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JACKSON HOLE jhskier.net

50 Year Anniversary

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort A VISIT WITH CONNIE KEMMERER | P 8

Pepi Stiegler, 1986 | P 106

FIFTY YEARS OF PHOTOGRAPHY

CLASSIC SHOTS SPANNING A HALF CENTURY

GRAND TARGHEE & SNOW KING

RESORTS WHERE SKIERS IN THE KNOW GO | P 34

PHOTO GALLERY

SHOWCASING LOCAL SKI PHOTOGRAPHERS | P 70

ROOTS OF SNOWBOARDING

PIONEERS RIDE THE TETON SURF | P 94

RESTAURANT GUIDE | P 123 RESORT TRAIL MAPS | P 128 BACKCOUNTRY GUIDES | P 44

Jackson Hole Winter 2015 – 2016


Rob DesLauriers dropping Corbet’s Couloir in 1989 during filming for the North Face Skiing Extreme II. See the clip at RobDesLauriers.com/videos

Represenng Buyers and Sellers in Teton Village Since 2000 ROB DESLAURIERS | ASSOCIATE BROKER 307.413.3955 |ROB.DESLAURIERSJHSIR.COM ROBDESLAURIERS.COM

Poster & Photos: Focus Productions, Bob Woodall & Wade McKoy Skiers: Rob DesLauriers & Doug Coombs

STEEPED IN HISTORY


Skier Tested Skier Approved

Locally owned & operated

Locations

Snake River Lodge & Spa Rustic Inn Creekside Resort & Spa The Lodge at Jackson Hole Delivery throughout Jackson Hole

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Skier Chris Erickson – Director of Brewing Operations

All Trails End Here


GET BACK OUT THERE WITH THE HIP, KNEE, OR SHOULDER REPLACEMENT YOU NEED

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RESORTS 8

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Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s 50th Anniversary JHMR Access & Resources Alpine Guides Jackson Hole Ski Patrol Grand National Powder 8 Contest Local Artists Commissioned What’s In A Name? Snow King Mountain Resort Grand Targhee Resort Roots of Snowboarding

BACKCOUNTRY 22 44 48 52 58

BTNF Avalanche Center Exum Mountain Guides Jackson Hole Mountain Guides Teton Backcountry Guides Helicopter Skiing in Alaska & Canada

PEOPLE 38 70 88

102 104 106 112 113 119 120 121

Artist Jacques Parker Photo Gallery The Hostel X Building Custom Skis & Snowboards 21st Century Jackson Hole Skiers Early Day Jackson Hole Skiers Whiskey & Beer Book Review Doug Coombs Foundation The Jaded Local In Memoriam

OPTIONS TO EXPLORE 54 82 84

114 122 123 126 127 128 130 Contributing Photographers: Carson Meyer Cody Downard Jay Kelley Jeff Diener Brian Nevins Chris Figenshau Mary Elizabeth Pistono Mark Fisher Jonathan Selkowitz Jay Goodrich Eric Seymour Matt Haines John Slaughter Sverre Hjornevik Danny Stoffel Christjan Ladurner Mike Stoner Bill MacLeod Greg Von Doersten Craig McGee Bob Woodall Wade McKoy

Contributing Writers: Joseph Piccoli Jeff Burke Dr.Jeff Greenbaum Mike Calabrese Dr. Chris Hills Brigid Mander Carey Ballard Hans Ludwig Bob Woodall Wade McKoy Copyright—2015 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.

Alpine Medical Advice Sled Dog Tours Wildlife Tours Activities & Events Kids’ Fun Restaurant Guide Index of Advertisers Lodging Directory Resort Trail Maps Town of Jackson Map

Cover: Skier Pepi Stiegler; photo Wade McKoy Contents: Skier Jon Hunt; photo Bob Woodall Publishers: Bob Woodall and Wade McKoy, dba Focus Productions, Inc. Editor: Wade McKoy; Copy Editor: Mike Calabrese Art Director: Janet Melvin; Photo Manager: Eric Rohr Advertising: Debra Snyder, Bob Woodall

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


JEWELRY ORIGINALS 40 YEARS OF INSPIRATION AT 6000 FT. Gaslight Alley • Downtown Jackson Hole • 125 N.Cache

www.danshelley.com • info@danshelley.com •307.733.2259 ALL DESIGNS COPYRIGHTED


SKI RESORT

THE

JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT Celebrates 50 years

Photo courtesy Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

A visit with Connie Kemmerer

In 1964 the iconic Jackson Hole Clock Tower took its place in Teton Village.

in 1992. Under their stewardship, the mountain has flourished in a way quite palatable to the hardcore old guard – whose interests lie in skiing 4,139 vertical of wild snow and non-stop laps – while also appealing to many newcomers who might prefer shorter, well-manicured runs. A visit with Connie Kemmerer at her home, over a large cup of tea and some homemade chocolate cookies, revealed how it all came to pass.

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Wade McKoy photos

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he Kemmerer Family purchased the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort from its cofounder, Paul McCollister,


AJ Cargill charges down the flanks of Cody Peak near the turn of the century. Used in resort advertising, the slogan beckoned with, “Trade your Deadlines for Tree Lines, your Corporate Mergers for Merging Trails.” Cargill is a ski patroller and retail clothing buyer for the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

Jackson Hole Skier: What made your family decided to buy the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort? Connie Kemmerer: “Our family sold the Kemmerer Coal Company in the late 1980s and my brother Jay had been looking for opportunities to reinvest in Wyoming. The coal company goes back to my great-grandfather, who came to Wyoming in the early 1890s. He was a coal miner from Eastern Pennsylvania. “Once we purchased the resort, Jay asked if I wanted to be an active player and I said yes. Our sister, Betty, is also a co-owner, but w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

does not participate in the business. I knew that it would be a way for me to learn about my family. Women had not been a part of the family businesses. At one point, I studied geology, actually thinking I might play a role in the mining business (laughs). I don’t think I realized at the time how much buying the resort would change my life. And as a new owner, I wanted to learn how the place ticked, to be a team player. And I wanted to ski.” JHS: How did you envision the job of owner of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort?

CK: “I remember the first time I went to the top of Rendezvous Mountain after we purchased the resort. I had a high awareness of the elements. The mountain felt so wild, and I knew I had been given the opportunity of a lifetime, a chance to be one of the stewards of this beautiful place. Owning the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has been life changing, and a chance to play on an ever-growing team. We will have over nineteen hundred employees this winter.” JHS: What have been your roles within the resort over the years? 2016

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Bob Woodall Dan McKay, a top-tier local skier, geländesprung champ, and Powder magazine writer, skis Amphitheater in 1980. Tragically, McKay died attempting to ski the Grand Teton in 1982.

CK: “Over the years I have learned the ropes by working with different departments: going up with the groomers, joining the ski camps, working as a ski host, taking the OEC training with the ski patrol. I’ve loved it all. “I even tried grooming, but I was terrible at it. They had to come and fix my work. It gave me a great appreciation for their skill. One night riding with the groomers, all the cats got together, turned off the lights, and we looked out over the mountain. You could actually see the energy coming off the trees. “I went out with the ski patrol on big snow-

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control mornings. It’s intense work, and you don’t ski as much as I thought. I thought I would get to ski like a mad woman! But I loved the explosives. And before we opened access to our out-of-bounds — which I was in favor of and spoke strongly about — they used me as a ‘demo model,’ as in ‘Let’s take Connie out and see if she can ski it. If she can, then it’s OK for the general public.’ “I attended Doug Coombs’s first Steep and Deep Camp. My fondest memory is when Doug skied up to my group and said to me, ‘Follow me.’ I followed him and skied better

than I ever had in my life. He didn’t know who I was, so it became a fun joke between us. I got to ski with him in Europe and Alaska, too. Every now and then, he’d say, ‘Follow me.’ “He greatly expanded my realm of possibilities on skis. To this day, I love that when I skied with him I wore a harness. I was lowered into places. We skied things that I never would’ve dreamed of. When we went to La Grave, the morning I woke up and saw that mountain, I thought, ‘Dear Mom and Dad, I have now gotten myself really in over my head. I’m in big trouble.’ And I started helicopw w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m


This 1975 image shows Jeff Sweet, Tim Smith, and a ripping skier widely known as Nemo.

Wade McKoy

Bob Woodall photos

A shot of Jason Tattersall (left) graced a JHMR promotion with the slogan, “Not all fantasies deal with sex.”

Olympic gold, silver, and bronze medalist Pepi Stiegler directed the Jackson Hole Ski School for 29 years.

“I always wanted to

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1994 Downhill Olympic Gold medalist Tommy Moe joined the JHMR Team the following season.

ter skiing with him. I still use the Doug Coombs jump turn where you almost self-arrest on really steep slopes. I have so many great memories of skiing with him, and with his wife, Emily. “Another thing I’m proud of, when we bought the resort we were not in a hurry to change personnel. We kept many of the original employees. June McCollister continued to

work for us up until last year. That says so much. And Mike McCollister, the son of founder Paul McCollister, has been a great supporter. He skied over 100 days last winter! “I always wanted to preserve the mountain environment, its sense of place, the wildlife. Early on, my three goals were to have more uphill capacity, to have restaurants I’d like to eat in, and have our guests and employees w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m


Photo courtesy Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Pepi Stiegler with his 1960s’ posse of ski schoolers.

Bob Woodall photos

The sunny-side window seat, a coveted position on the original tram, is claimed in this 1985 photo by Karen Martin and Maggie Pyne.

The Swiss women’s ski team and other dignitaries officially open the “Wild West Classic” World Cup in 1975 (Paul McCollister in blue).

eager to come to work and play in Teton Village. All of these have been accomplished today, yet some aspects are still relevant. We will continue to improve our mountain dining facilities, our out-of-base capacity, our customer support, and our employee relationships. I especially like our “Always an Ambassador” employee program, which was conceived by one of our managers, Larry w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

Hartenstein, three years ago.” JHS: What is your job description now? CK: “I am an owner, a board member, and the head of special projects — and with that I’ve worn many different hats. I helped start many activities such as disc golf, paragliding, the yurt, and the adventure park. Plus I’ve designed retail stores, dining rooms, signage, locker rooms, and office facilities.

“My first design project was Corbet’s Cabin. The concept was to make it like a Swiss chalet, a place of warmth and protection for people to regroup. Herb Brooks, another original employee, and I went to Jackson and collected memorabilia from second-hand stores. We painted the cabinets and walls – I picked out a beige color for the patrol room that, when dry, turned out to be pink! 2016

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TGR co-founder Dirk Collins casually airs in the Crags in 1995. This shot was used in magazine ads for JHMR with the slogan: “Just because you were born doesn’t mean you’ve lived.”

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planning or inspecting one job site or another.” JHS: Beyond the resort, you have been very involved in the Jackson Hole community. What are you most proud of? CK: “I’d been involved with hospitals and wellness when I lived in Sun Valley, so when I moved here a lot of my energy for 13 years went into the Teton Wellness Institute and Festival. Now it’s evolved into the Wellness Department within St. John’s Hospital. It’s a legacy that I’m very proud of.” JHS: Lets talk about the Master Plan. CK: “Sure. Because of all the great success we’ve had over the last few years, we keep re-

working the plan and will continue to invest in the resort. My brother participates in that much more than I do, along with the leadership of Jerry Blann (president), Matt McCreedy (vice president of finance), Tim Mason (vice president of operations), Bill Schreiber (planning and engineering), and members from almost every department.” JHS: The new Teton Chairlift opens some new terrain. Was that the reason to build it? CK: “Yes, it has been in the Master Plan from the beginning and will spread out skiers on the mountain. It’s another great intermediate-to-advanced area that people can utilize.

Wade McKoy photos

And I said, ‘Oh no! They won’t like it!’ That was an immediate redo (waves it off, laughing). I can’t believe that top station is still there, and now, famous for waffles. “Through the years I’ve worked on almost every design project at the resort with different teams and departments. Currently I’m working on the new Casper and Solitude sites, the two new ski patrol buildings, a via ferrata, and a restaurant. We are redoing the Headwall Deli and turning it into a bistro-type restaurant called ‘Piste Mountain Bistro.’ It should be very cool. Most often I’m seen with Jessica Milligan (vice president of products, sales and services),

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Jackson Hole skier Lynsey Dyer schusses Buffalo Arch on Cody Peak last winter. Dyer, a pro free-skier, co-founded the non-profit SheJumps.org that encourages women of all ages to participate in the outdoors through mentorship. In 2014 she produced, directed, and starred in the ski film Pretty Faces.

But one of the most exciting things about this new lift and terrain is the view. It’s one you haven’t seen before. More northeasterly. “The run nearest lift-line we named Kemmerer – after the town in southwest Wyoming – in keeping with resort founders Paul McCollister and Alex Morley using Wyoming towns in their naming schemes. (see story on page 33). “There will be a backcountry gate at the top of the Teton Lift and an information center in the ski patrol building. We’re hoping that outof-bounds skiers and snowboarders will properly assess the risk of the Granite Canyon couloirs and access them under the right con-

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ditions with the appropriate gear.” JHS: It was rumored that hosting a World Cup Downhill was a motivation to build the lift. Is that true? CK: “That was one of the considerations, yes. It’s not in the immediate future — it would be a growth process to get there — but that’s in the possibility realm.” JHS: Oh, by the way, congrats on your base-area line management. CK: “We have what we call stress points, and it all came up after the #1 resort rating [SKIING magazine, 2013]. We got a burst in visitors. I don’t think we were quite prepared for

“Because of all the great success we’ve had over

the last few years, we keep re-working the plan and

will continue to invest in

the resort.” 2016

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Bob Woodall Wade McKoy photos

Gelande jumping was popular in Jackson Hole during the ‘70s and ‘80s. In 1978, Big Jump Rock in Amphitheater was the venue. The German word Geländesprung means “to jump on skis, usually over an obstacle.”

it. And we did a tremendous amount of work to ease congestion. Tim Mason’s team came up with the new line configurations. But a lot of people gave input.” JHS: I heard about Sweetwater and Eagles Rest chair lifts being replaced by a gondola and that it will help move people out of the base area. CK: “We learned the year before last, our biggest year ever, that we need more out-ofbase capacity. A new gondola from the bottom of Eagles Rest to just above Casper Restaurant is planned to be installed in the summer of 2016. We just had two gondola cabins shipped in for the lift operators, electricians, and mechanics to look over and evaluate. “You’ll also be able to unload at a mid-station near the old Solitude Cabin, which will be redeveloped into a multi-purpose area — with space for our Ski School programs, lockers for employees, and an activity center in the summer. It’s being designed right now and would go in the year after the gondola opens.” JHS: Is there a lift planned for the Headwall? CK: “No.” JHS: A lift in Rock Springs? CK: “Not in near future. But we would love to enlarge the permit area and expand the boundary into Rock Springs and Green River. “I always had a vision of multiple yurts and we have permitting for one more yurt in Rock Springs. That vision came from Sun Valley’s yurt system, and the ones on the Idaho side of the Tetons (Teton Backcountry Guides).” JHS: Do you follow marketing trends or compare your resort to other resorts? CK: “Adam Sutner (vice president of marketing) is brilliant at that, and his background at Vail brought very strong marketing experience. His team has taken our social media up several notches. We are the leading social media site for ski resorts. “We don’t spend a lot of time comparing. We can’t be compared. We are unique. We were given the best mountain in the United States, and our job is to be good stewards.”

Between 2006 and 2008, the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram was replaced with the current $32 million machine. In the spring of 2008 the original orange tower #1 was replaced with the new structure.

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Liza Sarychev, 2015

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Wade McKoy Bob Woodall

Rob Kingwill, Pucker Face, 2015

Torchlight parade, AprĂŠs Vous Mountain, Teton Village, Wyoming, Christmas 2014

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JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT

ACCESS & RESOURCES

New Restaurant — Piste Mountain Bistro

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort recently revealed a new menu item: Piste Mountain Bistro, a sophisticated-yet-casual dining experience at the top of Bridger Gondola. Piste Mountain Bistro, slated for a December opening, offers a place for guests to gather for a bistro-style meal, celebrate their experiences on the mountain, and relax in a casual setting.

using radio frequency ID technology (RFID). No need to carry a wallet, either. The J Card has Resort Charge Enabling technology – skiers can embed a credit card or a pre-loaded amount. But keep it away from your cell phone, iPod, or foilwrapped gum and cold medicine – all can wipe out the data. Don’t worry, though; the data is recoverable and the lifties are still there to help.

JH Tapped / Twitter

The jacksonhole.com website is also smartphone-compatible. Download the resort’s free app for maps, weather, useful tips, and mountain info. See which runs are groomed and which are closed. Locate yourself and your friends and family on the Jackson Hole trail map, courtesy of Google Latitude. Record your runs and log

vertical feet and distance. Display your tracks and replay your runs on the trail map. E-mail images to friends, post them to Facebook, or view them in Google Earth. This smartphone app does all that and more. Check the resort’s Twitter # for frequent updates on snow conditions and status of lifts.

Mountain Hosts

Jackson Hole Mountain Hosts lead complimentary orientation tours for intermediate-level skiers, departing from the Mountain Hosts’ meeting place daily at 9:30 a.m.

Backcountry Yurt

Luxury in the backcountry: an overnight stay in the Rock Springs Yurt. The ski guide prepares dinner, dessert, breakfast, and hot drinks. Ski to

True Impact Clinics

Looking for a little more than a group lesson but don't have time for a four-day camp? Check out the True Impact Clinics. These clinics help intermediate, advanced, and expert skiers build and fine-tune their skills, develop camaraderie, and confidently explore Jackson's legendary terrain – all while incorporating perks like lift-line priority, early access, video analysis, and lunch in a convenient two-day format. True Impact Clinics are offered every Tuesday and Wednesday of the season.

Kids Ranch

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

Stash Park

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

RFID Gates Popular

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Pepi Stiegler, Claudio Gottardo, and two Swiss mono-skiers graced a 1980s Jackson Hole poster.

Doug Coombs shows an early Steep & Deep Camp one way to enter the iconic Corbet’s Couloir.

Wade McKoy (1,3); Bob Woodall, (2,4)

In 1975, Harry Baxter launched the Pole Pedal Paddle relay race that marked the end of the ski season. The popular race carries on to this day.

Pepi Stiegler draws a crowd on the Aprés Vous NASTAR course. Among them are Glenn Jacques, Mike Dunn, Joe Larrow, Stan Nowakowski, and Jackson Frishman. Stiegler was NASTAR’s Zero Pacesetter for many years, making the JH NASTAR Gold Pin the most coveted in the national citizens racing program.

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the yurt through the backcountry gates or tour up from the base to the scenic location in lower Rock Springs. Don’t want to stay overnight? Ask about the hot gourmet lunch option or an aprés ski event.

Vertical-Foot Club

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

On-Mountain Dining

Piste Mountain Bistro (top of Bridger Gondola and Marmot Chairlift) – Sophisticated-yet-casual dining experience at the top of Bridger Gondola. Piste Mountain Bistro opens this December as a place for guests to gather for a bistro-style meal. Top of the World Waffles – Ride the aerial tram to the summit and enter Corbet’s Cabin for freshly made sweet or savory waffles. Off Piste Market – The new grab-n-go, at Gondola summit, where quick but comfortable food keeps skiers and snowboarders out on the slopes. Rendezvous Lodge – At the Gondola summit, floor-to-ceiling windows provide impressive views. Asian noodle bowls and hand-rolled sushi, grill meals, full salad bar, and Idaho Saltbaked Potatoes. Couloir – At the Gondola summit, casual dining, full-service lunch. Favorites include the house-smoked buffalo medallions, which combines a variety of locally-sourced flavors. Nonskiers can purchase a gondola sightseeing ticket. Casper Restaurant – Classic gourmet ski comfort food. Burger bar, burritos, hot drinks with a kick.

numbers of the 1,000-year-old, high-altitude species, JHMR and the Bridger Teton National Forest has sprayed 250 trees and placed pheromone patches on 575 trees.

50th Anniversary

“Fifty Years!” Everyone’s invited to help celebrate a half-century of winter adventure in the heart of the American West. A new lift, new terrain, and new movie commemorating its 50th anniversary, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is ready for the party. Unrivaled terrain, world-class steeps, and endless backcountry are hallmarks of the resort. Visitors and locals can join the gathering this winter to own a piece of history. 50th Events Not To Be Missed 11/27 Flashback Friday honoring 1965's

$6 Lift Ticket Price 12/19 Unveiling of Teton Lift and 50th Celebration with Fireworks 2/5-7 JHMR Grand Reunion Weekend, with Powder 8 Contest 3/17-20 3rd Annual Rendezvous Spring Festival

Saturday Music in March

Live music from a variety of bands playing under the tram dock, the snow bar brimming with libations, everyone can join the crowd gathering after skiing during March Saturday afternoons.

3rd Annual Rendezvous Spring Festival

From March 17-20, enjoy three nights of free live music, in both downtown Jackson and Teton Village. —Jackson Hole Skier

Celebrating our 45th Anniversary

Environmental Responsibility

Situated in one of the world’s most pristine environments, the resort steadfastly maintains its pro-environment practices. The Couloir and the Deck restaurants are members of 1% for the Planet, further complementing their already established eco-friendly practices: the majority of ingredients are sourced within a 250-mile radius, menus are designed seasonally to reduce the carbon footprint, and local farmers’ markets and ranches are extensively resourced. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is a founding member of the Climate Challenge, an innovative sustainability program that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the ski industry. JHMR also has a Golden Eagle Environmental Award, the highest standard of environmental achievement in the ski industry issued by the National Ski Area Association. The resort is celebrating its eighth year with an ISO 14001 registration, one of only two U.S. resorts to receive the designation awarded businesses that minimize their environmental impact. The resort is generating a Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Management Plan designed to further reduce energy use, giving it the triple crown of environmental management: ISO 14001 registration, GHG Inventory, and an accompanying GHG Management Plan. And in the fight to save the white bark pine from chronic beetle infestation that has killed vast w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

307.733.5599 | 80 Center Street Jackson Hole, Wyoming w w w. h i n e s - g o l d . c o m Hand Made in the U.S.A.

Since 1970 2016

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BR I D G E R - TE T ON N AT ION AL F OR EST

Wade McKoy

AVALANCHE CENTER

Popular resort sidecountry ski routes like this one on Cardiac Ridge are not snow-controlled by the ski patrol and sometimes avalanche catastrophically.

The center’s website is also a resource for weekly snowpack summaries, historical weather data, and accounts of Wyoming avalanche fatalities.

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his year marks the 40th season of operations for the Bridger-Teton National Avalanche Center. The center issues daily avalanche-hazard forecast for the backcountry of Western Wyoming. Daily avalanche-hazard bulletins were first issued in December 1976. At that time the daily report included snow depth and new snowfall information from a snow study plot at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, a weather forecast, reports of recent avalanche activity, and a prediction of the general avalanche hazard for the backcountry. This service was created in response to the increasing popularity of cross-country skiing in avalanche terrain and the deaths of three young skiers in the Teton Range in January 1974 and two backcountry skiers near Jackson Peak in January 1976. The daily avalanche-hazard bulletins were initially accessible to the public via telephone hotline. Forty seasons later that information

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and much more data regarding snowfall, avalanche activity, weather forecasts, and avalanche hazards is posted on a nearly continuous basis on the center’s website at jhavalanche.org. The hotline continues at 733-2662. The center’s operations are supported by local sponsors, community donations, and partnerships with the local ski resorts, the National Weather Service (NSW), and the Wyoming State Trails Program. In 2001, operations were expanded into the Togwotee Pass area to the northeast and into the Wyoming and Salt River ranges to the southeast. Portions of these areas are heavily used by snowmobilers. Today the center operates a network of 17 remote automated weather stations. These stations – some located on remote peaks that range from 10,350 to 10,870 feet in elevation – communicate critical data regarding snowfall, wind conditions, and temperatures to the

center and to the public via the center’s website. In addition to morning and evening avalanche-hazard forecasts, twice daily weather forecasts provided by the NWS specific to the program are also posted on the center’s website. Google-map technology is employed to display information from backcountry users regarding recent avalanche activity and to link to other avalanche centers. The center’s website is also a resource for weekly snowpack summaries, historical weather data, and accounts of Wyoming avalanche fatalities. It also has links to avalanche-awareness videos. Backcountry travelers are encouraged to take an avalanche class, monitor the information posted on the center’s website, practice safe travel techniques, and submit observations for others to view. — Bob Comey, BTNF Avalanche Center director w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m


JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT

SIDECOUNTRY

Hire a guide and ski beyond the boundary

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ackson Hole Mountain Resort is known for high-alpine steeps, long runs, and an opengate policy that allows skiers and snowboarders easy access to the sidecountry. It’s literally right in front of your ski tips. But that short step out of bounds puts you in the untamed Tetons – no ski patrol assistance, no marked runs, and no avalanche mitigation to the slopes. Inherent dangers lurk in this wild mountain environment. Whiteouts can bewilder and trick skiers into the wrong drainage. “Sucker tracks” made by savvy locals in steep cliff areas and couloirs may be pathways to danger for unwary tourists who follow them. “Doubleexposure” happens when more than one party skis the same drainage at the same time.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Alpine Guides are one of the oldest ski guide services in the U.S. and boast a world-class roster. To learn the proper mindset – how to think about avalanche conditions and snow-pack mechanics, how to mitigate risk by using proper terrain evaluation and ski techniques, how to share the slopes safely – hire a guide. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Alpine Guides are one of the oldest ski guide services in the U.S. and boast a world-class roster. They know where to uncover the hidden powder stashes and how to enjoy a safe, fun day in the mountains. Some important points for all backcountry travelers to consider: • Think with your head, not with your ego. • Don’t use a hit-list for the backcountry. Go with the safest option for the day. Every day is different for avalanche conditions: aspect, wind, new snow, etc. • Have the right gear and know how to use it. Beacon, probe poles, and shovel. Make sure to turn your beacon ON and test it with your buddy. • Ski with a partner and let someone else know where you are touring. • Beware of sucker tracks (see above). • When you are on a big slope, before you make your first turn have an exit plan in case it slides. Look for an island of safety anywhere you have to stop. • Be courteous by not skiing down on top of other parties. • Study the weather and avalanche data and forecasts. — Jackson Hole Skier

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F

rom predawn to the opening bell at 9 a.m., ski patrollers

and avalanche-hazard forecasters complete the demanding, dangerous work of avalanche-hazard reduction within the resort boundaries.

These “snow control” routes have been developed and

refined over a 51-year history. Typically, it takes three years

to learn each route, to experience it in a number of likely

scenarios. It’s an area of work where the individual patroller’s experience and knowledge come into play.

The work continues throughout the day as they respond

to incidents and ski throughout the area — sometimes in horrible weather or bad snow — to keep the mountain open and safe.

JH SKIER honors the Jackson Hole Ski Patrollers who

lost their lives while performing this work: Paul Driscoll, Tom Raymer, Kathryn Miller Hess, Mark Wolling.

51 years of vigilance, standing guard over skiers’ safety, and skiing the Big One

Callum Mackay throws a one-pounder onto the slope above the Tensleep cliffs.

“You had to be a visionary, you had to think big and certainly Paul McCollister and Alex Morley did just that. They were determined to open a ski area at the Village.” — Frank Ewing, first patrol leader at the Jackson Hole Ski Area

Wade McKoy photos

Ski Patrol JACKSON HOLE

Phil Steck makes a four-pound bomb by taping together two two-pounders.


Patrol Class of 1980 from top left: Dean Moore, Jackson Frishman, Jim Roscoe, Jake Elkins, Joe Larrow, Corky Ward, Peter Mackay, Mike Fitzpatrick, Denis Provost (Frenchman on patrol exchange), Gerry Amadon, Dr. Ken Lambert; Middle: Melissa Malm, Jerry Balint; Bottom from right: Kirby Williams, Goldie Morris, John Carr, Robert Nelson, John Huff, Larry Detrick, Don Hansen, Todd Harley, Bob Coolidge, Callum Mackay, Phil Steck.

A PATROLMAN’S STORY

Bob Woodall photos

Kirby Williams reflects on a skier’s life

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Tom Raymer flips off the Halfway House with Peter Crosby, Robert Nelson, and others looking on. w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

hen Kirby Williams joined the Jackson Hole Ski Patrol in 1966, he was already familiar with the huge mountain he would spend the next 35 years skiing and patrolling. “I had been working at the resort since 1963, when Paul McCollister and Alex Morely first started it. I worked there for three summers felling trees, cutting trails from 1963 to 1965. “Skiing was definitely a priority of mine for a long, long time and is a distraction that is hard to avoid,” Williams noted.“It took me five years to get through Utah State because Alta was just down the road and Sun Valley was right up the road.” After graduating in 1965 he got a job driving groomers. When patroler Harry Frishman got called up to the National Guard, Ski Patrol Director Frank Ewing moved Williams up to the patrol. Williams first came to Jackson Hole in 1948, when he was six, and grew up skiing on Snow King Mountain and Teton Pass. “It is safe to say that I have skied pretty much every year since then and couldn’t even guess how many days a year I skied.” For Williams, skiing has been a great lifestyle, and through patrolling, “I found a way to make it work.” Employment in construction and as a fishing guide in summers helped Williams bridge the gap between winters. He wasn’t the only one. In those early years, many of the patrollers were either climbers, mountain guides, fishing guides, or carpenters, the seasonal jobs good lifelines for them. Continued page 27

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“Being on the patrol since 1988 has been the best thing that ever happened to me, without a doubt: the aspects of the job, the people I work with, and the skiing.” — Rick Frost, showing the JHSP’s new product, avy dog trading cards.

The 105-mm Howitzer, on loan from the U.S. Army, fired by Kirby Williams, assisted by Tom Raymer (left), and Todd Harley (center).

“Being on the patrol since 1985 has been a real trip, I’ll say that. It’s been interesting, and fun.” — Terry Schram

“Being on the patrol since 1976 has been a great job. I look forward to it every fall and am sorry to see it go away in April. I always look forward to another winter.” — Goldie Morris (rt) with Callum Mackay

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Mark “Big Wally” Wolling drops into Corbet’s Couloir in 1974.

Wade McKoy and Bob Woodall photos

Robbie Fuller skis with his son Nate, who is now also a Jackson Hole Ski Patroller.

Paul Driscoll kayaked down the mountain for his Pole Peddle Paddle team whose fun-class exploits also included ski-skating the bike leg and ”skiing” the river leg on homemade pontoons.

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Continued from page 25 “We were all in our 20s, there were about 17 or 18 of us. We didn’t have a clue what we were doing,” Williams said, laughing. To the early patrol’s credit, however, there were a number of guys who had worked elsewhere. Lonny Ball, Gary Poulson, and Kent Hoopingarner (Hoop’s Gap) came up from Alta. Juris Khrisjansons, having done similar work in Squaw Valley, was the Forest Service snow ranger running the snow-safety program for the first few years. “Somebody was taking care of us,” Williams recalled, “because we were dealing with one of the gnarliest mountains in the West – or the country – and the potential for avalanches was huge. “It was 19 years that we got away with stuff. It was a virgin mountain and we did a lot of things that we learned, that didn’t need to happen,” said Williams, “and didn’t do some things that we learned the hard way, that did need to happen differently – long story there. Then in the winter of 1985-86 we lost patrollers Paul Driscoll and Tommy Raymer in avalanches,” Williams lamented.

Kirby Williams sights the 75 mm recoiless rifle at Cody Bowl for Powder 8 Contest snow control.

“Somebody was taking

care of us, because we

were dealing with a total

virgin, one of the gnarliest

mountains in the West.”

— Kirby Williams

“I had some really good times and I had some bad times, but over the years we had a huge amount of just great, great times,” Williams said. “Yeah, somebody was looking out for us – I’ve said that many times.” As for the difference between then and now? “Short skis, short fat skis for sure,” Williams joked. “Oh man, like for eight or ten years we had this place to ourselves. Thanks (in part) to McCollister’s lack of money to develop (the area), we took advantage of it and we were skiing the greatest mountain and greatest snow in the country – and nobody was here! “I remember tram conductors coming into the cafeteria and asking if anyone wanted to go up the hill,” said Williams. “We would say ‘Let’s us finish our coffee first,’ and so he would sit down and finish his coffee with us and 10 or 15 minutes later we would go out, grab our skis, walk on the tram with about 10 other people, and up the hill we would go. It was like that for…. It is hard to even imagine that now because of the size of the area and the success that the Kemmerers are mostly responsible for.” “I can’t even compare it,” Williams said. — Bob Woodall

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Grand National Powder 8 Contest Jackson Hole brings back a classic

Bill MacLeod

This winter the Grand National Powder 8 Contest will return to Cody Bowl for the first time since the 30-year classic ended in 2000. On February 6, a select group of 24 two-person teams will vie for a $10,000 purse by trying to lay down the most perfect figure 8s while skiing with synchronicity and style. Bill Lewkowitz, JHMR business development coordinator, helped revive the classic.

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Bob Woodall Above: Perfect powder was bountiful this year. Captain Powder Dave Moe (front row at right) judged the event. Though there was never a snowboard category, the sloughed area provided an opportunity to give four snowboarders a demonstration run. One pair straight-lined the bowl, as the tracks reveal. Left: One team descends Cody Bowl while the remaining competitors are lined up at top awaiting their turn. Judges and spectators view from the bottom. Bomb holes from the 75 mm recoilless rifle pock the slope. Occasionally, by the luck of the draw, a team was forced to ski around, or through, the craters.

“I spend many mornings with the ski patrol at mountain station,” he said of his winter work routine. “One day a couple of them said, ‘Lets bring back the Powder 8s. We’d be supportive.’ The patrol leader agreed, so I started pitching it as one of the events for the 50th.” Lewkowitz is no stranger to the event; he competed in the Powder 8s when he worked as a ski host back in 1984. “I was Doug Coombs’ partner for two years,” he said. “Then he teamed up with Jeff Zell, and then Jon Hunt, and they all did very well.” The event’s origins are chronicled in Jackson Hole On A Grand Scale by David Gonzales: “In the early 1970s, Teton Magazine publisher Gene Downer originally promoted the event, which he had brainstormed with artist Terry King and patroller Denny Ashe. Their inaugural Figure 8 Competition was held on a bluebird day in Cody Bowl, resplendent with 16 inches of powder. Pepi Stiegler and Peter Habeler won it, besting the 11-team field. The Jackson Hole Ski Corporation adopted the Powder 8s in 1975.”

Wade McKoy

The original format and rules still apply. Five judges award points based on three criteria: synchronization, roundness of 8s, and skiers’ style. Over a dozen ski areas are invited to send a team. A half-dozen teams will be selected at a qualifier on January 16. As in the past, the ski patrol and the ski school each get a bye. Powder magazine, a sponsor, can send a team and a GoPro sponsorship provides the award money. Ironically, the resort’s open-gate policy of 1999, which opened up the side-country’s flawless powder snowpack, led to the contest’s demise. But resort officials are hopeful that skiers and snowboarders will honor the event by respectfully steering clear of Cody Bowl for a few days prior to the event. “We ran it in 2000 and asked people to stay off Cody Bowl, and they did,” Lewkowitz said. “And with the power of social media today, I think the word will get out. If we get good participation and people are excited about it, it’s something we can continue.” — Jackson Hole Skier w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

Wind slab, difficult to ski, added an extra challenge in some years. 2016

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JACKSON HOLE SIX

THE

Six local artists commisioned to help celebrate 50th Anniversary

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ast summer, the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s newly formed art committee embarked on a mission to employ six local artists for a special project. “We often see amazing photography used to celebrate milestone events,” said Anna Olson, the resort’s brand director. “We wanted to see what our local artists would come up with to help us celebrate our 50th Anniversary.” Olson solicited help from Jackson Hole Public Art Director Carrie Geraci, who submitted the work of 20 local artists. The JHMR art committee judged those artworks by awarding points for criteria such as likability and relevance. The six highest scoring artists were given three months to create a work that, in an art committee directive’s words, “communicated the legacy of adventure that continues to challenge those who come to explore and experience all the mountain has to offer.” “We picked six very different

Mike Tierney — “For all the hype, the celebrated runs actually live up to their reputation. A wild ride for sure! How better to symbolize that, than with the bronco rider image we cherish so much here in Wyoming?”

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artists,” said Olson. “All were paid a stipend to produce the work.” In February 2015, the art committee reviewed those six submissions and went through a similar selection process. “We all clearly put Mike Tierney’s piece at the top,” Olson said. “He captured the essence of the resort in such a great way by hiding Steamboat (a bucking bronco and Wyoming’s state symbol) in Corbet’s Couloir.” The artists retain ownership of their original works and the resort purchased the rights to use them. All six works of art can be seen around Teton Village as vinyl utility wraps. “And we are using Tierney’s piece a lot,” said Olson. Tierney’s painting appears on the cover of the resort’s trail map, in ads for the anniversary documentary, Born To Be Wild, and in brand advertising in Ski, Skiing, and Powder magazines. A free art poster was inserted in a fall edition of the Jackson Hole Daily newspaper. The image is also on 25 Lib-tech snowboards signed by Travis Rice. Other surprise uses were held in secret as of press time. — Jackson Hole Skier

Wendell Locke Field — wendellfield.com “Misspending much of my youth on this mountain, I now know it with the poetic ease of one who not only understands its many moods, but has loved it in all its manifestations.”

Abby Paffrath — abbypaffrath.com “I remain respectful and humbled when exploring this mountain. I love how wild it is and how easy it is to feel lost.”

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Bryan Iguchi — “There is nothing to me that defines the spirit and freedom of Jackson Hole as its Aerial Tram as it is passing the iconic valley test piece, Corbet's Couloir.”

Erin Ashlee Smith — erinashlee.com "’Jackson Soul’ depicts both winterand summer-time activities. When I think of winter in Jackson Hole, I think cold-smoke powder. So naturally the skier is neck deep in blower pow.”

Fred Kingwill — kingwill.com “The original Clocktower, built in 1965, conveys the past history and winter excitement of this unique and special ski resort. That tower still remains a special memory for many.”

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What’s In A Name?

The convention of naming ski runs at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

“Exactly where is Jackson Hole?”

Bob Woodall

visitors often ask. Well, if you’re in Jackson, the town, you’re in Jackson Hole, but if you’re in Jackson Hole you could be outside of Jackson. Confused? Don’t be. To clear things up we need to look back in history, to the fur trade era of the early 1800s, when mountain men trapped the West’s streams for beaver pelts sought by hatters to craft fashionable headwear. Mountain men called high valleys surrounded by mountains a “hole.” It just so happened that the legendary trapper David Jackson’s favorite place was this “hole,” so his business partner William Sublette dubbed it “Jackson’s Hole,” the Jackson Hole of today. And that’s not the only name the mountain men hung on many of the region’s features. Most notably, French Canadian trappers designated the major peaks of the range “Les Trois Tetons,” the three breasts. Another prominent summit named by mountain men was Rendezvous Mountain. Notably, this structure in the southern end of the Tetons also ended up being chosen by Paul McCollister and Alex Morely for what would soon be their Jackson Hole resort. When it came time to label features on the ski area’s trail map, the two decided to honor the early trappers and append some of the more famous names to critical terrain. Ridges now bear the appellations of several mountain men. Colter Ridge – John Colter, a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, was the first known person of European descent to enter the valley. In the winter of 1807-08, he became the earliest tourist to gaze on the Teton Mountain Range. He had been exploring the region that is now Yellowstone National Park (dubbed Colter’s Hell) and Jackson’s Hole. The Hobacks – John Hoback was a mountain man who guided the Astorian party

SKI JACKSON HOLE

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

In 1981 Steve Beedle and David Stump ski through a forest of trail signs awaiting deployment.

through the area in 1811. Sublette Ridge – A partner with David Jackson in the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, William Lewis Sublette came to the mountains in 1823. He was wounded in the Indian Battle of Pierre’s Hole (Teton Valley, Idaho) in 1832 and figured prominently in the fur trade industry. Bridger Ridge – Jim Bridger was foremost among mountain men. A trapper, explorer, scout, and guide, Bridger roamed the West for decades from the 1820s to the 1850s. He is often credited with being the first European American to see the Great Salt Lake. Ashley Ridge – General William Ashley made it to the Rocky Mountains only twice, and was never really a mountain man. His lone interest in the fur trade was to make money and further his political ambitions. For the bowls on the mountain, McCollister and Morely looked to the map of Wyoming.

Many of its town names now grace the trail map: Cheyenne, Laramie, Casper, Tensleep, Riverton, Lander, Sundance, Rawlins, Cody, Buffalo, Green River, and Rock Springs. As the resort’s ski terrain expanded, more Wyoming place names appeared on the trail map. One of the newest runs is named for the town of Kemmerer and acknowledges the Kemmerer family, who now own the JHMR. Those trail names provided the framework for the resort’s landscape. While the resort map contains over 120 identified runs, locals have long attached their own special names to many favorite and secret spots. Ask someone about Flip Point, Mikey Likes It, Mouse Face Rock, or Sneakie Woods. And by the way, Gros Ventre (French for big belly) is pronounced Grow Vahnt. Nothing confusing about that! – Bob Woodall

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SKI RESORT

SNOW KING MOUNTAIN RESORT Big plans, bright future By Joseph Piccoli

Jackson native Paul Huser grew up skiing the King.

lone lift was a rope tow powered by a modified Ford tractor. Generations of Jacksonites learned to ski on the “Town Hill” while ski racers from around Jackson and around the world honed their skills and competed on its challenging slopes. Next generation Jackson native Mattias Wilson is growing up skiing the King.

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Wade McKoy photos

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hen it opened in 1939, Snow King Mountain’s


Jackson native Cisco Oldani grew up skiing and snowboarding the King.

Over the years, better and more lifts, more trails, lighting for night skiing, and an openarmed welcome for uphill travelers kept Snow King popular. But in recent decades the venerable area suffered from tight budgets that deferred maintenance and stalled improvements. Then, in 2014, new owners, including Max Chapman, president and chief executive of Snow King Mountain Recreation announced multi-million-dollar plans to jump-start the Town Hill. They started by partnering with the Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club to make substantial improvements to snowmaking infrastructure and to revamp the antiquated lighting for night skiing. w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

The new snowmaking doubled previous capacity and allowed Snow King to improve and expand its terrain parks, extend the season for recreational skiers, and cement its position as a destination for both ski-race training and ski racing. The new lighting extended coverage for night skiing and is brighter and far more energy-efficient than the old system. And in 2015, a whirl of summer construction brought a new version of the Rafferty chairlift, a Mountain Coaster, and a new base lodge. Running 1,000 feet longer and reaching 311 feet higher on the mountain, a Doppelmayr fixed-grip quad chair replaces the Rafferty double chair built in 1978. The Rafferty

Hans Johnstone, here with his son Sasha, races in the Town Downhill every year.

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Bob Woodall

Former TDH champ Shawn Clark carves an arcing turn through the King’s freshly groomed corduroy.

Cowboy Coaster

Giddy up! The new Cowboy Coaster zips, twists and turns through nearly a mile of loops, curves, and hairpin turns. The Cowboy Coaster offers unsurpassed Teton views as it hauls riders 370 feet up Snow King Mountain and then lets them loose down twists and turns on this roller-coaster thrill ride! And yes, it’s open this winter! Call Snow King Mountain Sports at 307-201-5096 for the current schedule.

Snow King Mountain Sports

This winter season, Snow King Mountain Sports will house Jackson Hole’s newest rental fleet and a world-class race tuning shop! The store features a selection of topbrand race gear, ski wear, and accessories. The rental fleet allows customers to choose from a wide selection of skis and snowboards. With more than 20 years of ski tuning experience its techs have the knowledge and skill to consistently produce high-quality ski and snowboard tunes for local racers and recreational enthusiasts. Snow King Mountain Sports is located in the Snow King Hotel just underneath Haydens Post at 400 E. Snow King Ave. Phone: 307-201-5096, e-mail: store@snowkingmountain.com

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SNOW KING MOUNTAIN RESORT

ACCESS & RESOURCES Night Skiing and Snowmaking Expanded and Modernized

Watch the lights come up on the town of Jackson at the only night skiing available in Jackson Hole! After the sun goes down, Snow King Mountain comes alive with skiers and boarders taking advantage of this one-of-akind evening activity that keeps the stoke going for hours after dark! Devoted slopeside recreationists, from skiers to boarders to tubers, can’t get enough time on the snow. In 2014, the King installed new snow guns (21, of course, and part of a $3.5 million capital improvement project) and hopes to get everyone on the slopes earlier than ever. A combination of permanent and traveling snow guns will fill in the runs from the

summit to the base, thanks in part to hydrants along the way that will also supply potable water to the mountaintop. Also in 2014, Snow King upgraded the lighting system with Bright Lights™ - a revolutionary approach to brightening night-skiing’s experience. The lighting innovation reduces night-sky light pollution, more effectively covers the slopes, and lowers energy consumption. Thanks to illuminating upgrade, skiers can expect to navigate more accurately the nighttime white stuff and enjoy the evening more completely. The beauty for the those off-slope in the neighborhood, though, is how minimally this will affect everything beyond the slopes. Night skiing at Snow King is available Tues.-Sat. from 4-7 p.m. Adults, $25 Jr/Sr, $20.

Uphill Travel

Sometimes going up the hill is the best part! Locals in Jackson know that “skinning the King” is an amazing way to experience skiing in Jackson Hole. Snow King Mountain generously offers this activity to locals and visitors at no charge, but skiers must sign a waiver and purchase a pass-carrier to display their Uphill Travel Ambassador pass. Passes and pass-carriers are Continued page 38 w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m


Continued from page 35 quad opens up five more acres of terrain and accesses two new intermediate runs. Expect to see more and better grooming this winter as well, due to help from a new crewmember in the grooming department: a PistenBully Park Pro grooming machine. As the name suggests, a Park Pro can do more than just lay down perfect corduroy. With the new snowmaking guns churning out raw material, the Park Pro promises buffedout topography in the King’s three terrain parks. And—joined by an older PistenBully— the Park Pro will churn out fresher-than-ever corduroy elsewhere on the slopes. But the project getting the biggest buzz of all is a new mountain coaster. When the Jackson Town Council gave Snow King Mountain Recreation the green light to build the “Cowboy Coaster,” it triggered what has grown to a $15 million infusion of private investment in the Town Hill in not much more than two years. The coaster—open winter and summer— promises to provide plenty of thrills. It features four 360-degree corkscrew loops and six bridges crossing and re-crossing more than a half-mile of track (said track being up to 43 feet above the ground) and all at speeds up to 27 miles per hour. You can’t drive through Jackson any faster without risking a ticket. But you can catch your breath in the new lodge buildings, enjoying a place to warm up and brown-bag lunch while also having easy access to a restaurant, a bar, the services of the Mountain Sports School, and the ticket sales center.

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With the new snowmaking

guns churning out raw material, the Park Pro promises buffedout topography in the King’s three terrain parks.

Outside the base lodge buildings, a summer’s worth of earthmoving and grading made the base area a lot more friendly to beginning skiers and snowboarders. And just downhill of the new base area is the Snow King Hotel. The hotel’s 200+ rooms, along with the lobby, restaurant, bar, and pool were fully renovated in 2013. The hotel is also where you’ll find Snow King Mountain Sports, with ski, snowboard sales and rentals (featuring brand-new gear in the rental fleet). You can also get top-quality ski and ‘board tunes and snow bike rentals at the shop. Snow King Mountain Sports is also the place to go for season passes and for uphill passes. Season passes, uphill passes, and daily lift tickets will also be available at the ticket shack at the base of the Summit Lift. Snow King has an openhanded policy regarding uphill use. Boot packers, skinners, and hikers are allowed to travel uphill within ski area boundaries, even when the lifts are running.

During ski area operating hours—9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 9 a.m to 4 p.m. Sunday—uphill travelers are required to stay on one of three designated uphill routes. Uphillers must also have a current Uphill Travel Pass and display it in a pass-carrier visible to ski patrollers while going uphill. The passes are free and pass-carriers are available for purchase for $7. No dogs are allowed within ski area boundaries during operating hours but after the lifts close, dogs are allowed if on-leash or under effective voice control. There’s zero tolerance for not cleaning up after your pooch. You lose your uphill pass if caught leaving your dog’s mess behind. No one wants to ski through a pile of dog #%?!. Read the winter uphill travel policy at snowkingmountain.com/uphill travel/ for complete details. Finally, a tried-and-true classic: King Tubes. Anyone over 42” tall can snow-tube at King Tubes. Ski boots or other hard plastic boots aren’t permitted while tubing. Kids to age 13 get an hour’s worth of tubing for $15, while ages 14+ pay $20. All ages can get a second hour for just $5. All tickets include tube rentals. Opening for the season in December, King Tubes will operate Tuesday-Friday 2-7 p.m. and on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Joseph Piccoli is a writer and editor living in Jackson Hole.

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Jacques Parker painted ad for Snow King Mountain in 1946 Jackson Hole Winter Sports Association commissioned the work to run on the back cover of Ski Illustrated In 1946, Ski Illustrated’s managing editor, Betty Woolsey, commissioned artist Jacques Parker to create a painting that would be used to advertise the Snow King Ski Area and appear on the magazine’s Feb. 1947 back cover. Jacques still has the letter from Woolsey, who wrote: “Enclosed is a check for twenty-five dollars in payment for the drawing of the mountain background used in our French skiing article, March Issue. “The bill for the Jackson Hole ad drawing should be sent to: Jackson Hole Winter Sports Association, Jackson, Wyo., attention Jim Huidekoper. Go easy with them if you can as they haven’t much dough yet and their lift has been delayed.” The New York City publication later became SKI magazine, and Jacques designed its first masthead. Betty Woolsey, an Olympic ski champion, became a Wilson, Wyoming, resident in 1942, and helped pioneer the skiing on Teton Pass. Jacques, a lifelong skier, now in his nineties, has never been to Wyoming, but the three skiers in his 1947 painting could easily be schussing Tensleep Bowl at what is today’s Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. What’s more, the painting’s bottom border text, “Jackson Hole,” is set in a typeface that anticipated the Jackson Hole Ski Area’s original 1960s’ logo. Created over 20 years before the now-famous ski area across the valley from Snow King had even been imagined, his work now seems prescient. Jacques developed his artistic talent while in the U.S. Army’s famous 10th Mountain Division during World War II. “I would draw and write on anything I could get my hands on,” he said of his combat time in the mountains of Italy and Austria. “I recorded what was happening and sent it down the mountain on a small tram we built, rolled up in an empty shell casing.” His upcoming show in NYC, entitled “A Mountaineer’s View” (date TBD), includes over 70 pieces from his 10th Mountain experiences, and from his work for the ski industry during the years following the war. — Jackson Hole Skier

Continued from page 36 available at the Summit Lift Ticket office and at Snow King Mountain Sports during normal operating hours. For more information and to read the full Uphill Travel Policy, visit the website at snowkingmountain.com/uphilltravel.

SNOW KING MOUNTAIN RESORT

ACCESS & RESOURCES

Terrain Parks

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

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King Tubes

Just plain fun! That would be King Tubes. Piloting these “doughnuts” on the smooth, groomed run promises to bring out the kid in everyone. Hard to tell whose enthusiasm is greater, the kids’ or the grownups’. Easy access provided by a rope tow. Hop on, then head down the slope. Riders must be at least 42” tall. Tues.- Fri., from 2-7 p.m.; weekends and holidays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The office is located at the corner of Snow King Ave and King St. Phone: 307734-9442.

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Mountain Sports School

Snow King Mountain Resort has been teaching skiing for over 75 years. But Snow-

boarding, a relative newcomer to resort slopes, is supported with equal zest at the King. Its Mountain Sports School specializes in children’s and adults’ group and private lessons. For the full array of courses and clinics, visit snowkingmountain.com or call 307-734-3188.

Pond Skim

The season may wind down in spring, but the fun continues in high gear. Snow King plays host to a fresh take on polar dipping: pond skimming. Another of the mountain’s end-of-season gems, competitors don suitable attire, buckle into skis or snowboards, then gather courage and speed to launch themselves across an ice-hemmed pond. Spectators and competitors happily partake of the festivities, which also include food, beverages, and a contagious enthusiasm. Details at snowkingmountain.com.

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Jackson Hole Snow Devils Event – World Championship Snowmobile Hill Climb

The hill’s final event is an unqualified spectacle: The World Championship Snowmobile Hill Climb. Now in its 40th year, the event is held on Snow King’s pitch-perfect slopes. Riders throttle their way straight up the King’s snowbound terra firma, trying to nail the speediest high-mark. The event benefits the Jackson Hole Snow Devils’ various philanthropic missions. Slated for March 24 through March 27 this year. Call 734-9653 or go online at snowdevils.org.

Wade McKoy

Ice Climbing

Ice, an unwelcome slope condition for recreational skiers, is a sought-after commodity at the Exum Ice Park. This winter the artificial-ice climbing wall enters its fourth year providing instruction and open climbing on eight top-roped routes in the northfacing shadows behind Love Ridge Condominiums. Open climbing costs $20, gear rental is $5 and is available on Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. and on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4-8 p.m. Group lessons, reservations required, cost $150 for up to two people and are offered Sundays Noon-4 p.m., and Mondays and Wednesday 4-8 p.m. For more info or to make reservations call 307-733-2297.

Ice Skating

Snow King Sports and Events Center, located at the base of Snow King Mountain, provides a rink full of activities and is home to the Jackson Hole Moose hockey club. For more information, visit the center’s site at snowkingsec.com or call 307-201-1633.

Jackson Hole Ski & Snowboard Club Events –

Snow King Mountain Resort continues its partnership with the Jackson Hole Ski & Snowboard Club (JHSSC). Once again, as the JHSSC celebrates its 77th anniversary, a full calendar of winter events will link The Hometown Hill and the Jackson Hole Ski & Snowboard Club.

Zach Schwartz, Town Downhill champ two years running, is a former JHSSC athlete and current coach.

prizes, weekly raffles, food, a bar, and straightahead enthusiasm. January 15 and 29, February 5 and 19, wrapping up on March 4.

Wednesday Night Lights

Other notable winter-season events include the mountain’s Wednesday Night Lights activities. Held on Wednesday nights, of course, these evening showcases and competition draw the young and the inspired to rail jams. Spectators are as thrilled as the competitors

coursing over the white stuff and the rail in impressive skillful, acrobatic displays. Under the lights, Wednesdays from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on February 17 and 24, and March 2 and 9.

National & International Ski Races

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

Fast, Affordable and On Your Way. McDonald’s® of Jackson Hole

Town Downhill, the Mini-Hahnenkamm

The Town Downhill (TDH), a JHSSC event, has been a Jackson tradition since 1982. The origin of its nickname, the MiniHahnenkamm, dates back to the 1950s, when Jim Huidekoper Sr., one of the ski area’s founders, named Snow King’s steepest run The Steilhang because it reminded him of a slope on Austria’s famed peak, the Hahnenkamm. This season’s race is scheduled for March 19-20. With divisions for Pro, Recreation, Telemark, Junior, Fat and Baggy and Snowboard, the event is the club’s way of recognizing that skiing – and ski racing – is truly a lifetime sport. Jackson Hole is one of the last places in the country to organize and support a non-sanctioned downhill race. This community favorite draws over 200 competitors and 500 spectators. Everyone is welcome to join in for live music, food, and a great race.

Pica’s Margarita Cup

First up, the Pica’s Margarita Cup, five adult team-racing events. Run from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. as part of the Friday Night Under the Lights program, this crowd-pleaser boasts

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

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

307-733-7444

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SKI RESORT

GRAND TARGHEE MOUNTAIN RESORT Find your rhythm By Jeff Burke

Shroder Baker rides the white dragon off Targhee’s backside. 2000s

G

rand Targhee is a lot of things to many different people – the moun-

tain, the views, the terrain and deep snow. But if there’s one quality

that defines the Grand Targhee experience, it’s the rhythm. Not too

fect powder run, balanced and smooth, at times explosive, and all the while invigorating. The resort’s “flow” is similar to the sublime bliss of glisse, maximizing the overall experience for all who schuss the greater Targhee area.

Grand Targhee lights up with fireworks to celebrate the New Year.

Wade McKoy photos

slow, not too fast, the atmosphere of the ‘Ghee sets a pace like a per-


Bissell Hazen and Jeff Leger ski the ‘Ghee’s west-facing heights. 1980s

With over 500 inches of annual snowfall coming to the western slope of the Tetons, Grand Targhee gets the lion’s share of powder in the range. As the saying goes: “Snow from heaven, not hoses.” Unlike some Rocky Mountain resorts’ more corporate feel, Targhee’s is cozy, with five chair lifts and a simpler, less crowded skiing experience. The 2,600 acres of terrain spans three adjacent peaks—Fred’s Mountain, Peaked Mountain, and Mary’s Nipple. That white vastness harbors 2,200 vertical feet of huge, sweeping bowls, gladed trees, and a slice of craggy chutes off Peaked, keeping things interesting for all abilities. Grand Targhee also has its own 600-acre cat-ski operation where guests can have a markedly difw w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

ferent powder experience, complete with guided instruction and backcountry lunch. There’s also 15 kilometers of groomed Nordic skiing on five trails – just in case you need to work on that cardio. Their attention to detail is only making an already great experience even better. Small changes continue to enhance the hill’s ebb and flow. “We’ve been glading and trail clearing on Ravenwood, Floyd’s Fantasy, and the terrain park,” said Marketing Director Jennie White. “We’ve also been removing old or dying trees to make for more spacious runs through the trees.” Additionally, the resort has improved the skier return egress from Sacajawea to the base area on Powder Reserve Traverse.

If wilder snow is your thing, Targhee also maintains backcountry gates for hungry enthusiasts seeking untracked snow adjacent to the resort. Because Targhee is nestled in the heart of the Teton Range, it boasts some of the most spectacular backdrops to skiing in North America. Skiers and riders can find untouched glory just beyond the resort boundaries for days after a storm. “When open,” said White, “Targhee’s Peaked and Mary’s Nipple terrain has an openboundary policy,” allowing anyone to access the goods without having to pass through a designated gate. As always, it’s a know-beforeyou-go; so if you don’t have the experience, avalanche skills, and gear to ski backcountry terrain, hire a guide. Grand Targhee offers 2016

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Wade McKoy photos Jason Tattersall drops off the backside and into a moonscape. 1980s

Continued from previous page

Todd Jones all alone in Steve Baugh Bowl. 1990s

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guided backcountry packages through Yöstmark Touring. Like any resort with an eye for sophisticated civility, Targhee’s amenities have also been undergoing a renaissance. Across the board Targhee is upgrading within its environs, buildings, and areas to the tune of $1.5 million. From the ground up, hydronic heating will line the paths throughout the resort’s interconnecting walkways and pedestrian plaza. The Branding Iron Grill, Targhee’s signature après culinary epicenter at the base, boasts a recently expanded kitchen, and the entire iconic Teewinot Lodge is now home to a new fleet of mattresses. Plus, every room at the resort will have boot driers, another small but worthy addition. And that’s not the end of it. “The Arcade will be turned into a new Pizza Parlor,” added White, “and Wild Bill’s seating will be expanded to accommodate more guests.” Bottom line: there will be plenty of room for paying customers and those who choose to brown-bag their lunch. Because the base of Grand Targhee sits at 8,000 feet, early season snow sticks around and that snowpack grows before others in the area. As a result, Targhee’s

season begins with a punch in late November, often to the fanfare of powder-starved locals and savvy tourists who watch weather closely. That said, late-season storms can also bring significant

Targhee’s season begins with a punch in late November, often to the fanfare of greedy locals and savvy tourists who watch weather closely. snowfall into March and April, providing legitimate powder days well into spring while keeping a firm grasp on Old Man Winter until the not-so-bitter end. Given Targhee’s long season, there’s no need to rush. Instead, pick a time and a pace that best works for you. When you do, then find your rhythm. Jeff Burke is a writer and editor living in Jackson Hole.

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Mountain Characteristics

2,000 acres of lift-serviced terrain, 10% beginner, 70% intermediate, 20% advanced. Vertical rise: 2,270 feet. Base elevation: 7,860 feet. Groomed trails: 500 acres. Ski lifts: two high-speed quad chairs, one quad chair, one double chair, and one magic carpet.

Nordic, Snowshoe, & Snow Bike Trails

15k of groomed Nordic trails make great cross-country skiing, ski-skating, fat-tired snow bike, and snowshoe trails roll past the base area into the surrounding forest, glades, and meadows.

Activity Center Adventures

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

Ski & Snowboard School

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

GRAND TARGHEE MOUNTAIN RESORT

ACCESS & RESOURCES Early Tracks is for intermediate skiers and riders who are looking to get a jump-start on their day and enjoy Targhee’s powder paradise prior to the lifts opening to the public.

Terrain Park

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

Tube Park

A $10 day ticket includes use of snow tube, tube runs, and lift access on the Papoose Magic Carpet. All riders must be over 42 inches tall. Special rates available for groups of 25 or more. Reservations are recommended for tubing after 6 p.m. Open Weds. through Fri. from 4-7 p.m. and weekends from noon to 7 p.m.

Mountain Tours

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

The Nature Center

Satisfy your wonderment of the Teton’s flora, fauna, and geology with a resort naturalist. Just stop by the Nature Center cabin between the Kid’s Club and Ski School. You can also book a 2-hr naturalist-led snowshoe tour at the Activities Center.

Guided Snowcat Adventures

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

Green Practices

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

Shuttles

Daily roundtrip shuttles run from Driggs and Jackson Hole. The resort is a scenic 48 miles from the Jackson Hole Airport, 85 miles from the Idaho Falls Airport.

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BACKCOUNTRY SKIING

EXUM MOUNTAIN GUIDES

Wade McKoy

A stellar day of touring in Grand Teton National Park

Above: Ken Jarman follows his friend and perennial guide, Zahan Billimoria, up Avalanche Canyon, towards Mount Wister. Right: Jarman glissades the top ramp toward the waiting Billimoria.

T

he sunny, calm day had been smooth sailing. They’d climbed into the alpine zone with plenty of time left to ski a couple runs. But, standing in the couloir below their objective, Mount Wister’s east ridge looked like a no-go for the pair. The couloir itself, though, was in good condition. On the climb, the powder snow had yielded to their ski boots in foot-deep steps. The sweet anticipation of a steep ski-descent fueling their efforts. They had come for adventure, Exum guide Zahan “Z” Billimoria and his client and friend, Ken Jarman, director of pharmacy at St. John's Medical Center. Earlier that morning, before daybreak, they geared-up at the trailhead in extreme cold:

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minus 20 – a full 52 degrees below freezing. Bundled in down parkas and warm gloves they eased into the hills, careful not to breathe hard. A mile in, they stopped on a hill overlooking Taggert Lake to shed the puffy coats and headlamps. Skinning and skating across the lake toward Avalanche Canyon, the duo picked up a surreal vibe, something akin to leaving a secret, magic valley and entering a walled kingdom where dragons sometimes lurk. Old-growth timber towered over the skiers as they toured up the deep, rolling canyon. The creek meandered through a narrow fissure in the deep snow. At stop number 2 they put on sunglasses, ate, and drank. The sun had fully risen, and

soon they would emerge from the shaded forest and ski into open country. The lower cirques of Avalanche Canyon shone brightly above them. The pair started again, and the waterfall came into view, a mere trickle in winter. Taminah Lake and a full-on lunch stop awaited them above the weak spray. Taminah’s lakeside view also revealed their objective, Mount Wister, towering over the upper canyon’s cirques, headwalls, peaks, and couloirs. The conglomeration stretched beneath a spotless blue canopy. The lack of sound, the stunning visuals, the snow, the anticipation, the comradeship, it all melded together and washed over the men. As Billimoria and Jarman skied across the w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m


Wade McKoy

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Wade McKoy photos Zahan Billimoria skis above a chockstone and sets up to ski underneath the unique feature.

Guide Zahan skis the sunnyside flanks of the north-facing couloir.

snowy lake, Wister loomed above them. They skinned into the north-facing couloir below the summit ridge, stomped out their platforms, and switched into climbing mode. Time to boot up the steep slope and have a close look at the east face. Four hours from the parking lot, they were now high enough in the alpine zone to peer far into the northern Tetons. The skyline above the spiked wall of Avalanche Canyon brimmed with the range’s tallest peaks: the Grand, South, and Middle Tetons, Mt. Owen,

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Zahan and Ken approach the col at the top of the couloir.

Teewinot, Nez Perce. Within this brilliant display of mountains, the companionship of likeminded men shone just as brightly. “The more time I spend in the mountains,” said Z, “the more I realize it’s all about who I’m with. I love climbing and skiing with Ken, and people like him who appreciate the rewards. No rules, no people – just total freedom of the hills.” Ken began skiing regularly with Z a few years back. The met as next-door neighbors and became friends.

“I like heading into the mountains with Z because he loves being out there,” he said. “Most of all, he wants to share that passion with everyone around him. He has a humble confidence that makes his clients feel at ease in the mountains and he gauges their abilities exceptionally well.” Now face to face with Wister’s east ridge, its boney snowpack prompted a reluctance to ski it. “The snow conditions were prime all the way to the saddle,” said Z, “but the east w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m


“It’s not so much about one particular summit, or one particular line. It’s about the experience of working hard

Wade McKoy

for the reward of being in the mountains.” ridge was really thin. We could’ve skied it, but we didn’t go up there to scratch our way down. We went to have a great time in the mountains.” They climbed to the col and took a long break. The weather remained calm. The anticipation of a long, steep powder run brought them to their feet. “Our ski descent from the Wister col was in epic blower powder,” said Z. “At the bottom we traversed upcanyon, looking for an obscure couloir that Max Hammer and Griffin Post (accomplished local ski-mountaineers) had told me about. We found it, climbed it, and skied it. It was steep and really aesthetic, with a low-hanging, bus-sized chockstone over it! “It’s not so much about one particular summit, or one particular line. It’s about the experience of working

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hard for the reward of being in the mountains. I try not to get too hung up on any one objective. The mountains are so endlessly dynamic that what can be known about their condition is limited until you are up there. Then, if the plan I made doesn’t make sense, I shift gears and do what does make sense.” Back at the trailhead, loading the vehicles under a warm afternoon sun, the adventure came around full circle for them. “Spending that particular bluebird day in the park was unique in so many ways,” said Ken. “Every day I ski the Tetons, the memories I make are forever implanted. They carry me through the work week and remind me of how fortunate we are to be in Jackson Hole.” — Jackson Hole Skier Zahan breaking trail up the couloir.

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BACKCOUNTRY SKIING

JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN GUIDES

Smooth

Smooth sailing on a windy day, journeying into velvety powder

“I

t’s super hollow,” said the guide, yelling over a roaring gale as he poked the stiff, windslabbed snow-ramp leading to the summit of Albright Peak. The final pitch was an avalanche waiting to happen. We’d leave it unskied. Better to drop onto the stable slope below us — out of the wind and into a 4,000foot glissé through cold powder snow. Five hours earlier in Jackson, the café’s aromas enveloped the men awakening into their ski day with warm bakery goods and hot, strong coffee. Brian Warren, lead guide and winter operations director for Jackson Hole Mountain Guides, smiled into his cup. This workday was personal. The clients: his visiting brother, Stephen, and a co-worker. The entourage deepened with his usual ski-partner, Jon Scheibel, and the journalist, me, on a mission to capture the goods, in pictures and adventure stories. The highway north of town hugged East

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Gros Ventre Butte and skirted Flat Creek, its slow waters wandering through the vast grasslands of the National Elk Refuge. Thousands of elk, with some large herds of bulls, grazed the windswept tundra. As the road climbed past the butte’s end, out popped the Tetons, a spiky berm lining the western sky as far as the eye could see. Alongside the 7,000-foot-tall range, Albright Peak stands apart, dissected all around by deep canyons. The summit peers into three distinct ski-descent routes, its hidden western aspect so sheer that only ravens and mountain sheep dare go that way. “You look at Albright and say, ‘That has to be skied, right?’” said Warren. “One consistent 4,000-foot shot.” The beauty doesn’t stop with this obvious, east-facing ski route, though. The peak shares its massif with Wimpy’s Knob, Stewart Draw, and Static Peak. The variety of terrain,

Wade McKoy photos

Brian Warren, lead guide and winter operations director for Jackson Hole Mountain Guides, watches Jon Scheibel ski the slope from a safe zone.

Warren nears the summit pitch. w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m


Wade McKoy photos

sailing with great guides or some such subheading

A north wind strafes the summit of Albright Peak.

The summit peers into three distinct ski-descent routes, its hidden western aspect so sheer that only ravens and mountain sheep dare go that way.

Brian Warren enjoys a 4,000-foot shot of cold-smoke powder on Albright’s leeward aspect. w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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Wade McKoy photos Jon Scheibel rides a steep shot of velvety powder snow.

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Jon Scheibel chases shadows.

Brian Warren begins our retreat.

“Velvety, cold, boot-top powder,” he described it afterwards. “It had enough wind and moisture the day before, and was followed by cold nighttime temperatures that sucked the moisture out.” suitable for all skier ability levels, affords ski guides a multitude of adventurous ski descents for virtually any client. “For wide-open, moderately pitched skiing, we lap those upper shots of Wimpy’s,” said Warren. “It’s sparsely timbered, with good fall lines.” Just up the ridge and not much higher in elevation than Wimpy’s, Albright’s summit stands a world apart in ski-mountaineering potential. “The summit requires steeper skinning, steeper booting, and using crampons and ice ax,” Warren noted. “We often ski off the north side to introduce people to ski mountaineering techniques such as being lowered and ski rappelling.” To stand atop a Teton peak ranks highly among those initiated.

“You look down the other side (where the ravens go) into Death Canyon and across at Buck Mountain. It rivals any summit in the park for views and esthetics,” Warren said. Alas, the summit was not to be ours that day. Though it had been calm and quiet during our morning of skinning up Wimpy’s Knob, our perch in the saddle below the final pitch was now exposed to a stout north wind. The relentless howl reverberated with the realization that we were turning back. We skied back along the ridge and dropped out of the wind onto the southeastfacing slope of the peak. The noontime sun warmed us as we prepared for our descent. The newly blown-in snow lay over a smooth, stable snowpack. Not another track in sight. “This is going to be super-good skiing,” said Warren.

And it was. “Velvety, cold, boot-top powder,” he described it afterwards. “It had enough wind and moisture the day before, and was followed by cold nighttime temperatures that sucked the moisture out.” A good recipe for perfect powder. “That’s a 4,000-foot shot, even without the summit. An untracked run. And a huge avalanche zone, one of the largest in the park. But it was safe that day with new snow (blown in) on an old snow pack that didn’t have any issues.” And that’s why you hire a guide. Because he knows that. He knows where to get the goods and be safely out of the hills before cocktail hour. — Wade McKoy

EXPERIENCE THE BACKCOUNTRY AIARE AVALANCHE EDUCATION CLASSES BACKCOUNTRY SKIING

JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN GUIDES

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

Photo credit: Wade McKoy

SKI MOUNTAINEERING

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

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BACKCOUNTRY SKIING

TETON BACKCOUNTRY GUIDES

Wade McKoy photos

A hut system in the alpine zone of the Tetons

Glenn Vitucci and Carol Lowe ski during sunset from the Baldy Knoll yurt. 1970s

S

TBG leads skiers to untracked powder on Teton Pass. Skier: Jason Tattersall

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unrise cast a warm glow on the canvas wall and etched it with a blue shadow of icicles, a reminder of the skiers’ whereabouts. Lucky girls. To wake up in a wood-floored yurt, high in the snowy, untracked Tetons, a crackling fire in the wood stove, is to wake up in heaven. This group of women backcountry skiers returns to these yurts every winter for a multiday getaway. “We’ve been going there for twelve years,” said Carol Peck, a Jackson local and mother of two. “A friend and I organized a girls’ trip one winter and it was so much fun we decided to do it every year. It’s a great experience, and it’s right here in our back yard.” The hut system in the Tetons, owned and operated by Teton Backcountry Guides, includes three winterized yurts, each in a unique setting. Guides are available to lead groups on multiday tours, but experienced skiers can also rent the yurts unguided. TBG also leads day trips on Teton Pass and in the Tetons, and teaches ski mountaineering courses. Each of these three yurts sits in high country all its own, butting up against the alpine splendor of the Tetons’ west slope. Two border the Jedediah Smith Wilderness Area, while another nudges Grand Teton National Park. It’s big w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m


Wade McKoy photos

country, and wild. “We’ve spent the most time at Plummer Canyon yurt,” said Peck. “It has some long, north-facing runs into the South Fork of Game Creek, but conditions have to be right to ski that stuff. When there’s avalanche danger, we go over to Rhodesia Ridge or Mt. Wow. Those have some nice, long, lower-angle skiing, and sometimes the lower-angle slopes are better skiing anyway. “You can choose to ski close to the yurt or go for longer tours, depending on the group and energy level. One year we did a yurt-toyurt trip where we spent a day at Plummer and then toured over to Baldy and spent a day skiing there.” The yurts are maintained in good condition and have everything the trekker needs to be comfortable in the backcountry. “They are well organized, well set up, and they take fabulous care of them,” said Peck. This morning, the coffee and oatmeal brewing on the propane cook stove need not be rushed. Ten inches of new powder snow tugged hard on the skiers, of course, but the untracked-powder skiing would be there all morning. And all afternoon, too. It’s too far in the backcountry for day skiers, so these crystalline slopes would be theirs alone to track ‘till sunset, this day and the next. “No matter the ski conditions or weather, you get the sense of having it all to yourselves,” said Peck. “And that, in itself, is special.” — Jackson Hole Skier

Jason Tattersall cruises the rimed trees on Teton Pass. A lattice framework supports the yurt’s canvas covering (upper left). Even the closest TBG yurt sits far above the valley (left).

teton hut system day trips & hut tours D.I.Y. hut rentals deep wyoming powder teton pass grand teton national park

GIMMMEER !! SHELLTTEER

307.353.2900 skithetetons.com Authorized concessionaire of GTNP and permitte of CTNF. PHOTO: TUCK FAUNTLEROY

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by Jeff Greenbaum, MD

MEDICAL DIRECTOR, SAINT JOHN’S MEDICAL CENTER EMERGENCY DEPT. MEDICAL DIRECTOR, JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT SKI PATROL

I am frequently asked what to do after injuring one’s knee while skiing or snowboarding. Although the answer is not complicated, it does depend on several factors specific to each accident. Ski- and snowboard-related knee injuries come in a few different varieties. Fractures (broken bones) and dislocations are on the more serious end of the spectrum. While ligament sprains and muscular strains can be relatively minor. If you sustain a knee injury while on the mountain, the first thing you should do is perform a self-assessment. The most important question is whether or not you feel comfortable standing up and bearing weight. If you cannot, then it could indicate a broken bone, and the best advice is to wait for the assistance of the ski patrol. If your knee can tolerate your body weight, the next test is to check for instability or a feeling that your knee is going to buckle. The easiest way to accomplish this is to flex and extend your knee while leaning on a ski pole or your buddy’s shoulder. An unstable feeling in the knee might indicate a ruptured ligament, and again you should wait for assistance. What could happen if you attempt to ski/snowboard on an injured knee? Well, that depends on how badly your knee is damaged. If you have a fracture, skiing could then cause the bone fragments to separate or displace. In other words, you will make the fracture worse, which is generally not good. If you have a ruptured ligament, the danger of skiing down to the bottom is that your knee may buckle or give out and potentially cause a secondary injury to that knee or to another body part. In general, if you feel capable of skiing or boarding after a knee injury, you are probably not causing any further damage. But, if you are experiencing severe pain or instability, then waiting for the ski patrol is the correct move. The only exception is if you find yourself in the backcountry, far from help. In that case the risk of hypothermia from a prolonged rescue time may outweigh the risk of causing more damage to your already injured knee. In the backcountry, self-rescue is your first rescue, but if that is not possible trying to stay warm while waiting for help may be the next best thing.

What To Do If You Think You Hurt Your Knee While Skiing

These young skiers competing in a junior freeride contest were not injured, but the officials warned to be more cautious. Fallscontest like thiswere are not not injured, conducive These young skiersthem competing in a junior freerdie butto the human body’s longevity. the officials warned them to be more cautious. Falls like this are not conducive to the human body’s longevity. Wade McKoy photos

ALPINE MEDICAL ADVICE

KNEE INJURIES:

Tibial-Plateau Fracture: A broken bone on the weightbearing surface of the knee.

Distal Femur Fracture: A broken bone on the lower end of the thigh-bone. Patella Fracture: A broken knee-cap.

ACL Tear: A ruptured ligament that results in severe knee instability. Commonly the person feels a ‘pop’ in the knee (sometimes they even hear a ‘pop’).

MCL Sprain: A partial tear of the ligament on the inside (medial side) of the knee, generally causes pain but not severe instability.

LCL Sprain: A partial tear of the ligament on the outside (lateral side) of the knee, generally causes pain but not severe instability.

Cartilage Injury: A cartilage tear in the knee usually results in pain, stiffness, swelling, and catching (clicking and popping), but not knee instability.

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MEDICAL SKI TIPS

ADVICE TO HELP KEEP YOU SAFE

Urgent Care

the

"Every year collisions account for many serious injuries and even deaths. This includes collisions with trees as well as other skiers. Even if you consider yourself an expert, always observe 'slow' and 'hazard' signs. You risk both your life and others lives when you ski recklessly."

-

– Adam Johnson, MD;

MEDICAL DIRECTOR, TETON VILLAGE CLINIC

Bob Woodall

For acute illnesses, minor wounds, and the treatment of bone, joint, and other injuries On-site services include rapid strep test, rapid flu test, blood draws, and X-rays Adam Johnson, MD I Mary Widener, PA I Jeff Greenbaum, MD

"The mountains are a dynamic place and can change rapidly. Do your research (know the terrain and avalanche danger), be prepared (bring extra food, water and clothing) and always stay alert and observe your surroundings. The backcountry is no place for complacency." – Mary Widener, PA;

MEDICAL PROVIDER, TETON VILLAGE CLINIC

"Use caution when walking around the base area at Teton Village. Icy conditions may result in severe injuries even before you reach the lifts. Pay special attention in parking lots and when descending stairs."

Jim Little, Jr., MD Board Certified in Family Medicine April North, MD Board Certified in Family Medicine Christian Dean, DO Board Certified in Family Medicine Jenny Fritch, PA-C Layne Lash, FNP-C Cecelia Tramburg, FNP-C

Hours: Monday-Friday: 9 am-7 pm Saturday-Sunday: 10 am-4 pm

307 739 8999

– Jeff Greenbaum, MD;

MEDICAL DIRECTOR, SAINT JOHN’S MEDICAL CENTER EMERGENCY DEPT. MEDICAL DIRECTOR, JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT SKI PATROL

1415 S. Hwy 89 (Smith’s Plaza)

Jackson, WY

urgentcare.tetonhospital.org

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SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING INJURY PREVENTION

Don’t become a statistic! by Chris Hills;

DO, SPINE AND ORTHOPAEDIC SURGEON, TETON ORTHOPAEDICS

Tens of thousands of skiers and snowboarders hit the slopes and backcountry each winter to enjoy the thrill and excitement of gravity-powered alpine sports. Although less dangerous than other high-energy participation sports, these alpine activities come with inherent risk for participants of all ages and skill levels. Fortunately, most injuries are minor and can be treated with a little rest, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, or bracing. However, brain and spine injuries can range from a mild concussion or neck/back sprain to a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) or spinal cord injury (SCI). These injuries can be life-changing events that may lead to significant debilitation and/or even death. In fact, TBI is the leading cause of death and catastrophic injury in the ski and snowboard world. Unfortunately, TBI and SCI are occurring with increasing frequency, most likely due to an increased participation in “big air” jumping and acrobatics.

An emphasis on prevention is critical in addressing TBI and SCI given a lack of therapeutic interventions to restore neurologic function after these devastating injuries. For those just starting in the sport, receiving proper instruction prior to getting on the slopes is critical to injury prevention. Appropriate, well-functioning and adjusted equipment is no less essential for participant safety. A helmet is a must! Surveys have shown that only approximately 45-50 percent of U.S. skiers and snowboarders routinely wear a helmet. Those that do wear a helmet enjoy a 30-60 percent reduction in the risk of head injuries. Next on the precaution list in injury prevention is exercising common sense. The majority of injuries occur after lunch, when fatigue and dehydration begin to set in. The classic story of an injury occurring on the last run of the day is all too often told upon arrival in the emergency department. Therefore, know when to slow down, take a rest, or call it a day when your legs are no longer functioning like you wish they would. Most importantly, ski or board within your ability! Be familiar with the terrain and conditions that you are riding, taking extra precautions when venturing out of bounds or in the backcountry. Do not let poor

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Wade McKoy

In fact, traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death and catastrophic injury in the ski and snowboard world.

It takes skill and luck not to become a statistic in the above situation. This junior freeride competitor lost a ski coming into an on-course cliff area, then calmly skied over the drop on one board and stuck the landing. judgment be the reason your day on the slopes or the terrain park comes to an end. Additionally, the National Ski Area Association (NSAA) has provided the Responsibility Code, which every skier and snowboarder should practice to prevent and minimize injury. The seven points of the code are: 1. Always stay in control. 2. People ahead of you have the right of way. 3. Stop in a safe place for you and others. 4. Whenever starting downhill or merging, look uphill and yield. 5. Use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.

6. Observe signs and warning, and keep off closed trails. 7. Know how to use the lifts safely. Remember, the promotion of injury prevention (to include regular helmet use, exercising sound judgment and common sense, and adopting the NSAA’s Responsibility Code) is critical in combating the increasing incidence of TBI and SCI. Always consider the added risk prior to dropping a cliff, going huge in the terrain park, or hitting the steep and deep in the backcountry. If you adhere to the above tenets, you will minimize the risk of injury, and avoid becoming a statistic! w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m


MEDICAL SKI TIPS

Bob Woodall

TECHNIQUES TO KEEP YOU INJURY FREE Safe skiers and snowboarders maintain focus and center of gravity when skiing and riding by three main mechanisms: l) Visual cues from the environment. 2) Kinesthetic sense by feel from our body. 3) Equilibrium from tiny floating stones in the cochlea of the middle ear. When these three things agree, balance and motion is golden. The number-one threat to losing this balance on the mountain is vision. When light becomes flat or conditions are whiteout, we lose critical vision. This leaves only undependable kinesthetic and cochlear senses. What we sense as flat actually may be a drop off and what we perceive as steep in fact may be level. At times in a whiteout we are so unstable that while on snow-sports equipment we can fall over when simply standing still! The erroneous information from the body and inner ear can completely fool us. Regardless of ability and experience, this can lead to injury by skiing essentially blind! Bumps, dips, cat tracks, and gullies can hammer the body unexpectedly, resulting in twisting injury and impact that can lead to fractures and sprains or even chest and abdominal trauma. Avoid flat light, avoid injury. Just how far we need to see or how flat the light can be for safe skiing is not established. For survival use a few of these tips: 1. Wait for periods of clearing before descending; the blowing snow and cloud cover always varies, and periods of better visibility even for a second can be a leg saver.

Lanny Johnson, PA I Chris Hills, DO, Spine and Orthopaedic Surgeon 2. Ski in widely spaced trees or on the sides of runs where trees actually cast shadows in flat light and give clues to terrain features. 3. Wear clean, un-fogged goggles. 4. Ski or ride slower than usual and get off the hill while bad conditions continue. 5. Ski runs familiar to you rather than blindly in places you've not traveled. — Lanny Johnson, PA

Wade McKoy photo; Jason Tattersall, skier

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Big country, broad smiles from Alaska & Canada HELICOPTER SKIING AT THE TOP OF NORTH AMERICA

Jay Kelley

Helicopter skiing in North America’s expansive northwest is many things to many people: a pilgrimage for the faithful ski addicts, an annual junket for industry folk, a stage for movie makers. These three Alaskan heli-ski companies, and one from Canada — the granddaddy of them all — can deliver this skiers’ dream. If you’re a strong intermediate skier who loves and respects the mountain environment, you have everything you need.

At Points North Heli-Adventures, over 2,000 square miles of pristine ski slopes await.

POINTS NORTH HELI-ADVENTURES PAGE 64 To get to Points North Heli-Adventures in Cordova, Alaska, the skier must travel by either ferry or jet. No roads lead to this isolated gem in the massive Chugach Mountain Range where PNH has staked its claim. Over 2,000 square miles of pristine ski slopes await their clients. And with no other heli-ski companies within miles, it’s theirs and theirs alone. First descents are still possible and not uncommon. The lodge is a beautiful, state-of-the-art facility, sitting placidly at the water’s edge. PNH notes: “All of our meals are guaranteed to make your mouth water and our local chef specializes in fine cuisine.” The outfit holds the first permit awarded in the Chugach for a backcountry touring camp, where guests are flown in for a week of 5-star winter camping and touring.

Mike Stoner

VALDEZ HELI-SKI GUIDES PAGE 62

Valdez Heli-Ski Guides’ Doug Workman skis The Wall.

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Thompson Pass. A legacy. A modern lodge. Each a valuable component for a heli-ski company. All come together at Valdez Heli-Ski Guides. Steeped in history, VHSG prides itself on its roots while offering its guests a contemporary lodge, just steps from the heli-pad. But it’s from this heli-pad that skiers find the lines of their dreams. The Chugach offers limitless terrain, from scenic glaciers to big-mountain faces, with runs averaging Continued pg 60 w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m


SVERRE HJORNEVIK / WME

Turning your dreams into reality. 3 A-Star helicopters on-site | All-inclusive | World-class guides | In business for over 18 years

MATT BANSAK

proud member of

For more info call (877) 787-6784 or visit: alaskaheliski.com


Continued from pg 58

between 3,000 and 5,000 vertical feet. The longest? 6,200. And so much snow! “Our guides, many of them veteran VHSG guides, know where the good snow is and are going to find it fast,” said Scott Raynor, VHSG owner. A low client-to-guide ratio allows guests the individual attention and confidence to ride the most memorable runs of their lives. And after an epic day? Relaxation in the modern comforts of the Tsaina Lodge. The full package.

Matt Haines

ALASKA RENDEZVOUS HELI-GUIDES PAGE 66

Alaska Rendezvous Heli-Guides’ Nick Houfek tilling up some fresh Alaskan powder in the backyard of the Rendezvous lodge.

The Blue Hole. Sounds like a good spot to be, and on Thompson Pass in Alaska’s Chugach, it is. “Our Rendezvous Lodge is located farther to the north than many of the other heli-ski operators in Valdez, putting our guests closer to the Blue Hole of Thompson Pass. Storms often clear from the north, so we can take advantage of the most skiable days,” notes the lodge’s press release. A typical day includes about 30,000 vertical feet on peaks with elevations up to 6,800 feet and descents up to 5,000 vertical. With an annual snowfall of 30-80 feet, it’s no wonder that Valdez is home to the original big-mountain experience. The brochure’s final menu item: “The Rendezvous lodge employs trained chefs who will wow you with a delicious, diverse menu. There is no better place to relax in the mountains of Alaska.”

Craig McGee

CMH HELI-SKIING PAGE 68

A Bell 407 helicopter is the tour de force when skiing in Canada with CMH Heli-Skiing.

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CMH Heli-Skiing operates exclusively on 3,000,000 acres that cover 11 unique areas. “At one-third the size of Switzerland, our available terrain is large enough to be its own sovereign state,” the outfit says in its press package. It all started with Hans Gmoser, a pioneering Austrian alpinist who founded the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides and was its first technical director. Gmoser’s talent and enthusiasm as a mountain guide made him the natural leader to introduce the world to heli-skiing. In 1965 he launched Canadian Mountain Holidays (now CMH), the world’s first heli-skiing company and largest single employer of mountain guides. “Hans had a contagious passion for the mountains, and that is the foundation of our culture at CMH,” the company proudly admits. His climbing and mountaineering exploits are legendary. With 12 lodges to service this endless bounty, it’s no wonder heli-skiing becomes a lifelong obsession for those in the know. Group sizes range from five to 10, and are completely customizable.

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THE ORIGINAL. THE BEST. THE WHOLE PACKAGE.

23 years of big mountain skiing. The industry’s most experienced guides.

PHOTO: © MIKE BACHMAN. SKIER: AMIE ENGERBRETSON.

Modern, heli-ski– specific lodge.

www.valdezheliskiguides.com

907.835.4528


Valdez Heli-Ski Guides

Mike Stoner

THOMPSON PASS, ALASKA

Another first descent in the Land of the Lost.

or the last 23 years Valdez Heli-Ski Guides has offered the finest guided steep skiing in the world. The concept (not to mention the industry in AK) started with VHSG’s founders Doug and Emily Coombs in 1993. Today’s crew, several of whom have been with the company since its inception, continue to pay homage to their predecssors. “They were the originals,” said Scott Raynor, who bought VHSG from Coombs 14 years ago. “They started it all. We are proud of our roots.” Few things have changed around VHSG and Thompson Pass since the early ‘90s. Thanks to its unprecedented snowfall averages, reaching upwards of 1,000 inches per season, the eastern Chugach guarantees VHSG clients the best of the best, year in and year out. “As a pioneer, Doug had his choice of big mountains. He chose Thompson Pass for a reason,” said Raynor. “Our snow quality is unparalleled.” Yet while Valdez Heli-Ski Guides still thrives on guiding steep-and-deep terrain, it has expanded its operation to include a “new” clientele: skiers and riders seeking a lot of pure fun with just a little less adrenalin. “We continue to offer the radical steeps, but we’ve also branched out to include powder skiers who want a more mellow day,” said Raynor. Some of these new skiers are actually return clients who, after

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skiing the steeps year after year, aren’t as interested in doing it quite as often.” “Our typical days always involved exciting landings, followed with big-mountain skiing in couloirs and huge powder bowls,” he continued. “But now we’re hearing from clients who want the Alaska experience without all the exposure, without the tight landings and the constant challenge. They want to get out of the helicopter and ski down a sweet powder slope, and then do it all over again. And we have plenty of terrain that’s moderately steep but not too intense. Many people want to ski a super fun powder run, like Cracked Ice, a 4,000-vertical-foot VHSG classic at 38 degrees. We can ski runs like that all day long.” But both the adrenaline junkies and the mellow powder hounds can agree that returning to the Tsaina Lodge, just steps from the heli-pad, at the end of an epic day of riding is over the top. “The Tsaina is a beautiful heli-ski lodge in the middle of the Alaskan mountains,” Raynor pointed out. “You can be skiing the best powder in the wildest mountains of your life, and ten minutes later, you’re back in your private room taking a hot shower. It’s one the most comfortable lodges in Alaska.” Housing 32 guests in 16 single and 8 double rooms with private baths, the Tsaina’s other amenities include a bootdrying and gear-storage room, a fitness facility, a reading room, massage serv-

ices, and multiple outdoor seating areas. The Tsaina Bar has an old-school skier vibe, and rightly so: it’s rich in history. This history is balanced by the mouthwatering gourmet meals served from the Tsaina’s state-of-art kitchen. Locally sourced seafood, succulent meats, and yummy desserts fuel the appetites built out of a full day in the mountains. The dining room looks out onto sunsets, Worthington Glacier, the peaks of Thompson Pass, and the Northern Lights. The Tsaina’s setting in the heart of the Chugach is absolutely unmatched. And right out the back door looms Dimond Peak, for many the ultimate Alaskan ski mountain. “It’s one of the world’s best ski runs, and it’s right here in our backyard,” Raynor said. Dimond’s many ski routes all lead back to the lodge. That is, after about a 5,600-foot vertical drop. Two big, steep chutes descend the peak’s western slope, and the north face holds a consistent 40-degree slope for over 2,000 feet. “The top pitches are steep runs,” said Raynor, “but not radical. The majority of our clients can ski them. It’s tantalizing to think about skiing a 40-degree slope in powder.” Valdez Heli-Ski Guides offers several different all-inclusive packages. You just need to get yourself to Anchorage for a short flight to Valdez, where you are greeted by VHSG staff, then shuttled to the lodge in Thompson Pass. — Carey Ballard

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“Our typical days always involved

Brian Nevins photos

exciting landings, followed with bigmountain skiing in couloirs and huge powder bowls.”

Brian Nevins

Seth Wescott riding the pow with the Dimond in the background.

The Tsaina Lodge – casual luxury in the heart of the Chugach Mountains.

TERRAIN OVERVIEW With more than 2,500 square miles of glaciated mountains, Valdez Heli-Ski Guides offers everything from scenic glaciers and powder bowls to steep couloirs and big mountain faces. The cold maritime snowfall in the region is world renowned, enabling VHSG to ski some of the steepest terrain in North America with a confidence and security not possible anywhere else. Runs average between 3,000 and 5,000 vertical feet with our longest run at 6,200.. LOCATION, DISTANCE FROM AIRPORT 35 miles from Valdez airport

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TOURING AND SNOWCAT OPTIONS While we all hope to heli-ski every day of the week, we know that’s not always possible. A snowcat keeps us skiing and riding every day of your stay. SEASON Late Feb – Early May CONTACT INFO & SOCIAL MEDIA Website: www.valdezheliskiguides.com Email: info@valdezheliskiguides.com Find VHSG on Facebook & Instagram! YEARS IN OPERATION 23

DOWN-DAY ACTIVITIES Snowcat skiing from the lodge. LODGING AMENITIES Luxury double- and single-occupancy accommodations, fine dining restaurant, infamous Tsaina bar, full gym, reading room, laundry facilities, gear storage room, and free airport shuttles from/to the Valdez airport. PRICING Single-day skiing: $1,100 All-inclusive 3- to 7-day packages: $4,451 to $10,390 All-inclusive private ship packages: $97,157

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Points North Heli-Adventures, Inc. CORDOVA, ALASKA

Sverre Hjornevik

Winter Backcountry Touring Camp Luxury in the outback

A helicopter (top) flies clients into the alpine wilderness camp (above).

he chopper lifted off from the heli-port, making its way toward the mountains and the distant winter camp. I watched from a chopper window as the campus of Points North Heli-Adventures grew small and mingled with the picturesque Alaskan fishing village of Cordova. Miles of spectacular winter landscape passed below us. As our flight approached camp, the large, bright tents coming into view, our guide pointed out some of the ski terrain we would be touring — and it blew my mind. I could hardly take in the stunning variety of ski de-

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scents we would make over the next seven days. The helicopters dropped us off, whisked away, and left us in the silent wilderness. They would return in a week to take us back to civilization. For the next seven days, though, we’d be winter camping — in luxury. Guides Jeff Dostie and Brennan Lagasse were busy, as usual, melting water for drinking and cooking. The camp glowed warmly. The heaters stocked in the tents meant our gear would dry out each night, and the cots we had to sleep on offered an elevated sense of comfort.

After stowing our gear, we skinned up the slope above camp for a couple warm-up runs and a taste of what was to come. Our timing for this vacation was good: a weather window of dry and cold conditions, the mountains blanketed in shin-deep powder, and low avalanche hazard. “Waahoo!” I shouted on my first run of what was already shaping up to become a week to remember for a lifetime. Back at camp, evening closed in and we were treated to the first of many sunsets, alpenglow illuminating the peaks far and wide. As daylight faded and the sky grew dark, stars

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“The top few turns were wind-slabbed, but soon the snow grew soft, its Sverre Hjornevik

texture consistant and constantly rewarding.” Even the terrain around camp is a playground of snow.

broke out en masse and created a dazzling display of heavenly bodies, twinkling madly. The dinner bell summoned us to the next glorious reward: juicy tri-tip, a side of rice, and steamed vegies. Oh, and several glasses of fine red wine that I’d picked up in town as a treat to share with the guests staying at camp. It wasn’t long before I settled into my sleeping bag on the cot, found the sweet spot in my sleeping pad, and passed out hard with visions of sugar pow dancing in my head. Pancakes for breakfast accompanied lots of strong, hot coffee as the sun warmed us into our day. We skinned out into the first drainage and up toward a large, north-facing bowl. I paid close attention to our guide Jeff, who in-

TERRAIN OVERVIEW The only heli-skiing operation utilizing the eastern side of the Chugach Mountains. With over 2,000 square miles of skiable terrain, clients can explore. We cater to the intermediatelevel recreational skier/snowboarder, as well as the world-class athlete, too. CONTACT INFO & SOCIAL MEDIA Phone: 907-424-7991 Email: info@alaskaheliski.com www.alaskaheliski.com www.facebook.com/PointsNorthHeli www.youtube.com/user/pnhalaska instagram.com/pointsnorthheli/ facebook.com/PointsNorthHeli

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structed us to switch to booting when the slope grew too steep for comfortable skinning. We soon topped out and, standing in the security of the col, looked out across the endless possibilities for our week of ski touring. One by one we dropped back onto the slope for several thousand vertical feet of a perfect ski descent. The top few turns were wind-slabbed, but soon the snow grew soft, its texture consistant and constantly rewarding. A tinkling sound reverberated around my head as I skied the fall line, the big, frosted crystals scattering into my lap, chest, and face. I kept a rhythm going all the way to the bottom, then stopped and to watch the rest of the crew ski the slope. A solo traveler, I was just

TOURING AND SNOWCAT OPTIONS PNH has a great option for non-fly days, Mt. Eyak chairlift. Powder magazine deemed Mt. Eyak “little places that rock.” It’s a great way to keep the legs fresh and warmed up on days the mountains are getting a refresh! LOCATION, DISTANCE FROM AIRPORT PNH base is 15 miles from the Cordova “Mudhole” Smith Airport. Alaska Airlines has 2 daily flights into and out of Cordova (CDV). SEASON 02/20/16 - 04/23/16

getting to know the group I had joined. They had quickly accepted me as one of their own, into the brotherhood of the AK powder PNH Tour Camp. After that first day everyone settled into a comfortable routine: rise and shine, eat good food, ski-tour all day, ski back to camp, enjoy cocktails, partake of a luxurious dinner, gaze at a star-filled sky hoping to catch the Northern Lights, and then finally fall into a dreamfilled sleep. Last night, I dreamed I was flying — just me, like Peter Pan. I woke up with a big smile and knew for certain that I would return to PNH Tour Camp for another year. — Jackson Hole Skier

YEARS IN OPERATION 18, PNH has been family owned and operated since its inception. DOWN-DAY ACTIVITIES Resort skiing at Mt. Eyak, ski/snowboard touring, sea-kayaking, snowmobiles, ice climbing, snowshoe tours, adventure hikes, and glacier tours. LODGING AMENITIES State-of-the-art lodge with private heliport located directly on the water’s edge. Meals are included and the chef specializes in fine cuisine. The lodge offers wireless Internet access, sauna, massage and laundry. PNH is truly “all-inclusive” with the 3 helicpters located direcly outside your window! 2016

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Alaska Rendezvous Heli-Guides

Matt Haines

THOMPSON PASS, ALASKA

Enjoying the majestic view from the top of a 4,800-foot powder run in the Chugach Mountains of Alaska, an ARG Client patiently waits for an A-Star fly-by before descending from the summit of Coomba, just west of the Rendezvous Lodge.

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“A typical day includes about 30,000 vertical feet on peaks with elevations up to 6,800 feet and descents up to 5,000 vertical.�

Matt Haines

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orty five miles up the Thompson Pass from Valdez is a spot long known to locals as "The Blue Hole" of the Chugach. An Alaskan ski guide pioneer named Theo Meiners recognized this site as the prefect location for a full-service lodge, tavern and heli-ski base. Now in its 16th season, The Rendezvous Lodge and HeliGuides has built a potent reputation for delivering the goods to ski and snowboard enthusiasts across the world. Surrounded by seven enormous peaks and located farther north than other companies puts its guests right inside that "Blue Hole." Storms typically clear from the north, so the outfit can take advantage of more skiable days. From the adrenaline and excitement in the mountains, to the bar that never sleeps, the Rendezvous is where luxury meets extreme. Experience here is not limited to a single lifechanging moment; skiers will come back year after year. There is a package for everyone. The Rendezvous is where the ninety-nine percent meet the one percent, and everyone speaks the language of high fives. A typical day includes about 30,000 vertical feet on peaks with elevations up to 6,800 feet and descents up to 5,000 vertical.

Your chariot awaits: The ARG A-Star as seen from the lodge, the Alaska Rendezvous "Front Nine" splayed out in the background. Facing peaks left to right include: Fork it In, Happiness, Loneliness, Colosseum, Triple Jeopardy, and Billy Mitchell.

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

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LOCATION, DISTANCE FROM AIRPORT: 45 Miles North of Valdez, AK

DOWN-DAY ACTIVITIES Cross-country skiing, touring, snowshoeing, Wiffle ball tournaments

TOURING AND SNOWCAT OPTIONS Touring options on down days

LODGING AMENITIES Eight-room lodge with two queen beds per room, 250 sq. feet, bathroom, boot driers, laundry facilities, sauna and massage services.

SEASON March 5 - April 30 CONTACT INFO & SOCIAL MEDIA Info@arlinc.com; 907.822.3300 facebook.com/alaskarendezvous Twitter: @ak_rendezvous Instagram: @AK_Rendezvous YEARS IN OPERATION 16

PRICING $1,100 for one day (six runs), or $10,200 per person double occupancy for seven nights. 36 runs, lodging, all food and non-alcholic beverages, all equipment including BCA airbags and Blizzard skis. Additional charge for single occupancy.

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CMH Heli-Skiing

Danny Stoffel

COLUMBIA MOUNTAINS, CANADA

Picturesque landing zones come with the territory at CMH.

“At one-third the size of Switzerland, our available terrain is large enough to be its own sovereign state — with a wealth of virgin powder fields and a chief export of euphoric skiing experiences.”

Christjan Ladurner

J

ust as in real estate, heli-skiing’s three most important elements are location, location, location. CMH founder Hans Gmoser understood that better than anyone. At a time when nobody else was interested in securing recreational alpine tenure in British Columbia, Hans struck out in a helicopter and literally surveyed the entire mountainous province. He wound up selecting 11 particular areas that, to this day, contain Canada’s finest ski terrain. All are within the Columbia Mountains (in particular, its sub-ranges, Selkirk, Monashee, Purcell, and Cariboo), which represent the sweet spot when it comes to heli-skiing. They combine huge quantities of dry powder, ideal pitches above and below the treeline, plus old-growth forests that nature apparently designed for perfect tree skiing. With 12 lodges to service this endless bounty, it’s no wonder heli-skiing can become a lifelong obsession. CMH group sizes range from five to 10, and are completely customizable. And, at the forefront of snow safety practices and technology, CMH guides and pilots are world-renowned for delivering guests safely and efficiently to the best deeppowder runs of their lives.

Powder snow, the normal fare when skiing with CMH.

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Call us at 1-307-200-4220 and open the door to a lifelong obsession.

CMHSKI.COM | #cmhheli

Photo by The Public Works

TERRAIN OVERVIEW Canada’s Columbia Mountains (Selkirk, Monashee, Purcell, and Cariboo subranges) pull powder out of Pacific storms at a staggering rate. Situated perfectly away from the warmth of the ocean and naturally protected from blasts of arctic air, temperatures stay consistent and in mid-winter the snow you ski is usually 3-4 metres deep, if not more. Sitting smack in the middle of this powder bullseye, our lodges are home to every type of terrain skiers love including rolling glaciers, sustained steeps, couloirs, perfectly gladed trees, pillows and spines. Additionally, we’ve created a range of trip types—from Signature to Small Group—allowing for you to customize your dream heli-skiing vacation. NEAREST AIRPORT Calgary, Alberta; Kelowna, British Columbia; Kamloops, British Columbia. Air charters to select CMH lodges are also available.

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TOURING OPTION CMH Heli-Assisted ski touring: Hosted at the Adamants, Bugaboo and Cariboo lodges, ski high-alpine, wide-open glaciers and perfectly spaced tree runs with fully certified mountain guides. In groups of 5-10 ski tourers plus 1-2 guides, these trips allow easy access to epic terrain and expansive wilderness.

Get the best of both worlds with Ski Fusion. Four days of heli-skiing in pristine powder and three days of ski touring to see a different side of the breathtaking wilderness terrain.

SEASON Early December through the first week of May. YEARS IN OPERATION 51 CONTACT INFO & SOCIAL MEDIA 1-800-661-0252 cmhski.com Facebook CMH Heli Skiing and Heli Hiking

Instagram @cmh_heli Twitter @cmh_heli YouTube: CMH Heli-Skiing and Summer Adventures DOWN DAY ACTIVITIES Day long aprés, anyone? Or for an extra dose of fun try our indoor climbing walls, go snowshoeing or crosscountry ski. For a little more Canadian “eh,” guests can indulge in a friendly game of pond hockey followed by beers over bonfire. LODGING AMENITIES From remote backcountry lodges that exude casual luxury to ultra-funky ski town experiences, CMH has 12 lodges built for serious fun. For a complete list of CMH lodges visit www.canadianmountainholidays.com/lodging PRICING From $4,110 CAD to choose your own adventure.

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GALLERY

SKIER: DEREK STAL PHOTOGRAPHER: JEFF DIENER — “Dropping into this aesthetic, rock-walled couloir was pretty sweet but it didn’t come easily. We trekked to the Absaroka Range north of Jackson Hole in late spring to explore this zone that I’d been eyeing for a while. A 2,000-foot skin and climb had us bootpacking through deep snow in the meat of the climb, and topping out wasn't looking promising. This sweet descent ranks pretty high on my list and was deemed ‘the coolest thing I’ve ever skied’ by Derek.”

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SKIER: TIGGER KNECHT PHOTOGRAPHER: CODY DOWNARD — “The morning of March 3, 2015, provided some of the lightest blower powder of the season. This photograph was taken on top portion of Granite Canyon, before you even drop into the main canyon. The sun doesn't shine much in the steep, north-facing canyon, so you really have to work this upper section if you want to add some sunlight to your photos.”

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SKIER: JIMMY HARTMAN PHOTOGRAPHER: CHRIS FIGENSHAU — “With the popularity of alpine touring setups growing every year, much has been said regarding the low-tech telemark binding. Most is wildly disparaging. I'd like to acknowledge that it seems to be working just fine for the folks who freeheel unwaveringly each season. In this photo Jimmy Hartman navigates the steep and consequential terrain of Hidden Couloir on Thor Peak with grace and a detached boot heel. On top we discussed who should go first and I reasoned that I wanted to be in a good place to shoot pictures. When I saw how nice the snow was, I knew that getting the shot would not be nearly as much fun as getting first tracks! Dang. Photogs always get the scraps.”

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SKIER: GRIFFIN POST PHOTOGRAPHER: MARK FISHER — “Over the last handful of years it’s been amazing to watch big mountain freeskiers venture into the high peaks of the Tetons and ski them in an entirely new style. Griffin Post has been at the forefront of this movement. This image is of Griffin absolutely shredding the Skillet Glacier route on Mount Moran and most likely skiing it faster and with fewer turns than it’s ever been previously skied. It’s awesome how even a classic line can be redefined by someone like Griffin.”

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SKIER: TANNER FLANAGAN PHOTOGRAPHER: JAY GOODRICH — “Although I take my job very seriously, there are moments that bring a bit of humor into what I do. This photo was taken on one of the last powder days of 2015. Tanner and I spent most of our season chasing the general lack of snow with frustration. This day happened to be one of the best of the season and for that he brought out the powder devil. Look closely to his helmet.”

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Porter Fox, circa 1990

SKIERS:JEFF ZELL & CHRIS LEVERONI PHOTOGRAPHER: WADE MCKOY —

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“I imagined shooting this image the moment I saw Lev and Zell wearing their new outfits in the bar. Winners of the 1989 Grand National Powder 8 Contest, Chris wanted something unique to wear to the upcoming World Championships at Mike Weigley’s in Blue River, BC. Local clothier Cub Schaefer got wind of it and gave them cowboy dusters made by his company Schaefer Outfitters. This photo was popular. It ran full page in Snow Country, was the ‘89/’90 Trail Map cover, and the inside front cover of Jackson’s Winter Travel Planner with the slogan: ‘Those other ski vacations were just for practice.’”

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SKIER: SAM SCHWARTZ PHOTOGRAPHER: CARSON MEYER — “This particular image was a challenge to capture. Sam and I had been shooting on Mount Glory all day. We pulled up to this feature right as my last battery ceased working from the single-digit temps. With the camera staying on for one shot at a time before dying, I told Sam to go ahead and hit the air. I focused on timing my one shot perfectly and was very pleased with the result.”

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SKIER: JESSICA BAKER PHOTOGRAPHER: JONATHAN SELKOWITZ — “This picture is from an early March morning in upper Garnett Canyon. The rhythm of repetitive colors, shapes, and textures is punctuated by the gesture in Jessica’s graceful skiing.”

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SKIER: SHRODER BAKER PHOTOGRAPHER: ERIC SEYMOUR — “This photo of Shroder Baker is one of my favorites from the season. I always strive to capture the fun in skiing, and this shot exemplifies that carefree spirit, as who wouldn’t want to be here shredding powder above the clouds. It was warm up high and the snow was heating up fast, so this was our last chance for a shot that day. Shroder found this north-facing feature in the Crags, with cold-smoke powder, and laid down the perfect turn. Backlit by the sun and the inversion below, I knew we had a keeper.”

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SKIER: BOJAN MITKOVSKI PHOTOGRAPHER: JOHN SLAUGHTER — “After gaining the ridge a tad early in efforts to escape the warming slopes’ possible debris, we found a beautiful yet challenging knifeedge ridge. With one side softening quickly, and the other side holding on to its icy firmness, Bojan ventured out first. Having to straddle the ridge with ski boots dangling far above the drainages below. Photographed here after those few hundred yards of Type 2 fun, Bojan Mitkovski on the aesthetic ridge of Ferry Peak.” w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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SKIER: TODD LIGARE PHOTOGRAPHER: GREG VON DOERSTEN — “There're a number of tight, technical lines off Cody peak which require big snow seasons for them to form. This is one of them, back in 2011 when we had above-average snow conditions. Todd Ligare had been eyeing a number of classic Jackson ski lines in order to seize the opportunities while they lasted, which isn't long with the warm winters we've been experiencing. I love this line because it's seldom skied. But when the conditions are right, and the athlete’s vision aligns with the production team’s, the hard work pays off with one-of-a-kind imagery. It takes patience and timing to capture these moments.”

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SKIER: RICK ARMSTRONG PHOTOGRAPHER: BOB WOODALL — “I first met Rick in 1992 when I picked him up hitchhiking to the mountain. On the drive, we realized we were both heading up an early tram for photo shoots. He was hooking up with the Steve Winter’s film company. I went along with them. From the top of Thunder Chairlift, we scouted the Insomnia buttress. Rick circled around, and with cameras rolling he launched this historic 100-foot-plus flight. He blew us away with the air, and he got tagged with the name ‘Sick’ Rick.’"

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MUSH! HIKE! LET’S GO! Sled dog tours, a storybook experience

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

Photos by Bob Woodall

By Sandra Keats

A warm swim rewards mushers at Granite Hot Springs.

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he tale is tried and true. Whether it was Lassie and Timmy, Dorothy and Toto, Travis and Old Yeller, Duncan and Rin Tin Tin, or Buck and John Thornton, dog has always been man’s best friend. But 12 Totos pulling Dorothy, Tin Man, Lion, and Scarecrow down the Yellow Brick Road? Not in Dorothy’s wildest dreams! Well, what if Dorothy had found herself trudging down a trail deep in the Yukon? Maybe then she might have swapped the ruby red pumps for a dog sled and her precious Toto for a team of Alaskan huskies to pull her home. Dog sledding combines that primal relationship of man and his loyal canine with the rush of whisking through snow-covered country and disappearing into the wild. It’s the Jack London storybook experience. Imagine a day where a foot of untouched powder settles over the Jackson Hole Valley. You leave your skis at home and, bundled in layer upon layer with a thermos of hot choco-

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“Mush! Hike! All Right! Let’s Go!” the musher calls out to his team.

late in hand, you take to the trail with a local musher. “Mush! Hike! All Right! Let’s Go!” the musher calls out to his team. The dogs explode into motion, and off you go, dog and man, on a picturesque journey across frozen rivers, snowblanketed valleys, dense forest, and rugged mountains. For you this is a one-day adventure. For the musher, though, it’s a lifestyle. Just ask Jackson Hole’s eight-time Iditarod veteran Frank Teasley. It was the romantic allure that initially grabbed him and pulled him into the dog-sledding lifestyle. But now it’s the rewarding relationship between a musher and his dogs – and the commitment to those dogs – that keeps him involved year-round in this hobby. “There’s a difference between a musher and someone leading a dog team,” Teasley said. “A musher lives, eats, sleeps, and breathes dogs – 365 days a year the dogs come first. It’s like having a very large family.”

Dog sledding combines

that primal relationship of

man and his loyal canine

with the rush of whisking

through snow-covered

country and disappearing

into the wild. It’s the

Jack London

storybook experience.

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Teasley, owner of Jackson Hole Iditarod Sled Dog Tours, started running dogs in 1979 with three Siberian huskies and a chair nailed to two skis. He now owns the largest touring company in the nation. He refers to his 200-dog company as a “pension plan” for his veteran racing dogs and “high school” for his younger, less experienced pups. “It’s like having more than 200 kids, which is extremely demanding, both physically and emotionally,” Teasley said. “Recognizing that every decision, like taking a vacation, is based on (the) dogs. The first priority, always, is that the dogs are taken care of.” And it’s thanks to them that Teasley has successfully raced through Oregon, Montana, Minnesota, Alaska, Wyoming, and even Argentina. They’ve won the Race to the Sky in Montana three times, the UP 200 in Michigan in 2004, and hold the record for the Bear Grease race in Minnesota. Teasley’s team has run the Iditarod eight times, including their best time in 1991, a sixth-place finish out of 74 racers. That same year they received the Sterling Silver Award for the most improved kennel and the Leonard Seppala Humanitarian Award for the “best cared-for team” in 1989. During his earlier years competing in the Iditarod, Teasley and other racers voiced concern that “The Last Great Race” wasn’t easily accessible to spectators. Spectators could view the start in Anchorage and maybe the finish in

Nome two weeks later. But unless fans snowshoed deep into the Alaskan wilderness, sometimes in 40-below-zero temperatures, most of the 1,000-mileplus race remained a mystery. “I have to give credit to the Iditarod for putting dog sledding on the map,” Teasley noted. “It’s a great race; it will always be a great race.” But Teasley decided in 1995 he was a bigger fan of the “Stage Stop” race concept, which enables the media and spectators to see teams cross the finish line each day. So Teasley created what is now the largest dog-sled race in the lower 48 states: The Eukanuba Stage Stop Sled Dog Race. Now in its 20th year, and boasting nine different starts and finishes in seven different Wyoming towns and one each in Montana, Idaho, and Utah, the 400-mile race provides an alternative to the typical marathon-style races. Teasley says this type of race is much better for the dogs than marathon races, where dogs rest only as much as they run. But a stage race allows the dogs to rest more than they run. Additionally, every dog in the race is examined by a veterinarian and “microchipped,” a high-tech procedure involving implanting a microchip under the dogs’ skin, so their vitals can be routinely checked. “The dogs have no ulterior motives,” Teasley said. “You take care of them, they take care of you.”

A JOURNEY BACK IN TIME by Blair Pendleton

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

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

Call: 307-733-7388

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

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

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Winter Wildlife Behold the richest habitat in the lower 48

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ig-mountain skiing and

a vibrant après-ski scene are not all that Jackson has to Daryl L. Hunter, Grizzly Country Wildlife Adventures

offer. Winter wildlife tours are quickly moving up the list of must-do Jackson Hole activities. Part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Jackson Hole is home to some of the richest winterwildlife habitat in the lower 48 states. Elk, moose, bison, and wolves all become more visible as they move into the valley floor to escape the high

Spending the day in a warm vehicle, relaxing while an experienced naturalist serves up the best spots to view wildlife and stunning landscape is an essential experience in

Moose - Winter is by far one of the best times to spot moose as they migrate into the valley floor to browse for food. Semiaquatic, moose have been known to dive up to 18 feet to eat vegetation in rivers and streams. Moose are aggressive at times, so give these guys plenty of space when you see them in the wild.

Taylor Phillips, Eco Tour Adventures

country’s deep snow.

Bighorn Sheep - A bighorn sheep ram deliberately displays his unique horn “signature” to rival males during the rut. His horns have continued to grow throughout his life and will reach a full curl when he is 8-10 years old.

Trumpeter swans - The largest waterfowl in North America, this flock of swans is enjoying their tropical winter paradise. After a fall migration from the Arctic, they inhabit our open waterways, feeding on roots and tubers that they excavate with their feet.

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Daryl L. Hunter, Grizzly Country Wildlife Adventures

Taylor Phillips, Eco Tour Adventures

mountain country.

Bison - The Bison in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem are some of the few that remain genetically free of cattle genes and have lived in the area continuously since prehistoric times. Their huge hump of muscle allows bison to plow through the snow with their head enabling them to stay mobile in the winter months.

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Taylor Phillips, Eco Tour Adventures

Taylor Phillips, Eco Tour Adventures

Antelope - This pronghorn buck has failed to migrate out of Jackson Hole for the winter. If average snowfall occurs, odds will be low for his survival. Most winters, a few dozen pronghorn out of about 350 will take their chances and forgo the 120-mile migration south to drier locations.

A Grey Wolf, stands atop Gros Ventre Butte in Jackson Hole. As a young pup he may have shared a den with five other different colored litter mates, from white to black. Before his second birthday, he has set out on his own. Grey wolves were reintroduced into the Northern Rockies in 1995. w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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Daryl L. Hunter, Grizzly Country Wildlife Adventures Daryl L. Hunter, Grizzly Country Wildlife Adventures

Daryl L. Hunter, Grizzly Country Wildlife Adventures

Bald Eagles - Bald Eagles can have an impressive 7-ft wing span but only weigh in at 10-14 pounds when fully grown. Winter affords a good time to spot bald eagles as they perch in valley bare trees or scavenge for winter kill.

Wolves - The wolves here are headed back to their den after an early morning hunt in Grand Teton National Park. Reintroduced to Yellowstone in 1995, wolves have helped return balance to The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Red Fox - This fox was out hunting rodents on a snowy morning. The Red fox has excellent hearing and can detect rodents deep under the snow. Their beautiful bushy tail will serve as a blanket to help keep the fox warm throughout the cold winter months.

lk, moose, bison, and wolves all become more visible as they move into the valley floor to escape the high country’s deep snow.

Elk - It’s late winter in Grand Teton National Park and cow elk are following the receding snow line north to their summer range. They move past the Grand Teton and Mt. Owen on their migration to their spring calving grounds where about 80% of the females will give birth.

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Taylor Phillips, Eco Tour Adventures

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Daryl L. Hunter, Grizzly Country Wildlife Adventures Taylor Phillips, Eco Tour Adventures

Grizzly Cubs - These grizzly cubs have emerged from hibernation in the early spring ready to play and eager to find food with their mother. Grizzly Bears hibernate throughout the winter months in Jackson. During this time they will not eat or drink, and will lower their heart rate to 8-19 beats per minute.

Weasel - Moving through the snow with ease, a long-tailed weasel surveys the area for small mammals twice its size as prey. The small weasel turns almost completely white in late fall to avoid becoming prey itself.

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The Storied Walls of The Hostel X

Wade McKoy (bottom); Bob Woodall (2)

Famous ski lodge celebrates 49 years

In this 1970s photo, The Hostel X stands alone, without the present-day, building-high fir and spruce in its front yard and four-story hotels in the backyard.

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n 1967, the opening year of the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram, the Hostel X rented its first rooms to skiers. The cost, $10, cleverly indicated by the Roman numeral X. But the Hostel’s initial philosophy, while more straight ahead, was every bit as effective.

Hostel founder Colby Wilson

Benny Wilson in his Wax Emporium.

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And, as is widely known in the close-knit ski world, it worked. “What we tried to do, and what my father tried to instill in me,” said Mike Wilson, “was to treat our employees as family and to treat our customers as friends.” Mike, eldest of the Wilson siblings, along with his wife Dawna, ran the hostel after its founders, his parents Colby and Joey, passed, and until the family sold it in 2008. “Families that stayed with us became three generations of families that stayed with us,” he said. “It was the same with employees, some of whose children were our employees.” Three generations deep themselves, Mike and his wife Dawna raised their two sons, Colby and Sam, in the ski-infused Hostel lifestyle. In the beginning, though, it was Mike’s two much younger brothers, Patrick and Benny, who were perfectly positioned to pursue a skier’s dream. The family, including another brother, Ross, and their sister Becky — both also a bit older than the boys— all lived in the large apartment behind the front desk of the Hostel X. But it was the small fry, Patrick, 5 at the time, and Benny, then 8, who were already willing and able to work the system. “It was really interesting how on a big powder day Benny and Patrick walked out the front door to catch the school bus, and instead they walked around the building and went skiing,” said Mike. “They had their skis stashed out back.” It seemed, though, that the idea to skip school and go skiing originated with their mother. And so began the ski stories of their youth. Patrick Wilson: “On mornings when it had been dumping all night long, Mom would come into our rooms and say, ‘You’re not going to school today. It just snowed three feet. You’re going skiing.’ “One day the snow was so deep — the most we’d ever seen — they wouldn’t let me and Kenny Oberreit, whose dad owned the Alpenhof, up the tram. Said we Continued next page w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m


Bob Woodall Benny Wilson tries a mule kick in Rock Springs Bowl. 1985

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The Buffalo Pit, so called for its buffalo rug. “My dad wrote ‘Made In Japan’ on the back so no one would steal it,” said Benny.

were too short. So instead of skiing with Benny, I was with my brother Mike. We were riding up Thunder, which was a new experience, too, since it had just been built, and we looked up and saw Benny skiing down the ridge. All of a sudden, he completely disappeared. For about five turns he stayed under the snow. Then, ‘pop.’ Up he came, still skiing. (Editor’s note: We’ve heard rumors of this, the legendary ‘mole turn.’) “At the bottom, in tramline, people had snorkels and bandanas across their faces. We were in awe, saying to the tram guys, ‘We want to go up!’ But they would say, ‘Na, you’re too short!’ “Anytime it snowed hard Benny would tell me, ‘We gotta get out of school and go skiing tomorrow.’ One day Momma let us out and said we were going to ski with the K2 Demonstration Team. It was our first time into Granite. We skied off the backside of AV and watched them take pictures of Pat Bowman, Jim Stelling, Bob Burns, and John Clendenin jumping off big rocks. The posters are on the basement walls.

“We skied Granite a lot, and skied Saratoga even more. One time Benny and Clifford Oberreit (Kenny’s brother) were going up AV in a big storm. It was really blowing, and their chair hit tower 12 and knocked Benny off. Clifford continued riding up solo, talking all the while to Benny — he thought. When he got off at the top, to his surprise — no Benny. He informed the patrol, which was escorting skiers down, and a search party ensued from the bottom. The sheriff came out and everybody was looking for him on the mountain, but Benny, in the total whiteout, had skied down Saratoga all the way into the valley. They finally found him wallowing through the deep snow and following a power line back to the village. That scared a lot of people.

up e World C “When th 975, the came in 1 th s filled wi a w l e t s o H Canadian racers: the iss team, w S e h t , team s ch. That i n e r F e h t and ter hotel regis t s e l o o c e h t wall.” ill on the t s ’s It . r e ev

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Benny and Patrick grew up with the young ski lodge at the foot of America’s greatest ski area and went on to witness pivotal moments in ski history. Benny Wilson: “Legendary surfer Mike Doyle stayed at the Hostel, and we got to ski

Ben Wilson and Jason Tattersall

on the original single-ski he was developing. He kept scratching his head, trying to figure out how to mount the bindings. He asked, ‘What do you think?’ and we said, ‘Well how do you stand on your surfboard?’ But Mike had really big feet and when he stood sideways on it, his boots hung over the edges, so he opted for the side-by-each stance of the modern day mono-ski. “Just think. We almost invented snowboarding in the early seventies. Oh well. We still have a copy of the film, Single Ski, that documents Mike Doyle’s adventure. “I skied with Dr. Bob Smith when he was developing his new goggles with the double lenses. I remember he and (local skier) Sam Southwick were trying different glues over at The Seven Levels, talking about it in the evenings. They would ski with me, just a little kid trying to keep up. After a couple runs they would say, ‘See ya later, we’re going to ski powder now.’” Patrick Wilson: “When the World Cup came (in 1975), the Hostel was filled with racers: the Canadian team, the Swiss team, and the French. That is the coolest hotel register ever. It’s still on the wall. “The French team took over the basement, where they waxed 300 pair of downhills. By the afternoon, they’d bent and shredded half their skis. They came up with a mix of purple and white wax we called French Pink. After that, Benny used it forever in high school racing because it was good in the cold snow and as you got lower it was perfect in the warm snow, too. Pepi Stiegler used to say the weather changes four times on the way down the mountain.” Mike Wilson: “The ski-tuning benches downstairs, where we also showed old 16mm ski movies — it was all connected to the ski-lodge concept. Benny and Patrick both were part of an interchange between the guest and the family. They enjoyed talking about skiing and they enjoyed skiing with the guest. We also tried to instill that into our employees, and most of them got it.” Benny Wilson: “It was always fun, hookin’ up with the guest and taking them out for a run or two. Then at night we’d be working on our skis, and they’d be hanging out, and would say, ‘I want to wax my skis.’ So we’d wax their skis and soon were running a waxing and tuning business out of the front desk. Remember, we were just little kids, so we got a lot of help from our first maintenance man/desk clerk, Henry Marquart.

Wade McKoy

A treasure trove of ski movies from the early days.

Robb Maris: movie photos

Mike Wilson loads, Benny assists, JK reads JH Skier.

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Bob Woodall photos Mike Wilson takes son Colby for a run.

“A handful of longtim e employees got what we considered a master's degree in skiing from the artifacts adorning thos e walls and the many stories that were told – the skiers’ lore passed on by the Wilsons.”

Henry Marquart was an early employee who “got it” in a big way. Patrick Wilson: “Henry used to buy me the wildest stuff for my birthday. When Franz Klammer won the downhill on Fischer C4s, we all got C4s and Henry got me a tiny pair. And when Strolz boots came out — a new-concept foam boot with a metal cantilever on the back, the coolest boot we’d ever seen — he contacted Strolz and got me a mini pair. It hurt like hell when they injected the foam; you had to sit there for an hour. I was crying.” Benny Wilson: “Henry worked for years as a guide, too, until he hit a tree and broke both femurs. A bunch of us were running downhill from the saddle and he hit a bump and went through the air sideways into a tree. Was in a full-body cast. Stayed in Room 110 until his brother John, a real character, showed up with a hearse to take him back East. It was the cheapest car he could find. “Henry healed up, learned massage and chiropractic care, and moved back to Jackson to open a practice and to ski. Another Hostel X employee (and ski guide in JH and AK), Robb Maris, also really “got it,” and w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

Dave “The Wave” Muccino, Banana Twinkee couloir.

for 14 years helped share the dedicated skier’s lifestyle with guests and new employees. “We didn’t just show the guests the bedroom door, we showed them the world,” said Robb. “It was best stated in Swift Silent Deep, that the Hostel was the ‘Ellis Island for ski-bum culture.’ It was the Wilson’s home, but also a home base to a lot of soul-searching skiers. It was an affordable place to stay in the Village, where guests also got a hell of an experience on the mountain through our employees. A handful of longtime employees got what we considered a master's degree in skiing from the artifacts adorning those walls and the many stories that were told – the skiers’ lore passed on by the Wilsons. “And every night, whoever was working the front desk — Mike, me, Jeff Leger (another mythical ski-legend and Hostel X manager) — would roll out that old projector on the squeaky cart and load a reel. We showed reelto-reel films — Ski The Outer Limits, The K2 Performers, or an old Barrymore film.

“When that cart came out people would get stoked. All of a sudden, the lights go out, the screen comes down in front of the fireplace in the Buffalo Pit, and along comes Rhythms. All these classic movies, and 20-to-50 people coalescing, remembering their day, watching the film — it was a huge part of the scene in the evenings.” Benny Wilson: “We learned how to run that projector pretty quick in 1967 when I first skied with Pepi. I was in third grade and all the Wilson School kids took lessons with Pepi’s new ski school. All the ski schoolers — all eight of them — would come over to the Hostel to try to sell lessons. They’d hang out, watch our ski movies.” That projector kept on cranking through the decades, and through the formative years of the infamous Jackson Hole Air Force. Benny Wilson: “After high school I joined the Marines. I came back in 1981 and met Howard Henderson working Continued next page 2016

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Wade McKoy Howard Henderson airs it out by Tower 2 in Riverton Bowl.

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Wade McKoy

Hostel’s New Owner Keeps Vibe Alive

Two-time Gelande Quaff World Champion Ben Skelly practices as his teammate and fellow champ Joe Paine directs and Mikola Terpylak takes note.

at the Alpenhof. He bought the Bear Claw in ‘83/’84, about the time Dave the Wave showed up to stay winters in the Hostel, Room 201. Then Doug (Coombs) showed up from Montana. It was kinda nuts. The whole ‘Air Force’ thing came out of all that.” Robb Maris: “On storm days, when Doug Coombs didn’t want to leave the Village, he would crash in Dave’s room — Room 201, the Muccino Suite — and would read aloud from the 1978 and 79 issues of Snowy Torrents. Davey called them their bedtime stories. “That’s just one of the many episodes that happened here, parts of our ski culture. One of my favorite things to do while I worked at the Hostel was to pass these stories on to others.” Those stories and that ski-culture lore are well documented in print media across the globe, and in ski movies, most notably Swift Silent Deep. But what isn’t known is how Benny’s dad, Colby, put it all together. Benny Wilson: “They lived in Cleveland in 1947 and my dad sold type-setting metal to the Cleveland Plain Dealer and some Cincinnati and Philadelphia newspapers. During a summer visit to see our Granddad Warner (Mom’s side), who in the early 1950s built a house in Wilson (no connection), Wyoming, noticed that the Jackson Hole Guide was for sale. Dad wanted to buy it, but by the following summer the McCabes had decided not to sell. “So he wound up buying a commercial lot from Paul McCollister. Then he hooked up with Village local and architect Bob Corbett, who had an idea to build a hostel-like structure with lots of rooms and cheap rent. Dad liked it, so Corbett drew it up and Dad took it back East and sold shares (debentures) to all his friends. Jess Bell of Bonne Bell cosmetics, a U.S. Olympic team sponsor, bought into it.” Mike Wilson: “You have to remember, the late ‘60s / early ‘70s wasn’t a boom time in Jackson Hole. Business wasn’t quite what everyone expected. It was a total struggle.” Benny Wilson: “It was all dirt roads and dirt parking lot. Deep dirt. The potholes after a rainstorm would get huge! There was a really bad one right in front of the Hostel. Dad planted an aspen tree in the pothole, right in w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

the middle of the road, and brought a picnic table into the front yard and sat there watching, to see what would happen. People would drive up to it and slowly inch past. Some village workers finally stopped, looked around, saw Colby and yelled, ‘You take this tree out of the road!’ He yelled back, ‘You fix that pothole, and I’ll take the tree out of the road.’ They argued a little bit. It was there a couple hours. They fixed the pothole.” The roads and parking lots are all paved now, and buses run constantly to shuttle skiers to and fro. And the Hostel, under new ownership, has upgraded some aspects of the venerable icon (see sidebar). But the storied walls still tell its history and speak to new generations of skiers. Benny Wilson: “Our mom started the idea. She made the first signature: Joey Wilson. We put a ladder against the wall and Mom posed á la Lucille Ball. You can see it from the first landing as you walk downstairs. From then on, registered guests were welcomed to sign the walls.” Patrick Wilson: “Now the walls are covered with the names of generations of families that grew up staying at the Hostel, being excited to see their names, and write their names again and again.” Robb Maris: “I would stand there and read the walls and the ceilings and I started to see this huge story unfold. Of what the Hostel has meant to so many people from all walks of life. The history is in the ceilings. It’s in the walls. Everywhere a different story pours out. I am forever grateful to have a page in the Wilson’s legacy to ski culture. “It’s like a history book. It still exists, and though the lobby ceiling got covered with fresh sheet rock, that room can regenerate with new history. Once one signature goes up it spreads like wildfire.” — Jackson Hole Skier Postscript: The offices of Focus Productions, Inc., publisher of the Jackson Hole Skier, remain in Suite 102, where we have resided for the past 28 years.

When the Wilson Family sold The Hostel in 2008, many wondered if it could retain its iconic function as designated in the ski documentary Swift Silent Deep: “The Ellis Island for ski-bum culture.” It has. “Our philosophy is still the same,” said the new owner and Teton Village resident Cody Mueller (pronounced Miller). “It’s a bit of a different mix now because we advertise on some powerful online advertising channels and we’re doing more business. We now have an extensive website and social media presence and you can book online.” Mueller’s new manager, Greg Esdale, agreed. “The international market is at least half our summer business,” Esdale said. “For that, online booking is key.” And though the building’s exterior looks the same, improvements like free, high-speed Wi-Fi have modernized the Hostel’s interior creature comforts. “We’ve redone all the rooms and are now moving on to the lobby and the basement play area,” said Mueller. “This season and next we’re redoing the boardwalk, replacing the carpeting in

“Ski writers for big-time publications like the ‘New York Times’ and ‘The Guardian’ in the U.K. have ranked us one of the five best ski hostels in the world.” the lobby and common room, improving drainage from the roof. We installed new railings on the balconies and we now have locally roasted coffee and an ice machine.” One area of particular interest for Mueller is lighting technology. “LED bulbs are now the latest, greatest thing,” he said, “but soon they’re coming out with OLED lighting: organic light-emitting diodes. The new TV screens are made out of it. Prototypes can actually be rolled up like a yoga mat. They’re doing that with lighting, but it’s not on the market yet.” The Hostel has also benefited from a number of high-profile reviews of late. “Ski writers for big-time publications like the New York Times and The Guardian in the U.K. have ranked us one of the five best ski hostels in the world, and the only one in the U.S.,” he said. “We are more like a hotel because most of our rooms are private,” he explained. “But in other ways we’re more like a hostel because the rooms are smaller and don’t have phones, which is inconsequential now with cell phones, or TVs, which are in the common room. Everybody is watching entertainment with their laptops and pads and phones now anyway, and we have a large bandwidth Wi-Fi that’s free to our guests. And, before you know it, people might be bringing their own roll-up TVs. “The best thing about the Hostel, though, is its location at the base of the most iconic ski mountain in the country. We are now surrounded by four- and five-star resorts, but we are still here.”

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?

Right Place, Right Time

@

ROOTS

JACKSON HOLE SNOWBOARDING

by Jeff Burke

P

henom snowboarder

Travis Rice is the complete package: technical smooth, inventive. His riding style is reminiscent of Bruce Lee, so fluid as to have no style. Just grace and purpose. On the

Chris Papp

as, 1985

ground or in the air, Travis is a marvel to behold.

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Californian counter-culturist. Garrett had worked in the skateboard industry in the ‘70s and was a veteran surfer and skier. “When I saw the really early images of snowboarding in Skateboarder and Surfer magazines, I was like, ‘That’s it. That’s everything I do… all rolled into one,’” he said.

Travis Rice and dad Paul Rice

Snowboarding has always celebrated a DIY ethos somehow lost on skiing. Borrowing from surfing and skateboarding mindsets, early snowboarders shared an exclusion from the center, finding themselves banned from ski resorts, and relegated to hills, buttes, and alpine passes. The sport’s early equipment, a hodgepodge of cobbled together artifacts, included re-appropriated ski equipment, rubber straps, and illequipped hiking boots. The crude gear

helped fashion the coterie’s ragamuffin enthusiasm, all but dismissed by the general public. Serendipitously, RG had a friend who worked for Jackson-based Life-Link backcountry equipment, who told him, “Well, if you want to get into snowboarding, you need to come to a place like this.” Garrett gave his boss a three-month notice and moved to Jackson in the fall of 1980. He was 21. For the next few years snowboarding still wasn’t recognized at any of the nearby resorts, so RG and other kindred souls hiked and pointed it down the roadside bowls on Teton Pass as well as parts of East Gros Ventre Butte, where Spring Creek Resort now sits. Every run was a different adventure, and limits were undefined to the few who saw snowboarding as a new frontier. As much as riding wild snow sated his appetite, though, it didn’t prepare him for Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. “The first time I’d ridden on hard pack, it was like starting over,” he said. “My feet were planting on hard pack, there were skiers all around, trying to ride lifts—it was a whole new world.” In the winter of 1981-82 Shirley Jones was in charge of Jackson’s Powder 8s contest held on Cody Bowl, just south of the resort’s boundary. Teams of two skiers vied for best “8s” (tracks) on Cody’s north-facing powder fields. Her son John Griber was competing in the contest when skate/surf

Bob Woodall photos

Like many before him, Travis gleaned the best from talented riders who came before him. Years spent watching, learning, imitating, until he ascended from understudy to master. For all his accomplishments, though, Travis is simply part of the continuing arc of Jackson Hole snowboarding’s advancement. In the 1980s, Jackson Hole was a stronghold for disheveled misfits yearning for an identity shaped by toothy couloirs, pushed limits, and self-discovery. Infamous as the bigger, stronger stepbrother to just about every resort in the U.S., Jackson Hole was Mecca. Skiers worth their salt made the pilgrimage to Jackson to elevate their game. Cliff drops, deep snow, and long vertical lines were the norm, and one’s ability skyrocketed simply by being here. It was only a matter of time before the burgeoning sport of snowboarding would find a home. Travis’s skills harken back to the wobbly rides, rickety gear, and unbowed ambition of the sport’s infancy. Sorel boots, rubber bindings, and edgeless, spear-snouted boards were, ahem, state of the art, and the first players in the game, bent on honing their chops by trial and lots of error, were young and curious. They would also become the fertile force for the sport’s evolution into the 21st century. They didn’t ride the wave so much as they were the wave. Born in Santa Cruz, raised in Mammoth, Robert Garrett, aka “RG,” was the obligatory

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Wade McKoy

John Griber, 1996

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Rob “Kinger” Kingwill, 1997

legend Tom Sims and Dave Weaver were slated to give a snowboard demo – their latest foray into board sports – after the competition. At day’s closing, the two devoured Cody’s signature real estate, slashing and smearing their way down the powdery pitch and into the minds of all those present, including John Griber. The following day John’s mom asked him

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Julie Zell, 1995

to show the snowboarders around the mountain. As a “Thank You,” Sims handed John his first snowboard. “That’s how I got into snowboarding,” said Griber. Three short years later, John would make the original Sims Snowboard Team, and go on to become one of the most accomplished snowboard mountaineers to date. By the mid ‘80s, the Jackson Hole Ski Area

had attained modest success. It was still off the radar to most skiers, let alone snowboarders. To his credit, then-owner Paul McCollister opened Jackson Hole to snowboarding in December of 1983, however little revenue it might bring. Most resorts still turned snowboarders away or made them pass insipid ability tests before being allowed on resort property. Not Jackson Hole. “It was like, ‘Get

Wade McKoy photos

Misha Zvegintzov, 1989

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Stephen Koch, 1992

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Wade McKoy (3,4,5); Bob Woodall (1,2)

Tom Sims, Cody Bowl, 1986

Julie Zell, 1995

Lance Pittman, 1995

on the tram, we’ll see you later,’” said Chris Pappas, Jackson’s first snowboard instructor. Pappas was a talented skateboarder from Boulder, Colorado, who fell in love with the idea of snowboarding when he was in high school. At 14, Chris was in a severe car wreck that broke his legs and pelvis, and consigned him to a wheelchair for a year and crutches for another. Plenty of time to think about exacting his goals in life. His older brother George, a professional skateboarder in his teens, obtained a Winterstick snowboard as a part of his winnings. Once Chris recovered,

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Darrell Miller, 2013

they took it to sledding hills and soon to Berthoud and Loveland passes. In the spring of 1984, Chris came to Jackson to try his luck. Most Colorado resorts didn’t allow snowboarding, so he found himself wading into the deep waters of Jackson Hole terrain. “I wasn’t nearly as good as I thought I was,” remembered Pappas, “but I had balls as big as the planet. I was dropping into Corbet’s— and I could barely ride, especially compared to my standards today.” Strong-willed and strident, Pappas confronted Ski School Director Pepi Stiegler in

John Griber, 1996

the summer of 1986, to ask for a job as a snowboard instructor. Although snowboards were allowed on the hill, no one was yet teaching people how to ride. Pappas had resolved to change all that. Against his better judgment, Stiegler conceded. “Well,” he said. “I don’t think you will have any lessons, but I will hire you.” The ski-meister was wrong. By mid-season the following year, Pappas had too many requests for lessons and had to hire another instructor, Misha Zvegintzov, to meet the growing demand. Nevertheless, many schoolw w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m


Bob Woodall Dustin Varga, 1996 w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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Johnny Recchio, Day-Long Couloir, 1995

Bob Woodall (rt); Wade McKoy (top)

staying the hell out of the Telemarkers’ skin tracks.” Being a Jackson Hole pass holder in the 1980s was to experience mountain culture at full tide. Here was this giant unrivaled playground at your disposal, with non-existent lift lines and powder for days – Elysium for the incipient crew of riders who were lapping up a place in time that’ll never happen again. Tram ride after tram ride yielded exponential returns on stoke, style, and skill. “It was incredible,” said Griber. “I can’t put it into words.” Like a gang governed by the same decree, the original cast of Cisco Oldani, Pippi Robben, Billy Bacon, Pappas, RG, and others were a common sight. The crew was small but strong, adventurous, and not a day went by when a rider didn’t recognize all his or her comrades. John Griber recalled being at the Bear Claw bar on several occasions. Scores of skiers would ask, “‘Hey, John, I saw another snowboarder on the mountain today. Do you know him?’ I remember that vividly,” he said. The seeds for a cult were sewn. A few local high school kids, many who were disenchanted ski racers or simply couldn’t afford to ski race, saw snowboarding as their new meal ticket. With wooden sidewalks and gravel roads scattered around town, the Jackson youth wouldn’t be crushing it on skateboards any time soon, so snowboarding was poised to fill that void. “Those high school kids are as much of the history as anybody,” recalled RG. “We might’ve been the tip of the spear,” he said. “But that spear was coming no matter what.” Indeed it was. Several Jackson Hole high schoolers took to snowboarding with abandon. Riders like Rob Kingwill, Lance Pitman, and Willy McMillan would find sponsorships before they left high school, becoming “professional” while in their teens.

Billy Bacon, top of Casper Bowl, 1993

ers weren’t keen on their new snowboarding colleagues. “After two weeks,” said Pappas, “I never went back into the ski school locker room again that winter because I got so much attitude.” Pappas admitted some of the animosity he received was his own fault. “I had a big mouth and a strong attitude.” Ironically, Pepi was a singular ally who defended his right to teach snowboarding at the resort. Apart from the tension he felt from the ski school that first year, Pappas found camaraderie in the staff at Wildernest Sports, namely Doug Coombs, Jon Hunt, and Tom Bartlett – arguably the three strongest skiers in a valley replete with strong skiers. “Those guys actually liked me,” he said. “I wasn’t as good as them, but I could keep up.” And keeping up helped Pappas improve signifi-

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cantly. Like Griber, he too would gain admission to the coveted Sims Snowboard Team. Many locals found common ground with the wee snowboarding contingent, and those who were present readily found little to fuss over. “I think because so many of us had skiing backgrounds, we were able to relate to the skiers,” said RG. And ripping around the resort with the likes of Tom Bartlett had but one rule: Keep up! The rest would work itself out. He admits the coin did have two sides. There were definitely some who didn’t like the idea of snowboarding coming to Jackson. Bartlett can still hear the chorus of critics: “Oh, God, here comes the invasion of the knuckle-draggers.” He was undeterred. “We learned safety, etiquette, and mountain skills like everyone else. And we earned their respect. That, and

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Riders were performing tricks off natural features as they barreled their way down the slopes, all the while combining the fluid style of skating with technical inventiveness. It was freestyle in the mountains, connecting multiple lines with tricks. The development of JH snowboarding would rise again when a crew of Utahns, including Dave Smalley and Rich Goodwin, would relocate to Jackson and seeking a new perspective on their early big-mountain tendencies. “They were all vert skaters,” said McMillan, who witnessed this new smooth style of riding and making use of features. “At first we all had this herky-jerky style with ungraceful grabs. Then they showed up. ‘Oh, you’re skateboarding on snow. Now I get it.’” That’s when it all changed, according to McMillan. Riders were performing tricks off natural features as they barreled their way down the slopes, all the while combining the fluid style of skating with technical inventiveness. It was freestyle in the mountains, connecting multiple lines with tricks. The very core of what has led Travis Rice into the pantheon of snowboarding greats. The new Jackson style was to do everything with style – do it smooth. That was the fundamental change. By 1990 snowboarding was officially on the map, gaining more and more participation among snow-sports participants. One such rider was a disillusioned ski racer named Julie Zell. Awarded ski-racing scholarships to Alaska and Montana State, Zell was a first-rate talent, but mired in the brutal training of North American ski racing. “I couldn’t make a fun turn to save my life,”

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said Zell. She even remembers her coaches telling her she was “too old” to be a real contender. “That’s a harsh thing to tell someone at 18,” she noted. “I didn’t know what to do with my body until I was 28.” Zell spent time in Hawaii after college learning to surf, and didn’t think twice about skiing until her brother Jimmy called and asked her to join him in Jackson, where he and their other brother, Jeff, were living out their dreams free-skiing. When she reached Jackson, she saw the blossoming snowboard scene, and it all clicked. “I can do this,” she said. “And now I’m back in my element, doing something I can understand.” Understanding was an understatement. She was 100 percent onboard, moving forward, and developed as a rider incredibly fast. She started competing in snowboard comps, winning Alaska’s World Extreme King of the Hill Snowboard Championships three times in a row (94-96). She also crossed the pond and won Verbier’s premiere snowboard extreme comp in 1996, and then garnered top-three finishes two more times in the following years. She then made several appearances in Teton Gravity Research’s seminal films depicting Jackson Hole’s massive talent and unrivaled terrain. From 1984 to 1994 in Jackson Hole, the decade belonged to snowboarding. It owned

the style, the nuance. Skiers looked to snowboarding for a direction. Riders were seeing and riding the mountain differently, demonstrating a creativity, skill, and originality that drove the sport into its future. Skis started getting shorter and wider, and skiers adjusted their style to follow the freeriding lead put into place by snowboarding. And snowboarding companies learned how to make stronger, high-performance boards by following ski manufacturers, which catapulted the sport even further. To be in Jackson Hole’s nascent snowboarding culture was to be at ground zero in transcendence. It was fresh, fierce, and attractive, like a new music scene. Rough and uncut, with a sense of danger, mystery and wile, the movement shouldered up to the unknown each new season. It’s impossible to capture all the riders who’ve formed the arc of Jackson Hole snowboarding: Johnny Recchio, Darrell Miller, Brian Iguchi, Matt Annetts, Stephen Koch, Alex Yoder, Cam Fitzpatrick, Mark Carter – it’s a long list. Snowboarding’s attitude fit naturally into Jackson Hole’s limitless pursuit of adventure. Inventive people unleashed into the wild will do that. Jeff Burke, a ski patrolman at JHMR, is a writer and editor living in Jackson Hole.

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SKI TOWN JOBS

Igneous, Maiden, and Snowshapes

Wade McKoy

Building custom skis and snowboards in Jackson

Mike Parris in his build room.

by Liza Sarychev In a world where company growth and return on investment drive the ski industry, a handful of small-batch ski designers have emerged to humanize how we buy skis. And with just a handful of custom ski factories in the U.S., our tiny mountain town is lucky enough to have not one, but two! True to the unique Jackson vibe, Igneous and Maiden specialize in creating one-off custom skis and snowboards. Some of their clientele know every detail about the ski they want built, others not so much. For the latter, the company works with the individual to determine the best shape, flex, and camber profile by asking a series of questions, like how often they ski, where they ski, and what kind of terrain they prefer. The term “handmade skis” has been gaining popularity but is somewhat misleading because every ski in the world is handmade. A factory worker places layers of P-tex, fiberglass, and wood into a steel mold. Traditional ski companies source these materials and then use machines to

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process them into workable components — a factory process. But for Igneous, Maiden, and Franco Snowshapes, building skis and snowboards is a craft. Igneous re-defines handmade skis right down to the core – by actually milling and laminating their own wooden cores. They also cut base material, bend steel edges, and sand sidewall profiles, all by hand. This vertically integrated process increases the precision, quality, and durability of their skis. Igneous owner Mike Parris obsesses over every ski he creates. The company’s original goal 21 years ago was to build skis that withstand the rigors of a full season at Jackson Hole. Although, their skis have been known to last for as many as 1,000 on-snow days. During those formative years, Igneous clientele comprised a few ski bums living in their vans. After scraping together a thousand bucks, they’d buy a pair of skis they helped design, ones that skied great and could withstand a season of bell-

to-bell days in the most rugged terrain. Maiden Skis is housed a couple minutes south of Jackson. Founder Kelvin Wu started building his own skis 11 years ago while living in Seattle, working as an engineer and skiing weekends at Crystal Mountain. He started building his own skis to take the mystery out of the ski-making process and to try out some of his ideas and designs. He then co-founded Skibuilders.com to help hobbyists like himself build skis in their garage. In 2011 he quit his job and moved to Jackson to pursue custom ski-building full time under the Maiden brand. Because Maiden ski factory houses an array of hightech equipment, including an impressive industrial CNC (computer-controlled) router to shape wooden cores and a sublimation printer for custom top-sheet graphics, the team can build any ski imaginable. Techies, tinkerers, adaptive skiers, and gear enthusiasts make up the bulk of Maiden’s clièntele. In addition to handcraft-

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Kelvin Wu in his factory, team rider Denis Prevost assisting the craftsman at work.

2016 line, he’s creating 10 limited-edition snowboards with top-sheets made of whitebark pine and an additional five custom boards for the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s 50th Anniversary. They will be for sale at Hole In The Wall snowboard shop. Two of them will be using topsheets made with beetle-killed white bark from Casper Bowl. Some might argue that sourcing a rare,

Wade McKoy photos

ing customs skis and sit-skis, Wu plans to host a series of workshops, teaching clients how to make their own skis. Kelvin hopes to keep Maiden small in order to provide a personal relationship with each customer and to maintain the uniqueness and craftsmanship of every ski. Mikey Franco, owner of Franco Snowshapes at the Maiden factory, takes handcrafting to an even deeper level. For the

endangered tree that only grows above 8,000 feet goes against the grain. But Franco wants to help call attention to the plight of this beleaguered tree – a species dying by the millions from naturally occurring beetle infestation bolstered by climatechange – by felling and milling some already dead trees at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. After milling the logs, he planed them, cut out the most attractive slivers for top-sheet use, and sanded those into a veneer. As a final touch, he inscribed GPS coordinates of the tree. The rider can visit the stump that’s now part of their new snowboard. There are plenty of cheaper skis and snowboards, but they don’t tell the same story. The connection between the buyer, the company, and the skis makes a custom ski priceless. Don’t take our word for what makes custom skis special. Visit the Igneous Factory on Gregory Lane or the Maiden Factory on Deer Drive and see for yourself what custom skis are about. They’re used to people stopping by; they’ll be happy to for the visit! Hailing from Washington, D.C., Liza Sarychev grew up skiing the icy bumps of Whitetail, Pennsylvania, and settled in Jackson in the winter of 2010-11. She competes on the Freeride World Qualifier and hopes to eventually fuse her ski career with one in product development.

Mikey Franco with top sheets and other raw materials. w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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SKI TOWN JOBS

21st Century Jackson Hole Skiers MIKE VASE

Jackson Hole Aerial Tram Maintenance Manager # Years a JH Skier “Twenty two. The first 15 years I only skied weekends, Christmas break, spring break and the like, traveling up from Rock Springs, Wyoming. For the last seven years, I've lived here.”

Family Tree “My dad started skiing Jackson Hole in 1966. Dad brought my mom for her first time skiing in 1978, and this was her last time as well. He left her at the top of AV due to a powder day and she made it down with her ribs broken. She never tried again. My sister Linzy has been skiing here as long as I have and has lived here permanently for the last 10 years.”

Bio “I moved here seven years ago to escape the day-to-day grind in an office setting, and have never looked back. Starting off in the Lift Ops Dept. and moving into Tram Maintenance has been a dream come true. I'm healthier, happier, and way cooler since making my career change and parking it here in the Hole. I love this place, I love my job, and I love skiing the Big One.”

Wade McKoy

By the numbers “Not enough ski days and never enough vert’, even though all I ride is Big Red.”

Mike Vase rides the carriage on top of the Aerial Tram, a daily inspection routine.

KYLE MILLS Novelist

# Years a JH Skier “On and off for 22 years. I grew up skiing Bachelor near Bend, Oregon.”

What is different about skiing in 2015 compared to when you started in the 1960s? “It’s amazing how much the equipment has changed. I can remember being completely soaked through when I was a kid and my father insisting we do a few more runs “to get our money’s worth.” The best upgrade? Bindings that don’t randomly release while riding the lift. Jumping off and running with one ski strapped to your leg can be tricky.” Editor’s note: Mills recently made the #1 New York Times bestsellers list with his latest novel, The Survivor.

Kyle Mills, a dedicated Teton Pass skier.

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Forest Dramis

Bio “My father started life as a cotton farmer in S.E. Missouri and had specific goals in life – signs that he had “made it.” One of the big ones was to ski. So, when we moved to Oregon, off we went with our wooden skis, lace-up boots, and cotton long underwear.”


Mary Elizabeth Pistono

JAY PISTONO

Teton Pass Ambassador for the USFS, Friends of Pathways, and WYDOT

# Years a JH Skier “Riding the white wave since 1978.”

Family Tree “My family has been skiing the Pass with me since 1990. My wife Patricia, at 58-years Jay Pistono on the job. young, still gets after it. Our son David is 25 and loves to earn his turns. “Teton Pass was quiet, too. If you had Our daughter Marze, at 22, charges hard a rig that could actually make it up the on the Pass and, luckily for me, she often pass you were a very popular guy. Now helps me break trail. You know, breaking we have people who want to take extra trail on the way up usually means skiing parking spaces for their new Audis and fresh snow on the way down.” BMWs, and that’s not gonna happen. By the numbers “There’s absolutely no way that any of “I ride every day from Oct./Nov. to us back in the day would’ve ever imagApril/May. Sometimes they are short ined the concept or the need for a Teton days, but I usually try to get a run in and Pass Ambassador. Honestly, I just want do some snow observation or dig a the access to stay open. And – between snow pit. parking issues, avalanche potential, dog “The skiing public gets after it just as hard use, road savvy, and new visitors – we reas I do. Statistics show that annual use alize it’s necessary to have some cooperfrom backcountry ski runs grew by about ation in order to make that happen. 100,000 last winter. WYDOT counted “I'm totally indebted to (former Pathas many as 5,000 vehicle trips per day ways director) Tim Young and (U.S.F.S. ofon Teton Pass. When the skiing is deficial) Linda Merigliano for helping get the cent, a lot of skiers cycle through three ball rolling for the Ambassador position. times a day.” Also, many in the ski community have helped keep the pass somewhat organBio, Stories, Insight ized. Together, with WYDOT, the Highway “I hitchhiked to Jackson Hole from IlliPatrol, and Search and Rescue, we plan nois and got hooked by the snow. Luckily, on keeping the Pass open. And we hope some of my first runs in the backcountry that puts a smile on your face. were with Paul Petzoldt. We skied on “One of the really big differences these wooden skis and leather boots, but the days is the amount of visitors from all over gear didn't matter because we were all the country that are coming to ski Teton pretty good at falling (somehow the snow Pass. We've been quite lucky here, espeseemed deeper then). cially in the last few years – we had de“Teton park was a lonely place in the cent snow while our regional neighbors ‘70s and ‘80s. With Petzoldt we conhad super-lean winters. People had to ducted an annual New Year's ascent of travel to get the good stuff, while we had the Grand. Some of the loads of food and it right here in our own backyards. gear we cached ahead of time in Garnet “Think about how good it makes you Canyon were absolutely comical. Trail feel to ski even mediocre powder. Now breaking while carrying huge packs was think about how it feels to ski the really epic, as was the ski down afterward. It good stuff. There might be less of it beleaned toward survival mode, and I'm not cause more people want it, and because talking about skiing from the summit. For climate change is messing with the systhe participants that were new to skiing tem. But it's still out there. with a big pack, the face-plants were a “If we want our kids to get some of that sight to behold – there’s nothing like a 40really good stuff, we have to make some pound load to drive your face deeper into changes. And we need to make them the snow. I remember some of those now. Because a deep powder run has alfaces totally gasping for air and struggling ways been precious, and for future genmightily to get back up. It was tough to erations, no picture, no video, and no summit, but such a great time. I rememwords will ever come close to capturing ber trailing avalanche cord and thinking the feeling of that experience.” how cool and high-tech that was.

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SKI TOWN JOBS

Early Day Jackson Hole Skiers PEPI STIEGLER

Ski School Director, Jackson Hole Ski Area, 1965-1995

Family Tree “My two children, Resi and Seppi, are Jackson Hole Skiers, born and raised. Resi is on the U.S. Ski Team and Seppi was on Ski America, a privately funded ski team, until it dissolved this year. Now he is coaching on Snow King for the Jackson Hole Ski Club.”

Ski Stats 1960 Olympics, Squaw Valley, California – silver medal in giant slalom 1964 Olympics, Innsbruck, Austria – gold medal in slalom, bronze medal in GS

Pepi Stiegler, 1988

What Skiing Means To Me “That’s pretty easy: It means everything in my life. It has meant elevation to a higher level of existence. “I have to give Othmar Schneider (Austrian Olympic ski champion and Stiegler’s coach) a great amount of credit, God bless him. He helped me to achieve a very good life. Paul McCollis-

ter offered the ski school directorship first to Buddy Werner (U.S. Olympian and World Cup ski champion). But Buddy Werner got killed (in an avalanche in St. Moritz). Then he offered it to Othmar. But Othmar already had a very good job in Boyne Mt, Michigan. So Paul asked Othmar, ‘Who do you recommend?’ and Othmar said, ‘I recommend Pepi Stiegler.’” Stories “Here is a funny story about ski racing. The key word in this story is rhythm. If you want to win a slalom race, you have to have rhythm when you go through the course. You have to waltz through the slalom. The French don’t know how to dance the waltz. They don’t have a clue about the rhythm of the waltz. And Stiegler came down waltzing, and he had the fastest time. The French were sort of at a loss. They tried to make a waltz and ran off the course, missed a gate, et cetera. The French were very hot, but they didn’t anticipate that there was a waltz involved.”

Bob Woodall

# Years a JH Skier A Jackson Hole Skier for 50 years and counting.

MIKE MCCOLLISTER

# Years a JH Skier “I skied Jackson Hole every year since its inception, except for an eight-year hiatus (temporary loss of interest, too much of a good thing?).”

Family Tree “My Dad, Paul, was ahead of his time. We lived in Northern California and he became enamored with skiing around 1950. My first skiing experience was at a little area in the Sierras called Dodge Ridge. I was 5. I remember the bindings were ‘Bear traps’ and I twisted my ankle. That is the only ski injury I ever had, just lucky I guess. “Our family moved permanently to the Valley in 1957. We lived in a log cabin way out on Antelope Flats and skied Teton Pass in the fall until Snow King opened for the season. “Several years after moving to Wyoming, Dad decided to expand on the skiing opportunities in Jackson Hole. His vision and foresight, along with mostly borrowed money, made the Jackson Hole Ski Area a reality. As the co-founder and driving force, Dad kept the area afloat through sheer willpower and tenacity. It was always a tremendous financial struggle.”

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By the Numbers “I skied Jackson Hole 42 years. For many of those, I was on the mountain every day of the season. It never occurred to me to keep track of vertical, but it must be many millions. One perfect winter day, as a lark, my young son Chris and I did 16 trams. We had a great time.”

Stories “I have very fond memories of spending time with Dad as he assessed the viability of his dream. We spent several days riding all over the mountain on horseback. One night we camped at a relatively flat spot, mid-mountain. That is how the run “Campground” got its name. “Another amazing story, as we worked our way up the Headwall, our poor little packhorse, Minor, lost her footing and rolled down the mountain. Miraculously, she wasn’t injured. The eggs weren’t even broken! It was a good packing job. We were ultimately stymied on our quest to the top by an immense boulder field near where Tram Tower 3 is located. “We finally made it to the summit by scrambling across Laramie Bowl and up the East Ridge. There we found a cairn and beside

Mike McCollister, 1986

it an empty can of Velvet Pipe and Cigarette Tobacco, with a note inside! I don’t remember what the note said but I was probably thinking it should say, ‘Anybody who thinks they can ski this mountain is crazy!’ “As we wrapped up this adventure, I remember riding through the area that is now Eagle’s Rest. It was a virtual swamp and the mosquitos were so thick my white shirt was almost solid black with them. “I am often asked how Dad would feel if the could see how the mountain has evolved so beautifully. I know he would be thrilled and his answer would be ‘See, I was right.’”

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Wade McKoy

Jobs w/ Jackson Hole Ski Corporation (Off and on, 1963 - 1974) “Trail Crew (I remember felling enormous Douglas firs on Tram Line), Chairlift Operator, Tram Conductor, Real Estate Sales and Property Management, Mountain Manager from 1978 - 1992”


Photo courtesy Bruce Morley

Alex Morley (right) and his son Bruce in 1966, the opening winter of the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram.

BRUCE MORLEY

Ski Instructor, Jackson Hole Mountain Guide

Ski town jobs “One winter I took off from college and worked as a ski instructor for Pepi. I started the ski school’s first mountain guide service. We only skied the “OB” with ski patrol permission and did mostly guided trips down Granite Canyon. It was a job hard to beat. “As a ski town job, though, I was a telecommuter before the word was invented. I originated utility scale renewable energy projects in the western U.S. and Eastern Europe, just before the Wall came down. The projects were never where the office was, so why not keep the office in a nice place, such as Jackson Hole?”

By the Numbers “I set the record for the most vertical feet skied in one day, anywhere in the world. I made 25 tram runs and skied 104,000 vertical feet. It’s not that I’m a great skier, but the tram makes it possible to ascend 4,000 vertical feet in one 12-minute shot and then have a non-stop run to the bottom without riding any intermediate lifts. That record stood for 30 years.”

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ALEX MORLEY

Co-developer with Paul McCollister and co-chairman of the board of the Jackson Hole Ski Corporation from 1962 to 1976 # Years a JH Skier “Since the beginning. In 1962 Paul and I were the first to climb and ski Rendezvous Mountain.” Family Tree “My wife, Rachel; two sons, Alex and Bruce; and three grandsons, Scott, Ben and Blake – all skied JHMR and Teton Pass.”

By the Numbers # Years Skiing: “Eighty – forty of those at Jackson Hole and Snow King. An endless number of days, too much vertical to count.”

Bio “In 1928, I made my first pair of skis in my father’s basement shop – sort of like Igneous, but without the carbon fiber and metal edges. I started the Colorado State University Ski Team.”

Why do you do spend so much time skiing and thinking about skiing? “It is my life’s passion. “The Morleys and the McCollisters moved to Jackson Hole about 55 years ago, built homes a mile apart on Antelope Flats in Grand Teton National Park inholdings,

and became friends. Soon we realized that these spectacular mountains begged to have a world-class ski mountain in their midst. “I’m lucky to have lived long enough to see this vision come true and to have helped build the number-one ranked ski resort in the U.S.” What is different about skiing in 2015 compared to when you started? “I began skiing in the 1920s, and really, not much has changed. It is the same human passion, the adrenaline rush of speeding through fresh powder on a blue-bird day in spectacular mountain scenery. Sure, the equipment is better, the ski lifts are better (there actually are ski lifts), and the lodging is more upscale. Think of the Four Seasons versus a small, log warming hut with a wood-burning stove.”

Editor’s note: Alex Morley passed away last fall, a vibrant and active 96-year-old to the end. The Jackson Hole Mountain Resort likely would not exist without McCollister’s and Morley’s vision and drive to build it.

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SKI TOWN JOBS

Harry Baxter skiing powder back in the day.

HARRY BAXTER Marketing Director

In 1936, when Harry Baxter started skiing, ski areas were a far cry from today’s. He grew up in New Hampshire, and when the Abenaki Ski Area in Wolfeboro, about 4 miles from his home, put in a rope tow, Baxter could walk to the slopes. Thus began a love affair with the sport that would be the major part of his life and career for the next seven decades. In those days ski racing was an important element of skiing. Baxter was doing pretty well on the racing circuit, but a couple years into college, he was drafted into the military during the Korean War. His war service took him out of skiing for 14 months. But Baxter got right back at the turns working for the Hannes Schneider Ski School at Mount Conway, where he obtained full certification as a ski instructor. It wasn’t long before the new Mt. Whittier Ski Area tapped him to take over its ski school. He eventually ended up as the general manager of Maine’s Sugar Loaf Mountain after a run as its ski school director. Finally, in 1974, Jackson Hole Ski Area founder Paul McCollister got in touch with him and offered Baxter the post of marketing director. Once ensconced in Jackson Hole, Bax-

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ter got busy plying his form of promotion. “We did a lot of crazy things in Jackson,” he said. For the opening ceremonies of the 1975 Wild West Classic World Cup races, Baxter recruited parachutist Ted Mayfield and friends to jump from helicopters streaming national flags. “We got a lot of ink out of it,” he recalled, “and that was the purpose of special events.” That is, with the exception of the now famous Pole, Pedal, Paddle. “The World Cup was fine for spectators, but I was trying to come up with something that the local people would get involved in,” Baxter said. Forty years later, the PPP is a Jackson Hole institution. “Marketing a ski resort in the 1970s is not what it is now,” Baxter noted. “Now you have electronics, I didn’t have that.” In those days Baxter would hit the phones every morning starting at 4:30 a.m. “I would make 50 to 60 phone calls to radio stations back East with daily ski reports,” he continued, “so people would hear them on their radios when going to work. That was my major job early in the morning seven days a week and then in summer after I did 100 days on the road.” Despite his grueling schedule, Baxter managed to indulge his passion for skiing. In 1995, he retired with his wife Martha. The couple have been married 63 years. Still a

Pepi Stiegler, Paul McCollister, and Harry Baxter in 1988.

passionate skier and cyclist, Baxter races on the Master’s U.S. Ski Team circuit. He was recently recognized by the Jackson Hole Ski & Snowboard Club Hall of Fame as one of the most influential people in making JHMR what it is today.

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Wade McKoy

Bob Woodall

Early Day Jackson Hole Skiers


GRANT FLEMING

Mountain Maintenance Supervisor was a skier’s dream. “On average I skied five days a week. A lot of times I would ski on my days off,” he mused. “Typically, work days were two trams in the morning before it opened, then two runs on Après Vous, two or three on Casper, a couple on Thunder, and one off of Sublette. My main thing in the morning was to get up there as quick as I could to see how the grooming had been, to see if there were any screw ups that needed fixed before the public got up there. Then in the afternoon I would go back and do the same.” As for the difference in skiing now and then, “The gear, literally the gear,” Grant stated. “Skis are, like, adding power steering, the equipment is so much more advanced. I learned on wooden skis and leather boots. Techniques are different, skis are different. I don’t even know if I could ski on the old stuff. Back then a typical short ski was 205-210, now everybody skis around with 170s 180s –– that was unheard of back then.” “Every winter was different, just like it is now,” said Grant. “With no snowmaking, springtime was always iffy. We didn’t have that layer of band-aid snow down low. You know how some people say we always used to get lots of snow, well that is BS. Some winters you would get through to the end

Bob Woodall

Grant Fleming’s roots at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort go much deeper than most. His great-great uncle Jim Fleming prospected for gold on the mountain and opened up a mine near the top of the present day Thunder Chairlift. In 1964 his father George Fleming, a WWII veteran of the 10th Mountain Division, became the resort’s first employee when he was hired to bulldoze a road to the top of the mountain. “I was probably eleven, and I started going out there with him, dinking around the mountain,” Grant recalled. While his friends learned to drive on the ranches, Grant learned how to drive on Rendezvous Mountain. “I’d go up there when he was building all the roads. At the end of the day he would be so dog tired he would have me drive down off the mountain.” Grant worked summer trail crew in high school and landed his first winter job on the tram. Back then, tram conductors helped with maintenance. He ended up plowing in the parking lots. After a couple winters he moved up to mountain grooming, off and on, and keeping the Gros Ventre Traverse open (now Laramie Traverse). In 1978 he headed up mountain maintenance as its supervisor, a position he held until 2000, when he shifted over to Grand Targhee. Up to that point Grant’s job description

Grant Fleming, 2015

and other winters you wouldn’t. Back when I was a teenager you would get a big storm and you could ski untracked for a week, ‘cause there was nobody here. Now you better be there the first hour,” he said, laughing. “It has changed, you know, with all the lifts and things. It is way different. It skis different, but the mountain is the same.”

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A Jackson Hole Community Vision to Reduce Fatalities in the Tetons

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Early Day Jackson Hole Skiers MIKE WARDELL Entrepreneur

In the spring of 1965 Mike Wardell and his uncle Byron Jenkins accompanied Paul McCollister for a run down Rendezvous Mountain. The three were some of the first skiers to make a descent from the summit of the resort, then still under construction. But by the time Mike made his first run off Rendezvous Mountain, he already had many miles of snow under his skis. In 1944, a two-year old Wardell first entered Jackson Hole via train to Victor, Idaho, and a mail truck ride over Teton Pass. That colorful journey ended at the Jackson Town Square. There his uncle picked him up in a two-horse open sleigh to spirit Mike off to his granddad’s home in South Park. “That’s how we got around in the winter, in a horse and sleigh,” recalled Wardell. “I started skiing on Snow King when I was six or seven,” said Wardell, “and we skied Teton Pass a lot.” In those days Neil Rafferty would have a rope tow at the top of the (Teton) Pass till Snow King was ready to open. “We skied that rope-tow slope countless times, till we wore our gloves out,” he said. “We also skied Edelweiss, Black Canyon, and Chivers Ridge with Dr. MacLeod and Clarence ‘Stearnie’ Stearns. Skiing was the activity in the wintertime.” Wardell, however, was in the army for the

Mike Wardell

resort’s opening year. His first ski season at the resort, 1967-68, he desk-clerked at the Alpenhof before moving on to manage the Crystal Springs Inn in 1969. In 1973 Wardell partnered up with Bill Ashley, owner of Jackson Sporting Goods

shop in Jackson and Teton Village Sports (TVS). Ashley, who owned the name “Jackson Hole Ski School,” had made a deal with McCollister and Morley for the exclusive ski shop rights in Teton Village in exchange for the name. TVS became the go-to shop in the new Seven Levels Inn and eventually moved to the Crystal Springs Inn. “I did work the store from opening to close, but tried to get out for a few runs most every day. There were very few people skiing it in those days,” said Wardell. “I don’t know how many days a week I skied, but I tried to ski every day –– it was pretty much my life in the wintertime. “There was essentially no grooming till my last few years at TVS,” Wardell said. “Prior to that, when there would be a big dump you could find untracked power for a couple of weeks if you looked hard enough. There just weren’t that many skiers. I remember when I worked at the Alpenhof in the late Sixties; there was a four-person minimum for the tram, and sometimes they would sit there and it would be one or two cycles before they could get enough people to run the tram. “Back then it was just a very small, intimate village,” said Wardell, “just the Sojourner, Alpenhof, Seven Levels, and the Hostel.”

BILL MALONEY

Founder, owner of Osprey Holdings, Ltd, chairman of the board of Friends of the BTNF Avalanche Center, president of the board of the Teton Literacy Center, director Jackson Hole Mack Financial Group; advisory board for Jackson Hole Zions Bank. Chairman of finance committee of the Martha’s Vineyard Land Trust; still serving as chairman of Holy Cross class of 1959.

By the Numbers “I’ve skied Jackson Hole since 1975 and for 23 years as a permanent resident. I average between 120 and 130 days a year. One year I didn’t because a snowboarder whacked me. Hit me head on. I don’t ever want to go through that again. The injury and rehab were brutal. But that’s in my rear-view mirror now. I got 120 days the following winter. “I have some other stuff in my rear-view mirror, too. I’m never gonna do Once Is Enough again. I’ll probably do Corbet’s again under the right conditions, and I’ll do 4 Shadows, but that other stuff is best left for somebody who’s not 78 years old. I don’t have to do everything anymore. I’ve done it all. Bio “I was 55 years old, living on Wall Street, when I adopted this lifestyle. I left a lot of money on the table when I did that, but it was so worth it. I say to people, ‘If I had a chance to come back in the next lifetime as someone else, I’d choose me. Or maybe come back as our deceased black lab Drake.”

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Bob Woodall photos

“To tell you the truth, I’m overbooked. But everything is secondary to skiing. Priority number one: Get in my ski time every day, and after that do those other things.”

Bill Maloney

Family Tree “Carol and I have been happily married for over 52 years. My daughter Colleen, her husband Bob, and the two grandkids live here and are skiers. My granddaughter is seven years old and weighs about 43 lbs., and at the age of four she came in and said, ‘Hey, Grandpa, I just skied Alta 1.’ I laughed and said, ‘What?’ She’s just off the lift. She’s four years old! Makes me feel really good. My grandson is 11 and a terrific skier, but also a very big hockey player. So, yeah, we’re lucky. I bike most mornings, between 13 and 20 miles a day, and I thank God. I say ‘Thank you for all the stuff you let me do.”

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PETER BARKER

Bob Woodall photos

JH Ski Area trail crew, 1981-99 (leader from 85-99). JH ski patrol 9 years. Retail sales at Wilderness Sports for 4 years. Thoughts on Art “I started doing art in ’91 when I went down to Baja, Mexico, to Abreojos, with some other patrollers. I went there to surf. I had surfed as a teenager on Cape Cod – it’s inconsistent, but every once and a while it’s really good – then I didn’t surf for 25 years. I started surfing again in the early Nineties in Abreojos. “I bought some paints and started painting. I liked doing it. I was painting surf art. Then, the next winter I started painting ski art. I panted Cody Peak a bunch of times, and I felt like I had so much soul as a skier. I thought my paintings were a little better, the mountain art, the ski art, Cody Peak. I still do surf art, and I’m getting better at it, but it’s hard. “ In 2005 I moved to California and bought an art gallery, Pacific Surf Gallery in Cardiff By the Sea. I ran it four years. It’s near some good surf breaks right in the heart of San Diego County. I surfed and worked full time, which left no time to paint. The artists I represented were so much better than me anyway. I learned a lot by watching them paint using different techniques. I’m self-taught, and I went to a couple two-day seminars in Jackson. “Last winter I was either skiing or painting, seriously painting, with no TV. I would stare at my paintings for hours and think of how to make them better. I found it fascinating, not having a TV, how much time I had to paint or think about the paintings, stareing at them, studying them. It was an interesting experiment that worked out well. “Now I’m back in Cape Cod with a full-time job. I restored our family cottage and we do shortterm vacation rentals. I split my time between there, Jackson, and Kauai, surfing Hanalei Bay. “This year I got my ‘Old Guys Pass,’ the senior citizen’s ski pass at Jackson Hole. But I don’t feel like I have to be there on opening day. I’ll be surfing in Hanalei Bay.”

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Peter Barker with “What Planet Is This, Spock? I think they call it Wally World, Captain.” Or “Wally World” for short.

“It has three planets and Wally paraponting. I hadn’t finished the detail on Wally and loved the ghostly effect, so I left it at that stage rather than bring it out more. Up in the corner is my surf art, waves coming in. They came out pretty good, some of my best waves.”

“View From The Bottom of R Bowl” 2016

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APRÈS SKI the Wyoming Way Locally made

whiskey and beer highlight Jackson Hole ski culture By Brigid Mander Snake River brewer John McCarthy

he tradition of après-ski is embedded in ski culture the world over, from overthe-top parties at glamorous resorts to happy groups of backcountry skiers sharing a sixpack of beer back at the trailhead.

According to the Oxford English dictionary, this universally used French term refers to the period of social activity and entertainment following skiing, and originated in 1950s France. Since then, it has spread far and wide –– with no need for translation. Despite the one umbrella term, countless local versions of après-ski mark some of the charming cultural differences of the after-ski scene around the world. In Jackson, the rough and tumble feel of the Old West persists, even as the ski area has moved onto the global stage. Locals prefer a casual, roughshod celebration of a day in the mountains to a genteel after-ski gathering –– and the classic cowboy combo of a beer, a little whiskey, and some good company is the perfect recipe. To that end, longtime favorite local beer supplier, Snake River Brewery, and relative newcomer Wyoming Whiskey offer après libations proudly crafted from the local land and supplies. “A quality beer is a reward for whatever you did that day,” said Krissy Zinski, the brewery’s marketing director. “We have such a huge ski culture here, and a huge après-ski scene. In Jackson there is snow practically nine months of the year –– that goes hand in hand with drinking beer!” Snake River Brewery is a local institution, having now served Jackson skiers with local brews for 21 years. Since then, other local breweries have popped up, but Jackson’s original craft-beer brewery has a strong regional following and presence. “We brew great beer,” said Zinski. “We have incredible resources right here in Wyoming, so we try to keep it local and full circle. The grain comes from nearby in Idaho. We have the best water you can find, and even our cans are made in Worland, Wyoming. A local ranch comes and picks up spent grain to feed the cows. And our brewers

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Wyoming Whiskey Master Distiller Mike Mead

“Locals prefer a casual, roughshod celebration of a day in the mountains to a genteel after-ski gathering –– and the classic cowboy combo of a beer, a little whiskey, and some good company is the perfect recipe.” are really happy being here in the mountains, so that goes into what they create.” And now the craft distillery movement has joined the craft beer business. In 2006, the owners of the Mead Ranch (the brother and sister-in-law of Wyoming governor Matt Mead) hatched the idea of a craft Wyoming whiskey. It was only fitting that a spirit long associated with cowboys and the Old West should finally be made way out West. The Meads joined forces with Jackson attorney and whiskey enthusiast David Defazio, and lured former Maker’s Mark master distiller Steve Nally to come out and get the project started. The distillery was built in Kirby, Wyoming,

about three hours east of Jackson, and uses only Wyoming grains and pristine glacial water from a limestone aquifer under nearby Manderson, Wyoming. “There’s no more authentic taste of the West you’ll get,” said Defazio. “When you’re in the Rocky Mountains, there’s nothing else you should be drinking!” Defazio noted that because whiskey can be imbibed in so many ways, it can bridge all types of après-skiers who come to Jackson to ski and relax. “You can have it with a beer, in a glass on the rocks, party with the shot ski, or have a sophisticated specialty cocktail,” he said. A little whiskey can also add some extra spice to après hour. According to Defazio, it’s a great call for après. “Whiskey changes things. It makes you smarter,” he said with a laugh. Both of these locally based suppliers want to share the merriment and what they think is the best taste of local life and tastes with visitors and residents alike. “We try to help keep ski patrol supplied with plenty of beer during the season. We also have special low prices for nonprofits doing fundraisers,” said Zinski. “And at après now, I think people appreciate the quality more too. I see so many more people with our craft beer cans in their hands, as opposed to quantities of cheap mass-produced beer. It’s changed a lot since I moved here ten years ago. And we [Snake River] like to be involved in après as much as we can!” Ultimately, there are plenty of ways to celebrate a great ski day, and plenty of libations to choose from, but the tried and true simplicity of a good glass of whiskey with an accompanying cold beer is a perfect way to close out a day in the mountains of Wyoming. Après ski is, after all, just another way to dive into and experience the winter recreation culture tied together by the love of skiing.

Bob Woodall (SRB); Photo Eric Kiel, courtesy Wyoming Whiskey

T

— Brigid Mander, a Jackson-based skier and journalist with years of aprés-ski experience, has even conducted global research on the topic. She firmly believes a full day of skiing should precede each aprés session, which should start no earlier than four p.m.

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Wyoming Whiskey Bartenders Shootout Photo courtesy Wyoming Whiskey

In 2014, Wyoming Whiskey’s David Defazio wanted to expand and cement the clientele of the Kirby-based spirits in its home state – and there’s no better way to do that than to get Wyoming bartenders on the team. Last year he created the Wyoming Whiskey Bartenders Shootout, a bartending contest in which the only requirement was to have Wyoming Whiskey as the main ingredient. Qualifying rounds were held around the state –– in Jackson, Lander, Cody, Casper, and Laramie –– and the top 12 most talented mixologists were sent to a final. In the Jackson event last year, 29 bartenders from Victor/Driggs, Jackson, and Alpine competed, and the festive, predictably rowdy event was judged by local restaurateur Gavin Fine, David Johnson (a former bartender

turned hair cutter and now known as the “Whiskey Barber”) and professional snowboarder Travis Rice. Each bartender was allowed five minutes to create a unique cocktail, using any natural ingredients they had brought, no holds barred. The statewide project was a huge success for Wyoming Whiskey, allowing bartenders to reacquaint themselves with the whiskey as the young distillery moves to release additional aged, smoother and more sophisticated batches. The event went over so well that WW plans to make it an annual event, with the 2015 final for the 12 top bartenders from the state held in Jackson in December. — Brigid Mander

Greg Von Doersten

Jaded Local Hans Ludwig

Hans Ludwig

Hans Ludwig is a senior correspondent for Powder magazine. Raised in Colorado, he reversed the standard immigration flow by moving to Mammoth Lakes, California, in the '90s. A Powder correspondent for 20 years, Ludwig has traveled extensively, focusing on backcountry skiing. He has skated across Jackson Lake on a pair of 208 super Gs, skied the highest peak in Nevada and Central Nevada, and woken up on way too many floors still in his ski gear from the day before. Ludwig's literary alter ego is The Jaded Local, author of the eponymous Powder column (conceived and edited by Jackson's own Matt Hansen) that covers skiing's gritty underbelly and satirizes ski-town life and culture. The Jaded Local divides his time between ripping the goods and slaying the gnar. His favorite place in the world was the old Village Cafe next to the tram. In the course of writing for Powder, he has taken the backcountry to the park, catalogued 11 great moments in the history of hot-tubbing, written an entire column in a French accent, and penned a ski racing op-ed demanding that Bode Miller be allowed to drop mescaline or get naked in the start shack if that's what it took for him to grease a fast run. In addition to his extensive work in Powder and other prestigious magazines like Jackson Hole Skier, the Jaded Local is currently seeking publishing deals for his compelling novel of manhood, mountains, and the ultimate conquest of the Gnar: Mustache Squad: Alpine Gladiators For Inner Peace. His revolutionary ski instruction manual, “Stop Sucking Now,” will be released this spring, and The Jaded Local has been putting the finishing touches on his doctoral dissertation, “Assholes and Elbows: Advanced European Tramline Theory.” You can find his column every month in Powder, and at www.powder.com. w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

Mixologist competes at the shootout

Skiing the Seven Summits

In the spring of 2005, two-time World Freeski champion Kit DesLauriers began a quest to ski the highest peak on each of the seven continents. In her highly acclaimed memoir, Higher Love, she writes of this journey and the salient events that led to it. These excerpts are from a chapter on her Mt. Everest expedition:

Skiing this steep a pitch for a vertical mile in such frightening conditions, without a single place to escape and take a genuine rest stance, was more than any of us had experienced before… One real slip would mean a fall to the bottom of the Lhotse Face and certain death unless we were somehow as lucky as Yuichiro Miura had been during the face’s only other descent, thirty-six years before. Another unspoken consequence was the lack of a chance for rescue. Should any one of us get hurt or simply lose our mental edge and be unable to continue, frozen in fear, a rescue couldn’t come from inside our group – we didn’t even have a rope. A rescue probably wouldn’t happen at all, since the only people on the mountain were the members of our team preparing to descend on foot from Camp IV, and they’d given all they had yesterday (summiting Everest)… So as we began our descent on the morning of October 19, we did it knowing we would have to be self-reliant, and by the middle of it, I felt like we might as well be soloing a 5.14X rock climbing route – free-climbing a line that’s close to the limit of what’s humanly possible and where a fall means almost certain death. I don’t rock climb anywhere near that level, but I suddenly realized I was skiing it. And then I remembered the need to document that I was skiing it. When Jimmy (Chin) got close enough to me that we could hear each other, I offered him the chance. “Do you want to take photos?” “Sure,” he said and continued slowly down the mountain. I kept expecting him to stop and set up for a shot, which would be my cue to start skiing, but after waiting several interminable minutes perched on the steel edges of my skis without seeing him give me a signal, I couldn’t stand still anymore and started skiing again. After about ten minutes of side slipping and making precise turns, I skied up to him. “Jimmy, I thought you were going to take photos.” “I tried, but I couldn’t raise the camera to my eye.” Oh my God… If Jimmy Chin thought that putting the camera to his eye might cause him to lose his balance, no wonder I was scared. And it got worse. When we resumed skiing, I became aware that fear had crept into my head like a burglar. It had happened while I waited for Jimmy to set up, and it had grown as my trembling legs tried to hold me still on the steep icy slope. The consequences of losing an edge now infiltrated all my thoughts. I knew I had to find a way to ski without that vision or that would be exactly what I got. I was only a third of the way down the Lhotse Face when I heard another voice. This time it was my own. “Like your life depends on it, Kit. Turn.” 2016

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, D I V E R S I O N S •

MORE TO LIFE THAN SKIING

Bob Woodall photos

The slopes of Snow King under a canopy of fireworks as seen from Jackson’s historic Town Square.

A ride with King Tubes brings out the smiles.

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A

By Mike Calabrese

stonishing as it seems, Jackson Hole, bordering both Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks, recently welcomed a new one, the R Park. Winter and summer won’t be the same for walkers, bikers, strollers and – most importantly for winter recreationists – for skiers! The recently created 40-acre playground, nestled right on the Snake River’s banks and ideally set between Jackson, Wilson, and Teton Village, also happens to be connected by one of the country’s coolest new pedestrian spans – over the stunning Snake River. Great video and info about the new R Park and the pathways bridge at rendezvouslandsconservancy.org Aside from its own groomed ski trails, the R Park will connect to those of the Centennial pathway and the Emily’s Pond pathway, both also groomed for cross-country and skate skiers by the Teton County / Jackson Parks and Recreation Department. Already just about the best and busiest rec. outfit this side of the Mississippi, it maintains nine crosscountry tracks, about 20 miles of both classic and skate terrain. For a trail map, track grooming schedules, ski conditions, and more info, visit the website: tetonparksandrec.org. w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m


NATIONAL ELK REFUGE – Officially it exists as a refuge for elk. But time and circumstance now force these majestic ungulates to share that winter range with bighorn sheep, bison, mule deer, and yes, Virginia, sometimes wolves and mountain lions. Even grizzlies have been spotted crossing its scenic expanse. The National Elk Refuge rubs up against the town of Jackson, affording visitors the chance to mingle with wildlife – unimpeded by zoo bars or cages. And running quietly through that highaltitude savannah is one of the country’s most famous trout streams, Flat Creek. You can look, but don’t unholster that rod until late summer. For the latest on the refuge, visit fws.gov/nationalelkrefuge.

Bob Woodall (top); Wade McKoy

PICTURE THIS – Don’t let the scenery and wildlife go to waste! Grab the camera and line up an excursion with Eco Tour Adventures or Grizzly Country Wildlife Adventures. Full- and half-day ventures into Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge reveal a side of nature brimming with breathtaking settings and subjects. Sunrise and sunset expeditions can be exhilarating. Wolves, coyotes, bison, moose, bighorn sheep, elk, bald and golden eagles, and trumpeter swans all take on startling clarity in the morning and evening light. Healthful snacks, beverages, field guides, binoculars and scopes, and experienced guides all enhance the journey into the region’s winter wonderland. Call Eco Tour Adventures at 307-690-9533 or Grizzly Country Wildlife Adventures at 307-413-4389. Turn to page 84 for photo gallery of stunning wildlife photography.

A sleigh ride on the National Elk Refuge allows people to get close to the elk without spooking them.

ICE SKATING –The local parks and recreation organization sets up and maintains four rinks around the valley. A perfect activity for families looking to enjoy relaxing exercise. For rink locations, hours, and restrictions, visit tetonparksandrec.org.

HOCKEY – “Go Moose!” is 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 Friday and Saturday nights at Snow King Sports and Events Center. Visit the Moose online at jacksonholemoose.com.

Exum Ice Park on Snow King Mountain provides instruction and open climbing.

SKIS

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

Michael Calabrese 307-733-5459 P.O. Box 289 • Wilson, WY 83014 www.noteworthymusicagency.com jhnoteworthy@gmail.com w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

Volkl, Line Armada, Head K2, Atomic Rossignol, Fischer,

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

307.733.4077

www.d2dskis.com

650 West Broadway, Jackson or Slope side of the Hostel, Teton Village 2016

and Icelantic

SNOWBOARDS Lib Tech,

Never Summer, and Burton J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R

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Shriners’ All-American Cutter Races

RECREATION CENTER – Of course we have heated indoor-recreation outlets! Even the hardiest of locals come in from the cold every now and then. Just two blocks north of the town square on 155 East Gill, Jackson’s firstrate rec. center houses a gymnasium with fullsize basketball and volleyball courts, an aquatic center, locker rooms, and a public meeting room. The aquatic center consists of

an eight-lane competitive-workout pool, a therapeutic pool, a leisure-water pool, a hot tub, a water slide, a teaching pool, and sauna steam rooms. Open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday; from 12 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 7 p.m., Sunday. For daily fees, call 739-5056. Go online at tetonparksandrec.org.

SNOWSHOEING – Walk softly but carry a good camera, especially in mountain country! Grand Teton National Park offers ranger-led snowshoe hikes at 1:30 p.m. every day, from late December to March, weather and conditions permitting. A $5 donation is requested but snowshoes are provided. A popular activity for locals and visitors, so reservations are recommended. For more details call 739-3399 or visit the park’s site: nps.gov.grte. CROSS COUNTRY SKIING IN THE PARKS – For the independent-minded, both Yellowstone and Grand Teton parks harbor trails and unparalleled landscape for cross-country skiiing. Conditions, access questions, or transportation possibilities are all best researched at either nps.gov/grte or nps.gov/yell.

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

THE WYOMING RANDONEE ROUNDUP — This one will take your breath away. Anybody can jump on a lift, board a gondola, or hop on a tram for a shot down the slopes on the region’s three ski resorts. But what if you had to hump your way up before that exhilarating descent? That’s exactly the challenge randonee racers – amateurs and pros alike – accept when they

Shriners’ Jackson Hole Ski-Joring Championships

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Bob Woodall photos

JACKSON HOLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY & MUSEUM – While you’re online, try this address: jacksonholehistory.org. It’ll transport you to the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum and the days of yore. We love this place, and it’s perched just a few blocks from the town square. Truly a worthwhile visit or side trip if you’re in the downtown area.


Bob Woodall photos Eukanuba Stage Stop Sled Dog Race

Pond Skim at Snow King, a right of Spring

skin up the race terrain at Snow King, Grand Targhee, and the JH Mountain Resort. These roundtrips would tax a mountain goat’s stamina. This year’s competitions are set for January 16-17. For more info, visit ussma.org online or jhskimo.org.

available before and after the race. Grand Targhee also allows snow bikers on its Nordic trail system throughout the season. Snow King Mountain Resort will host the Snow King Fat Bike races. For more info visit snowkingmountain.com and grandtarghee.com

SNOW-BIKE RACES – An offshoot of mountain biking, snow biking continues to earn new adherents. And a growing number of snow-bike races are held on Nordic tracks and groomed snowmobile trails. Distances range from 15k to 30k. Grand Targhee Mountain Resort hosts races this season and snow bike demos are

SHRINERS’ JACKSON HOLE SKI JOURING CHAMPIONSHIPSI – If the cutter races ignited a fever for horses, racing, and snow, or if you missed all the fun, the Shriners’ Jackson Hole SkiJoring championships run on the following weekend at Teton Village, February 6 and 7,

THE EUKANUBA STAGE STOP SLED DOG RACE – Don’t be put off by the cumbersome title. Competitors certainly aren’t – not when the purse is $10,000! Launching from Jackson’s Town Square, mushers and their enthusiastic charges press on through the snowy landscape of four states: Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Utah. The festive kickoff, on January 29, 2016, is itself reason enough to hit downtown Jackson. Go online at sleddogcentral.com or wyomingstagestop.org for photos of cool canines, celebrants, and festivities surrounding the event.

Wine Shoppe over 1600 Different Wines

SHRINERS’ ALL-AMERICAN CUTTER RACES – A Western version of horse-drawn chariot racing, the event always attracts a huge celebratory crowd during President’s Day Weekend. Now in it’s 45th year, it’s slated for February 13 and 14, 2016. Teams run two abreast in a 1/4-mile sprint to the finish at the polo grounds south of Jackson. Competitors are auctioned in a Calcutta wager before each heat, so high stakes and excitement mark this celebration, which raises money for the Shriners’ philanthropic mission. Go online at jhshriners.org for more info and for heartpounding videos of this classic event.

RNAN’S O D

Cabins

1&2 Bedrooms with/full baths & kitchens

SPUR RANCH CABINS

Access to cross-country trails and Teton views

12 miles North of Jackson in Moose w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

2016. Not to be outdone by horse-drawn charioteers, skiers trust their skills and reins to cowpokes and their steeds while barreling along the track. Thundering hooves, blazing speeds, and air-time off jumps guarantee thrills for all. Online at jhshriners.org.

Pizza & Pasta Restaurant Trading Post

Grocery & Gas X-Country Ski & Snow Shoe Rentals

Gift Shop Spur Bar – Wi-Fi ATM

www.dornans.com

307-733-2415 2016

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Bob Woodall

TRIPLE CROWN PURSUITS – Watch or be watched in these winter festivals that push everyone’s adrenalin into the fun sphere: The Moose Chase on Saturday, February 20, 2016, at Trail Creek at the base of Teton Pass; The Town Downhill on Snow King Mountain, March 19-20, 2016; and the big daddy of them all, the Pole Pedal Paddle, slated for Saturday, March 26, 2016, at Teton Village, along Wyoming highways 22 and 26, and on the Snake River, from South Park to Astoria. All events sponsored by the Jackson Hole Ski Club. Check ‘em out at jhskiclub.org.

Tram Jam performs at the base of the Bridger Gondola every Saturday  from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

MARMOT COOMBS CLASSIC – Iconic skimountaineer and Jackson Hole local Doug Coombs (1957-2006) earned legions of admirers. His passion for adventure skiing inspired countless others to explore the backcountry and carve the sidecountry. To commemorate his remarkable skiing life, Marmot and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort will again host the Marmot Coombs Classic, this year on Sunday, March 19, 2016. Cool raffle prizes, too, from Marmot and K2. A party featuring live music will follow the event outside of Nick Wilson’s Cowboy Café. To sign up for the event, meet at the bottom of the mountain by 8:30 a.m., where you’ll pick your desired route and receive your commemorative patch. Visit jhrl.com/marmot-coombs-classic. THE DICK’S DITCH CLASSIC – Jackson Hole’s premiere race event for 18 categories of skiers and snowboarders, run on elaborate courses of man-made and natural terrain. Snowboarders will face off on one weekend, skiers on the other. March 4-6, 2016. Visit jacksonhole.com and scroll down to the event for details.

SNOWMOBLING – In most places, winter is tolerated, not embraced. But this is snow country! With so much of the white stuff carpeting Wyoming’s mountains each winter, learning to love it is a necessity. And a great way to appreciate this plush ermine mantle is astride a snowmobile. So saddle up and head into the great white open. 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.

Wade McKoy (2)

Togwotee Pass offers snowmobilers hundreds of miles of groomed trails, and powder too.

The Jackson Hole Babe Force encourages women of all ages to push their limits, gain confidence, and support one another. If you see a pack of female shredders carving up the slopes of Jackson Hole, it’s most likely the Babe Force. www.jhbabeforce

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

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D O U G C O O M B S F O U N D AT I O N

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The kids are alright with Dave â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Waveâ&#x20AC;? Muccino.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I love skiing! Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re flying,â&#x20AC;? squealed the 11-year-old girl sandwiched between her two friends on the Casper chair. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Even falling. Your goggles fly off, and you get snow down the back of your jacket. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hilarious.â&#x20AC;? Her two friends bobbed their helmets in agreement. All three girls, whose bright blue ski jackets could not match the brilliance of their smiles, were first-year members of the Doug Coombs Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to breaking down the barriers that prevent kids from low-income families from joining the Jackson Hole skiing community. Established in 2012 by Emily Coombs, the Doug Coombs Foundation grew from 28 participants to more than 150 children and 25 parents over the 2014/15 ski season. But Coombs isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t yet satisfied. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our long-term goal is to provide the opportunity for all low-income children to get out in the mountains,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ideally, our community will become a role model for ski towns all across the West.â&#x20AC;? The Doug Coombs Foundation has come a long way since 2012. In its infancy, Coombs provided ski rentals, ski instruction, and lift tickets out of her own savings. Hearing about the fledgling project, K2, Marmot, and Smithâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;all devoted Doug Coombs sponsorsâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C; offered their support. The 2012/13 pilot program was so successful that stories of the happy kids on skis began to attract attention locally and nationwide. An influx of donations allowed the program to double in size the following year and to expand into activities outside the ski season, including hiking, rock climbing (donated by Exum Mountain Guides), soccer, lacrosse and even enrollment in summer camps. But skiing will always be at the heart of the Doug Coombs Foundation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Skiing had a huge influence on my life, as well as on the life of Doug Coombs,â&#x20AC;? explained Emily. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Doug skied as a child at a tiny ski hill in Massachusetts. We met through skiw w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

ing and, until his death in 2006, we shared a lifelong passion of skiing together in the most beautiful mountains on earth. I cannot begin to describe how much joy it brings me to see these kids smiling from ear to ear when we put them on skis. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no better way to carry on Dougâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s legacy than to share his passion of skiing with the people who need it most. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The parents of these kids, many of Hispanic origin, work in Jackson in hotels, restaurants, shops, construction, cleaning homes,â&#x20AC;? Coombs continued. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The wages paid in the service industry in Jackson, even with both parents working two jobs, arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t enough to cover basic expenses, let alone the cost involved to ski. By helping these kids, we end up helping the entire community by enabling the entire town to function and have a population of active, happy children who are integrated with their peers in school.â&#x20AC;? Ellen Kappus, an English-language specialist at Jackson Elementary, explained, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Through skiing, these kids are getting the invitation to join the Jackson community. They go into the classroom after a weekend on skis, and they can share a common experience with their classmates. And itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not just the kids anymore. Five years ago, you would never see Latinos at the mountain. But now, you go to Snow King on a Saturday and you see over 100 kids and their parents. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s incredible!â&#x20AC;? Jorge Moreno, the proud parent of two boys enrolled in the Doug Coombs Foundation said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;You know, when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re skiing, as my kid tells me, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re just there. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s you and the mountains. It doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t matter what kind of car you drive, or how big your house is. I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think of a better way to bring my kids into the communityâ&#x20AC;Ś make them feel like they belong.â&#x20AC;? The Doug Coombs Foundation continues to rely entirely on financial donations. To find out how you can get involved, visit www.dougcoombsfoundation.com. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; DCF

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JACKSON SOUL

A

s a Powder magazine correspondent for almost twenty years, I've had the good fortune to ski Jackson a number of times under pretty optimal circumstances. The ski media experience comes with no (or negative) money, and an ungodly amount of dragging ski luggage around airports, but the job does have its perks—lift tickets, the odd bar tab, sometimes a stay in a condo or slope-side hotel, once or twice a year a seat on a helicopter or a bunk in a remote alpine hut. Every now and then you get to ski something really cool, like a couloir or whatever. That's the stuff that other people visualize and fantasize about when I tell them what I do. There definitely are wonderful places out

Stellar terrain takes backseat to locals’ charisma

By The Jaded Local

there that are worth a trip just for the quality of the skiing itself, like Chamonix, Alaska, or the high peaks of the Sierras’ east side. And heli-skiing is basically crack. But the biggest perk of all is the opportunity to hang out with passionate skiers and feed off their energy like some kind of twisted ski vampire. And for that, nothing compares to Jackson. I'll go just to ski groomers on rental skis if I get to aprèsski at the Moose with some locals. Yes, the turns here are stellar: the terrain is large-scale and varied, the snow deep and frosty cold. But what generates the power here isn't the topography or the snowpack dynamics. It's not the size of the vertical drop or the plush hot tubs at the slope-side hotels.

The real power of Jackson is the skiers themselves, the self-reinforcing psychic energy of like-minded weirdos who have built a community and a culture on a solid foundation of hard work and pure hedonism. That tram is bolted to more than just the ground. As a skier it's easy to get distracted by surface here. And the surface in Jackson is serious: the sprawling, morning tram line of people bristling with backcountry gear, the avalanches, and scary-steep terrain. Human bomb holes below towering cliffs, pre-dawn hikers on the Pass skiing with headlamps, skiers teetering over the void on the edge of Corbet's, pros filming on scary lines. It’s a compelling vision of risk, action, and pushing

The real power of Jackson is

the skiers themselves, the self-re-

inforcing psychic energy of like-

minded weirdos who have built a community and a culture on a

solid foundation of hard work and

Wade McKoy

pure hedonism.

Jackson soul skiers, 1988, from bottom left: Dawn Mecham, Jamie MacIntosh, Pat Cambell, Doug Coombs, June Glick, Dave Muccino, Mark Kessler, Jeff Arnaut, Ty Vanderpool, Tom Bartlett, Chris Leveroni, Drew Canada

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the limits in a dramatic landscape, one that's been plastered all over the media for decades now. There's nothing fake about that vision—there is more than enough gnar to go around in the Tetons, and plenty of people are out there pushing it. But that's just the shiny outer coating on something far less serious and much more powerful. Which is the skiers themselves—the ski community here is bigger and stronger than anywhere. I live in a ski town, but Jackson is a skier's town. The godfathers of the Jackson Hole Air Force, the ski patrollers and guides, the TGR pros and bros, the powder hippies on the Pass, countless hard-working anonymous skiers hustling three jobs to get another season on that big red box… they've built something bigger than a ski area here, and whether anyone else knows it or not, they run this show. It's an invisible empire of friendship and positive vibes, a massive mountain of high fives, hooting in the trees, and laughing over beers afterward. In a world where so much energy is expended on pointless, exploitative, or just plain toxic endeavors, that's something to be proud of. Cheers Jackson Hole Skier and Jackson Hole skiers, and here's to fifty more. I've got this round. Hans Ludwig is a senior correspondent for Powder magazine. A more telling bio of Ludwig and his alter ego, “The Jaded Local,” may be found on page 113.

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IN MEMORIAM In 2015, the mountains again figured in the lives and deaths of Jackson Hole skiers. Stephen Adamson, Jr., 42, and Luke Lynch, 39, died on May 17, 2015, in an avalanche on Mount Moran while climbing the Sickle Couloir with two other ski mountaineers. Adamson and Lynch were highly regarded family men and notable for their community involvement and vision for the future. Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sister community, Teton Valley, Idaho, suffered the loss of AJ Linnell, 39, Andy Tyson, 46, and Russell Cheney, 34, in a small-plane crash. Like those in Jackson, the three men were community standouts, involved and active in many ways. The ski world lost a high-profile member when pro skier and BASE jumper Erik Roner, 39, of Tahoe City, California, died in a skydiving accident there last fall. Roner was a frequent Jackson Hole skier through his work with TGR. He too leaves behind a young family and is remembered as a kind and gentle soul. We honor the memory of these men, who inspired so many and were dedicated to making the world a better place. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; JHS

Wade McKoy

Erik Roner skis into the first-ever BASE jump off Cody Peak on March 2, 2006.

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J

KICKS ARE FOR KIDS

Photos Bob Woodall

ackson Hole beckons grownups and kids, outdoors and indoors. Why not make a family affair out of your winter adventure? The whole brood will get a kick out of slope-side antics like skiing under the stars and evening lights. Or tubing down those runs! And there’s always plenty of room on a sleigh ride into the heart of the elk refuge. But sometimes kids—and honestly, parents—have to come in from the cold. A dip in the county rec. center’s hot tub or heated pool will help end the day on a festive note. Anytime, though, is perfect for celebrating in Jackson Hole, say, with a pizza and ice cream party after ice skating on the town square rink! There’s even a kids’ museum in the valley, where parents can hold that fiesta and enroll the young celebrants in craft classes. Jackson makes it easy to keep it in the family.

HÄAGEN-DAZS ICE CREAM

PINKY G’s PIZZERIA

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

Cozy up at Pinky G’ s Pizzeria! The local favorite. Located ½ block off Town Square. Televised on Guy Fieri’ s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Voted Best Pizza in Jackson Hole. Try the menu favorite, The Abe Froman, with spiced sausage, mozzarella, and basil. With 20 beers to choose from, full bar & live music, we are sure to keep you entertained. Jackson’ s only place OPEN LATE! 50 W. Broadway | Jackson 307.734.PINK (7465) www.pinkygs.com

90 E. Broadway | Jackson 307.739.1880 www.haagendazs.com

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

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JACKSON HOLE SKIER

Photo Brian Beers Evans, ColdCloudImaging.com, Spring Creek Resort

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DINING & RESTAURANT GUIDE

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Blue Lion 733-3912

The Bunnery 733-5474

Cutty’s Bar and Grill 307-201-1079

Couloir Restaurant & Bar at 9,095’ @ JH Mountain Resort 739-2675

Dornan’s Pizza & Pasta 733-2415 X-204 733-3448

Häagen-Dazs 739-1880

Full Steam Subs

Hayden’s Post 734-3187 at the Snow King Resort

JH Buffalo Meat Co 733-4159 800-543-6328

Lotus Cafe Organic 734-0882

McDonald’s 733-7444

Nikai Sushi Asian Grill 734-6490

Pinky G’s Pizzeria 734-PINK (7465)

Piste Mountain Bistro at 9,095’ @ JH Mountain Resort 739-2675 Snake River Brewing Company and Restaurant 739-BEER

Stiegler’s Restaurant 733-1071

Teton Pines 733-1005

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Restaurant

Alpenhof Bistro 733-3242 Alpenrose Restaurant 733-3242

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Meals Served

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Reservations

ackson Hole sports a raft of adventure opportunities, so it better have a way to fuel the very bodies enjoying some of nature’s most dazzling features. Diverse appetites and a range of pocketbooks, among visitors and locals alike, demand an equally expansive menu of gustatory stimulation. Here are a dozen dining delights as colorful as Jackson Hole flora and fauna. Some are already noted for their coveted dining awards, others are ready to make their mark. There’s no pretense among these outlets. Whether nestled in the heart of downtown, along a stunning valley byway, or perched atop one the most spectacular vantage points anywhere, these eateries promise to complement the Jackson Hole experience. From artisan hot dogs to cuisine nodding to the globe’s four corners, at ground level or the summit of the slopes, Jackson Hole serves up a heady collection of culinary creations to nurture both body and spirit. — Mike Calabrese

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Type of Food, Specialty

Alpine, Soups, burgers, brats, & entrees, WY beef Steak. Aprés Ski Swiss, full fondue, Wiener Schnitzel, Jager Schnitzel, wild game & fish

Eclectic American, Steak, Pasta, Lamb, Seafood, Game, Vegetarian

Fresh Baked Goods,Omelettes Soups, Sandwiches, Starbucks Coffee, Philly Cheesesteaks, Pizza, Burger, Hoagies, Munchies

At Bridger Gondola Summit, Seasonal Menu Featuring American Cuisine w/Rocky Mountain Roots, Local Meats Pizza, Calzones, Pasta, Soups, Salads, Sandwiches

Subs, Salads, Chicago Style Dogs, Gluten-free Options & Bread Ice Cream, Espresso, Sorbet, All Natural Gluten Free

New American Rustic, Campfire-inspired Fare that matches modern-day tastes with the Favors of the West, Local Meats

Organic Meats, Vegetarian, Vegan & Gluten-free Options, Bakery, Pastries, Smoothies, Tonics & Full Bar

Retail & Mail Order, Natural & Sustainable Buffalo & Elk Meat

Freshly prepared breakfasts & regular menu favorites Sushi & Asian Grill

Pizza, Soups, Salads, Gluten-free Options, Comfort Food, OPEN LATE Sophisticated-yet-casual dining at the top of the Bridger Gondola Gather for a bistro-style meal in a casual setting Wood Fired Pizza, Pastas, Burgers, Local Meats Sandwiches, Soups & Salads

Austrian Continental, Classic Continental, Fine Dining, Aprés Ski Aprés with 1/2 off drinks, and an under $10 Aprés Menu

Reservations: R-Recommended; AC-Accepted;Y-Yes; N-No; OT-Opentable.com; Bar Service: Y-Beer, Wine, Cocktails; B/W-Beer/Wine only; Take-out, Delivery: TO-Take-out; DL-Delivery; CT-Catering; PP-Private Parties ALL JACKSON HOLE RESTAURANTS ARE SMOKE FREE Credit Cards; AE American Express; DS-Discover; MC-Master Card; VI-Visa; Healthy Options: O-Organic/Natural, L-Locally Sourced, S-Sustainable;

Scan QR Code to view the Mobile Friendly version of the Jackson Hole Dining Guide jhdiningguide.com w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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JACKSON HOLE SKIER

DINING & RESTAURANT GUIDE ALPENHOF BISTRO & THE ALPENROSE

Dining at the Alpenhof is a true delight. Start the day with an European breakfast buffet in the Bistro. Lunch is served on the outside decks or in front of a roaring fire. Dining can be elegant in The Alpenrose or casual in the Alpenhof Bistro while enjoying European inspired fare. Conveniently located at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Next to the Tram | Teton Village 307.733.3242 www.alpenhoflodge.com/dining

THE BUNNERY BAKERY & RESTAURANT

Famous not only for our wonderful baked goods, but for Jackson's most delicious breakfast with a roster of classic and southwest omelettes and eggs, whole grain waffles and p a n cakes, and the freshest juice this side of the orchard. We proudly brew Starbucks Coffee. Just 1/2 block north of the Town Square. 130 North Cache | Jackson 307.733.5474 bunnery.com

HAYDEN’S POST RESTAURANT & BAR

Inspired by its surroundings and local traditions, Hayden’ s Post offers a sophisticated, yet approachable, menu of Mountain West regional cuisine. The rustic atmosphere, with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, makes Hayden’ s Post the perfect location for an intimate dinner or a celebration with family and friends. Snow King Resort | Jackson 307.734.3187 www.haydenspost.com

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DINING & RESTAURANT GUIDE LOTUS CAFE ORGANIC

NIKAI SUSHI ASIAN GRILL & SUSHI BAR

Bakery, breakfast, lunch & dinner. Organic meats, vegetarian, vegan & raw choices. Fresh & vibrant flavors from around the world including American, Asian, Indian, Latin & Thai. Offering entrees, appetizers, soups, salads, smoothies, fresh extracted juices, espresso, tea, full bar & house infused spirits. Accommodates dietary restrictions & allergy related concerns; endless gluten-free choices. 145 N Glenwood | Jackson 307.734.0882 www.tetonlotuscafe.com

Enjoy an evening at Jackson’ s favorite sushi bar. Casual, contemporary atmosphere, just 2 blocks north of the Town Square. Fresh fish flown in daily from all over the world we take pride in offering something for everyone. Our open-display grill offers an exceptional variety of Asian inspired cuisine. Full-service bar specializing in creative tropical cocktails, & a unique and affordable wine list.

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225 N Cache, Jackson 307.734.6490 www.nikaisushi.com

SNAKE RIVER BREWING COMAPNY

Make yourself at home at Snake River Brewing in the heart of the Teton Mountain Range. All roads, trails, bike paths, climbing routes and ski runs lead to “The Brewpub”! After a day in the great outdoors how can you not partake of a tasty malt beverage and a delicious meal? “The Brewpub”! Open 7 days a week, 11am – 11pm. 265 S. Millward | Jackson 307.739.BEER (2337) www.snakeriverbrewing.com

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

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Index of Advertisers APRÉS SKI & MUSIC GRAND TARGHEE RESORT THE TRAP BAR & GRILLE (800) TARGHEE PG 43

PINKY G’S PIZZERIA – 307.734.PINK(7465) PG 122

MEDICAL & EMERGENCY CARE

SNAKE RIVER BREWING COMPANY – 739-2337 PG 4

ST. JOHN'S CENTER OF EXCELLENCE IN ORTHOPAEDICS – 888-739-7499 PG 5

STIEGLERS AUSTRIAN – 307-733-1071 PG 125 THE PINES RESTAURANT – (307) 733-1005 PG 97

ST. JOHN’S CLINIC AT TETON VILLAGE – 307-739-7346 PG 55

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, MOOSE DORNAN’S PIZZA & PASTA – M-F 11:30-3; Sat/Sun 11:30-5; Bar 10-6. 733-2415 ext 204 PG 117

HELI & CAT–SKIING ALASKA RENDEZVOUS LODGE & HELI GUIDES – 307734-0721, 907-822-3300 PG 67

ST. JOHN’S FAMILY HEALTH & URGENT CARE – 307739-8999 PG 55

CMH HELI SKIING – 307-200-4220 PG 69

ST. JOHN’S 4 PEAKS CLINIC IN TETON VALLEY IDAHO – 208 354 4757 PG 55

SNAKE RIVER BREWERY – 739-2337 PG 4

GRAND TARGHEE SNOWCAT POWDER ADVENTURES – (800)-TARGHEE PG 43

ST. JOHN’S EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT – 307-733-3636 PG 55

WYOMING WHISKEY – wyomingwhiskey.com PG 2

HIGH MOUNTAIN HELI-SKIING – 307-733-3274

TETON ORTHOPAEDICS – 307-733-3900, 800-659-1335 PG 57

JACKSON NOTEWORTHY PG 110

MUSIC

AGENCY – 307-733-5459

JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT ALPENHOF BISTRO – 307-733-3242 PG 124

POINTS NORTH HELI-ADVENTURES (877) 787-6784 PG 59 VALDEZ HELI-SKI GUIDES – 907-835-4528 PG 61

ASPENS & TETON PINES

REAL ESTATE CALDERA HOUSE – calderahouse.com PG 17

NICK WILSON'S COWBOY CAFE – PG 19

ICE SKATING

ROB DESLAURIERS – 307-423-3955 PG 3

STIEGLERS – 307-733-1071 – PG 125

SNOW KING CENTER – 734-3000 PG 37

TETON PINES – (307) 733-1005 – PG 117

INFORMATION – SERVICES

GRAND TARGHEE RESORT – (800) TARGHEE PG 37

AVALANCHE HAZARD & WEATHER FORECAST 307733-2664, jhavalanche.org

JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT – 1-888-DEEP-SNO; snow conditions 307-733-2291 PG 11

WESTSIDE WINE & SPIRITS – 307-733-5038 – PG 125

BACKCOUNTRY GUIDE SERVICES EXUM MOUNTAIN GUIDES – 307-733-2297 – PG 47 JH BACKCOUNTRY GUIDES – 307-739-2779 PG 11 JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN GUIDES – 307-733-4979 PG 51

SKI & SNOWBOARD RESORTS

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK 307-739-3300

SNOW KING MOUNTAIN RESORT – 307-733-3194 PG 29

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK 307-344-7381

SNOW KING NIGHT SKIING – (307) 733-3194 PG 29

JACKSON HOLE & GREATER YELLOWSTONE VISITORS’ CENTER – 307-733-3316

WHITE PINE SKI AREA – 307-749-1533 PG 127

TETON BACKCOUNTRY GUIDES – 307.353.2900 PG 53

JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT GUEST SERVICE – 307-739-2753 PG 11

BUS SERVICE GRAND TARGHEE EXPRESS – 307-734-9SKI PG 43

JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN HOSTS – 307-739-2697 PG 11

START BUS – 307-733-4521

JACKSON HOLE SKI CLUB – 733-6433

CAMERA SUPPLIES & PHOTOGRAPHY

SKI & SNOWBOARD STORAGE & LOCKERS – 307-7392755 PG 11

DD CAMERA CORRAL 307-733-3831 – PG 129 & 130

SKI & SNOWBOARD STORAGE & LOCKERS @ THE HOSTEL – 307-733-3415 PG 127

CUSTOM MADE SKIS & SNOWBOARDS

TETON COUNTY LIBRARY – 307-733-2164

IGNEOUS – 734-8788 PG 83 MAIDEN SKIS – 307-264-1640 PG 85

DINING – RESTAURANTS – CAFÉS GRAND TARGHEE RESORT THE BRANDING IRON GRILL – (800) TARGHEE PG 43 SNORKEL’S CAFE AND BISTRO – PG 43 THE TRAP BAR & GRILLE – PG 43 DORNAN’S PIZZA & PASTA – 733-2415 ext 204. PG 117

JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT – ON THE MOUNTAIN CASPER RESTAURANT – PG 19 CAFE 6311 – PG 19

JEWELRY – ART – FLOWERS

SLED DOG ADVENTURES

KIDS SHOPS TETON TOYS – 307-200-6066 PG 122

JACKSON HOLE IDITAROD SLED DOG ADVENTURES – 307-733-7388 PG 53

LODGING

SPORTS SHOPS & APPAREL G R AN D TAR G H E E R E SO RT GRAND TARGHEE

GRAND TARGHEE RESORT’S – (800) TARGHEE, GrandTarghee.com PG 127

JACKSON – TETON VILLAGE – WILSON DOOR 2 DOOR 307-733-4077 PG 115

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, MOOSE DORNAN’S SPUR RANCH CABINS – 307-733-2522 PG 117

JD HIGH COUNTRY OUTFITTERS – 733-3270 PG 23

COWBOY VILLAGE RESORT – 307-733-3121 or 800-9624988 PG 33

JACKSON-TETON VILLAGE ROAD

HOBACK SPORTS – 733-5335 PG 131 HOLE IN THE WALL SNOWBOARD SHOP – 307.739.2689 PG 11

JACKSON

PISTE MOUNTAIN BITRO – PG 125

NICK WILSON’S COWBOY CAFE – PG 19

TETON MOUNTAIN OUTFITTERS AND BOARD SHOP – (800) PG 37

GRAND TARGHEE SPA – 1-800-TARGHEE PG 127

ANTLER INN – 307-733-2535 or 1-800-522-2406 PG 33

ALPENROSE RESTAURANT – 307-733-3242 PG 124

JACKSON HOLE KIDS RANCH – 307-739-2788. PG 11

SNOW KING MOUNTAIN SPORTS SCHOOL – 307-7333188 PG 29

COULOIR RESTAURANT – 307-739-2675 PG 19

ALPENHOF BISTRO – 307-733-3242 PG 124

SKI & SNOWBOARD SCHOOLS GRAND TARGHEE SNOWSPORTS SCHOOL – 1-(800)TARGHEE PG 37

HINES GOLDSMITHS – 307-733-5599 PG 21

CORBET'S CABIN – PG 19

JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT – TETON VILLAGE

TETON PINES NORDIC CENTER 307-733-1005 PG 97

JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN SPORTS SCHOOL – 307-7392779 PG 11

DANSHELLEY JEWELERS – 307-733-2259 PG 7

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, MOOSE DORNAN’S TRADING POST GROCERY – 733-2415 PG 117

SKIING–NORDIC SKI CENTERS GRAND TARGHEE NORDIC CENTER – (800) TARGHEE PG 37

ELK COUNTRY INN – 733-2364 or 800-4-TETONS, townsquareinns.com PG 33 JACKSON HOLE SUPER 8 – 800-800-8000/307-733-6833, jacksonholesuper8.com PG 127 49ER INN AND SUITES – 307-733-7550, 800-4512980,townsquareinns.com PG 33

BLUE LION RESTAURANT – 307-733-3912 PG 124

JH RESORT STORE – 307-734-6045 PG 11 JH SKIS – 307-413-9300 PG 4 JACKSON HOLE SPORTS – 307-739-2687 PG 11 PEPI STIEGLER’S – Olympic Plaza-733-4505, and the Alpenhof 733-6838 PG 23 PETER GLEN SKI & SPORTS – PeterGlenn.com PG 88 STIO – (307) 201-1890 PG 27 TETON VILLAGE SPORTS – 307-733-2181 PG 132

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, MOOSE

JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT

THE BUNNERY – 733-5474 PG 124

ALPENHOF LODGE – 307-733-3242 PG 127

CUTTY’S BAR & RESTAURANT 307-201-1079 – pg 124

THE HOSTEL – 307-733-3415 PG 127

FULL STEAM SUBS – 307-733-3448 PG 124 HÄAGEN DAZS – 307-739-1880 PG 122

JACKSON HOLE RESORT LODGING – 800-443-8613, 307-733-3990 PG 127

KING TUBES PARK – 307-734-8823 PG 37

HAYDEN’S POST – 307-734-3187 PG 124

PINEDALE, WYOMING

GRAND TARGHEE TUBING PARK – PG 43

JACKSON HOLE BUFFALO MEAT – 307-733-4159 800-543-6328 PG 131

MUSIC

McDONALD’S® OF JACKSON HOLE PG 39

NOTEWORTHY PG 110

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TUBE PARKS-TERRAIN PARKS

SNOW KING ICE PARK – 307-733-2297 PG 37

VISIT PINEDALE – 307-749-1533 PG 127

LOTUS CAFE ORGANIC – 307-734-0882 PG 125 NIKAI SUSHI – 307-734-6490 PG 125

DORNAN’S GIFT SHOP 733-2415, ext 301 PG 117

WILDLIFE EXPEDITIONS MUSIC

AGENCY – 307-733-5459

ECOTOUR ADVENTURES – 307-690 9533 PG 85 GRIZZLY COUNTRY WILDLIFE EXPIDETIONS – 307-4134389 PG 87

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Lodging Directory Alpenhof Lodge

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

Grand Targhee Resort

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

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

Jackson Hole Resort Lodging

Hostel Recognized for its value, location, and atmosphere, the Hostel is a Jackson Hole tradition. Our guestrooms have either a king bed or four twin beds, daily housekeeping service, private bathrooms, free coffee & wifi, and access to our game room. All this and the lowest slope side rates. Private Room: $79-129, Bunks: $28-42 each.

Conveniently located next to the Teton Village Market. Ski-in / Ski-out lodging and accommodations for all seasons. Affordable condos to luxury vacation homes, for family getaways and reunions. Properties in Teton Village, the Aspens and Teton Pines.

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

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

Jackson Hole Super 8

Visit Pinedale, Wyoming

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

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Alpenhof Lodge $$-$$$ Grand Targhee Resort $$-$$$ Hostel $ Jackson Hole Mountain Resort $$-$$$ Jackson Hole Super 8 $ Visit Pinedale-White Pine Ski Area $-$$$

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Rates Based on Double Occupancy

Enjoy White Pine Ski Area just ten minutes from downtown - 25 runs for downhill skiing and snowboarding, a terrain park with jumps and slides, a tubing hill, 35K of Nordic trails at an elevation of 9,500 feet offering spectacular views of the Wind River Mountains. Book your lodging at www.visitpinedale.org.

www.visitpinedale.org

Lodging Index HOTELS ~ MOTELS LODGES ~ RESORTS

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($) Cost Per Night up to $100; ($$) Cost Per Night up to $250; ($$$) Cost Per Night over $250 w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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

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JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT

Mountain Characteristics

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

Lifts

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

SNOW KING

MOUNTAIN RESORT Mountain Characteristics• Base Elevation: 6,237 ft. Top elevation: 7,808 ft. Vertical rise: 1,571 ft. Skiable terrain: 400 plus acres 300 acres of machine groomed terrain 15% beginner 35% intermediate 50% advanced Longest run: 9/10 mile

Winter Activities

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

Ski Lifts

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


GRAND TARGHEE RESORT

Mountain Characteristics

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

Lifts

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

Snowcat Skiing on Peaked Mountain

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

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JEWELRY – GIFTS – PHOTOGRAPHY DD Camera Corral – 26 Dan Shelley Jewelers – 19 Hines Goldsmiths – 30 Jackson Hole Resort Store – 29 KIDS SHOPS Teton Toys – 24 LODGING Antler Motel – 23 Cowboy Village Resort – 11 Elk Country Inn – 10 49er Inn – 12 Jackson Hole Super 8 – 4 MEDICAL SERVICES St. John’s Family Health & Urgent Care – 3 St. John’s Medical Center – 33 Teton Orthopaedics – 32 MOUNTAIN GUIDES & HELI-SKIING Exum Ice Park – 34 High Mountain Heli-Skiing – 7 JH Mountain Guides – 2

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RESTAURANTS – CAFÉS Blue Lion Restaurant – 15 The Bunnery – 20 Cutty’s Bar and Grill – 5 Full Steam Subs – 21 Häagen–Dazs – 28 Hayden’s Post Restaurant – 35 JH Buffalo Meat Company – 2 Lotus Café – 16 McDonald’s of Jackson Hole – 6 Nikai Sushi – 17 Pinky G’s Pizzeria – 22 Snake River Brewery & Restaurant – 13 SPORTS SHOPS & APPAREL Door 2 Door – 8 Hoback Sport – 9 JD High Country Outfitters – 27 JH Skis – 14 Stio Mountain Studio – 25 Igneous Custom Skis – 1

J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R 2 0 1 6

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Jackson Hole Skier Magazine 2016  

Jackson Hole Skier Magazine 2016 The Jackson Hole Skiing Magazine is a winter travelers’ guide for vacationers to the Jackson Hole Ski Resor...

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