pierre Maréchal , 2009

slopes. When we were buying our tram tickets, the guy would say, “Are you sure you can ski it?” There was no groomer, no sign, nothing! When you were at the top of the tram you had the feeling that you were very far and out-of-bounds. There was no other

We brought our own equipment from Europe. The“fuseaux” pants were going inside the boot; they were generally made of wool, so they were very warm. lift except for the chairs of Après Vous. Pierre: It was real mountain. Christiane: In Jackson, besides a few motels, most places were closed in winter. It was very quiet. Pierre: It was very pleasant to be in a small rural community. Christiane: For us it was a lot like being in the Alps in the old days. What length skis did you have? Christiane: I was skiing on 195 cm, even two meters – up to here (raises arm over head). Dynamic VR7, and Pierre on 215 cm. And clothing? Pierre: We brought our own equipment from Europe. The “fuseaux” pants were going inside the boot; they were generally made of wool, so they were very warm. The coats were… Christiane: …not warm enough, because I remember putting some newspaper inside for extra insulation. We were not used to skiing in the typical stormy weather found in Jackson: the ordinary single goggles of the time were always foggy. Fortunately, one day on the tram dock we saw a guy wearing a pair of goggles bulging like the eyes of a bug. They consisted of two separate lay-

ers, sealed and leaving a vacuum in between. Looking quite bulky and awkward. This guy was demonstrating that they were solving the problem of fogging. It was probably Mr. Smith? Anyway, the following year, I think that was in ‘68 or ’69, the ski shop was selling Smith goggles. The shape had improved. All of a sudden you could see in bad weather. They were quite expensive but we both got a pair. So this was a total change and we started enjoying skiing in snowstorms. Were your ski boots made of plastic or leather? Christiane: The first year we were still wearing leather boots, but very good ones, Molitors from Switzerland. Europe had good equipment, except for the goggles! What are you skiing on now? Christiane: Right now, some Dynastar Legends, and they are really versatile. Pierre: Dynastar Mystics, good for any snow. How often do you upgrade? Christiane: Every two or three years. We would never be able to ski the way we do now if we didn’t switch regularly to newer equipment. What runs do you usually ski down? Mostly ungroomed runs – safer. Very often the Hobacks. Five trams and a couple of chairs, that’s close to 25,000 vertical a day, more or less? Pierre: Probably, but we don’t count. What’s the point? How did you manage the time when the tram was down for two years? Pierre: That was a time when we were wondering if we should sell our condo and go somewhere else. We went to look at Revelstoke, Canada, but we realized that by the time we would have something ready in Revelstoke, we would be too old to ski! They are not too old yet, though, and, from the pace they keep, it’s hard to image that will happen any time soon. Keep an eye out for them on the tram dock. — Jackson Hole Skier 2 0 1 0 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R

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the bonds we form with our ski buddies. You make friends when you’re on flat ground, but you become a family when you’re on The Mountain. Age, whether you board or ski and every other thing that separates people on the flats makes absolutely no difference on The Mountain. We become a unit, the individuals are merely focal points of the greater being or group, we move as one, we explore as one, we become one. Our Unity, the bonds we have forged on the champagne-coated hills will never die and that is why the Air Force will live forever. — Colby Wilson And these thoughts from another grown up Air Forcer:

continued from page 60

Snowboarding / skiing is absolute freedom, all your fears, worries, and pains melt away with every perfect powder turn. Finding those next few buttery seconds or the perfect deep untouched line consumes your entire being. You let everything go except for those instinctual skills we’ve been mastering since birth. Growing up in Wilson and Teton Village, all of my early memories involve skiing or snowboarding, and not on the kiddie slopes. Whether it was taking the tram up when I was 5 or dropping Corbet’s at 7, I’ve always known I was born to be on The Mountain. Powder is in my blood, I inherited a Gene that powers me just like it powers my uncles. The Wave and all the other Air Force guys. It is no longer a conscious decision to hunt for the deepest snow and the gnarliest drops, me and my buddies just seem to find them, like loadstones to a magnet. In addition to the incredible feelJohn and Perrin Hunt ing of those soft and crisp powder turns, is

Doug and David Coombs

when I was young, I never thought of it as a club. I thought of it as a family. Growing up surrounded by these influential skiers just rubs off on you I guess. — Britt Miller

Photos, clockwise from top left: Britt Miller, Emily Coombs, Annie Band

Britt Miller

Many people think that the JHAF can only continue with the original members. I beg to differ. Being a child of a JHAF original member is not necessarily a legacy. It is a “brothership” within a culture of skiing. When I approach sports in a mountain town, I look for the community within the sport. I guess that’s why I look to skiing as my life and my sport. The ideology of skiing is weaved into my life. When tagging around with the JHAF crew

And so it continues. Benny Wilson said of his and Jo Ann’s son Mattias, age three, “He loves it when it snows. We were skiing Eagles Rest and he kept saying, ‘I want to go there,’ pointing to the jump at the Terrain Park. Somebody standing next to us said, ‘Like father, like son.’” Their fate is sealed, these next generation JHAF kids. “I don’t think I could ever not ski,” Alex Meiners said. “I’ve tried. I moved to New York City, but found that something was missing. I’m not interested in being the next amazing female big-mountain skier. I like my feet on the ground, but I enjoy the cold smoke on my face, and going fast. I’ve learned to respect the mountains, the snow, and the people around me. I believe we all have, but for me this came from the people in my early life, this group of men from the Jackson Hole Air Force. When I finally got to ski out of bounds, it was as if all of the stories from the years were now vividly colored; it made sense.” — Jackson Hole Skier

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Skier Chris Newson

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In Memoriam It was a hard year for the Jackson Hole ski community. These alpine and Nordic skiers and snowboarders contributed in outstanding ways to make Jackson and the world a better place. Our hearts go out to their families and loved ones.

David Nodine

Kathryn Miller

Willie Neal

July 14, 1977 — December 27, 2008

June 18, 1966 — March 17, 2009

November 21, 1989 — June 21, 2009

Wesley Barron

Erin Goodman

Brad Gamble

May 18, 1983 — June 30, 2009

August 5, 1990 — August 1, 2009

June 9, 1961 — September 11, 2009


Snowmobiling

Motorized Mountain Touring Story by Bob Woodall In 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 r ide a snowmobile?

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 offtrail, though, will require a bit more experience. Off-trail snowmobiling – prohibited in national parks – is a skill-

Bob Woodall / Triangle C Ranch photos

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

Jim Moulton traverses the snowcovered mountains on Togwotee Pass (above). Snowmobiles can transport people deep into the winter landscape (below). Rocky O’Neal blasts through some deep powder in the Gros Ventre Mountains (below,left).

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Riding the powder playg rounds on Togwotee Pass and in the Green and Greys River valleys g ives ‘bilers a more athletic exper ience. Groomed roads in Yellowstone, the Gros Ventres, and Granite Creek to Granite Hot Spr ings provide snowmobilers an easy and exciting view to wildlife and the natural world. The Grand Teton Range is often a backdrop for riders plying the snowfields of Togwotee Pass.

tually 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 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 20092010 and 2010-2011 winter seasons. The plan also continues to provide for motorized oversnow travel over Sylvan Pass and the East Entrance road.

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, 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!

Granite Hot Spr ings

Early risers are rewarded with the warm alpenglow of the morning sun.

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 ac-

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.

Togwotee Pass If you want to really boot it up a notch, though, head to the Togwotee Pass area, where thousands of square

Where to go? 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. 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.

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Bob Woodall photos

Yellowstone National Park

The 100-degree waters of Granite Hot Springs provide an exhilarating and soothing soak.


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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 off-trail riding. But please respect the wildlife closure areas. Disturbing wildlife causes stress, and that stress can cause the unnecessary death of an animal.

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Gros Ventre River

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miles of terrain await exploring. This is true powderbusting, cornice-bashing, zoom-across-a-wide-openfield-of-powder 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. Snaking its way through the Togwotee Pass area is the Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail (CDST). A 350mile groomed trail, it connects Lander, Wyoming, to Pinedale, Jackson Hole, and West Yellowstone. 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.

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Union Pass & Green River Valley Southeast of Togwotee Pass lies the sprawling Union Pass and the Upper Green River Valley region. The CDST accesses this area from both the Pinedale and Dubois sides of the Wind River Range. The Pinedale/Green River side of the mountains has a trail system of over 135 miles, while the Dubois side has over 150 miles of trails through some of the most scenic country in the West. Breathtaking tracts of open country, with mountains in view everywhere and snow depths reaching 10 feet, just beg to be explored.

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.

Over night and Multi-day Tr ips If this menu of options sounds like too much to digest in one day, consider a multi-day excursion. String together several of these destinations with overnight stays in remote, snow-bound lodges. Start at one end of the trail and emerge at the other, never having to backtrack. Consider a three-night excursion through Yellowstone, staying at a different lodge each night. So whatever you may be seeking in a snowmobile experience, the palette of opportunity is broad. Don’t be afraid of the machine: just jump on and ride the magic carpet of the Great White Open.



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Mushing Husky Powered Sleds

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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

Taking in Wyoming’s winter wonderland at the speed of dog gives mushers and huskies alike a warm and fuzzy experience. Groomed trails provide easy access for sleds to travel deep into the mountains.

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

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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. 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

Bob Woodall photos

I’ve lived in Alaska for 30-some years, and have logged thousands of miles on a sled pulled by the wildest, coolest dogs on the planet, Alaskan huskies.


high-powered canine athletes When dog mushing is an art. When the team gets started, it was a Native thing. to the point of being well But then the explorers and trained and cooperating gold seekers took up the habit. smoothly with the musher, it is Today there are Native mushan unbelievably satisfying way ers still involved with dog to travel. mushing, but the sport has The speed and power of truly gone global. Mushers can the dogs is a surprise to some; be found not only in Alaska, a well-trained team can really Canada, and Greenland, but cover some ground. It is alalso in New Zealand, Scotland, most soundless travel, not Scandinavia, the Rockies, even much more noise than a wolf in South Africa. In cool clipack on the run. A little clinkmates without reliable snow, The speed and power of the dogs is a surprise to some; a well-trained ing from dog-collar rings and mushers train and race “dryteam can really cover some ground. It is almost soundless travel, not land” style by using wheeled tags, the creak of the sled, and the whooshing of the runners much more noise than a wolf pack on the run. rigs such as light-weight titaAnd there’s magic in the stories left tracked nium trikes, dog scooters, and bicycles. Or they gliding over the snow are the sole sounds accompanying the musher. Only in Hollywood do sled into the frozen surface of the snow, tales of the few simply run behind the sled dog, a method called dogs bark on the run. And the musher speaks stealthy creatures who inhabit the wintertime. cani-crossing. People with just one or two athletic only when needed, commanding with a soft “gee” Otter slides, wolf tracks four times the size of my dogs can be mushers, too. A lot of mushers run or “haw.” My dogs don’t mind if I also sing a bit, as biggest dog. What are they hunting here? The pointers or pointers crossed with huskies. These long as I don’t get too rowdy. A few ears will flick dogs glide quietly over the snow, making their types of dogs could never sleep a night out on the own tracks, fitting gracefully into the still wilder- snow, but can they ever burn up a trail, even if back, and I know it’s time to behave. It’s true that the musher often gets to stand on ness. Moose tracks will put us on the alert; a they don’t look like “sled dogs!” the sled runners as the dogs trot down the trail. moose in a bad mood can be lethal to sled dogs. There is a small number of professional lifeWinter’s short days are conducive to monster long mushers today, mushers like 2007 champion But if you think this means just standing still, guess again. The musher has to be constantly sunrises and sunsets. Add golden orange light to Lance Mackey, four-time champion Jeff King, watching the trail ahead and adjusting her balance drop-dead beautiful wild country, the symmetry cancer survivor Deedee Jonrowe, the “Guy From accordingly. A miscalculation may throw her over of the dogs and their shadows as they run, and the Montana” (Doug Swingly), and Jackson Hole’s the handle bar if she’s not paying attention. What artful aspect of this ancient sport is hard to miss. Frank Teasley, to name a few. a rush it is, leaning and ducking, kicking and run- It is all so beautiful – and almost impossible to Other mushers mostly do tours with their ning on the hills behind the dogs, one of the pack! capture on film. But still I try. dogs, or a combination of racing and giving tours,

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

Call: 307-733-7388

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

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

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Stage Stop Sled Dog Race

Bob Woodall photo

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 town is part of the mushing family. We have fun get-togethers and also support each other during the hard times. Too often funerals and memorials are what bring us together, like the one in August ‘06 for Susan Butcher, the four-time Iditarod Champion who had succumbed to leukemia, leaving behind two small children and husband David Monson. We come from many different walks of life, but share our love for the peaceful moments out on the wild trails – and for winter. But it’s mostly the dogs we love, these beautiful, exuberant spirits, who teach us so much and share their love, their enthusiasm for a job well done, and a life well lived.



Libby Riddles, the first woman to win the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, is a lecturer and author of three books, Race Across Alaska, Storm Run, and Danger: the Dog Yard Cat. She lives in Homer, Alaska, and has a kennel of 40 Alaskan Huskies.

Great Selection of

Beer, Wine & Liquor

Wine Tastings Every Friday 5–7 p.m. Order online at www.jacksonholewineandspirits.com Open Daily! Call us at 307-739-1122 Conveniently located next to Kmart 520 S. Highway 89, Jackson

The starting line at any leg of the stage-stop race is an exciting place to stake out.

The 15th Annual International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race (IPSSSDR) begins in Jackson on Friday, January 29, 2010, and ends in Park City, Utah, on February 6. The 2010 Jackson race send-off starts with the Jackson Hole Winter Fest/Pig Roast on the Great town square at 5 p.m. Music, food booths, and lots of hot chocolate keep the crowds in a festive Selection ofand is followed by a torchlight parade and fireworks show on mood. The race begins at 6:30 p.m. Snow King Mountain at 8 p.m. The next day, the race heads on to stages in Lander, Pinedale, Big Piney/Marbleton, Alpine, Kemmerer/Diamondville, Bridger Valley, Evanston/Lyman, and the big finish in Park City. 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 stops in a different community each night. Wyoming’s small towns host festivities for mushers and spectators that Wine Tastings include banquets, barbeques, Every Dutch-oven dinners, pancake feeds, snowshoe softball, dog parades, and ice-sculpture demonstrations. Friday 5–7 p.m. This year the roster, limited to 20 teams, filled by late June. "In the 15-year history of the race, online at www.jacksonholewineandspirits.com registrationOrder has never filled before October," said Teasley. “This early demand demonstrates how popular the race has become with the mushing community.� Teasley attributes the IPSSSDR popOpen Daily! Call us at 307-739-1122 ularity to its small-town Wyoming hosts, who attract mushers to the race. "We hear each year how Conveniently located next to Kmart much the teams enjoy meeting520 andS. staying with the people of Wyoming." Highway 89, Jackson — wyomingstagestop.org

Beer, Wine & Liquor

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LODGING? SPAS? APRÉS SKI? DINING

ACCOMMODATIONS, LODGING & SPAS GRAND TARGHEE GRAND TARGHEE Ski-in-ski-out access from 96 lodging rooms, deluxe hotel & condo units. Full service spa. 1-800-TARGHEE email: info@grandtarghee.com PG 35 GRAND TARGHEE SPA Outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, steam, sports massage, mud wraps. 1-800-TARGHEE PG 35

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 21

Photo: Bob Woodall, Jackson Town Square

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 14 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 14 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 14 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. www.jacksonholesuper8.com, 750 S Hwy 89, Jackson, 800-800-8000/307-733-6833 PG 75 MOTEL 6 Remodeled! Remardable! 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, motel6.com, 307733-1620 Reservations call: 800-4MOTEL6 PG 31 & 75 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 www.flatcreekmotel.com PG 25 & 75 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 14 MOUNTAIN PROPERTY MANAGEMENT offers a wide selection of Jackson Hole lodging, featuring vacation rental homes, conds, and cabins to suite all tastes and budgets. www.mpmjh.com, 800992-9948 or 307-733-1648 PG 75 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 convienences we offer our guest. 400 W Broadway, www.paintedbuffaloinn.com 800-288-3866 / 307-733-4340 PG 75 RUSTIC INN AT JACKSON HOLE Located 3 blocks from the town square & adjacent to the National Elk Refuge. The Rustic offers luxury cabins, gourmet hot breakfast, poo. spa, airport & ski shuttles, wine grotto & bistro. www.rusticinnatjh.com 307-733-2357 PG 40-41 & 75

TETON VILLAGE & VILLAGE ROAD 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. www.thehostel.us, 307-733-3415 PG 75 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 23 & 75 SNAKE RIVER LODGE & SPA, A RockResort, is Jackson’s first AAA Four Diamond Slopeside Lodge. Indulge in the 17,000 sq.ft. Avanyu Spa with an indoor/outdoor swimming pool. Enjoy entertainment in the Fireside Lounge & dining in the GameFish Restaurant. Come celebrate the opening of the New Tram this ski season. 307-732-6000 PG 3 TETON CLUB Ski-in, Ski-out, trailside condo located at the base of

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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 23

GRAND TETON – TOGWOTEE PASS TOGWOTEE MOUNTAIN LODGE On the CD Snowmobile Trail, full service lodge, 54 modern cabins, restaurant, lounge, hot tubs, transportation, snowmobile rental, clothing, guides. 307-5432847, info@togwoteelodge.com PG 67 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

APRÉS SKI, BREW PUBS, LOUNGES GRAND TARGHEE 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 35

GRAND TETON PARK 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 21

JACKSON ATELIER ORTEGA Artisan chocolates, fine pastries, gourmandise. An old world pastry shop in Jackson. Open 7 days a week. Start or end your day with us. Visit us at www.atelierortega.com 307-6909110, 150 Scott Lane PG 15 CADILLAC GRILLE LOUNGE “The Spot” for happy hour in Jackson Hole. Happening nightly from 5pm to 7pm. 2 for 1 draft beer and all mixed drinks. Dinner or Billy’s Burger are also available in the bar while you are enjoying happy hour. 307-733-3279. On the town square next to the Cowboy Bar. PG 79 43 NORTH Slope-side tavern located at the Base of Snow King Mountain. Come enjoy aged steaks, wild game, and fine seafood. Live music. Fine selections of domestic and imported beer. 307733-0043 / 645 S. Cache PG 31 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 13 TETON LIQUORS Cold beer, wide variety of wine and liquors. Wine bar with selected brands. Conveniently located next to KMart plaza. Open daily, Friday wine tastings. Order online www.jacksonholewineandspirts.com. Local delivery available 307739-1122 PG 70

Next to the Cadillac Grille. On the Town Square. 733-3279 PG 79 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 13 CADILLAC GRILLE Atmosphere, food, service & price make this a Jackson Hole favorite. Excellent steaks, game, seafood & pasta. Fabulous wine list. Local microbrews & your favorite cocktail. On the Town Square. 733-3279 PG 79 THE GUN BARREL STEAK AND GAME Mesquite-grilled steaks, game & other New West selections, all served in our authentic lodge. Extensive collections of scotch, bourbon, draft beer, & extensive wine selection. 733-3287 PG 2 43 NORTH Slope-side tavern located at the Base of Snow King Mountain. Come enjoy aged steaks, wild game, and fine seafood. Live music. Fine selections of domestic and imported beer. 307733-0043 / 645 S. Cache PG 31 JACKSON HOLE BUFFALO MEAT Buffalo: jerky, salami, smoked roast, steaks & burger. Elk: steaks, burger & jerky. Gift packs, smoked trout & more! Free Samples. 100% natural or certified organic. We ship. South end of Jackson, in Smith’s Plaza & Downtown in Gasligth Alley. 733-4159/800-543-6328 PG 79 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 25 & 75 McDONALD’S OF JACKSON HOLE Where quality, service, cleanliness & value are a tradition. Featuring McDonald’s freshly prepared breakfasts & regular menu favorites. Wi-Fi available for your convenience. 5:30am–midnight. 1110 West Broadway at highway 22. PG 25 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 29 SNAKE RIVER BREWERY & RESTAURANT 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 13 SWEETWATER RESTAURANT Local's’ favorite since 1976. Lunch & dinner in a log cabin. Homemade soups, salads, sandwiches, lamb, steaks, full bar, deadly desserts & extensive wine list. Corner King and Pearl. 733-3553 PG 15 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 67

TETON VILLAGE & VILLAGE ROAD

JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT

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 23 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 62

GAMEFISH RESTAURANT in the Snake River Lodge & Spa, a RockResort, is Jackson’s first AAA Four Diamond Slopeside Lodge. Breakfast (with buffet), lunch & dinner. 307-732-6000 PG 3 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 23 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 62

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 35 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 35

GRAND TETON PARK 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 21

JACKSON ATELIER ORTEGA Artisan chocolates, fine pastries, gourmandise. An old world pastry shop in Jackson. Open 7 days a week. Start or end your day with us. Visit us at www.atelierortega.com 307-6909110, 150 Scott Lane PG 15 BILLY’S GIANT HAMBURGERS Jackson’s best, biggest & juiciest burgers. All drinks & plenty of beer. Take-out too. Opens at 11:30.

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 23 CAFE 6311 Base of the Bridger Gondola, serving hot bagel sandwiches, fresh salads, Deli Sandwiches, espresso and coffee. PG 23 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 23 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 gourmet pizza, homemade soups, fresh salads, and baked sweet goods. PG 21 RENDEZVOUS RESTAURANT AT 9,095 FT. offering fresh salads, soups, Asian bowls and stirfries, grill meats and baked potatoes. Great view of Rendezvous Mountain and Corbet’s Couloir. PG 21

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APPAREL & SPORTS SHOPS

SKIS CUSTOM MADE – FACTORY DIRECT

GRAND TARGHEE – TETON VALLEY, IDAHO

JACKSON HOLE

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 35

IGNEOUS Custom Skis, hand-crafted in Jackson Hole. 734-8788 www.igneousskis.com PG 47

JACKSON–TETON VILLAGE–WILSON

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 23 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 35

CLOUDVEIL MOUNTAIN WORKS Our Flagship store features the full range of our innovative outdoor apparel, all designed & tested in our hometown of Jackson. From versatile soft shells to authentic casual styles. 120 W Pearl, www.cloudveil.com 739-3930 PG 29 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. 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 23 JACK DENNIS OUTDOOR SHOP The finest outerwear & hard goods for the whole family. Complete rental department, performance demos, overnight repair. Located in Teton Village 733-6838 & on the town square 733-3270 PG 27 JACKSON HOLE SPORTS THE mountain ski shop. We stock Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, Spyder, 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. 307-739-2687 PG 23 JACKSON TREEHOUSE A fine selection of ski and snowboard trinkets. The Treehouse features brands from Armada, 4Front, Amplid, Lib Tech, and Burton. Clothing from Volcom, Quiksilver, and Roxy. Demo's and rentals available as well as a full tune and repair shop. Located in Hotel Terra, 739-TREE7 PG 25 LOWRIDER BOARD SHOP Jackson’s only authorized Burton demo center. Decks & boots by Northwave, Burton, Salomon & Atomic. Clothes by Burton & Sessions. Tunes by Grindrite. Downstairs in the Pepi Stiegler Sports Plaza,Teton Village. 733-4505 PG 27 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 27 PETER GLEN SKI & SPORTS Huge selection of ski & snowboard clothing equipment & accessories for men, women, & children, including Spyder, Obermeyer, Bogner, Burton, K2 & more! PG 70 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 80

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 21

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CHILD & TEEN SERVICES

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 23

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK DORNAN’S GIFT SHOP In the Moose Village, Grand Teton National Park. 733-2415, ext 301 PG 21 DORNAN’S TRADING POST Gourmet cheeses & specialty foods, full grocery, 24 hour gas available. ATM 733-2415, ext 201; In the Moose Village, Grand Teton National Park. PG 21

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.

Photos: Bob Woodall – Teton Village -top; Apres Vous tree, far-left; ight; Sun Dog, top left; Gelande Quaffing, left; Rob LaPier, headwall, top right; Yellowstone snowcoch, right

SPORTS SHOPS?APPAREL ?GIFTS? JEWELRY?A R T

JEWELRY – ART

PHOTOGRAPHY & SKI MOVIES

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 5

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. 60 So. Cache, across from Eddie Bauer. 307-733-3831 PG 2, 11, 77 & 78 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. www.focusproductions.com PG 74 SWIFT. SILEND. DEEP A documentary ski film about a revolutionary underground band of rebel skiers who called themselves the Jackson Hole Air Force. This great ski movie features incredible archival ski footage and a great cast of characters. Purchase at Teton Village Sports or at www.swiftsilentdeep.com, PG 6 WILD BY NATURE GALLERY features the wildlife & landscape photography of Henry H. Holdsworth. Behind the Wort Hotel, 95 West Deloney. 307-733-8877 PG 17

MEDICAL SERVICES ST JOHN’S TETON VILLAGE CLINIC 739-7346 ST JOHN’S HOSPITAL 733-3636

MUSIC NOTEWORTHY MUSIC AGENCY Provides entertainment for all types of occasions. Call Mike Calabrese, 307-733-5459 pg 62

SERVICES & INFORMATION

AVALANCHE HAZARD & WEATHER FORECAST 307-733-2664 see story PAGE 30 FOCUSPRODUCTIONS.COM Subscribe to our magazines, order posters & photography. Read the online editions of Jackson Hole Skier, Mountain Country Summer Visitors Guide, & the Jackson Hole Dining Guide. focusproductions.com. PG 74 GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK 307-739-3300 JACKSON HOLE & GREATER YELLOWSTONE VISITORS’ CENTER on North Cache Street in


GUIDES?SLED DOGS?HELI–SKI?SNOWMOBILING

Jackson has information on all activities in the area. Mon-Fri 8:005:00, 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 23 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. 739-2697 PG 23 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 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 23 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 105, Sun 1-5. Closed legal holidays. Corner of Snow King & Virginian Lane. 733-2164 TETON VALLEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Downtown Driggs, Idaho. 208-354-2500 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

SKI MOUNTAINEERING, AVALANCHE INFORMATION, GUIDE SERVICES AVALANCHE HAZARD & WEATHER FORECAST 307-733-2664 see story PAGE 30 GRAND TARGHEE GUIDES Guided snowcat trips to Peaked Mountain, mountain tours, X-C, backcountry, and alpine tours, 1800-TARGHEE PG 35 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 23 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. www.jhmg.com 307-733-4979 PG 45 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 www.SkiTheTetons.com PG 45

SKI & SNOWBOARD RESORTS GRAND TARGHEE RESORT On the west side of the Tetons 1-800TARGHEE PG 35 JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT General Info 1-888-DEEPSNO; snow conditions 307-733-2291; Ski School and activities 307739-2779 PG 23 NIGHT SKIING AT SNOW KING RESORT Tuesday-Saturday until 8:00pm. SNOW KING SKI RESORT 307-733-5200

SKI & SNOWBOARD SCHOOLS GRAND TARGHEE SNOWSPORTS SCHOOL is under the direction of Mark Hanson.1-800-TARGHEE (827-4433) PG 35 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. 307-739-2779 PG 23

NORDIC SKI CENTERS GRAND TARGHEE NORDIC CENTER Offers 15 KM of groomed and skating lanes. GrandTarghee.com 1-800-TARGHEE PG 35 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 23 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 35 JACKSON HOLE MOUTAIN RESORT On Aprés Vous Mountain, has a 450’ supperpipe, terrain Park. PG 31

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HELI & CAT–SKIING

SLED DOG ADVENTURES

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. www.arlinc.com, 307-734-0721, 907-8223300 PG 51 GRAND TARGHEE SNOWCAT POWDER ADVENTURES 500 acres reserved for Snow Cat skiing at Grand Targhee Resort 1-800TARGHEE PG 35 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 52 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. www.valdezheliskiguides.com, 907-835-4528 PG 50

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 Email-wystagestop@blissnet.com PG 69

SNOWMOBILING BEST ADVENTURES Your best guided adventure of Yellowstone, no experience necessary. Hot breakfast & hot lunch at Old Faithful. New 4-stroke sleds, & warm clothing provided, double riders. 307-733-4845, 800-851-0827 PG 65 GRAND TETON PARK SNOWMOBILE RENTAL Unguided snowmobile rentals into both National. parks or Togwotee Mt. Your schedule,your pace, 1/2 day specials. Clothing included. Teton views & wildlife. Age 12 yrs. & up. Transportation, airport drop-off avail. 307-733-1980, 800-563-6469 PG 65 HIGH COUNTRY SNOWMOBILE TOURS Day & multi-day tours to Yellowstone, Togwotee, Gros Ventre, Granite Hot Springs, & Greys River. Breakfast & hot lunch, clothing, transportation. An experience of a lifetime. 733-5017, 800-524-0130. PG 67 JACKSON HOLE SNOWMOBILE TOURS Over 20 years of family guided tours. Yellowstone, Granite Hot Springs, Togwotee Pass & Continental Divide. Current model powder & 4stroke snowmobiles, experience makes the difference. 733-6850, 800-633-1733 PG 65 ROCKY MOUNTAIN SNOWMOBILE TOURS Day & multiday tours of Yellowstone, Gros Ventre, Togwotee, Granite Hot Springs & Greys River. Day tours include breakfast, lunch & transportation. 733-2237 800647-2561. email: tours@snowmobiletours.net PG 67 TOGWOTEE MOUNTAIN LODGE Premier Snowmobile location. Guided & unguided tours, rentals available, package rates. Featuring trips to Yellowstone & Togwotee Pass. Cabins, lodge rooms & suites. 307-543-2847 or 800543-2847, info@togwoteelodge.com PG 67 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

TRANSPORTATION – AIR & GROUND GRAND TARGHEE EXPRESS Daily transportation from Jackson Hole & Teton Village to Grand Targhee. PG 35 BOND INTERNATIONAL AIR CHARTERS Provides aircraft charters and aircraft management. For more information www.bondinternationalcharters.com 1-866-588-5387 or 307-7334771. PG 37 NEW FLIGHT CHARTERS With a corporate office in Jackson, we are a premium private jet charter brokerage providing ondemand charter flights not only for Jackson Hole, but worldwide. For more information, visit www.JHAirCharters.com or call (307) 734-7751. PG 3 START BUS Jackson to Teton Village – Schedules , routes & fares are available at bus stops, lodgings & information centers. 733-4521

WILDLIFE & PHOTO SAFARIS SLEIGH RIDES — TOURS NATIONAL ELK REFUGE SLEIGH RIDES View elk, mule deer, coyotes, eagles, bison, & more, while riding a horse drawn sleigh thru the National Elk Refuge. Departs from the JH visitor’s center. 532 N Cache 307-733-0277; 1-800-772-5386 PG 12 WILDLIFE EXPEDITIONS OF TETON SCIENCE SCHOOL Join a professional biologist in a safari-style vehicle equipped with roof hatches for an expedition your family will not soon forget. www.wildlifeexpeditions.org 307-733-2623 PG 11

YELLOWSTONE SNOWCOACH TOURS YELLOWSTONE SNOWCOACH EXCURSIONS TRIANGLE C RANCH Ride in the luxurious comfort of an over-the-snow Ford Excursion. Experienced & knowledgeable guides. Private trips available. 800-661-4928 PG 4

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FocusProductions.com Web site & blog keeping you up to date with Jackson Hole Blog postings by Wade McKoy and Bob Woodall cover the myriad activities in and around Jackson Hole and Yellowstone. From skiing the mountains, to fishing the rivers, to gazing at geysers.

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Lodging Directory Grand Targhee Resort

Each of the three Western-style lodges at Grand Targhee are located within steps of the lifts. Ski, board or hike “home” to the Targhee or Teewinot Lodges, or the Sioux Lodge suites. We also offer a wide range of condominiums, vacation homes and townhomes a short distance away. Alta, Wyoming 83001 1-800-TARGHEE www.GrandTarghee.com

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 www.jhrl.com, info@jacksonhole.com

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 www.motel6.com

Painted Buffalo Inn Discover why the West is wild with adventure. All of Wyoming’s winter activities await you and the Painted Buffalo Inn, just 3 blocks from the Jackson Town Square, will be there to warm you after a day of snow-filled adventure. Swimming pool, sauna and shuttle stop are just a few of the conveniences we offer our guests. 400 West Broadway, Jackson, WY 83001 800-288-3866 / 307-733-4340 www.paintedbuffaloinn.com info@paintedbuffaloinn.com w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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 www.flatcreekmotel.com

Hostel

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 www.thehostel.us, info@thehostel.us

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 www.jacksonholesuper8.com jacksonholesuper8@wyom.net

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 www.mpmjh.com

Rustic Inn at Jackson Hole

Located on 7 lush acres adjacent to the National Elk Refuge & Visitor's Center and just 3 blocks from Jackson Hole's Town Square, the Rustic Inn welcomes guests with warm Western hospitality. Indulge in the Rustic's lavishly appointed luxury cabins, modern amenities, complimentary gourmet hot breakfast buffet, soothing spa, innovative cuisine and idyllic setting. Free airport & ski shuttle service. 475 North Cache Jackson, Wyoming 83001 1-800-323-0568 307-733-2357 www.rusticinnatjh.com

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JACKSON HOLE Mountain Characteristics

MOUNTAIN RESORT

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 Teton 13,770 ft. Mount Owen 12,928 ft.

Mount Moran 12,605 ft.

GRAND TARGHEE RESORT

South Teton 12,514 ft.

Middle Teton 12,804 ft.

Mountain Characteristics

Peaked Mt. Elevation 9,700 ft.

Fred's Mt. Elevation 10,000 ft.

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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.

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Snowcat Skiing on Peaked Mountain Skiable acres: 1,000 plus Vertical rise: 2,000 ft Longest run: 3.2 miles 2 0 1 0 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R

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LODGING 89 To: GRAND TETON & YELLOWSTONE Antler Motel – 20 Meeting Place for 26 NATIONAL PARKS 191 National Elk Refuge Cowboy Village Resort – 16 WYOMING JACKSON HOLE AIRPORT 189 Sleigh Rides Elk Country Inn – 17 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 – 18 2 MAP NOT TO SCALE Visitors’ PERRY ST Jackson Hole Super 8 – 30 © 2006 Focus Productions Inc. Center Mountain Property Management – 27 TETON COUNTY U. S. FOREST HISTORICAL CENTER SERVICE Motel 6 Resort in Jackson – 29 MERCELL Painted Buffalo Inn – 9 ••• H O M E R A N C H County Rustic Inn at Jackson Hole – 2 PA R K I N G Teton Recreation LOT Center GILL AVE PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEO • • • DD Camera Corral – 13 MILLER PARK 3 TOWN Wild By Nature Gallery – 4 6 PA R K I N G 5 4 K JH MUSEUM LOT SKI & SPORTING GOODS SHOPS EE DELONEY AVE S T. J O H N ' S R Hoback Sports – 15 JACKSON C H O S P I TA L 7 T Jack Dennis Sports – 11 TOWN 8 LA F Igneous Custom Skis – 32 SQUARE SNOWMOBILING EAST BROADWAY ••• WEST. BROADWAY ••• High Country Snowmobiling – 33 10 11 9 Jackson Hole 13 Snowmobile Tours – 23 14 PEARL AVE 12 JACKSON TOWN HALL ••• 17 Rocky Mountain Tours – 31 $ BANK 19 20 18 Q r COUNTY JAIL Togwotee Snowmobile – 34 T O W N 15 16 U.S. POST Q q Î SHERIFF'S OFFICE T FLA

APPAREL Cloudveil Mountain Works – 19 Hoback Sports – 15 Jack Dennis Outdoor Shop – 11 ART - JEWELRY - GIFTS -HOME DanShelley Jewelers – 5 Jackson Hole Resort Store – 8 DINING & ENTERTAINMENT Atelier Ortega – 25 Billy's Giant Hamburgers – 7 The Bunnery – 6 Cadillac Grille – 7 43 North – 22 Gun Barrel Steak & Game House – 24 Jackson Hole Buffalo Meats – 33 & 5 McDonald's of Jackson Hole – 26 Mountain High Pizza – 10 Snake River Brewery & Restaurant – 21 Sweetwater Jackson Hole – 14 Teton Liquor – 27 Teton Steakhouse – 12 MOUNTAIN GUIDES & HELICOPTER SKIING High Mountain Heli-Skiing - 23 Jackson Hole Mountain Guides – 3

SNOW KING MOUNTAIN & SKI AREA

C R E E K

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Celebrating over 24 years, conveniently located on the town square. Serving Black Angus steaks, game, fresh seafood and pasta. Innovative dishes prepared with the freshest ingredients makes the Cadillac Grille a local favorite.

The CADILLAC GRILLE

Premium well drinks, an excellent wine list and microbrews. Join us nightly in our lounge for Happy Hour 5-7 p.m.

733-3279. Reservations advised. Large groups are welcome Open daily at 11:30 a.m., dinner at 5:30 p.m.

www.cadillac-grille.com email: jacksoncadillacgrille@yahoo.com

On the Town Square, next to Billy’s Giant Hamburger

307.733.4159 800.543.6328

Smithh’s

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. . . and don’t forget our NEW RETAIL STORE in Gaslight Alley across from Jackson Town Square

Buffalo Filet 100% Natural

Trapper-Style

Buffalo Jerky

100% Natural

www.buybuffalomeat.com call 800.543.6328 for a free catalog

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Wade McKoy / Jessica McMillan

Jackson Hole Skier Magazine 2010  

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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