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RESORTS 10 30 31 32 38 56 59

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Freeride Pros, Youth Freeride Teams Jackson Hole’s Burton Stash Parks JHMR – What’s New The Pioneering First Descents of Cody Peak Grand Targhee Resort Snow King, The Town Hill

BACKCOUNTRY 33 34 42 46 46 48

Beacon Parks, Avy Hazard Lab, Avy Education Ski With A Mountain Guide Landmarks In Ski Mountaineering Cross Country Snow The Code of Backcountry Ethics Helicopter Skiing in Alaska & Wyoming

PEOPLE & EVENTS 8 47 62 69 78 82 83 84 85 86 88 89 90

Thirty Years Of The JH Skier Jamie Pierre’s World Record Cliff Drop Town Downhill Ski Films, Locally Bred Ski Town Jobs Gelande Quaff World Championships Pole Peddle Paddle The Soul Tram Ski Culture – Bonfires, Music Festivals, Pond Skim, Gaper Fools Day, Everyday Skiers Club, Teton Pass Ambassador, Cowboy Lifties Wyoming Brews & Whiskey TreeFight – Saving The Whitebark Pine KHOL Community Radio In Memoriam

DIVERSIONS 63 66 70 73 76 92 95 96 98

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Cover: skier Shroder Baker, Pucker Face, photo Wade McKoy Contents: skier Josh Spriggs, Corbet’s Couloir, photo Bob Woodall, TGR Published and edited by: Bob Woodall and Wade McKoy Copy Editor: Mike Calabrese Photo Editor, Editorial Research: Eric Rohr Art Director: Janet Melvin Advertising Sales: Nanci Montgomery, Andy LaBonte, Bob Woodall Contributing Photographers: Henry H. Holdsworth, Jonathan Selkowitz, Mark Newcomb, Doug Coombs, Emily Coombs, Jonathan Slaughter, Tom Evans, Andrew Miller, Simon Evans, Neil Henderson, Gabe Rogel, Wade McKoy, Bob Woodall The JACKSON HOLE SKIER annual winter visitor’s guide is free when picked up at one of 160 distribution points throughout Jackson Hole. Receive one in the mail by sending $5 to JH SKIER, P.O. Box 1930, Jackson, Wyoming 83001. Copyright—2013 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.


37 YEARS OF INSPIRATION AT 6000 FT. Gaslight Alley • Downtown Jackson Hole • 125 N.Cache • • 307.733.2259 ALL DESIGNS COPYRIGHTED

30 years of the

Jackson Hole Skier


Thirty years. That’s how long we’ve been publishing the Jackson Hole Skier. Our premier issue, a 16-page, newspaperstyled visitor’s guide entitled The Village Focus in 1983, featured ski-school ripper Mary Jane Trimble on the cover. Local artist Jocelyn Slack depicted our ski-bum lifestyle with lively, humorous illustrations. Jim Hanlon sketched our friend Jim Huett blasting out of a classic Canon F1. Our production studio was in the defunct Aspens Drive-in Theater projection booth and concession building, a structure now hidden behind the current MovieWorks Cinema. Production methods of the 1980s now seem archaic. “Paste-up” was a tedious process of prepping artboards with border tape, bullets, and page numbers; of waxing and applying strips of text that spooled off a typesetting machine. Mary Jane Trimb We designated photo

1983/84, MJ Trimble

1990, Ty Vanderpool

le, The Hoback s, 1980 boxes with Amberlith and ordered halftones and four-color separations that we sized using proportion wheels and sketches made with our darkroom enlarger. Writers wrote and editors edited, with typewriters and by longhand, to a word length that we converted into column inches to see what would fit. There was no room for change in content or design once the typesetters and color separators had done their work. Colors were selected from a dictionary-sized book, among a palette of thousands. We designated color-break instructions on a sheet of onionskin that overlay the finished art-boards. The rightly heralded debut of desktop computers in the early ‘90s eliminated this cumbersome process. Our first Mac housed a 4 MB hard drive and 512 KB of RAM – that’s about .0001 of today’s computers – yet it provided vast new freedoms in design and problem solving, right up to press time. With each passing year, computer technology and the Internet 4 8 / 3 8 ll, 19 brought new and better ways to write stories, design pages, and manage ooda W b Bo photography. Even shipping the massive document to the printer, which in the early days meant a pre-dawn drive to the airport with a big, heavy box, is now accomplished with a few hundred mouse clicks from the office. And, in another nod to technology’s light-speed influence in publishing, our online magazines receive more views than will this durable keepsake in your hands. Some things haven’t changed, though. This magazine would not exist without our advertisers or readers. Our thanks to both, for moti/84 vating us and helping us stay true in this evolving world of skiers and 1983 Koy, c M e snowboarders, of resorts and backcountry. Wad We dedicate this, our 30th anniversary issue, to the future generations of Jackson Hole skiers. To the Tetons and beyond. To the magic places in your world and your hearts. —Jackson Hole Skier staff


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1996, Doug Coombs

2002, Kevin Brazell

Art: Jocelyn Slack 1983/84 Village Focus

2008, Jess McMillan

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1985, Jeff Sweet

1986, Andy Chambers

1987, Howard Henderson

1988, Howard Henderson

1989, Benny Wilson

1991, John Scott

1992, John Scott

1993, Rick Armstrong

1994, Anne Band

1995, Kevin Brazell

1997, Paul Huser

1998, AJ Cargill

Rob Haggart/Todd Jones/Billy Bacon

2000, Jason Tattersall

2001, Mark Newcomb

2003, Jason Tattersall

2004, Jeff Leger

2005, Jeff Leger

2006, Tommy Moe

2007, Doug Coombs

2009, Jason Tattersall

2010, Rob LaPier

2011, Andrew Whiteford

2012, Jason Tattersall

2013, Shroder Baker

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JH SKIER magazine’s three storied decades with The Big One


Tommy Moe skis Tensleep Bowl beneath Corbet’s Couloir (center left) and S&S Couloir (far left), the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram sailing overhead, circa 2000s.


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out to play along the outer limits of radical skiing (see 1st Descents, page 38). It seemed the by Steve Curtis Golden Era of steep skiing and barroom re-en1988/89 Jackson Hole Skier actments was in full swing. The edge. The redemptive link between the But not all these tales are innuendos of insanity and necessarily bent around the the grace of excellence – histrionics of masochism. that is what ski dreams are There are those clothed with made of. It's a hard-won comic ingenuity. Like the adbattle, those dreams, fought vent of short skis, which for by willful persistence and carved moguls into scale the desire to be out there in models of the Empire State the thick of it. The great skier Building, leaving patrolman looks at the mountain much Robbie Fuller fulminating, as a climber would, analyzspewing wrath: ing the intriguing lines, the "I could ski that doily aesthetics, the possibilities. crap on a pair of 2 x 4s!" he And from that, a certain love raged. for the mountain is born. To his surprise, the next The first to thrash themday on top of the mountain selves in and out of the rewere a pair of finely tuned 2 sort’s cliffs and couloirs were x 4s, tips neatly beveled, a raffish, hard-drinking mounted with Look bunch, mostly hardcore Robbi Fuller with son Nate, 1983 Nevadas. Undaunted, Fuller mountaineers and ski patrolmen. They had the place pretty much to them- snapped in, made some roundhouse turns on selves, to do as they please, and with a Rendezvous Bowl, hit his stride in Amphitheater and cruised to the bottom, scoring a premature good-natured sense of one-upmanship, they set victory for long skis.

Barnstorming Oz

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Wade McKoy photos

or 30 years the Jackson Hole Skier has given voice to dozens of ski writers to share their impressions of the Jackson Hole ski area and Teton Village. Originally titled The Village Focus in 1983, we changed the masthead four years later to better represent the evolving ski and snowboard community that was choosing its daily playground from a growing palette of backcountry options and three popular resorts. We stuck with “Skier,” however, because in those early days of snowboarding, we still called it skiing. We love the word “skier” – simple, precise. In a perfect universe, though, we’d add an asterisk to the masthead: Jackson Hole Skier* with the annotation, *that means you, too, snowboarders. The following excerpts showcase the many different impressions these writers have crafted depicting our home resort and culture over the past 30 years. You can read the full-length versions at

Bill Bowen drops into S&S Couloir last winter on his annual birthday run, with girlfriends watching and Sam Pope filming. w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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They come by the hundreds each year: the former jocks now on vacation from the big city, the guys with such a set of preconceived goals that there's no way they're going to head home without doin' Corbet's. — Round of Chuters

Round of Chuters

by Dan McKay 1992/93 Jackson Hole Skier originally published in Powder magazine, 1983 Sooner or later you’ll get around to it. In exploring the outer limits of the sport, the superlatives, your unquenchable ski thirst will lead you to The Big One, Jackson Hole. You’ll ski the runs, the bowls, even the chutes, and think it’s fun, within your grasp. Thrilling but not life-ordeath scary. Your adrenaline chase will lead you to the edge of Corbet's Couloir, the big gap in the rock wall that forms the summit, and there you'll stand, heart pounding in your throat, knuckles going white on your ski poles, and healthy knees turning to mush. The jump is terrifying.

Rob Kingwill, Cody Peak, circa 2000s

this point. Joe rode an extended position all the way, landing with enough force to crush a dump truck. He was going about 75 m.p.h. A ski pole shot out, then a hat with goggles. Larrow did a forward roll and in the same instant skied away. He thrust his arms up in triumph and skied the 4,000 vertical feet to the bottom. When Rhythms came out, I was happy to see Joe’s leap as the final scene.

Riding The Wave of Change

by John Griber 1996/97 Jackson Hole Skier In 1985, I was looking over Gary Nate's shoulder, watching the cinematographer shoot a snowboard movie for Sims Snowboards. We had dropped into the steep terrain of Rock Springs

Wade McKoy photos; Bob Woodall photo of Dan MacKay

Dan MacKay, circa 1970s

Perhaps it is the fame of the thing that draws so many like lemmings to hurl themselves down into the abyss. They come by the hundreds each year: the former jocks now on vacation from the big city, the guys with such a set of preconceived goals that there's no way they're going to head home without doin' Corbet's. It matters not that it hasn't snowed in a week and that giant holes pock the landing zone. In midwinter, after a rapid succession of deep storms, the rare perfect condition is a drop of a little more than twelve feet into soft snow. Two locals, Hoback Jack Curry and Jim Anderson, have done flips into Corbet's. Roger Pack and Tom Russo led the flood of 3-pinners who have done it. There is one other guy I wanted to mention. His name is Joe Larrow, and he's been a patrolman since he was 19. Now at 25, he has been into Corbet's more than anyone else. In '79, he and Steve Tenney skied the Grand Teton. In all fairness, I should have started this story with Bill "Mad Dog" Danford, whose leap it really was. Mad Dog had this thing where he'd start way back from the lip and ski off Corbet's with some speed. Nobody went as far down into the couloir as Billy. Mad Dog was making a movie with the Salomon crew, to be called Rhythms. Mad Dog stepped back, built up some velocity, and hit the lip at close to 30 m.p.h. He flew 70 feet down the hill, an arm's length from the great wall on his left the whole way down, landed beautifully and skied away undaunted. It was impressive, and for about three minutes stood as the biggest jump into Corbet's on record. Enter my friend, Joe. Where Mad Dog started 100 feet from the lip, Larrow started 100 meters above Corbet's. He began skating and poling, tucking toward the edge, searching for speed. Patrolmen radioed the jump clear, photographers stood ready, and Joe approached at almost 40 m.p.h. He flew straight out 50 feet before he dropped at all. Corbet's Couloir stretched below him as he looked down from a spot in Jackson Hole only birds had previously occupied, a spot easily 60 feet to the snow from

Jeff Leger, The Crags, 2012


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went on to become a member of the U.S.S.A. "C” team last year, winning World Cup half-pipe events throughout the world. With his dynamic performances he earned a spot on the "A" team and now has his sights on an even larger goal. "I was planning on going to school," he said, "but the opportunity to compete in the '98 Olympics at Nagano, Japan, comes only once, and I want to take full advantage of it." Kingwill is vying for one of four spots. Another of Pappas' snowboard school alumni is Julie Zell. Julie came to the valley in '90 with a strong alpine racing background but, like Kingwill, felt the need to try something besides skiing. "I took a board out by myself and gave it a try," John Griber, Garnet Canyon, Tetons, circa 1990s she said. ''Then after a few days of struggling, I turned the bindings around and it all made Bowl, and as their guide I was a little worried. "It sense." Julie transferred her years of ski racing gets pretty steep and the trees are tight," I yelled experience onto the snowboard and successfully up to Tom Sims and team rider Dave Weaver. competed on the pro tour until a blown A.C.L. Then I turned to Gary and said, "I don't think took her out of commission. "I was able to ride they can come down on those things." with a brace, but I needed motivation." The moOf course they could. And they shredded the tivation came in the form of the first annual King chute with style. But I’d had the same questions of the Hill extreme snowboarding contest in about snowboarding that many skiers had back then, even though in Jackson Hole we never re- Valdez, Alaska, and apparently it rocked her world. She won! "All of a sudden I was this 'Exgarded snowboarders much differently than they treme Queen,' and I did each other. And wasn't sure what to soon a new sport had make of it." She did, found its niche among however, know what to the locals. make of big, steep By 1986 I had seen mountains, and last the light and started season Julie won her snowboarding reguthird-in-a-row "Queen larly with Chris Papof the Hill" title. Now pas, who had she feels the need to pioneered the sport take her snowboarding and installed himself back to her roots in as Jackson Hole’s first racing. "The clock snowboard instructor. doesn't lie, and is not We had a personal subjective," said Julie. race going for who "I need to give racing a would make the first final full-on effort, and snowboard descent of of course another trip S&S Couloir. The to Alaska." snowstorm we needed Any discussion of to make the jump dosnowboard evolution able finally came, and in Jackson Hole has to I'm sure I stayed up include Robert Garrett most of the night – better known as RG – thinking of that couloir. one of the original The next day the prescrew. RG was snowsure was on. Peering boarding on Teton down the precarious Pass as early as 1980. drop for what seemed Joe Larrow, No Shadows, Cody Peak, circa 1970s "The gear wasn't caan eternity, I stood on pable of ski area use," he said, "and the manthe lip so long that I was afraid Pappas was going to show up behind me. Finally, the ski pa- agement didn't think we could control it. We probably couldn't half the time." RG succeeded trolmen looking on said, "Look, Griber, this is a Pappas as ski school supervisor, refined the first descent that had better be kept local." It teaching progression, and contributed to the stayed local. early efforts with the PSIA. He's witnessed the Cisco Oldani, who taught with Pappas in conflict between skiers and snowboarders at those early years, had made a name for himself as one of the country's premier big-mountain rid- other large areas, and he's concerned it might happen here as the number of local riders iners. Cisco moved to Jackson in 1986, and his style showed a strong surfing and skating back- creases. With hope, he says, "I think we all laid ground. In 1990 Cisco opened Jackson's first a good, solid foundation of attitude, and I can't snowboard shop, the BoardRoom, and local rid- see that changing soon. All the disciplines groove easily in Jackson Hole – alpine, Nordic, ers – who by now had grown substantially in number – finally had the needed link to the latest and snowboarding. It's a strong blend." We all agreed it was amazing to witness and gear. Cisco also saw a need to help Jackson's young riders develop. Through the Jackson Hole take part in the evolution of snowboarding in Jackson Hole and the athletes, attitudes, and Ski Club, he developed a snowboard team from way of life it has created. I wonder what will haphigh school and middle school students. continued Rob Kingwill, a graduate of the local team, pen in the next ten years? w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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During the first winter of tram operation in 1966-67, the final race of the inaugural World Cup was held at Jackson Hole. — The Big One is Born Since the Beginning

JH SKIER editor’s 2009 interview with Pierre and Christiane Maréchal Jackson Hole skiers since 1967 “We were not used to skiing in the typical stormy weather found in Jackson: the ordinary single goggles of the time were always foggy. “Fortunately, one day on the tram dock we saw a guy wearing a pair of goggles bulging like the eyes of a bug. They consisted of two separate layers, sealed and leaving a vacuum in be-

Stephen Koch, The Crags, circa 1980s

tween. It was Dr. Smith demonstrating the problem of fogging solved. The following year the ski shop was selling Smith goggles. The shape had improved. All of a sudden you could see in bad weather. They were quite expensive but we both got a pair and started enjoying skiing in snowstorms.”

owner Dave McCoy, to come and take a look at tually resented the racers usurping their recrethis project. After several days of riding around ational runs, so it not only cost you money to put the mountain in a Kristi-Kat, McCoy's comment on a race, it cost you business as well." McCollister’s vision of the future includes furwas, "If you don't develop this mountain, I'll ther expansion. "Our master plan shows fifteen come out here and do it myself." In June of 1964, construction of the Jackson additional chairlifts in the existing permit area," says McCollister. "Rock Hole Ski Area began. In DecemSprings Bowl, which is ber of the following year, Après presently outside the ski area Vous Mountain opened to the boundary, has some very fine public, and one year after that, intermediate terrain, and we the aerial tramway carried its first may eventually build some skiers to the summit of Renchairlifts there." dezvous Mountain. Postscript, 2012 – In 1992, During the first winter of tram the Kemmerer family puroperation in 1966-67, the final chased the Jackson Hole Ski race of the inaugural World Cup Corporation from Paul McColwas held at Jackson Hole. Mclister. With Wyoming roots for Collister was overjoyed that all over 100 years, it kept ownerthe internationally renowned ship local. The Kemmerers’ names in competitive skiing were stewardship has advanced the testing his new resort during this Jackson Hole Mountain ReWorld Cup send-off, an institusort’s world-renowned distinction that quickly became the Tom Russo, circa 1970s mainstay in ski racing. But it seemed that, at the tion. Connie Kemmerer is an active participant, a Teton Village resident, and a skier. same time, his new resort was testing him and In 1994, Olympic gold and silver medalist his ability to deal with problems of running it. Tommy Moe signed on as the Ambassador of McCollister reflected, "If you can believe it, the tram's motor generator burned out just be- Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Recently, fore the race. We rented another generator from snowboard phenom Travis Rice also became an ambassador. Joe Pivac's sawmill, and the race was run. We fixed ours and had it back on line before the Out of Bounds Protocol awards ceremony." 1985 The Village Focus At the awards, combined winner Jean Claude The status of touring off the tram will always Killy said, “If there is a better ski mountain In the fall under one of the following categories: United States, I have not seen it." Closed; Open to guided parties only; Open to the You can't buy better advertising than that, general public, sign-out required; Open to the and Jackson Hole was on its way to international general public, no sign-out necessary. Weather, fame. Paul immediately began bidding on the visibility and snow stability are the determining world ski championships, but continually lost the factors as to which category touring falls under. new and prestigious race to European ski areas. No artificial snow control is conducted out of the After hosting several other international ski ski-area boundary. Out-of-bounds touring is races, he eventually concluded, "The majority of open only when the conditions are safe and dethe U.S. recreational skiers couldn't care less about a race, no matter who is racing. They ac- sirable. This usually occurs in the spring.

The Big One is Born

by Wade McKoy 1984/85 The Village Focus “All my friends thought I was nuts,” Paul McCollister said, “because Crystal Springs Dude Ranch (current site of Teton Village) owner Kenneth Klatterbaugh quoted me a price that was considerably higher than the present market value of local land. He wanted $225,000 for 165 acres, and at that time, you could buy all the land you wanted in Teton County for $250 an acre." For the next three years, McCollister financed snow studies on the site. He enlisted the help of local playwright Stewart Lions, who wintered in one of the dude cabins at the Crystal Springs writing plays and recording storms. Rancher Jim Huidekoper hiked around on the mountain every couple of weeks and made observations regarding wind direction and snow deposits. In 1963, consultant Willy Schaeffler concluded in his report that "the ski terrain in this six-square-mile area is absolutely ideal and overwhelming." As if he needed any further convincing, he invited a friend of his, Mammoth Mountain ski area


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Tommy Moe and Doug Coombs relive a Moe World Cup moment on Grand run, circa 1990s. 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 Max Hammer skis the Nose Line between Four Shadows and Triple Cliffs on Cody Peak while filming with TGR last winter. w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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Bob Woodall Chris Newson, The Headwall edge, 2012

Hole Lotta Soul

by Keith I. Cozzens 2005/06 Jackson Hole Skier They flock to Jackson Hole every ski season, through the turnstile and onto the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram, a coming-of-age rite of passage. Dozens of new, young faces mix in with the old guard on the dock. “Back in the day, we would take the tram up and beat it down so we could take the same one up again. It was the classic thing just to do laps,” said longtime Jackson Hole Air Force member Howard Henderson, 47, who has ripped up the mountain for 30 consecutive seasons and won the inaugural Master of the Mountain fitness contest one summer, climbing to the top of Rendezvous Mountain an astounding 124 times. During the late ‘80s and ‘90s, one person who always showed up with an unwavering penchant for skiing technical lines was Doug Coombs. Besides bringing dedication and soul, Coombs nudged extreme skiing to the next level and left his legacy in the mountains. Coombs, who won two World Extreme Skiing Championships in the early ‘90s, also brought a modest, confident attitude and helped garner more success and pub-


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An Insightful Look At The Gentle Giant

John “Bernie” Bernadine, founder of Bernie’s Boom Boom Room, and Mark “Big Wally” Wolling at the annual ski patrol Sweet Hogs and Swine Hearts Valentine’s Day bash, circa 1980s.

by Steve Casimiro 1992/93 Jackson Hole Skier One midwinter day, I came to find myself in a dead-end gully in Jackson Hole's infamous Expert Chutes. How I got there is innocuous, really: Instead of zigging left, I zagged right. Much more interesting was how I planned to get out. Ten feet of point rocks blocked exit down the fall line, while steep walls prevented a traverse 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

Howie Henderson, circa 1980s

licity for the resort. A historic predecessor to the Air Force was a ski-fanatic gang in the ‘70s called the “Alpine Liberation Army,” led by “Captain Piss Gums” Jorgé Colon. With partners Tom Raymer, Davie Agnew, Mark Wolling, Wes Fox, and many others, Colon and his gang skied the Tetons hard. Speed was “Downhill” Dan McKay’s friend as he skied powder on his 223s, won many Gelundesprunge (alpine ski jump) events of the 1970s, and wrote soulfully penned articles for Powder magazine on the back of soup-can labels and napkins at Nora’s Fish Creek Inn. He, too, was a groundbreaker. Benny Wilson, The Fort, circa 1990s memory of the late Haas, resort lift operators Low-key, talented skiers like Brian Rutter, Rob have installed a bench next to “Steve’s Tree,” “Budda” Baker, Rusty Scotti, George Hirschland, complete with photos of many who have fallen. Steve Haas, Ernie Forest, Connecticut Kevin, “It’s fully accepted to be a ski bum here,” Linda Hunt, and Jenny Hall among others, tosays former female pro skier AJ Cargill, who gether created a special bond that still lives. In moved to Jackson because she couldn’t find a backcountry ski partner in Colorado. “This is a place where you can touch back to your roots,” says Hostel X co-owner Mike Wilson, 59, who took over his father Colby’s inexpensive hotel and skier hangout. And soul brother Keith Benefiel still has a few secret spots left on the Pass, where he can ski in relative solitude.

“Mastering the terrain seems to be the priority, not how much junk you can spray about fellow riders or your personal snow-sliding superiority.” — Snow-slide Riding In The Hole


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Snow-slide Riding In The Hole

by Doug Palladini 1993/94 Jackson Hole Skier I am not a Hole local. I have only been to Jackson Hole three times. In fact, the only reason the editors of this publication asked me to write this story is because for the past five years I have been the editor of Snowboarder Magazine. I confess this not as a cop-out for any vagueness or generality you may find in the following story, but to illustrate a point. Jackson Hole has as easy a snowboarding scene to slip into as I have encountered on any mountain in the world. From the first moment I stepped foot onto the tram, I knew Jackson Hole's snowboarding community was unlike any other I had experienced. "Laid back" seems too soft an explanation for the vibe I got. That is not to say that there is no hardcore riding at The Hole. There is, to be sure. It's just that the members of the Jackson crew seem to be of the sort who check their attitudes at the tram and let the riding do the talking. Mastering the terrain seems to be the priority, not how much junk you can spray about fellow riders or your personal snow-sliding superiority. Such a straightforward theory about snowboarding is a refreshing change in our sport, a sport which is growing ever more localistic, insiderish, and unfriendly to beginners. The locals at Jackson Hole will be happy to show you the terrain. No, I take that back. Show isn't exactly the right word. The local boarders

Wade McKoy (bottom); Bob Woodall (top)

I'm serious. Although known as an expert's mountain, Jackson has excellent cruising and beginner terrain, not to mention a huge ski school headed by Olympic medalist Pepi Stiegler. Of course, the expert terrain is mind-blowing. Steeps, jumps, avalanche chutes filled with powder, cruising downhill courses, sheltered tree name it, and it's there. It's for good reason skiers like Doug Coombs and Jon Hunt, winners of the first and second annual World Extreme Skiing Championships, make their homes here. Jackson even has rocks, including some blocking the exit to a little gully in the Expert Chutes, where the shadows were lengthening on a midwinter day. I knew if I kept moving at my nonexistent pace that I was going to need a shave, a haircut, and a new Stash Park crewman Mikey Marohn tests his ramp work, 2012 driver's license by the time I got to out on the left or right. Pride, and my friends the bottom of the run. I thought a few more secwaiting below, kept me from climbing back out onds about the kind of commitment and duesthe top. paying and fear-facing that it takes to ski at So, there I stood, contemplating the nature of Plake or his friend's level and I thought about all life, granite, and gravity's inexorable pull. The so- the legendary skiers who'd made their mark lution to the situation was obvious – point my here, and then I took a couple steps uphill for skis straight down the gully, jump, and pray that more speed, pointed my skis straight for the I had enough speed to clear the rocks – but I rocks, and jumped. wanted, you know, to think about it a little. That's the thing about Jackson: When it comes Then I heard skiers behind me. I glanced right down to it, it's not about thinking, or talking, back, and recognized one of them immediately – or's about action. It's about skiing. Glen Plake, he of hair and air fame. He made a couple of hop turns above me, said hello, then arced off the side of the gully and flew 30 feet over the rocks. The next skier came down – I didn't know him – hit the side of the gully a little higher, and flew nearly 50 feet. I was inspired. Man, was I inspired. Not to jump, mind you, but to think: to think about Jackson Hole, its skiers and terrain, its culture and legends, and its unique place in the landscape of American ski resorts. Jumping, that can come later. As the managing editor of POWDER, I've skied all over the world. Chamonix, Cortina, St. Anton, Val d'Isere, Aspen, Snowbird...I've skied nearly all the world's major resorts and countless of its minor ones. I've had mind-blowing days helicopter skiing in the deepest fluff in British Columbia and frightening ones in deadly avalanche terrain in Greenland. When people I meet hear about where I've skied and ask me, as they often do, "What's your favorite place to ski?" my response is always the same: "Every place has its strengths and its weaknesses, so I really couldn't narrow it down to one, but, you know, hmm...Jackson Hole wouldn't be a bad place to visit...or spend the rest of your life." No other resort in the world matches Jackson for a combination of varied terrain, consistent snow, beautiful scenery, cool people, wilderness flavor, and American freedom. No other resort has more potential for a skier's happiness, face shots, scaries, and life-long memories. Of course, no other resort has the Hobacks, Corbet's Couloir, and the Grand Teton. Jackson Hole has something for everyone. Shroder Baker, Cardiac Ridge, 2012

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Shroder Baker, Pucker Face, 2012


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Jeff Leger, Filthy McNasty, 2012

will be happy to experience the terrain with you. Snowboarding at Jackson Hole is not just for hardcores. Beginners can get lessons, and there are plenty of groomed runs to get your edges under you. But the beauty of becoming a better snowboarder at the Hole is that, as you progress, there is always something there to challenge you; hence, you progress at a rapid pace. Just bring your board, some warm clothes...and, by the way, don't forget to check your attitude at the tram.

The Travis Rice Phenomenon

by Rob Kingwill, 2009/10 Jackson Hole Skier Travis Rice, the son of a Jackson Hole ski patrolman, has become one of the most winning snowboarders in history. Rob Kingwill saw him burst onto the big-air competition scene in an unforgettable way. In Kinger’s words: “Before Travis Rice became Travis Rice (before he got famous), he was just a 16-year-old kid on the Jackson Hole Ski

Club Snowboard Team. His coach, Dan Adams, took him to the U.S. Open back East in 1997. They had a big-air contest, and it was a big deal, with a big crowd. They wouldn’t let Travis jump. It was by invitation only, for pro riders, but he wanted to do it so bad that he managed to figure out a way to poach the jump. He took his shirt off, came through the crowd, ducked under the ropes, pointed it at the jump, threw a double back flip, and stomped it, first time hitting this jump. I remember those jumps being really scary, in Stratton, Vermont, usually really icy. He just stomped it and rode back into the crowd at the bottom, 5,000 people cheering with open arms. They took him in, he had to get out of there so he didn’t get kicked off the mountain. He’s won a few of those since then.” Kinger continued: “Travis will say, ‘Yeah whatever,’ but he’s won everything. A few years ago he said, ‘I need to win every major big-air event there is, all in one season.’ That’s what his goal was. I think he won all but one. He was on a mission.”

Wade McKoy photos

Snowboard Roots and Metamorphosis

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by Shannon Brooks 2005/06 Jackson Hole Skier Any attempt to start at the “beginning” of snowboarding in Jackson Hole is quickly thwarted by dissenting local opinion. Some would argue it was a surfer from San Diego who introduced the concept with a monoski on Teton Pass in the early 1970s, while others believe it was a group of the first professionals in the snowboard industry who dropped by several years later to check out the epic snow and terrain. Former Mountain Manager Mike McCollister 2 0 1 3 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R


Bob Woodall Max Hammer, Corbet’s Couloir, TGR


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“Some would argue the “beginning” of snowboarding in Jackson Hole was a surfer from San Diego who introduced the concept with a monoski on Teton Pass in the early 1970s.” — Snowboard Roots and Metamorphosis now boasts a superpipe with rope tow, as well as a terrain park with several tabletops, rails, and boxes. Another K2 pro, Mikey Franco, was hired to develop the Jackson Hole Snowboard School, which now offers comprehensive levels of instruction in both freestyle and freeride, as well as signature camps like the Steep and Deep Snowboard Camp. Illuminati Snowboards founder Lance Pitman believes that Jackson Hole’s legendary status serves as a great platform for any business venture. “A business based in Jackson Hole has ac-

cess to a unique branding opportunity,” said Pitman. “People keep their eye on Jackson as a place where world leaders and top athletes vacation, and this, along with the amazing terrain, lend Jackson Hole instant credibility.” Pitman also has plans to launch a new locally focused magazine in time for this winter, Jackson Hole Snowboarder. In addition to serving as an outlet for the thousands of images he and his crew generate over a season, it will also be oriented toward the unique mindset of the Jackson Hole rider.

Wade McKoy

remembers the first time he encountered a group of snowboarders at the base of Jackson Hole, back in the early 1980s. At the time, there was only a handful of other resorts in the nation allowing access to snowboarders.

Billy Bacon, circa 1980s

“This group of snowboarders walked right up to us and asked if it would be OK if they took their snowboards up the hill,” said McCollister. “We knew that other resorts weren’t allowing it at the time, but we didn’t see any problem with it. I guess you could say that Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has embraced snowboarding from the beginning.” It’s safe to say that one of those first snowboarders was Chris Pappas, an up-and-coming professional snowboarder who headed to Jackson Hole to try out the snowboarding skills he had polished hiking Berthoud and Loveland passes. After spending spring break in Jackson, Pappas returned during the summer of 1985 to talk to Pepi Stiegler about a job with the Jackson Hole Ski School. “Pepi wasn’t too sure that the ski school needed a snowboard instructor,” said Pappas. “His exact words were, ‘Vell, I do not think you vill be very busy,’ but he invited me to the instructors clinic that winter.” By the mid 1990s, the whole concept of tricks had spawned a very different sort of resort. Ski areas on the East and West coasts had dedicated large portions of their terrain to the development of on-snow playgrounds, but with its limited intermediate terrain, JHMR struggled to keep up. A first attempt at a halfpipe back in 1988 proved to be too flat, and the resort carved out a small area for a halfpipe on Aprés Vous. The resort brought in JP Martin, one of the first snowboarders to achieve pro status with K2 and a coach and terrain specialist at the Whistler Camp of Champions, to run the halfpipe and terrain park. Thanks to his skilled hands, the resort w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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“Life as I know it is over. I enter another dimension for a few seconds and become one with the universe. The visual is epic as I soar into the white abyss.” — The Meaning Of Life

The Meaning Of Life

stopped. The frenzy of powder freaks assemble at the entrance of Corbet’s. “The Boys” – Haas, Benny, Tat, Armstrong, Big D, Vipe, the Jones brothers, Rutter, Coombs, Miller, and others – drop out of the sky like bombs. “This is sick!” I mutter under my breath. My plan is simple: ski in by skirting the “Goat Path.” But first I watch the air show unfold. Coombs hits the left wall and goes really big! “No way!” I think aloud. He disappears, dropping out

George Hirschland, 1993

of sight. I stand there drooling and examining the drop. It’s a long drop – so long it vanishes into thin air. It’s long enough for a guy to actually think on the way down. To my surprise there is nobody left. “Oh no, it’s my turn!” pops out of my mouth. The weirdest feeling takes over and I am completely at ease. I start sidestepping up and around the left wall, stomping out a runway, backing up 50 feet higher than the entrance. My whole life comes down to this moment.

Wade McKoy photos; Bob Woodall (top left)

Scitex composite scan, Ron Miller, S&M line into S&S Couloir, 1985

by Russell Austin 2004/05 Jackson Hole Skier Teton Village, Tram dock, 6:15 a.m. The air is full of chaos as pancake-size snowflakes float to the ground. The snow has been falling nonstop for the three days. KA-BOOM! A round from the ski patrol’s cannon explodes into the cloud-covered headwall. Streaks of fire shoot across the sky. BOOM! The tram-line maze is stuffed full with “The Boys” and other smiling hardcore locals. I cannot stop pacing. I’m completely freaking out. So far, “The Hole” had been a lesson in humility. My modified East Coast, back-seat swerve of a turn is not working. To my left, calm and collected, “The Boys” plot their attack on Corbet’s. I overhear one of them call it “Big Wednesday,” and they all laugh. A long-haired, bearded hippie turns to me with a cynical smile. “One turn,” he says. The maze begins to move. Out of the corner of my eye, I catch a glance of a small diamond patch on the back of his jacket. “Swift/Silent/Deep, JHAF,” it says. We get off the tram, disembarking on the “top of the world,” as it’s called, and the snow has

Doug Coombs, Kirby’s Ramp, Corbet’s Couloir, circa 1980s w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

other. You keep ascending. The tram flies past a huge wall of rock, then shadowy Tensleep Bowl, then another enormous craggy cliff. It's another world up here; you can't believe the tram is still climbing. When you get to the top, no matter how many times you've been there before, the adrenaline surges as you step out onto the tram dock. "This mountain is like nothing you've ever skied before," says the sign. You don't just read those words, you feel them.

Where Geography Surpasses The Imagination

Shroder Baker, Powder 8 Face

Adjusting my goggles, I focus on the lip and the take-off. From below I hear, “Clear!” With firm intent, I push off towards the lip, picking up speed. Too much speed? Coming in hot, unable or unwilling to shut it down, I launch off the lip into space. My arms start to pinwheel, “rolling down the windows,” so to speak. But I manage to gather them in, holding them tight to my body, floating in the air for what seems like eternity. Life as I know it is over. I enter another dimension for a few seconds and become one with the universe. The visual is epic as I soar into the white abyss. When my skis finally hit the snow, touching down around the cave, I explode. Gloves, poles, goggles, and skis fly off my body and scatter all over. Rolling to a stop, I come up laughing and coughing up snow, a psychotic grin taking over my face. I hear cheering from inside the cave, and someone says, “Did you see that? He blew up!” As I gather my gear the laughter grows louder, and someone else says, “That was huge!” Dazed, I sideslip over to the cave. “Welcome to The Hole,” I hear echoing from inside it.

A Changing Face And Steadfast Character

by David Gonzales 2000/01 Jackson Hole Skier The Big One. There's no better nickname for Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. It's short. It's to the point. It's true. No other in the U.S. can boast as many continuous feet of vertical relief. And few get as much snow. Simply put, big vert plus big snow equals big fun. When you arrive in the Teton Village parking lot on a snowy winter morning and look up at the great sweep of canyons, crags, and bowls, you're looking at the same huge mountain that's been here for millennia. Once you've boarded the tram for the 10-minute ride to the summit of Rendezvous Peak, Teton Village falls away quickly. The mountain's vast lower faces roll past. The tram keeps going. Thunder Lift slides by on one side, enormous Laramie Bowl on the w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

by Ed Bushnell 2005/06 Jackson Hole Skier Jackson Hole is the only area I’ve ever been to where the actual geography surpasses my imagination. The ski area and surrounding mountains look huge, and they’re bigger than they look. You realize this flying into the Jackson Hole airport on a clear winter day, when you see the tallest of the Tetons towering 7,000 vertical feet above the valley floor. A first-time visitor might look up the mountain and wonder where the trails are. The answer is: Everywhere. While at other resorts a trail is defined by the narrow swaths cut through forested areas, the open terrain at Jackson is more likely to use natural features as trail boundaries. A typical “trail” at Jackson might have as its boundary a ridgeline, a pile of rocks, or even a cliff. Speaking of cliffs, one had better heed the many “Caution Cliff Area” signs that dot the ski area – cliff means cliff here, not some three-foot band of rock around which a skier can easily negotiate. The Kemmerer family bought the resort from its founder, Paul McCollister, in the early 1990s, and the new owners took the rough diamond of a resort and set to polishing it, spending over $55 million in on-mountain improvements over the last decade. Probably the most effective addition to the mountain in that time is the eightpassenger Bridger Gondola, which whisks skiers 2,700 vertical from the bottom of the mountain to the base of the Headwall. Before this lift was in place, skiers had to use the tram – which can have quite a line on powder days – or spend close to an hour riding a network of lifts in order to access the upper mountain. Now it takes eight minutes. The former glacially paced Après Vous lift has also been replaced with a high-speed Quad, more than halving the old ascent time of this intermediate Mecca.

A Big House With White Rooms

by Mike Geraci 2004/05 Jackson Hole Skier In the 15 years I have lived here, I don’t recall one school cancellation due to winter weather. The concept of missing school due to snow is completely foreign to kids in Jackson. The concept of missing school to go skiing, however, is not. Some ski bum habits die easier than others. Imagine growing up and learning to ski with the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort as your town hill. Erase the classic notion of dodging stumps on icy slopes and riding tow-ropes and t-bars, then replace it with high speed quads on 2,500 acres and 4,100 vertical feet of terrain buried deep with snow. Now add a roster of local skiers you might

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memories of not being able to ski,” she said. Now a young adult, her life was shaped by these men in these mountains. “Benny (Wilson), Steve (Haas), Jimmy and Jeff (Zell), and Bryan (Rutter) were like uncles,” Alex said. Dave Muccino’s daughter, 12-year-old Sarah, wrote in her diary when she was nine, “My dad’s Dave ‘The Wave’ Muccino, but I’m ‘The Wavelet.’ I plan to be as great a skier as my dad. But for now I’m happy to be able to ski and just be myself, ‘The Wavelet!’” Some of these kids have grown up to surpass their father’s skiing prowess. Brittany Miller, 2008 Wyoming Slalom Champion and today a University of Wyoming student, grew up skiing with her dad, Dave, and his Jackson Hole Air Force buddies. Jimmy Zell throws an iron cross into S&S, circa 1980s. “Tom Bartlett’s kids are read about in Sports Illustrated. Imagine you and good skiers,” said Howard, “and the kids seeing Tommy Moe at the grocery store, Adam McCool’s kids. And Charlie Dave the Wave Mucinno, Wave Point, 1990 and he asks them “How’s your skiing coming Leveroni, raised right on the hill, A Skier’s Dream along?” Or running into Steven Koch on a hike he’s really good. John Beatty’s son Risto was the by Shelley Simonton and talking about his experiences snowboarding Wyoming Junior Varsity champion in slalom and 2003/04 Jackson Hole Skier on Mount Everest. Or learning that the older gent GS, and Johanis, in college now, has been skiing I have an all-American life – a husband, a regin line at the post office is Bill Briggs, the first since he was two. ular job, two cars, a house, two dogs, gear, and person to ski the Grand Teton. Benny’s brother, Mike Wilson, has two sons, These guys are our friends and neighbors. Sam and Colby. Sam carries the Air Force torch. life insurance – with a Jackson Hole twist: our struggles lie with those random, during-theBut we’ve got plenty of good role models who “Sam has all the JHAF memorabilia in his work-week, only-a-few-times-in-a-lifetime powaren’t famous. Many former ski bums have room,” said Mike. “He and his friends watch ski der days. On those days, driving to work instead joined the ‘new economy’ and are raising our films, read the Jackson Hole Skier and Powder families in Jackson, passing along a passion for magazines, and become energized to push the of driving to Teton Village hurts as bad as impaling yourself on an elk antler. So we invoke the winter sports as part of our family values. limits.” Powder Clause, call in “not-sick” and take the And so it continues. Benny Wilson said of his day off to go skiing. and Jo Ann’s son Mattias, age three, “He loves it We had lots of those mornings last winter, The Next Generation Of the when it snows. We were skiing Eagles Rest and and though we sometimes wound up with stomJackson Hole Air Force he kept saying, ‘I want to go there,’ pointing to achaches (see previous sentence), the frequent by Wade McKoy the jump at the Terrain Park. Somebody standing snows seemed like an old friend come back to 2009/10 Jackson Hole Skier next to us said, ‘Like father, like son.’” visit. Rusty Scotti, a season-pass holder since They had kids. These renegade skiers of the 1978, keeps a journal of ‘70s and ‘80s who ducked ropes, dodged the temperatures, snow condisheriff and ski patrol, and risked getting their ski tions, runs, and other notepass clipped. Twenty, thirty years later, they are worthy information. “The married with children. And, no big surprise, they Village had their busiest raised and are raising them on skis. day ever on Saturday, FebRick Hunt’s first-born, 15-year-old James, ruary 9,” said Rusty. “The rode on his father’s back in a pickle barrel at 10 Friday before was a blizmonths of age. Howard Henderson’s daughter zard, and the tram blew Garnet, was a smiling one-year-old riding herd down (closed due to high in Howie’s backpack. And witness the scene in winds) at 1 p.m. We skied the movie Steep, where Doug Coombs skis all day, mainly lower faces home with his two-year-old son David in a backoff Thunder. A bunch of us pack, playing their number-counting game: “Fifmet at the Hobacks at 4 teen, sixteen, seventeen,” son repeating after p.m. and they were still unfather. tracked.” Theo Meiners’ daughter Alex had her first ski One stormy Saturday, pass at three months, rode in the baby backpack Sublette blew down and with her dad, and was standing on skis in her my girlfriends and I spent backyard before she could walk. “I have no Benny Wilson celebrates April Fools Day with a Royal Christie, 1987. the afternoon doing laps


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Bob Woodall photos; Wade McKoy (top left, Stiegler)

“Some of these kids have grown up to surpass their father’s skiing prowess.” — The Next Generation Of the Jackson Hole Air Force

“On those days, driving to work instead of driving to Teton Village hurts as bad as impaling yourself on an elk antler. So we invoke the Powder Clause, call in “not-sick” and take the day off to go skiing.”— A Skier’s Dream on the “C Pass Traverse.” Every time we dropped into Bird-in-the-Hand, everything became silent and motionless. That side of the mountain protects itself from northern winds and fills in like sand dunes in a big storm. Yo-yoing the Bridger Gondola is always an excellent choice for powder and a warm rest. The gondola gets used mainly as transport to the upper mountain, and the people actually skiing it usually head for the groomers. We’d point it directly under the Gondola, and down Ranger for a nearly private run. The warm ride up allowed us barely enough time to rejuvenate the burning lungs and thighs, but at least we weren’t one of the cold souls hunkered into their neck gaiters on a chair lift. People skiing Aprés Vous got plenty of good runs last year, and I’m sure they don’t want anyone to know. We took the high traverse towards

once you get to the summit. With no 12-minute ride to the summit, it takes a long time to get up there – four lifts worth of ascension. Now that you are finally on top, do you bomb all the way back down the lower faces? Or stay up high? And what if you are prepared to go for a hike? Ultimately, ski life carries on, with all its minuscule drama and glory still playing out in Teton Village and sustaining itself even without the tram. Powder still beckons and beers at the end of the day still satisfy, but without a doubt, tramless Jackson Hole is one experiment that skiers won’t be sad to see end. continued The Adaptive Skier and Wounded Warrior programs

Pepi and Resi Stiegler, 1992

Casper, and dropped in on the lower Moran Faces, and were thrilled at how much still sat vulnerable. Secret Slope and even just under the lift offered excellent steep, consistent terrain. Aprés Vous Mountain alone is bigger and more challenging than many entire ski areas. The lines moved fast and the lifties were great.

Tramless, Still America’s Best Resort

by Brigid Mander 2007/08 Jackson Hole Skier For 40 years, the tram and its iconic red boxes have been the symbol of the ski hill and what makes it special. The resort’s announcement last year of the lift’s two-year suspension while a new tram is built had plenty of people wondering, is this the end of Jackson ski culture as we know it? Well, the hiatus is half over and the opinions are mixed. People still swarm early on powder days, albeit at the gondola, and the same chatty social scene ensues – until 8:55 a.m., when things get very serious. It is a new deal, though, w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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“Dick’s Ditch namesake Dick Porter wonders every season, with renewed puzzlement as his son Sean put it, ‘What the heck kids are doing racing down that dangerous ditch?’” — Tales Of Namesake Runs

Lapping Corbet’s

by Brigid Mander 2007/08 Jackson Hole Skier Most Jackson locals have skied the famed couloir at least once, but last season, Mark Eakin made the leap more often than ever before, simply to see how many times he could ski it in one season. However, last season even 30-year locals agreed the couloir looked the gnarliest and was skiing the ugliest that anyone could remember. Despite that, Eakin remained undaunted in his quest. He had his reasons. One, the JH Air Force’s usual “Corbet’s Master” Ernie Forst took the winter off skiing and ‘gave’ Mark the couloir, and two, it was Eakin’s personal tribute to the legendary Doug Coombs, killed in a ski accident in spring of 2006. His accomplice in the quest was the new East Ridge double, put in for temporary access from the bottom of Rendezvous Bowl to the summit. By putting in a traverse around the East Ridge and back to the chair, Eakin was able to continuously hit Corbet’s, with a high of 32 laps on April 3rd, and a season total of 257.

Tales Of Namesake Runs


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Rob Kingwill, Powder 8 Face, Cody Peak

with-survival and may be the oldest living fullburial survivor. Today, Dick’s Ditch is a favorite run, especially for snowboarders, because of its natural halfpipe features and yearly bankedslalom race.

Stories from Davie Agnew

2012 Interview Davie Agnew began skiing throughout Jackson Hole in the 1960s and was a guide and instructor with Pepi Stiegler’s ski school during the early years. On skiing with Pepi Stiegler – “Pepi and I used to ski nonstops together and we’d time each other. From the top patrol shack we’d go straight down Dean’s Slide, hit upper Sublette, and then traverse to Buffalo Bowl and ski that to the bottom. I skied on Head 215 Deep Powder skis with cable bindings, Pepi on his downhill stuff. Nothing was tracked. He was just ahead of me and I kept trying to catch up with him. The first time we did it, his time was 4:36, mine something like 4:45. Jorge Colon was on the deck watching and said it looked pretty spectacular. A couple days later the conditions were really good. I decided to go up and do it on my own and I broke four minutes. I went right into Pepi’s office and said, ‘Hey Pepi, I just did it in 3:56,’ and I swear he just looked at me, dropped everything, grabbed his skis, and took the next tram up. There were a bunch of us standing on the deck at the bottom of the tram and we watched him come down, powder flyin’

off his turns, he was just smokin’! He came down in 3:36 and it was fantastic to watch.” On meeting Benny Wilson – “I was up skiing with Callum MacKay, looking at some features on his snow-control route. We were standing at the top of S&S and he was telling me about the guys who had skied it and this kid comes up and says, ‘Is this the S&S?’ Then he goes straight in. It was Benny Wilson when he was just a little guy. We just shook our heads. Kids!” On the naming of “Flip Point – The boys on the patrol came up with that name. Peter Crosby or Robbi Fuller, who were phenomenal skiers,

Wade McKoy photos

by Lora Bodmer 2007/08 Jackson Hole Skier Dick’s Ditch: Many of the runs that carry a moniker gained them because someone was slid in an avalanche there or, even worse, died in that area of a slope. So I’m likely not the only person who has made the mistake of thinking that Dick’s Ditch was named after an onhill passing as well. It was quite a surprise, then, to meet Sean Porter last season on the 40th anniversary of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and find out that his father, Dick Porter, the source for the run’s name, is alive and well. In fact, he’s in Reno, Nevada, wondering every season, with renewed puzzlement as his son Sean put it, “What the heck kids are doing racing down that dangerous ditch?” It was also 40 Tom Bartlett, 1992 years ago that Dick, now 71, was buried in the ditch. He was a ski patroller during Jackson’s first season with a tram and was slid into the ditch and buried head first, six feet under for an hour and five minutes before being rescued. It wasn’t until the third pass with a probe line that rescuers hit the sidewall of one of Porter’s skis. Patrollers dug out the unconscious Porter, who had turned bluish grey, and placed him into a bathtub at one of the base-area hotels. He spent the next two weeks in a coma. For many years he held the record as the longest burial-

Steve Hahn, 1980 Pin-binding Big Air Gelandesprung w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

probably did a flip or just blew it and fell off. But it was part of the pimping, the initiation of the patrol. The guys that knew the landing would take off and the other guys were supposed to follow them. I went off that sucker really hard and Jim Bellamy was right behind me. I landed way down and here comes Bellamy and he ate it big time. He was laughing. That was part of the deal.”

Stories from Harry Baxter

2012 Interview Harry Baxter was Marketing Director from 1974 to 1995. Baxter started the Pole Peddle Paddle, the Vertical Foot Contest, the handicap skier program, and the Ski Hosts. He promoted the Powder 8 contest, which was started by Gene Downer. On the Powder 8 contest – The Powder 8s was a tremendous opportunity to get press coverage. I had members of the national ski press for judges and the first year we were in luck with good weather and good snow conditions. The pictures and stories went around the country. It was a great promotional program and didn’t cost an awful lot. We had a lot of fun, too. I remember Powder magazine’s Dave Moe in his white uniform playing Captain Powder. He dug a hole, had his head peaking out, judging the Powder 8. It was hilarious. On the handicapped skier program – Another program I’m particularly fond of that I started with the ski school is instruction for handicapped skiers. I’m a Korean War Veteran and I have a strong feeling for those people. The Valley Forge Army Hospital contacted us and sent us amputees and blind people. It was very successful. On one idea that didn’t make it past the Board of Directors – In Sugarloaf I organized the World Heavyweight Ski Championship. It got a lot of publicity on the east coast. We had guys over 400 pounds. It was a freak show. We had to take a couple of guys up in a snow cat because they couldn’t ride the t-bars and couldn’t get on the chairlift.


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Powder 8 contestants, circa 1980s

Powder 8 Memories

by Jerry Balint Former ski patroller Jerry Balint and ski partner Greg Smith were the 1976 Powder 8 champs. “I think Greg and I won the last one that Gene Downer ran and the first one the Ski Corp. ran. One year they gave extra points for skiing through the shot (the bomb hole). Our line took me right through it and my skis got all iced up from the gunpowder. I hopped around (while still skiing) long enough so the ice finally came off before I fell. It was pretty funky conditions, like it could be sometimes. At that point, for us, it was just another Figure 8 contest. We had done so many. There for a while, it was just locals. I remember someone showing up wearing packs (Sorrel snow-boots) in Silverettas (an old cable ski binding). “It was quite a deal. Gene Downer had it on

Cody, then he had it on West Gros Ventre Butte where the Science School is now, then on Edelweiss (on Teton Pass). He engraved all the names on an old Head Standard ski. There’s a trophy in the Boom Boom Room that started with Greg and I and lists all the winners until it ended. I think that’s still around. “One time the assistant to Pepi somehow thought he was in charge and told us, ‘Wait for the helicopter. We are all flying over.’ We said, ‘That’s bullshit. We’re not waiting for a helicopter. We’re walking.’ I happened to be the oldest contestant at the time. We got over there and in position before the last load in the helicopter and were ready to start it ourselves. “One tradition we had – on the morning of the contest we always sent a few guys to hike up and ski Four Shadows while we were hiking up Cody. That was standard for a while.” — Jackson Hole Skier

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

Jackson Hole Ski & Snowboard Club Nurtures Young Competitors T

Anika Hanson

David Coombs


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he Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club, now entering its 74th year and one of the oldest consecutively run ski clubs in the country, supports over 400 athletes in the current development roster. And nearly 4,000 supporters purchased ski club memberships last season to help fund its training programs. That may account for the organization’s unwavering insistence on quality when overseeing some of its most high-profile public events: The Town Downhill, The Moose Chase, the Pole Pedal Paddle and, most recently, The Pica’s Margarita Cup. In between these hallmark events of Jackson Hole winters, the club and its devoted coaching staff nurture the competitive futures of youngsters in alpine, Nordic, snowboard, and freeride training regimens. These kids comprise the core of the next generation of skiers (not coincidentally the key element in two of the club’s notable programs: Next Generation Skiers and Next Generation Snowboarders.) Not surprisingly (after all, this is Jackson Hole) a few kids make it to the big time, U.S. Ski Team standouts Resi and Seppi Stiegler, or freeskiing champs Crystal Wright and Jess McMillan among that crop. And the current roster features many up-andcoming young athletes doggedly pursuing their goals, and making their own headlines.

But the Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club fosters much more than the success of the select few who make it big. “The club is lots of things to lots of people,” said Bridger Call, Alpine Program Director and Head Coach. “Of course we hope some go on to achieve great things at the highest levels, but we think the experiences gained and lessons learned for all of our athletes are the real prize, whether they’re headed to the Olympics or not.” The program and coaches point the way to fun, fitness, sportsmanship, and achievement in young athletes through training, academic support, and competition. And the ideal of becoming a champion in life. These are central elements of the club’s mission. A $30 membership to the club grants the holder discounts at more than 90 valley businesses. In all, that 30 bucks could save the buyer over $1,500 in local discounts. Not a bad investment in a community program as much a part of the local fabric as winter, kids, and skiing are to Jackson Hole. For more information and to donate or purchase a club membership, visit the group’s website: or call 307-7336433. Or drop by its offices at 100 E. Snow King Avenue, at the Snow King Center. — Mike Calabrese

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Neil Henderson photo

the kids in today’s freeride programs are lucky to have it,” said Wright. “Ski racing provided me with a high level of coaching, both mentally and physically. It’s also important to train at the gym, sport-specifically, to prevent injury and learn proper body mechanics. I’ve worked with the Anamoly team and it’s fun to help these kids become stronger and move more like athletes.” Griffin Post, a Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation alumni, a college division-one racer, and a two-time U.S. Extreme Freeskiing Champion, got Justin Mayers his first film segment in TGR’s One for the Road and appears again in Dream Factory. “Growing up, we had no freeride coaches,” said Post. “It was strictly trial and error. Now that kids are getting coached you’ll see a huge progression in what’s being skied, and how it’s being skied. It’ll be cool to see these kids push the sport with the skill sets they’ll have, and at much younger ages. However, no matter how

Emily Coombs photo

Jess McMillan. “When I grew up in Jackson, the only option was ski racing. And, while ski racing formed me into the skier I am today, there’s so much more to skiing.” McMillan grew up racing for the Jackson Hole Ski Club and the Jackson Hole High School. After college, she returned to Jackson and began competing in freeskiing contests held around the world. She won more than any other competitor and in 2007 was crowned Freeskiing World Tour Champion and U.S. Freeskiing Champion. Now officially retired from competition to pursue her dreams of performing on the big screen and to explore the world, McMillan spent the last two ski seasons filming with Warren Miller productions. Last spring she skied all the highest volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest, completing 15 volcanoes in 14 days, and skiing 181 miles and over 80,000 vertical feet. Jackson native Crystal Wright, a ski racer since age two, began her big-mountain ski career at age 25. She is the 2012 and 2009 Freeskiing World Tour Champion and the 2008 U.S. Freeskiing Tour Champion. In 2012 she took second at the Freeskiing World Tour events in Revelstoke, BC, and Snowbird, Utah, and she won the Kirkwood World Finals. In 2011, she won freeskiing’s Red Bull Powder Disorder in Las Leñas, Argentina, and won the Dick’s Ditch Banked Slalom in Jackson Hole.

Bob Woodall photo

Anomaly Freeride Team and JHSSC Freeride Program Impress Adult Pros “ I think it’s awesome that the local youth “Coaching is paramount much coaching kids have, have so many options,” said Jackson native in big-mountain skiing, and there’ll still be that trial-and-

STASH PARKS Jackson Hole is the latest resort to build a Stash Park, the creation of snowboardmaker Jake Burton, who has licensed six of his organic terrain parks so far: in France, Austria, New Zealand, and three in the U.S., including Killington and Tahoe.

“It’s a dream come true for snowboarders,� said Ranyon d’Arge, Park and Pipe supervisor. “To be able to hit four perfect rainbows (bentover trees with both ends touching the ground) in a row, that’s huge.� Mikey Marohn, Stash Park crewman “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 playgroundlike structure for a drop-in, which makes it fun.� Stash parks are eco-friendly, all features constructed from dead- Rob LaPier, Anomoly coach Stash Park Shreddie

Bob Woodall / Wade McKoy photos

wood, 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 continued. “We don’t harm any live trees.� During construction, the parks benefited from the skills of local and national artisans as well as the input from pro athletes. Jackson Hole log craftsman Paul Turi taught d’Arge’s park and pipe crew how to cope logs and cut better joints. Local pro-snowboarders Travis Rice and Rob Kingwill, along with several Burton team riders, collaborated with the crew during the creative process. Washington State chainsaw artist Bob King carves all of Burton’s Stash Park Shreddies. These wooden mascots mimic the Yeti, and each resort receives a unique interpretation of the mythical creature. “Our Shreddies are a combination of a bison and a mountain man,� explained d’Arge. Another piece of high art, a six-foot belt bucket made of bronze, tin, steel, and copper and called The Gong, hangs on a pole above a jump so riders can whack it with their skis and snowboards. “The guy who built it is an insane metal artist,� Goodwin observed of the one exception to the no-metal rule. “He put hundreds of

hours into this thing. It’s actually crazy that we’re bashing it with our snowboards, but he made it strong, heavy. It was quite a feat of engineering to get it off the ground.� The same might be said of the entire parks’ concept at Jackson Hole. But that larger feat was driven by the rapidly changing riding habits of today’s youth, and both have changed the face of recreation on Rendezvous Mountain. — Jackson Hole Skier 3J EFS  #SFOU 'VM M FSUPO



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New Casper Chairlift and More: All New, All Blue The fabulous intermediate terrain of Casper just got a facelift – and a new chairlift to access it. The 39-year-old double chair is gone, replaced last summer with a highspeed quad chairlift that’s shaved the ride time from 10 to 3.5 minutes. That’s three times as fast – almost warp speed! Resort workers not only moved the heavens, they moved earth, too. And lots of it. Bulldozed into submission, the new lift line is in the same place, but the steep break-over that interrupted it is gone. Now skiers can just keep rippin’ down the fall line instead of the old jog-right-onto-Easy-Does-It before the jog-left-back-onto-Lift-Line route – which actually was a fun line to ski. But hey, you can still do that if you want… The new lift-line run is named Sundog, and when there’re sundogs in the sky, skiers will be chasing them down this exciting new trail. Another Casper cruiser, Wide Open, also got a major face-lift from the bulldozer, which means smoother sailing on more groomers. But wait – there’re a few more enhancements to the Casper area that further broaden its appeal to blue-run skiers. Expanded snowmaking, three new grooming vehicles, the wildly popular Burton intermediate Stash Park, and the newly renovated Casper Lodge add up to big fun for all.

Couloir – At the Gondola summit, casual dining, full service lunch. Favorites include the Snake River Farms Kobe N.Y. Strip Sandwich, Poached Pear “Waldorf” Salad. Non-skiers can purchase a gondola sightseeing ticket. Casper Restaurant – Classic gourmet ski comfort food. Burger bar, burritos, hot drinks with a kick.

Mountain Hosts Jackson Hole Mountain Hosts lead complimentary orientation tours for Tommy Moe carves early morning fresh corn on Lift Line run, now called Sundog. intermediate-level skiers, departing Environmental Responsibility from the Mountain Hosts meeting place daily at 9:30 a.m. Additional tours The Couloir and the Deck restaurants are now members of 1% for the for advance/expert clientele depart from the top of Rendezvous Bowl on Planet, further complimenting their already established eco-friendly practhe hour, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. tices: the majority of ingredients come from a 250-mile radius; menus are designed seasonally to reduce the carbon footprint; and local farmers’ marBackcountry Yurt For a luxurious backcountry outing and a peaceful night’s sleep, try an kets and ranches are extensively resourced. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort became a founding member of the Cliovernight in the rustic Rock Springs Yurt. Your ski guide prepares dinner, mate Challenge, an innovative sustainability program that aims to reduce dessert, breakfast, and hot drinks. Ski to the yurt through the backcountry greenhouse gas emissions from the ski industry. gates or tour up from the base to the scenic location in lower Rock Springs. JHMR also has a Golden Eagle Environmental Award, the highest stanDon’t want to stay overnight? Ask about the hot gourmet lunch option dard of environmental achievement in the ski inor an Aprés Ski event. dustry issued by the National Ski Area Vertical Foot Club Association. The resort is celebrating its sixth Become a lifetime member of the Jackson year with an ISO 14001 registration, one of only Hole Vertical Foot Club by skiing 100,000 feet in two U.S. resorts to receive the designation given a week. Earn a certificate of achievement and a to businesses that minimize their environmental western belt buckle for a lifetime total of 300,000, impact. Specifics include purchasing sustainable 500,000, and 1,000,000 feet. Open to all visitors. food and beverage products, converting vehicles For more details on how to enroll, check in with to run on waste vegetable oil, modifying furnaces the Customer Service Center. Smartphone users to achieve a 20-percent reduction in fuel use, and can download the free JH Tapped App to log verrecycling used motor oil, batteries, antifreeze, tical feet by GPS! and snowmelt. The resort is also generating a Greenhouse On-mountain Dining Gas Inventory and Management Plan designed Top of the World Waffles – Ride the aerial tram to further reduce energy use, giving it the triple to the summit and enter Corbet’s Cabin for crown of environmental management: ISO 14001 made sweet or savory waffles. registration, GHG Inventory, and an accompanyHeadwall Pizza and Dog House – At the Goning GHG Management Plan. dola summit, a casual restaurant serving fresh And in the fight to save the whitebark pine pizza, Kobe hot dogs, house-made soups, and gourmet grab-n-go items. from chronic beetle infestation that has killed vast numbers of the 1,000Espresso bar and tea. Rendezvous – At the Gondola summit, floor-to-ceiling windows provide year-old, high-altitude species, last summer JHMR and the Bridger Teton National Forest sprayed 250 trees and placed pheromone patches on impressive views. Asian bowls and hand-rolled sushi, grill meals, full salad 575 trees. — Jackson Hole Skier bar, and Idaho Salt Baked Potatoes.

Let’s Be Friends


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Bob Woodall photo

News & Amenities

Backcountry E DUCATION

Avalanche Schools and Classes

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

Jackson Hole Mountain Guides Level I: Dec. 16-18, Dec. 20-22 Jan. 6-8, Jan. 10-12, Jan. 13-15 Jan. 24-26, Jan. 27-29 (Women’s course) Feb. 7-9 (Snowboarders’ course) Feb. 3-5, Feb. 24-26, Mar. 9-11 Level II: Feb. 16-19 Exum Mountain Guides Level I: Jan. 12-15, Feb. 2-5, Mar. 8-11 Level II: Feb. 16-19

Since the 1970s the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center has posted daily avalanche bulletins. The science and tools have come a long way in those 40 years. “As directed by head forecaster Bob Comey, we’re constantly improving the product,” said avalanche forecaster Mike Rheam. “We now have 16 weather stations located in the Tetons, the Wyoming range, and on Togwotee Pass. “Our newest partnership with Grand Targhee Resort will help, too, putting better instruments in the northern Tetons.”

Every morning, the forecasters post data and forecasts for three regions: The Teton area, the Southwest Trails / Greys River area, and the Togwotee Pass Continental Divide area. The website has a couple new features this year, too. “Our newest product is with Google Earth,” said Rheam. “You can pull up a visual interpretation of every avalanche that has been reported to the center by using any number of parameters: date range, size, location. This will help us attain our goal to make this information transparent to everyone and should increase the information that we get from the public.” Also new on the site this year are postings by the public on the Snowpit Details page.

Get involved by using this exceptional resource at

Beacon Parks

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

Skier: Andrew Whiteford; Photo: Wade McKoy

Wade McKoy photo

Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center

Last winter the ski patrol released this slide on Hanging Snowfield near the summit of Rendezvous Mountain.

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Ski Guides To The Backcountry Shroder Baker (above, Powder 8 Face) and Demian McConnell (right, South Teton) know the benefits of skiing with a mountain guide.

By Brigid Mander

Impossible to miss, from a plane or from the ground, Jackson Hole’s peaks hem its valley and hint at a glistening, white wonderland just waiting for the winter visitor. A world full of delight and breathtaking scenery beyond that offered by the ski resorts. The key to that world? Backcountry skiing. An abundance of local guide services can make forays into the untracked and unpopulated slopes part of an unforgettable experience, one that might become a passion for newcomers or prod more-experienced backcountry skiers into returning again and again to sample the region’s endless backcountry heaven. It pays to keep in mind that regardless of conditions at the resorts, there is almost always fresh powder somewhere in the backcountry – and backcountry guides know where to find it. Jackson’s ski guide services offer a variety of options for those seeking a backcountry ski adventure.

Jackson Hole Mountain Guides For over 50 years Jackson Hole Mountain Guides has been sharing the beauty of the Tetons and ski touring with clients from all over the world. JHMG offers a variety of day trips and courses, and like most guide services, can tailor the instruction and tours to the skiers’ needs. “We have a menu of things,” said Rob Hess, an owner of JHMG and a guide who has worked all over the world, including at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Alpine Guides. Hess also claims the distinction of being one of only a few guides nationwide with an International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA) certification. “Skiers take away personalized education from a very experienced staff,” he noted. JHMG operates in almost all areas of the Tetons, as well as in some of the surrounding


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ranges, providing courses and individualized attention to help skiers reach their goals. “Most people we work with are turned on to being in the backcountry in some capacity,” said Hess. “They see the benefit of going to places that not a lot of other people get to go to. And if they don’t already see it, it becomes clear.”

Teton Backcountry Guides Based in Alta, Wyoming, Teton Backcountry Guides goes a step beyond the norm, with its overnight and hut-to-hut trips in the heart of the Tetons, a favorite of experienced travelers and locals. They also guide day trips on the south side of Teton Pass as well as on mounts Glory and Taylor to the north, and in Grand Teton National Park. “Our main emphasis is downhill, untracked powder skiing,” said owner and ski guide Diane Jung. “We do a lot of day trips, where people can ski powder, improve their skills, and do things they wouldn’t have done on their own. But one of our unique features is that we can really take you out in the wilderness – and you get to stay in a warm cozy yurt (one of three operated by TBG). It’s a Canadian-style ski experience.” Jung stressed that potential clients need only to be decent skiers, but that being in shape is equally important. She added that ascending a ski slope, where you “earn your turns,” makes each powder run that much sweeter. “In this day and age, people and technology are everywhere. We get a lot of repeat business; to be able to get out into the middle of nowhere and relax in a yurt draws people to us. You just need to wake up and step outside, and there is the untracked powder,” said Jung.

Jackson Hole Alpine Guides Each guide service has its unique aspect, and at Jackson Hole Alpine Guides, the ace up the resort’s sleeve is called ‘mechanized’ ski guid-

ing. Ascending 4,000 feet to alpine terrain in 12 minutes is a game changer, thanks to the resort’s aerial tram. “Our tram access and first-class terrain makes us the leading side-country guide service in the country,” said Dave Miller, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s supervisor lead guide. “No other resort can match it.” Although the day doesn’t generally take clients away from the other skiers, amazing ski lines covering all ability levels stretch out beyond resort boundaries, many of them funneling back to the base area and another tram ride to the summit. Guides can choose lines that demand a lot of hiking, or barely any, depending on the clients and the conditions. “We knock out some great skiing,” said Miller, whose 28 years guiding at the resort makes his the longest tenure among the elite guide staff. “Pepi Stiegler was smart to start this guide service 40 years ago,” he reflected. “Business was slow back then, but when the boundary gates opened in 1999, we were ready.” Guides are booked through the Mountain Sports School, now under the direction of Brian Maguire. Clearly, Jackson Hole’s backcountry guide outfits have access to a whole world that is practically right outside a valley hotel room – but worlds away at the same time. For the winter visitor who’s made it this far, backcountry skiing is just a small step into terrain that most people will never get to see. And one more adventure to make a winter trip to Jackson Hole even more memorable. Brigid Mander is a New York-born, Jackson Hole-based skier who writes for a variety of national and international publications in order to fund a deeply entrenched, globetrotting, powderhunting addiction. w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

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Demian McConnell snowboarder, South Teton, Ice Cream Cone, 1997 w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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Tips from

John Griber, Middle Teton, circa 1990s

Mountain guides experience their environment with an uncanny depth of feeling. They seem to possess a sixth sense and have eyes in the backs of their heads. They’ve learned to see the world with a clarity and perception that focuses on success and safety. Here are some tips and insight from several knowledgeable local guides.

John Griber, the Tetons, circa 1990s

Aimee Barnes, Jackson Hole Mountain Guides: A guide gets skiers into the powder faster and with fewer hassles. Guides also help their clients make the most out of a limited time schedule by choosing ski tours best suited to the client’s experience level. Lynne Wolf, Teton Backcountry Guides: You get a stability analysis that’s based not on a single snapshot, but on an understanding of the entire winter’s problems. And you get the guide’s knowledge – where to find the goods, how to stitch together your day so that you get great skiing that fits your ability.


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Tom Turiano, Jackson Hole Resort Guides: Because suddenly the size of Jackson Hole magnifies exponentially and much more terrain becomes available to you. Guides know all the best spots and can select among them for the best snow for that particular day and that particular client or group.

Wade McKoy photos

Why hire a guide?

What can clients do as preparation for having a good day?

Jeff Jung: Give yourself 48-to-72 hours of acclimatization before heading out with a guide. Too many people get off the plane from a place like Chicago or New York in great con-

Mason Cassidy and Bissell Hazen, Spalding Peak, circa 1990s

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dition and ready to go, but wind up having a bad experience due to improper acclimatization. Also, make sure all your gear is in working order. If you bring your own skis, make sure they are well waxed and the bindings work properly. The participant should show up with an adventurous attitude, a belly full of breakfast (plenty of fat and protein: eggs and spuds are our ultimate skier’s breakfast), and be well rested and well hydrated. Do not show up with a hangover. Aimee Barnes: Take only what you need and follow the equipment list provided by the outfitter. These equipment lists are specific and based on experience. Packing too much makes for too heavy a load. Not packing efficiently limits where you can go. Lynne Wolf: It helps if you already know how to put on your skins, how to skin uphill, and how to dress. Then there’s the mental side of things. Even if you have already done a bit of backcountry skiing, come in with an open mind. Prepare to get some tips and change the way you do things. And don’t come in with your heart set

by Doug Workman

Here are some of life’s lessons that lurk in the back of the pros’ minds as they are dropping in: Don’t ski alone. Just don’t. Even the most experienced skiers get fooled. Make sure you have someone spotting you who is capable of locating you and digging you out if you get caught. Spread out/ski one at a time. It will not slow your group down to spread out and ski suspect slopes one at a time. Accidents happen when they are least expected. Habitually practicing safe travel techniques is your best defense. Learn when and how to ski cut. Proper ski cutting is not easy to learn, but when done correctly can save your life. Know your escape routes/ski the edge of the avalanche path. As Rod Newcomb says,

on a goal, because the snow stability might not let you do what you want to do.

What are some of your favorite local ski tours?

Tom Turiano: I have a secret spot several canyons out from the tram. When I call in on the radio and say I’m going to Grandmother’s House, all the guides know where I’m taking my clients. It’s a nice tour, has a couple or three climbs, a bunch of skiing between climbs, and culminates in untracked tree skiing. I’ve got the best shots all picked out. Lynne Wolf: One of my classic favorites is to start from the top of Teton Pass and work my way west. You get a little boost from the road and, unlike in the park where you climb up 3,000 feet, ski one run, and you’re done, you get a little taste of powder skiing as incentive to climb back up again for another run. Jeff Jung: Mt. Taylor is an easily accessible 10,000-foot peak and offers a myriad of downhill options as well as a great climb. It’s a big

“When skiing a slope that could avalanche, I like to have an escape path so if I get fooled, I can get out of it.� Beware of complacency. Familiarity with your local terrain has its advantages – until you become complacent. Skiers are often relaxed on their home turf, a trait that behooves no one in the backcountry. Jackson Hole locals have easy access to some of the biggest terrain in the Lower 48. Granite Canyon’s Mile Long Couloir does not care how many times you have skied it. Know your season’s snow history. If going on a road trip, don’t show up in a new area and base life decisions on a couple of pits. Consult community bulletin boards like Talk to locals, guides, and ski patrollers. Make your own decisions. It is easy to assume that the most experienced folks in the group are making sound decisions. Did they hear that whoompf? Beware the herd mentality.

Ski Guides for the

Photo: Zahan Billimoria

Backcountry Experience

— Jackson Hole Skier

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Avalanche Education Ski Mountaineering Backcountry Skiing Ice Climbing 800-239-7642 307-733-4979 Jackson Hole Mountain Guides & Climbing School


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mountain that deserves respect. Any of the ski runs in Grand Teton Park – one of the most beautiful places on the planet – are also a great way to spend a day. Aimee Barnes: Twenty-five Short is always a fun tour, the Tetons providing an amazing backdrop. It has a great warm-up on the flats, a nice steep hike that gets the heart rate up, a beautiful view, and lots of terrain to ski on the way back to the car.


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The Pioneering First Descents Of Cody Peak It smacks you in the face as the tram crests Rendezvous Mountain and pulls into the top station. The mesmerizing visuals of Cody Peak’s broad-faced massif and sharply pinnacled summit lure skiers with a Sirens’ song. Now a common trek, indeed the main attraction for adventure seekers, Cody was, until the 1960s, unskied. Here are tales of derring-do from those early pioneers.

Tom Raymer, early 1970s

Once Is Enough

Bob Sealander: “I could see that thing from my house and had been thinking about skiing it for a couple of years. One summer, during Pepi’s race camp in Cody Bowl, I hiked over there. It looked skiable but there was no snow on the top, so we’d need to rappel into it. That night I told Tim MacKay and Don Hansen, and they said, ‘Count us in.’ So we went and did it, but it wasn’t very good skiing – a lot of sun scallops and not good snow. When we got down, I kidded them, saying, ‘Did you leave anything up there?’ They said, ‘No,’ and I said, ‘We don’t have to go back then.’ They said, ‘I guess not.’ I said, ‘It wasn’t very good, was it.’ They said, ‘It wasn’t good skiing that day,’ and I said ‘Yeah, once is enough!’ We started laughing about it, and I said, ‘Well, maybe we ought to call it Once Is Enough Couloir.’” Tim MacKay: “Originally we called it the HMS Couloir – the Holy Mother Shit Couloir, named after Hansen, MacKay, Sealander.” Theo Meiners: “This is the legend, as Tom Raymer told it to me. A couple years after Sealander’s first descent, Tommy went over to Once Is Enough with Manny Reed, a ski patrolmen who later died during a long fast while on a pilgrimage to a kibbutz. It was an icy day and Tommy was skiing over the wind wave before dropping into the little chimney, the way we used to go in. He over-rotated and pinballed all the way down the couloir, his legs running away from


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Wade McKoy / Bob Woodall photos

Bob Sealander (ski patrol leader), Tim MacKay, Don Hansen (ski patrolmen), early 1970s

Rob Haggart, Shirley’s Temple, 1997; First Descent: John Griber, 1992

the rock wall every time his feet touched the snow. He was unhurt, an early descent done in a crazy and chaotic way. Manny skied down to him all freaked out, and Tommy calmly said, ‘Once Is Enough.’”

Twice is Nice

Glenn Jacques, Bob Barrows, Mike Quinn, Victor Gerdin (ski patrol, race crew, ski school), mid 1970s Glenn Jacques: “We skied it in ‘75 or ‘76, a few years after Once. I don’t remember who actually skied it first, but I named it Twice Is Nice. It was a pretty obvious name, being next to Once is Enough. Years later I was in charge of taking Barrymore’s Iron Man-contest course workers to the top of Four Shadows. They were all downhill racers, super-hot skiers, working as grips. I

asked them, ‘You want to see my favorite place in Wyoming?’ They dropped all their work and we went into Twice Is Nice. It was perfect corn. They were jumping up and down, saying they’d skied all over the world and that was the best corn run of their lives. The next day they got in trouble because they hadn’t set up the course.”

Three Times A Lady Also called Three Times A Crazy. Steve Jones, Kevin Brazell, Micah Black, Todd Johnson (TGR skiers), 1980s Kevin Brazell: We had skied Once and were hiking on No Name when we noticed a chute between Once and Twice that looked skiable, so we cycled back around and did it. We might have used a rope to get in. The top doesn’t hold much snow. w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

Central Couloir

Wade McKoy / Bob Woodall photos

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort historical photos

Larry Detrick, Steve Lundy, June 1974 (ski patrol, roomate) Larry Detrick: “Steve Lundy, my buddy from college, looked at Cody, pointed at Central Couloir, and said, ‘We should go ski that.’ I knew a little bit about avalanches but not enough to be worried. We stood on top and threw rocks into it. I don’t remember the crux being too bad, nor the jump out. But I was 23 then and looked at things differently. The funniest thing, though, in the crux I looked down to see my boot not really in the binding. I clicked back in and didn’t think much of it. After the jump I looked again and my whole ski had delaminated, the whole top sheet where the bindings were screwed in was separated from the rest of the ski. Whoa, I’m glad I didn’t see that when I was in there. I would’ve freaked out. The next weekend we went back up the tram looking to ski something else and Central had slid. It was a brown streak right to the bottom. First descent? Well, I think so. Back then people didn’t really brag about it. It wasn’t as big a deal as it is now. We told Pepi and his eyes got really big. It was just a lark. It scares me just thinking about it now, but then it didn’t seem that hard.”

Pucker Face

Kirby Williams, John Simms (ski patrol), early 1970s Kirby Williams: “I remember when Simms and I skied what became known as Pucker Face. We had scouted it from Mountain Station, but when we got over to the ridge, we couldn’t see over the edge and your line has to be about right to ski through those cliff bands. It was a big year and the snow was good. I believe John was first, we were probably putting eights in. It rolls over, and rolls over, and rolls over, and you make about twenty turns before you can actually see the cliff band, see your line through it. And by then you’re only two turns from either stopping or going for it. We got lucky and picked right line. We got down and I said, ‘Boy, that was spooky. Good choice of lines, John.’ And he said, ‘Man, I was puckered.’ And I said, ‘I was puckered, too.’ That’s how the name came about. It was the early ‘70s, during the Powder 8s. It Davie Agnew was a spring cycle, but it wasn’t corn because I remember the tracks showed up and stayed for about a week. We were pretty proud of that.” Bob Sealander: “A bunch of us went over to ski it. Everybody was a little nervous when making that first turn. It’s just natural. Watching from the top, the guy would just disappear over the edge, probably dropping twenty feet on that first turn. I was putting my skis on and one or two of the guys took off. They all planted their poles two or three times before they finally made that turn. And I smiled and said, ‘Well, these guys are all puckered up.’ I took off to make the turn and I did the same darn thing! It made me laugh. I was laughing when I got to the bottom. ‘Every one of you guys was puckered up.’ I said, ‘You all

Pepi Stiegler, Cody Peak background, circa 1960s

planted your pole about three times before you made that first turn! But the worst part of it is, I did it too!’ So we decided to call it Pucker Face.”

Four Shadows

Pepi Stiegler (ski school director), late 1960s Robbi Fuller (ski patrol): “As I remember it, Pepi Stiegler was the first guy to ski Four Shadows and Sam Southwick named it right after Pepi skied it. Sam, an old Alta skier, came out here with Dick Barrymore and Doctor Smith (inventor of double-lens ski goggles) to film one of Barrymore’s early ski movies.” (Editor’s note – Check out YouTube too see the clip and its description: Dr. Bob Smith tests his new goggles in deep powder at Jackson

Hole, Wyoming, in 1967. He is joined by Sam Southwick and Pepi Stiegler. The footage is from the film, The Last of the Ski Bums, by Dick Barrymore.) Davie Agnew: “One day a bunch of us went over to Cody Bowl when Pepi was running his race camps. Dean Moore, Jorge Colon, Mike Fitzpatrick, Dean Betts, and Jerry Balint. Jerry and myself had Mike Doyle’s monoskis, Mike Fitzpatrick was on his pins. Fitzpatrick was really good, not many people were skiing on pins back then, except guys like Robbi Fuller and Whitey (Ray White). I know that Balint and I did the first monoski descent of Four Shadows and Fitzpatrick did the first pin descent. Pepi got a kick out of seeing all this ragtag of assorted snow-sliding equipment coming down Four Shadows.” continued

Jackson Hole Ski Patrol, circa 1970s, from left, kneeling: Peter MacKay, Joe Larrow, Larry Detrick, Corky Ward, Jim Kanzler, Kirby Williams, Bob Sealander; standing: Dean Moore, Gary Poulson, John Bernadine, Callum MacKay, Jackson Frishman, Jake Elkins, Tom Raymer, Todd Harly, Jerry Balint, Robert Nelson, Jerry Amadon, Bob Coolidge, Phil Steck, Don Nansen 2 0 1 3 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R


Dan Treadway, The Cave, circa 2000s; First descent: Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, 2002

Stephen Koch (snowboard mountaineer), March 1, 1995 Tom Turiano, from Teton Skiing, A History & Guide to the Teton Range: “Koch Route – Possibly the most technical route ever descended in

Stephen Koch, Talk Is Cheap, 1995


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the southern Tetons, this harrowing line follows the north ridge, which steepens until it ends abruptly at a 350-foot cliff. Stephen Koch (snowboarded to the cliff edge, climbed up to make a good rappel anchor using a piton and a nut, then) made a 30foot diagonal rappel near the bottom of the snow into Central Chute below its crux (and snowboarded across ledges back into Central proper to continue down the normal route). JH SKIER editor’s note: The previous evening Koch was in the bar talking about the route to a prominent local skier who said he also planned to ski it early the next day. When Koch showed up the following morning after finishing his breakfast work-shift and it was still unskied, he named it Talk Is Cheap. Three weeks later Mark Newcomb skied Talk Is Cheap and traversed into Central Couloir on a narrow snow ledge using hand holds in the rock face to secure his ski footing. Koch recently said, “It’s cool, the progression – I opened it, Newc’ bettered it, and after that Eric Roner and Matt Combs base-jumped it.”

Wade McKoy photos

Talk is Cheap

Hunter Wood, Coombs entrance to Central Couloir, 2010

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Shirley’s Temple

John Griber (snowboard mountaineer), April 2, 1992 Tom Turiano, from Teton Skiing, A History & Guide to the Teton Range: “From the summit, John Griber struck northeast (on his snowboard) on a convex, hanging snowfield until he was forced to down-climb over some fourth-class rock. He was caught in a small wet-slab avalanche in a couloir below this cliff band. He named the route after his mother, Shirley Jones, who had recently had died of cancer.”

The Cave could be hit as a double and I saw it in my mind right away – a tight line, but good to go. To further boost my confidence, Rick Armstrong sent an air to the skier’s right of the cave. He sprung out with an early take-off, went big, and stomped. After that, I lined it up, crept off the first stage, landed, composed, and got ready for the second air as a huge amount of slough raced off the cliff with me.

Corah’s Couloir

Igneous Rocks

Mike Tierney (artist, ski builder), 1999

Talk/2/Rocks. Mike Tierney, March 28, 2008 Mike Tierney: “I had done Igneous Rocks a couple times by skiing down Shirley’s face and, right before the cliff, sneaking around the corner into the hanging snowfield that I named Igneous Rocks. It looked like I could come in from the other side, ski Talk is Cheap, traverse across a Mike Tierney ledge, and jump into the top of Igneous Rocks. So I decided to try it that way, but when I got to the ledge, it was too steep to ski across. I took my skis off and started rock climbing. I made it to the jump and had to put my skis back on while standing on rocks. Totally Tiergnar! I made those moves very delicately. I couldn’t see the jump very well, but it seemed a lot bigger than I thought. If I punched through and hit rocks, I’d be crushed up there with no way anyone could get to me. I made that jump count and it was super deep. I was psyched and in familiar territory from then on. All I had to do was make some steep turns, watch out for the rocks at the bottom, and do the final jump, an 80-footer. I made my way down to the jump at the bottom, trying to be smooth about it. Then it got crazy again right before the takeoff. It turned to sugar snow and I poked through and scraped some rock. I’d done the air before and had landed it, but this time, at the last second (and) before landing, my body shifted and I exploded. I didn’t get hurt, though, and I was real fired up – definitely my most magic moment of the winter. I was super bummed that I didn’t land the jump, so I wanted to go back and do it again. But not that way. Not Talk/2/Rocks.”

Cardiac Ridge, Darrell Miller (snowboard mountaineer, filmmaker), March 30, 2004 Darrell Miller: I was inspired to seek out and attempt Corah’s Couloir by super-skier Mike Tierney. He hadn’t put the idea in my head, but he showed me what was possible when you believe in an idea regardless of other’s opinions. Aside from the Nomad Couloir in No Name Canyon, Corah’s is truly the scariest line I’ve ever been on: pants-shitting exposure, lots of rocks and chicken heads, and super steep – just my cup of tea! I named it after my daughter Corah to remind her that anything is possible if you set your mind to it! — Jackson Hole Skier

Steve Haas, Twice Is Nice, circa 1990; First descent: Glenn Jacques and friends, mid 1970s.

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The Cave

Sage Cattabriga-Alosa (pro skier), 2002 Todd Jones, TGR: I have been pointing that line out to people since the boundaries opened. Sage was the first taker; the first guy to hit the double, the first top-to-bottom descent. It’s super rowdy. Sage Cattabriga-Alosa: It was my first time heading out the gate – eyes wide open on a soft, deep, and blue day. Someone mentioned that w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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Ski Mountaineering Landmarks & Tales Of Winters Past by Steve Curtis 1991/92 Jackson Hole Skier "God, I haven't made a turn in three months!" That's what he said. And for just an instant, on that spring morning in the Tetons, two skiers near the summit of Mount Owen felt things were getting a little out of hand. Shortly before Bill Briggs made that dry comment, his partner Boomer McClure had managed one of those improbable maneuvers that fester into wide-awake nightmares. Perched airily on the 55 degree knife-edge that comprises the east ridge of Owen, he stepped into his uphill ski first! Simple enough, yet not exactly advisable. Especially when the slope at your shoulder is half an arm's length away and exactly the same for 1,500 feet below that downhill edge you haven't got on yet. Inadvertencies, unwise moves. They happen in the mountains, lending wings to the imagination. But, imagination is better suited to poring over photos of intended routes, or rhapsodizing tall tales at the local pub. Standing on that slight nub against the pull of gravity, there, concentration rules. If not, flights of creative thought have a tendency to alight in a dark realm: annihilation. It' s not a mind-set that bolsters confidence. That day in 1975, Briggs and McClure hung tough and forced a line down that sheer arête and onto a col leading to the menagerie of the Northeast Snowfields. They would accomplish what remains, even today, one of the more remarkable ski descents in North America. But, there on the Northeast Snowfields, Bill Briggs would come face to face with annihilation. He will admit to being under the influence of "Kodachrome Courage." The extreme technical difficulties behind (though certainly not the danger), he thought he'd get a good one in for the camera. He shot a right turn too hard, splayed his ski tips, and the momentum sent him straight over backwards into a steep chute connecting a few thousand feet of rock and ice. Face to the face. He dug in with everything he had, some-


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how, and arrested himself headfirst. A little gla- the rarefied heights, than on the Ventura Freeway. After all, it's only the details of how a person cial brook bubbled inches from his nose and all he could do was pucker-up for a drink – like it lived and died that ring with any resonance. It seems that, down the mountain, every path has was the water of life. In the Tetons, steep skiing on the big peaks a heart. Epilogue: Shortly after Mount Owen, Robin can be a wedding of mixed emotions. There's the electric rush of corn snow, the kind that siz- "Boomer" McClure was killed while attempting zles and sloughs perfectly under the pressure of the first ski descent of the Matterhorn. He was your skis; seemingly endless runs far from the lift never found, and lies there, still, beneath the imlines and the scouring corps of grooming ma- posing 4,000-foot North Face. chines. There's the bizarre all-night climbs under a canopy of stars, leaving you completely whacked-out and soaked in polypropylene sweat. Precise, geometrical beauty owns its place too: Venus chasing a crescent moon out of the eastern darkness, itself overtaken by a sunrise broadcasting pillars of buttercup light into a dawn sky. Heartbreaking beauty. And, always fear. Of avalanches, of finding yourself on that edge where you don't really want to be. Then, there's tragedy. A day, flush with all the good things that are springtime in the mountains, marred by death. That sad, abstract conjunction of blue skies, the smell of newly melted ground, and friendship – all that is life – with the instant it ceases to exist. It happens. But, it's a realm that belongs to all of us eventually. Better here, in Bill Briggs’ first descent of the Grand Teton, 1971

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Bill Briggs poster, photo by Virginia Huidekoper; Briggs portrait by Bob Woodall; Wade McKoy photos

Jason Tattersall, the Tetons, circa 1990s

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Steve Curtis, Mt. St. Johns (background N.E. Snowfields on Mt. Owen obscure the Grand), circa 1970s

were firsts – the Hossack-MacGowan with Mark Newcomb, and the East Ridge with Rick Hunt. “I think the East Ridge is unrepeated still,â€? he said. “The Hossack-MacGowan was repeated by Hans Sari and Andrew MacLean.â€? Newcomb and Johnstone’s climb of the Hossack-MacGowan was also a first winter ascent, and done so long ago that RandonnĂŠe gear was still a mere rumor in Jackson Hole. “We skinned up in our little ski-mountaineering boots and our little ski-mountaineering skis,â€? said Johnstone. “But we carried alpine skis and boots for the route itself.â€? Much was made about “styleâ€? in those days, and Newcomb and Johnstone had their own self-imposed standard. On the descent they relied mostly on their skiing and mountaineering abilities, using the rope only sparingly. “It makes it serious,â€? he said. “We thought it was good style, and I suppose it was. Looking back, though, you could ski the whole thing on rappel and take the edge off it.â€?

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Mountaineer’s camp in Glacier Gulch, 1990s

An Interview with Hans Johnstone Last spring Hans Johnstone became the first person to ski all routes on the Grand Teton when he and Christian Beckwith skied the Otter Body. “The Otter Body was the last one,� said Johnstone. “I always wondered if I would ski it. Christian and I had a great day – really good conditions and super fun.� Johnstone’s first ski descent on the Grand was the original Briggs route, the Ford Stettner. “I’ve skied that a few times,� he said, “the last time with Doug (Coombs), right before he went to Europe the year he died.� That group also included Rick Hunt, Bill Dyer, and Greg Collins; another time he skied it with Wes Bunch, Mark Newcomb, and Stephen Koch. On two of the routes, Johnstone’s descents

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Route description by Steve Romeo, 2009 CMC Route, Mount Moran – Though I have thought this route has been in shape on multiple occasions since its first descent in 2002 by Hans Johnstone, Kent McBride, Bill Dyer, and the late Doug Coombs, it has yet to be repeated. Requiring rappels, route finding, a keen eye for conditions and nerves of steel, the CMC Route is at the height of ski mountaineering in the Tetons, if not the world.

Tribute to Fallen Friend

Results in Record-time Ski Link 2011/12 Jackson Hole Skier It started as a tribute to their former ski partner Wray Landon, but their blistering pace resulted in a new ski-mountaineering record for climbing and descending the Grand, Middle and South Tetons in one push. Nate Brown, Brian Harder, and Zahan Billimoria set off from Lupine Meadows at 5:15 a.m., July 2, 2011. Upon completion of the route, the car-to-car time of 10 hours 39 minutes broke the old record by a mere 16 minutes. continued page 45

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Otter Body Experience Two intrepid skiers complete a long-dreamed-of first descent on the Grand Teton’s Otter Body route. by Doug Coombs, 1996/97 Jackson Hole Skier

Coombs climbs in the ice gully between the Ford and Stettner Couloirs, what Newcomb calls “the shortcut up the Grand.”


he full moon faded away as sunrise greeted placed and purMark Newcomb and me on the summit of the posely left behind. Mark and I Grand Teton. It was June 2, 1996, and conditions were perfect for a ski descent, which was pre- climbed by bright, full moonlight from our cisely what we intended to do. My interest in skiing the Grand’s Otter Body camp on the lower Two days after the descent, the Otter Body (can you find it?) had melted down to route had evolved over a five-year-period, in- saddle at 4:30 a.m., the Stettner rock, ice, and giant runnels in the snow. spired by a talk with local climber/skier, Steve up Shea. “In the perfect year, at the perfect time, Couloir on a stiff snow crust. We entered the ice perfect corn, confirming Mark’s prediction. Good during the perfect hour,” Steve said, “skiing the gully between the Ford and Stettner couloirs on thing! It was 50-plus-degrees steep and a skiperfect, 60-degree verglas and water ice, making and-a-half wide; with a direct fall line to the cliffs Otter Body is possible. It’s the most aesthetic, for “ego” front-pointing. We soloed unroped for below. This is where the main Otter Body veered direct ski route off the Grand Teton.” I studied the route over the years, waiting for speed, stopping for a few flashcube pictures left towards the tail area of the Otter Body. It beShea’s perfect scenario to come together – tim- (where Mark dropped his dad’s camera bag – came an off-fall-line pitch filled with small, oops!) in this dra- bumpy, frozen runnels. ing is critical in a Now my concerns where confirmed. The matic slot on the radical ski descent Grand Teton. We snow was bulletproof and spotted with patches such as this. The popped out in the of verglas! Desiring the aesthetics of skiing the moment materialFord couloir just in whole run, we decided to wait for the sun to ized after the cold, time to see the red soften the snow. We placed ice screws and anwet spring of sun rise, glowing chored ourselves to them. 1996. When the For an hour we were stuck like flies on flypaon all the rocks weather finally and snow. With per, hanging onto the side of the mountain. Sudbroke and warm this electric aura, denly, rock-fall from the sun-baked East Face days and cool ‘Energizer Bunny’ above us started to rain down. Time to go. No nights followed, a Mark motored off choice. His skis chattering loudly, Mark turned window of opporto the summit. his way down a few hundred feet and stopped tunity opened, one After a steady above a sheet of glazed ice. “Totally sketchy that fellow ski panting pace, I down here,” he yelled up to me. Skiing down to mountaineer Mark reached the sum- him, I concurred with his analysis. My entire Newcomb and I knew would be When the sun finally arrived, Newcomb skied from the main mit 15 minutes be- body vibrated as I skidded to a stop. Otter Body onto its tail while being peppered by rock-fall. We down-climbed the ice-covered bottom hind him. short and sweet. We discussed our thoughts. Mark was con- 300 feet of the Otter Body, using crampons and Rushing it would have been too dangerous because of avalanche conditions. Yet waiting cerned that the steep, narrow crux from the East ice axes, and then we rappelled 120 feet onto too long would allow the route to melt, making a Face snowfield onto the Otter Body would be Teepee Glacier. We had hoped to ski all the way ski-descent through the remaining ice and ex- sun-baked, punchy snow with wet slides. I was to the rappel, but the previous day’s warm temperatures and freezing night had formed a glaze posed rock impossible. As it turned out, our concerned that the cold, shady lower Otter Body window lasted only three days and was skiable would be bulletproof, creating unedgeable con- of ice on top of the snow. Had we been able to only between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. We went for it ditions. Both areas have huge exposure – 2,000 stick to our plan, we would’ve accomplished the vertical-foot drops over cliffs – where a fall is not fewest rappels or least down-climbing of any on day two. other ski descent off the Grand Teton. I had attempted to ski the Otter Body – a an option. Once onto the Teepee Glacier, we carved up Wasting no time, we skied off the summit hanging snowfield shaped like an otter – in February with another partner, Andrew McLean. His down the East Face on fantastic, smooth, frozen “ego” corn snow down to Garnet Canyon, glad to exceptional climbing ability on mixed rock and granular snow. The slope rolled over to extreme be away from the onslaught of debris raining down ice helped us reach the top of the otter’s tail, but steepness as it approached the Otter Body, and on us. Two days later the narrows up high was all we turned back once we saw the scary ava- because of the firm snow, defensive skiing was rock and the Otter Body snowfield was riddled lanche danger above. In June on our final rap- the protocol: one turn at a time. At this point the with giant runnels. Talk about squeaking in a ski pel, Mark and I used the protection Andrew had narrow slot turned east and the snow turned to run through a small window of opportunity! 


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Mark Newcomb and Doug Coombs photos scanned from 1996/97 Jackson Hole Skier


continued from page 43

Evolution of Extreme

by Jack Shaw 2006/07 Jackson Hole Skier Doug Coombs began working for Exum Mountain Guides in the summers while pursuing his UIAGM certification, and it was only a matter of time before he pitched owner Al Read on the possibility of guiding a client up the Grand for a ski descent. Soon other guides, like Bill Dyer, Hans Johnstone, Newcomb, and Kent McBride, joined Coombs in adapting their mountaineering knowledge to ski guiding, and Jackson Hole was again at the sharp end of the sport. “The CMC route on Moran in 2002 was the real eye-opener for me,” says Dyer. “It was a line that required perfect timing to the minute. It’s not something that would be available every year.” When the time was right, Coombs again pushed the limits by guiding the first ski descent of the Grand with a client. “What Doug was the best at was making people feel comfortable in that terrain and instilling confidence,” he adds.

“A Historical Perspective of Jackson Hole’s Ski Community”

by Keith I. Cozzens, 2005/06 Jackson Hole Skier Breaking new ground has been a part of the soul of Jackson Hole winters since 1936, when mountaineer and skier Fred Brown pioneered “all the country behind the Tetons from Teton Pass to Yellowstone,” influencing future Tenth Mountain Division skier Grant Hagen, who laid first tracks in the Tetons and Gros Ventres; since Betty Woolsey trained on Teton Pass for the 1936 Olympics and later moved here, buying the Trail Creek Ranch above Wilson and skiing the Pass extensively with friends and ranch guests; since Virginia Guernsey Huidekoper came to the valley in 1939 as a ski racer from Alta, Utah, eventually becoming a local newspaper publisher and compiling a definitive collection of historic photographs in her book, The Early Days of Jackson Hole; and since “Stearney” Stearns, now 85years young and a Pass skier until a couple years ago, opened Hungry Jack’s General Store in 1954, a soulful, family-run Wilson institution to this day. “In the 1920s, with little else to do in the dead of a Jackson Hole winter, skiers began hiking up Snow King Mountain and skiing down,” writes Tom Turiano in his book Teton Skiing, a rich historical perspective laden with soulful tales. Not merely a distraction, skiing had practical applications and quickly spawned innovation. “The Hoback Boys, who traveled on skis to deliver milk and mail to ranchers, were master waxers who melted phonograph records for ski bases,” notes Turiano. And consider the hundreds of bygone tales recounted by Doris Platts in her book, The Pass. A rancher tells of his 1931 episode, “skiing 20 miles to the dance pavilion in Wilson, dancing all night, and then skiing back home.” With roots like that, it’s no wonder today’s hundreds of wide-eyed, diehard skiers flock to their stashes to banquet on the season-long feast, answering nature’s call like a lost mariner beckoned by Sirens safely back to shore. Excerpts from Teton Skiing: “Ray White joined Robbie Fuller (inventor of Croakies, the originals w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

made from old wetsuits), Rick Horn, and Dave Reinmann in breaking trail from Jackson to Granite Hot Springs in one day.” Not many people had ever considered this before. Turiano also recounts a handful of skiers who found their souls completely filled with the highest of highs, their accomplishments changing everything: “In April 1966, an uncontrollable urge drove Jackson Hole Ski School Director and three-time Olympic medalist Pepi Stiegler to ski Buck Mountain. Stiegler had little mountaineering experience, but he was totally committed. With an amazing solo push he climbed 25 Short and Peak 10,696 before arriving on Buck Mountain well after the snow had turned to slush. Thanks to a combination of skill, stamina, and luck, Stiegler narrowly escaped death in an avalanche before safely returning to the valley. “With his [Stiegler’s] success bloomed a new era in Teton skiing, fathered by Bill Briggs. After a descent of Buck Mountain in 1966, Briggs continued to blaze ski routes on Teton peaks, including descents of the Middle Teton and Mount Moran. On June 16, 1971, Briggs shocked the country when – on the heels of three disappointing attempts – he became the first to ski the Grand Teton. A monumental accomplishment, Briggs had achieved his goal of ‘creating a noteworthy effect by setting the first in any field of endeavor,’ and he widened the scope of the skimountaineering movement. In the words of Telemark champ and local free-heel mountaineer Whitney Thurlow, ‘Because of Briggs, you knew it could be done, whatever it was you wanted to do.’ Throughout the rest of the ‘60s and ‘70s, hundreds of skiers challenged the steep faces and couloirs of the Teton peaks.” Groundbreaking moments in extreme skiing were exposed in two 1970s movies. Fall Line featured Steve Shea skiing first descents of technical lines in the Tetons, and Rhythms showcased Joe Larrow and the late Bill “Mad Dog” Danford launching speed into Corbet’s Couloir.

An interview with Davie Agnew Glory Bowl didn’t get skied much in the winter back in the 1960s and ‘70s. In spring, certainly – I think we even had Errol Flynn up there. He used to visit Betty Woolsey at Trail Creek Ranch. They always skied Thanksgiving Bowl on Thanksgiving, Edelweiss at Christmas, and they loved to ski Titmouse Ridge and Olympic Ridge, which is how all that stuff got named. Todd Sterns and I did, if not the first descent pretty close to it, the east face of Taylor Mountain. The southeast face had been skied the spring before by Jacques Sarthou and Craig Shanholtzer, who was another fantastic skier and did well on the U.S. Ski Team until he got kicked off – I don’t know why, he wouldn’t cut his hair or something. Todd and his brother Forrest, both fantastic skiers, were raised at the bottom of the pass. That was their playground. I was in the Calico one night and we put an expedition together to do the first descent of the Banana Couloir on Prospector Peak. Todd Sterns, Wes Fox, Carson, Hubbard, and myself. Jorge Colon and Fast Fred overheard us in the bar and tried to beat us to it by coming up from the White Grass Ranch during the night. But we had camped at the bottom and we beat them.

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by Erich Wilbrecht 1993/94 Jackson Hole Skier

I am obsessed with skiing. Even when I’m not skiing, I’m thinking about it. In summer, I look up at pockets of snow tucked away on high mountains, and I cheer on winter. This obsession comes with the territory. As a biathlete, I spend most of winter racing, which affords little pleasure. It is often painful, frustrating, and exhausting work. There is pressure at almost every event to perform – the pressure to keep one’s place on a national team, to make an Olympic team, to be chosen to race a relay, Erich Wilbrecht (front), American Birkibeiner race, 2002 or to get a good start position. Faform or outline that would suggest this newly tigue and frustration frequently accompany this awakened giant. As I scanned for a set of eyes pressure, and I often question the value of racing. looking out at me, the questions spilled out like an Yet, for every 10 races that are a grind, there is alavalanche: Was he (she?) sleeping? Did she have ways one that is effortless, when the body has no cubs? Did he follow my progress as I circled him, limits, when it feels no pain. A race where you feel all the while sizing me up and perhaps even calcusorry for your competition. It is for these rare, perlating the caloric benefit of chomping down a fect days that I justify the struggle. skinny Nordic skier? But there is a different, more significant reason I didn’t wait for an answer. I left his tracks and I endure these challenges: I race to train. That made some of my own, skimight sound ironic, almost ing as quietly as good techharsh, even religious. Yet, by Vaguely, and slowly nique allowed, smooth as racing season’s end I am in silk. I hadn’t felt more alive all need of spiritual renewal. at first, it sank in: year – in any race – and my And I find it through spring big tracks...bear tracks scalp tingled all the way workouts on Togwotee Pass, back to my car. my private church. ...BIG bear tracks...Grizzly! Once, I skied over acres After an early morning of snow littered with the drive through the greening frozen bodies of Painted Lady butterflies. They had valley of Jackson Hole, the Tetons bathed in pink failed in their attempt to navigate Togwotee Pass dawn light, I step out of my car at Togwotee Pass. and had died in a spring storm. Their dark, colorI walk up the snow bank, clip into my bindings, and ful corpses lay quietly imbedded in the dusting of blast off. new powder. It was a silent battlefield, where naOne spring I got a late start, and miles from the ture’s combatants lay still while the victor bathed highway I noticed how the sun had softened the them in sunlight, melting their dark bodies deeper top layer of snow and how my skis were bogging into the pure, new powder snow. I skied up to one down. I was tired from three hours of hard skiing at of the insects sitting upright on the surface. It altitude. My head was down, my eyes focused on seemed perfectly preserved, as if only resting. my ski tips and the terrain for the next step. PrePicking it up, I gently breathed onto the tiny lifeoccupied, low on blood sugar, and fantasizing less butterfly cupped in my palms. After a few minabout double-bacon cheeseburgers, I must have utes I opened my hands to see its wings slowly skied 20 meters on the tracks before they regisflexing. I skied to the edge of the snowfield and set tered on me. Vaguely, and slowly at first, it sank in: the butterfly on the dark soil, where it could warm big tracks...bear tracks...BIG bear tracks...Grizzly! itself. I skied back down the valley and traveled That’s when I stopped skiing. I leaned on my down the pass and into spring. Flowers blanketed poles and stared at the perfect impressions left by the valley floor. Flying among them were hundreds this giant. I knelt down and placed my elbow in the of Painted Ladies, victors over the spring snows. heel of a track and reached my palm up to the inAnd I silently cheered for winter. dentation left by the claws. Looking up, I following the tracks running off into a copse of pine a little Erich Wilbrecht learned to ski in Jackson ways ahead. I wasn’t tired anymore. In fact, I felt Hole. During his seven years on the U.S. wide awake. I bounced up and headed off around Biathlon Team, he skied in the '92 Olympics the island of trees. I skied around it, scanning for and won nine national biathlon champitracks that would signal this bruin’s egress from onships. After eight more years skiing with the general vicinity. But I returned to where I first the Fischer Factory Team, he now chases encountered the tracks, finding nothing. powder in the backcountry and tries to keep This brought up some very interesting questions, and my once-foggy mind was now racing. up with his two sons. He is a real estate broMy eyes scanned the tree line carefully, seeking a ker for JH Sotheby's International Realty.


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The Code of Backcountry Ethics By Teton Pass Ambassador Jay Pistono Not so long ago, it didn’t matter. So few of us skied up there. But somewhere along the line, as fellow Teton Pass aficionado Davie Agnew pointed out to me some years ago, we began failing to use it wisely. We were witnessing the slow degradation of our access to the finest backcountry skiing in North America. So we began speaking out. The ethics and safety code I espouse emerged collectively and has been passed down through the years. It comes from common sense, from a variety of people, and it has a historical perspective. It’s always open to discussion as new ideas and fresh perspectives appear. Code of Backcountry Ethics: Don’t ski Twin Slides or Glory Bowl when you might cause an avalanche that will reach the highway. If a skier or ‘boarder puts a slide across the road that kills a commuter, the highway patrol will seriously propose closing it to skiing. Don’t drop in above another party. Hold off and let those people finish that line in case that thing goes. But if somebody is down there standing in the middle of the bowl, just totally clueless, you can either go ski something else, or ski down to them and give them a little lesson. There’s always a way to present information where people tend to accept it. Don’t jump down their throat. Honor the “No Parking Beyond This Point” sign. The parking lot at the top of Teton Pass was built by the Wyoming Department Of Transportation as a safety turnout for traffic. It belongs to WYDOT. Try and park a door-width apart to maximize capacity. And when you are waiting for a space to open up, stay put rather than driving back and forth around the pullout. Honor who should get the next spot; if someone has picked up hitchhikers, maybe they are entitled to that person’s spot. Control Your Dog. If your dog doesn’t pay attention to cars, keep it on a leash when you’re walking up the road. When hiking up Glory, and your dog is halfway into Twin Slides chasing a ‘boarder, you don’t want that dog biting the guy; you’re putting an extra load on the slope; you’re wrecking the guy’s run. Deal with your dog’s crap. Take a mutt mitt, use it, and put it in the station. Or at least fling it off the trail. Think about it: a can full of turds and there are that many fewer dumps out there. In the springtime, it’s offensive when that stuff starts to melt out. Teton Pass is part of our watershed. Look what’s going on down in the Wasatch: dogs are not allowed in the backcountry. No Dogs! That’s the rule. There were too many people from Salt Lake taking their dogs up there. Nobody ever thinks that kind of stuff is going to happen (here), but it could. During bad visibility, get up out of the roadbed. If a plow is coming down and a car is coming up, they could swerve into each other when they see you at the last second. But if you have to be in the road, walk in single file. When hitchhiking, stand in a safe place and be ready to jump in that car. I’m constantly shocked at people hitchhiking at the base of Glory. Okay, it has a million tracks and it’s not going to slide that day. But why not go up the road a hundred feet? Then, at least, you look smarter. And when someone stops for you, don’t make the driver wait. It’s inconsiderate, and it’s dangerous. The highway patrol is not busting people for hitchhiking (although it’s illegal in Wyoming). But they will if it causes an accident. And a few final admonitions: Don’t walk in the skin track. Don’t skin in the boot track. Don’t deafen yourself – keep the ear-bud tunes at a volume that allows you to still hear the outside world. Yield the uphill track to those faster coming from below.

Erich Wilbrecht photo collection

Cross Country Snow

Jamie Pierre, 255-foot World Record Cliff Drop, January 25, 2006, Caribou-Targhee National Forest Jamie Pierre found this cliff on the backside of the Grand Targhee Resort in the early 2000s. He watched and waited several years until the snow pack was deep enough, soft enough, and well consolidated into a perfect cushion. And it worked. The snow safely absorbed the impact of a skier dropping over 250 feet. Pierre’s friend, photographer Adam Clark, had chosen a camera angle that put him close enough to reach Pierre quickly and dig him out – his “plug guy.” When Clark brushed the snow away from Jamie’s face, he saw an uninjured, smiling man. Photos and film from the event were widely distributed – five still photographers and two cinematographers covered it. This particular image, or its composited motor-drive version, was published by 14 magazines around the world. Adam Clark and Pierre produced Clark’s shot into a poster, size extra-large. Tragically, Jamie Pierre died in an avalanche in his home state of Utah on November 13, 2011. He had settled into family life with his wife, Amee, and their two children and was moving to Big Sky, Montana, where he had begun a new position of ski ambassador. Jamie Pierre is fondly remembered for his enthusiasm and positive attitude, and as a mentor who kept his ego in check. He was an exceptionally talented skier and a truly kind soul.

Wade McKoy photos

— Jackson Hole Skier, et al.

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Helicopter Skiing In


Andrew Miller photo, courtesy SEABA

Tom Evans photo, courtesy Kenai Heli Ski

magine you’re a passenger in a helicopter, zooming through Alaska’s wild, majestic peaks. Your eyes fill with iconic ski terrain, the super-sized powder bowls and gargantuan chutes. You’re living in a skier’s dream with a broad spectrum of incantations, from mellow visions of powder runs to stark, ski-movie-style spines and faces. These five Alaskan heli-ski companies – each with its own unique twist – can deliver this skier’s dream to you. If you’re a strong intermediate skier who loves and respects the mountain environment, you have everything you need.

A peaceful landing zone in evening light; Kenai

Alaska Rendezvous Heli-Guides

“If you can ski Jackson Hole’s Hobacks, its Lower Faces and Rendezvous Bowl, you can ski the Alaskan Chugach,” Alaska Rendezvous HeliGuides founder Theo Meiners once said. Meiners discovered this from a lifetime of experience. The 33-year veteran of the Jackson Hole Ski School and 18-year Alaskan ski guide had strong ties to both places. He chose ‘rendezvous’ as his company name because of those roots. “Alaskan fur trappers still hold traditional rendezvous,” he said, “just as the fur trappers did in Jackson’s Hole in the 1800s. The name applies perfectly.” The newly remodeled Alaska Rendezvous Lodge sits in prime heli-ski country on Thompson Pass, 50 miles northeast of Valdez, Alaska. “We did a big remodel on the restaurant and bar,” Meiners said last summer. “We built a 14foot ceiling that mirrors the mountain landscape. We’re very proud of that.” That pride and joy will stay in the family as


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Theo’s daughter and son, Alexandra and Aidan, take the helm. Both have been fully involved in the operation for several years and are committed to its future, as are the outfit’s veteran staff of guides, chefs, and hospitality personnel. Theo Meiners drilled his guide staff with an intensity that has become his legacy. “Our impeccable safety record is a result of our extensive guide training, protocols, and procedures,” he once stated. “Staying safe is what the Rendezvous is built on.” Alaska Rendezvous veteran guide Dave Miller, who began his 9-year tenure guiding skiers on Thompson Pass as Doug Coombs’ first hire in 1993, said, “We’ve got a tremendous depth of experience with our guide staff – lots of senior guides and some younger ones with excellent qualifications and deep family roots.” The lodge and heli-base occupy a unique geographic position in the Chugach – the legendary Blue Hole. As storms clear from the north, the massive Mount Billy Mitchell adjacent to the

lodge is often the first to gather those blue skies. That gives Alaska Rendezvous Heli-Guides and their clients an early lift-off. Outside the lodge’s front door sit the ‘front nine’ – pyramid-shaped north faces and long slopes that provide 5,200-vertical-foot runs. In a week, clients ski about 40 runs and 200,000 vertical. Some of the biggest hits in the area are the Rendezvous’ patron mountains: Billy Mitchell, Happiness, and Fork It In. And, as everyone knows, Alaska gets snowstorms like Florida gets hurricanes. The average snowfall at sea level is 350 inches, and on Thompson Pass is 600-to-700 inches, with 1,200 inches in some years. After a day of skiing all that powder, clients can relax in the comfortable lodge. Magnificent chefs from Telluride and Jackson Hole prepare a delicious, diverse menu of Continental Cuisine w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

Spines, a snow rider’s dream; snowboarder Wyatt Caldwell; SEABA

with a Swiss flair, including American Steaks and Japanese Sushi made with fresh Alaskan seafood. The tavern offers premium select liquor, domestic and imported beers, and fine wines from around the world. Clients choose from eight large rooms sporting queen-size beds, private baths, and telephone/data lines. There’s also a massage area and a laundromat. Each room boasts a porch and amazing views, and beyond that doorstep lies the wide, wide world of Alaskan skiing, including five adjacent mountain ranges. Jackson Hole skiers love Alaska, but these days clients also come from places like Vail and Aspen. Alaska Rendezvous Heli-Guides caters to skier levels from intermediate to expert, and to a variety of spending habits – those who want to be a bit more aggressive, as well as the more budget-minded. w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

“Last winter was the first time that I got to experience heli-skiing the peaks of Alaska,” said freestyle champ JP Auclair. “It was a dream come true, but I was nervous at the thought of charging down these mountains – much bigger and steeper than what I’m used to. My guides did a great job of making me feel safe. They take their jobs very seriously, yet the atmosphere still remains fun and laid back.” Folks comfortable skiing Rendezvous Bowl and the Hobacks in Jackson Hole should consider a vacation with Alaska Rendezvous Heli Guides and find out what all the hype is really about.

Valdez Heli-Ski Guides

When Scott Raynor bought Valdez Heli-Ski Guides from founders Doug and Emily Coombs 12 years ago, he didn’t stray from their concept:

offering the finest guided steep-skiing in the world. “They were the originals,” said Raynor. “They started it all in 1993. We are proud of our roots.” And while they still thrive on guiding steepand-deep terrain and still employ many of those original guides, VHSG has branched out to include a new clientele – skiers seeking more sheer fun but with less adrenalin. “We continue to offer the radical steeps, but now we’re expanding our operation to include those powder skiers who want a more mellow day,” said Raynor. Some of those “new” skiers are actually return clients who, after skiing the steeps year after year, aren’t as interested in doing it quite as often. But Raynor has also discovered a truly new market. “We have plenty of terrain that’s continued 2 0 1 3 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R


Wade McKoy photo

Andrew Miller photo, courtesy SEABA

Iconic slopes on Thompson Pass; VHSG

moderately steep, but not so intense,” he said. “Many people just want to ski a sweet powder run, like Cracked Ice – 4,000 feet of 38 degrees. We can ski runs like that all day long.” It seems that everybody wants to be able to enjoy what they’ve seen glorified in the movies and the magazines, just not the scary part of it. “Our typical days have always involved exciting landings, followed with big-mountain skiing in couloirs and huge powder bowls,” said Raynor. “But now we’re hearing from skiers who want the Alaska experience without 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, all day long.” One thing that both the adrenalin-stoked adventurers and the mellow powder-hounds have in common is the need for comfort at the end of the day. And they all agree that the new Tsaina Lodge goes over the top in providing that. Reopened last winter in its original location adjacent to Diamond Peak on Thompson Pass, the new Tsaina Lodge is a big hit. “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.” Amenities include a boot-drying room, a gym that rivals those of high-end hotels, b a l c o n i e s , porches, and outside strolling areas. The lodge’s gourmet steak, seafood, and sushi dinners have been compared to a

Simon Evans photo, courtesy Kenai Heli Ski

Northern lights over Haines; SEABA

Alaskan mountains – ski slopes as far as the eye can see; skier: Brook Edwards; Kenai HS


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New York dining experience. Its lounge and bar has an old-school look and feel, with a skier vibe that’s rich in history. Restaurant tables look out onto sunsets, the northern lights, and the Worthington Glacier. “It’s one of the most comfortable lodges in Alaska,” said Raynor. And right out the door sits Dimond Peak – for many, the ultimate Alaskan ski mountain. “It’s one of the world’s best ski runs, and it’s right there in our backyard,” he said. Dimond’s many ski routes all lead back to the lodge 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 40degree slope for over 2,000 feet. “The top pitches are steep runs,” said Raynor, “but not radical. The majority of people can ski those. It’s tantalizing to think of skiing a 40-degree slope in powder.” From Anchorage, clients take a short flight into Valdez, where they are greeted by VHSG personnel and shuttled up Thompson Pass to the lodge.

Kenai Heli Ski

Kenai Heli Ski, Alaska’s newest heli-ski enterprise, operates in the pristine Kenai Mountains, far from any other heli-companies. “Much of our terrain has never been skied before,” said co-owner Njord Rota. “The possibilities for first descents are endless, with something for everyone – rowdy steeps, rolling, relaxing powder, and everything in between, on hundreds of thousands of acres.” Flying into the heli-base on their private charter from Anchorage, the clients’ first look at the Kenai Peninsula provides their proof of purchase. Snow-laden peaks jut out of the ocean while the quaint fishing village of Seldovia peacefully resides on the shoreline. Clients stay in either the world-class AeroTech Lodge or choose from among several bed-and-breakfast options, all within walking distance of Kenai Heli Ski headquarters and the iconic town of Seldovia. Once airborne for a day of heli-skiing, views of Kachemak Bay and the volcanic Augustine Island usher clients to Kenai Heli Ski’s nearby mountains. These alpine bowls and glades give skiers a vertical drop of 1,000 to 2,500 feet. As clients fly deeper into the vast Kenai Range, the mountains open themselves up into glaciated, alpine terrain. “We ski big, open bowls, long glaciers, and steep faces for 2,000-foot and over 3,500-foot vertical runs,” said Rota. “The views of the Gulf of Alaska and the Kenai Fjords National Park are astounding.” If weather prohibits flights into the mountains, excellent tree skiing awaits directly above town. The all-inclusive package carries a minimum guarantee of 100,000 vertical with an unlimited vertical bonus and a no-nonsense refund policy. “Once you reach 100,000 vert, you keep skiing at no additional cost,” said Rota. “Unlimited vertical means we keep skiing long after you reach the 100,000-vert goal.” Clients need only bring their ski boots and clothing. Kenai Heli Ski provides the rest, including Meier skis. World-class chefs prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Clients enjoy lunch in the mountains during the ski day, but breakfast and dinner are served at the lodge. Alaskan specialties include fresh salmon, oysters, and king crab. Helicopter skiing is not recommended for bew w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

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Wade McKoy photos

ginning skiers, but strong intermediates are able to have a wonderful time. “The ski movies filmed in Alaska might be fun to watch, but most people don’t want to ski that type of terrain,” said Rota. “And with the advancement of fat-ski design, previous powderskiing experience isn’t completely necessary. If you can ski groomers, you can ski powder.” The guide staff has expert avalanche knowledge and all are ski instructors. Snowboarders and Tele-

Dave Swanwick, circa 1990s; VHSG

mark skiers are welcomed, too. Skiing in the Alaskan mountains requires good cardiovascular and muscular fitness, so it’s recommended that potential clients engage in an exercise program prior to their heli-ski excursion. The relatively low elevation of 6,000 feet down to sea level largely precludes any concern of altitude illnesses. Good physical fitness, though, is paramount to meeting the inherent challenges and achieving the best possible skiing experience. “Most folks who ski with confidence on blue runs do just fine heli-skiing,” said Rota. “Our guides are great instructors and coaches, and will guide you to and through the terrain that is suitable for you. “Powder skiing is the most fun, and the easiest aspect of skiing to master. If you can ski on rock-hard snow and moguls, powder is a piece of cake.”


A safe route through gorgeous seracs and cravasses; Tordrillo

Photo courtesyTordrillo Mountain Lodge

Rick Armstrong, Pyramid, circa 1997; VHSG

Nestled in the quiet town of Haines, Alaska, Southeast Alaska Backcountry Adventures has been making skiers’ dreams come true for over a decade. Breathtaking ocean views and majestic mountain landscapes set the stage for roughly 409,000 acres of skiable terrain in the Chilkat and Tahkinsha mountains. “Haines is the home of one of the best maritime snowpacks in the world,” said Nic Trimble, SEABA owner and manager. “Huge storms consistently blanket the surrounding mountains with an impressive amount of snow. Even an ‘average’ year will leave you grinning from ear to ear.” Clients arrive in Haines via commercial flight or by ferry. The staff pick-up at the airport or the ferry terminal is followed by a short, scenic drive into town. Abundant wildlife on the brief trip is a bonus. Once at the Fort Seward Lodge, clients meet the guides and become acquainted with the area and how the program operates. This briefing includes an update on the current snow conditions, a look at the winter’s snow events and weather history, and a discussion on the various terrain that’s available. Then it’s time to gear up, head out, and begin that dream come true. On a typical heli-ski day, clients awake at the historic Fort Seward Lodge – or one of the private, oceanfront homes that are also available – grab breakfast, and attend the daily weather and schedule briefing. Next, a van-ride up the picturesque Haines w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

Wade McKoy photo

Highway to one of three heliports along a 40-mile stretch. This variety of heliports is designed to access the best weather and snow conditions available in some of the most dramatic and complex mountain terrain in the world. With runs ranging from 3,000 to 5,000 vertical feet, SEABA promises terrain suitable for all abilities – from lower-angled glacier runs that go on for miles, to ear-scraping, steep spines. After clients have their fill of pow’, it’s back to the lodge for “some bragging and cocktails.” Haines holds a variety of restaurants to choose from, with great steak and seafood at the Fort Seward Lodge, for exam-

Snowboarder Jay Nelson, circa 1990s; Alaska Rendezvous

ple, and made-from-scratch pizzas and calzones at the Fireweed. Friendly locals and unique nightlife round out the evening. If weather moves in and helicopter travel is not possible, clients go cat skiing. The 3,000-acre cat-ski area lends itself to ski touring and snowmobiling, too – a Southeast Alaskan winter wonderland waiting to be explored. No matter the conditions, or the chosen recreation mode, SEABA guides keep their clients playing in the snow. At the end of a fantastic day’s skiing, the Fort Seward Lodge and Bar is the ideal place to kick back and relax in. The family-like vibe allows clients to get to know one another while enjoying a hot meal and a cold beer. With incredible seascape in one direction and the breathtaking mountain views in the other, there’s absolutely no way to miss something extraordinary. The rooms are quiet and relaxing. Lucky patrons might even witness the nightlife Mother Nature provides and catch the northern lights outside their window.

Tordrillo Mountain Lodge

Created by Alaskan heli-ski pioneers Mike Overcast, Tommy Moe, and Greg Harms, Tordrillo Mountain Lodge accommodates four seasons of sporting activities, resulting in a heli-skiing operation that might also include some famous Alaskan fishing. The real ace in the hole, though, is the weather, a natural perk of the lodge’s location in the mountains near Anchorage. “It’s not uncommon for a high-pressure system to stick around a while after it snows,” said Overcast. “Good flying weather and good snow stability is a heli-skier’s top desire.” Average temperatures range from 15-to-25 degrees continued w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

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Wade McKoy photo

transferred to Lake Hood and onto a floatplane for a 45-minute flight to snow-covered Judd Lake and the Tordrillo Mountain Lodge. Then the flexible daily agenda of skiing and boarding begin. TML has access to 1.2 million acres of mountain terrain that receives an annual average snowfall of 600 inches. Guides choose the best drop spots by assessing field observations, data from snow pits and remote weather stations, and pilot input. Once in the field, guides evaluate their individual client’s ability level after skiing a couple warm-up runs. They then slowly work into more challenging terrain while continually assessing the skier’s progress. “The key is to make sure the client is never under-challenged,” said Moe, “but that they’re not overwhelmed, either.” The geography of the Tordrillo complex is fascinating and helps to explain its dramatic relief. In technical terms, the mountain range sits atop a large granite batholith surrounded by sedimentary deposits. Some of the peaks are volcanic with large deposits of erosive tephra Photo courtesy Tordrillo Mountain Lodge

Jeremy Nobis; Alaska Rendezvous

Spinology; Tordrillo

and keep the powder light and dry. The terrain is draped across countless, couloir-fashioned peaks that provide a variety of runs, with elevations ranging from 7,500 to 2,000 feet. Nearby Mt. McKinley affords guests a majestic panoramic view. “If poor weather and stability issues set in,” said Overcast, “we head for more gentle terrain, where the snowpack is less avalanche prone. Our number one priority is the guests’ security and safety.” Guests arrive at the Anchorage International Airport and are transported to Hotel Captain Cook, where they spend the evening. The next morning, after a brief TML orientation, they’re


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which, combined with glacial activity, have carved out unrivaled skiing and snowboarding runs throughout the range. They are heavily glaciated, partly due to their location near Cook Inlet and Denali National Park to the North. Granite bulges with incised couloirs and towers result in runs that rarely disappoint. The runs, anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 vertical feet, also hold great landing and pickup zones and typically offer picture-perfect panoramas of the Alaska Range and Mt. McKinley, the largest peak in North America at 20,320 feet. All guides are certified in medical and avalanche protocols and each has about 20 years in the industry. Guests are provided with skis, snowboards, ski poles, avalanche transceivers, ABS balloon packs, shovels, and probes. Down-day activities include cross-country and skate skiing on 20 km of groomed trails, snowmobile tours, ice fishing, target and claytarget shooting, snowshoeing, and indoor activities. Massage therapy and the newly constructed Finnish sauna and cedar Japanesestyle hot tub showcase the Tordrillo sauna and spa. Yoga mats and exercise equipment are also provided. In June, guests are able to add heli-fishing to their day of skiing corn snow during TML’s “Cast and Carve” sessions. “In the 20 years of helicopter fishing these extremely remote streams,” said Moe, “it’s rare to see another angler.” All five species of Pacific Salmon, rainbow trout, Arctic char, and grayling tempt clients looking for that extra element of outdoor fun. — Jackson Hole Skier

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Ease into the Jackson Hole Backcountry with


Wade McKoy photo

One glance around Jackson Hole’s snowblanketed mountain ranges jumpstarts every skier’s imagination, not to mention the heart. All that snow begging to be laid into. Problem: Access. Solution? Heli-skiing! And, since 1974, High Mountain Heli-Skiing has been offering its clients the ultimate deep-powder helicopter-skiing experience in Jackson Hole – untracked snow in the backcountry within a safety cocoon provided by guides. Owner Jon Shick’s 30-plus winters as the company’s lead guide, avalanche forecaster, and currently managing partner suit him well as he steers High Mountain Heli-Skiing into its 39th season. Shick’s orientation talk tells potential clients all they need to know. “For the first-time heli-skier, the ultimate experience is the very first run. It’s the adventure of riding in the helicopter and being dropped off on top of the mountain. Once the helicopter leaves and you look around, it’s silent and all you have is untracked snow below you. That’s the rush that you’re going to get from heli-skiing. I often hear from some of our guests, ‘Best of day of our lives.’ “Our terrain is vast, 305,000 acres. It includes a wide variety of open bowls, steep chutes, enchanted forests, and glades. We

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probably have some of the best powder skiing in all of the country. “You can sign up for a day of helicopter skiing by yourself, or you can come with your friends. We pair one guide with five guests. Bring your own group of five for the best value and experience. “A day of helicopter skiing with High Mountain Heli-Skiing is six runs and about 12,000 to 15,000 total vertical feet. It includes a deli lunch. We ask that our guests be advanced to expert skiers. Snowboarders are also welcome and we ask that they be advanced to expert level as well. “Safety is our primary concern, not only on the snow, but around the helicopter. Briefings are conducted every day and we make sure everybody understands what’s expected of them before we actually bring them into the backcountry. “At the end of the day we hear all kinds of comments. Mostly it’s the best skiing they’ve ever had, or the best day of their lives. Some even say ‘better than sex,’ but we usually advise them not to tell that to their spouse. “For the ultimate deep-powder experience give us a call. We’d love to show you the adventure of helicopter skiing.” — Jackson Hole Skier

When the ship departs, silence envelopes the skiers. They drop into the fall line and ski the vast powder runs of the Snake River Range.

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Grand Targhee Resort

Not far from Jackson Hole, nestled in the western foothills of the mighty Tetons, Grand Targhee sits high above the hayfields of Driggs, Idaho, a rural yet cosmopolitan mountain town. A short drive up Ski Hill Road ends at the picturesque resort, cradled in dense forests of evergreen and aspen. Gentle, open ground stretches upslope. Good ski country, covered with deep snow, replenished often. A magical place. Here are excerpts from a few of our favorite stories about Grand Targhee.

Jason Tattersall

Weather on the Grand Teton, Table Mtn. in front, Mt. Owen to left

up winding Ski Hill Road, ogle the views, stop at Grand Targhee Resort, ski deep powder, have big fun. Who, what, where? Who: Chief Targhee was a Bannock (water people) Shoshone Indian chief who maintained peace between his people and the confounded whites, only to be slain (historians don’t know how or by whom), after which his warriors led Targhee’s people into battle. What: This family-friendly resort opened on December 26, 1969. Meteorologist Jim Woodmencey, local weather guru: “Storms impale themselves over the Tetons…and spill copious amounts of moisture on Targhee.” Translation: We steal Jackson’s snow! A couple of years ago we had 42 inches overnight! Where: You’re on the backside of the Tetons – a fault-block mountain system. Babies. The Tetons are about nine million years old (Ap-

by Michael Commins 1990/91 Jackson Hole Skier You knew Grand Targhee would do this: you arrived in the evening, slept like a rock, then woke up snug in your lodge room. You looked out the window to see trees laden with two feet of new snow while stars faded from a sky the color of blue ink. Yeah! Time for breakfast at Snorkels restaurant and then catch the first chair up the mountain. Walking past the parking lot, you see…igloos? Oblong igloos dot the lot. Snowplow crews finish their battle with last night’s snowfall. Watching them, you realize those igloos are cars belonging to other lucky guests staying in one of Targhee’s cozy lodges. Anticipation of the powder day ahead propels you across the village complex. Soon you’re


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seated at a window table, enjoying coffee and breakfast while the sun backlights the mountain and the ski patrol heads up to begin their morning routine. After a carbo-loaded breakfast, you won’t have to wait long for the chair to open. You knew it would do this!

Real Ski Towns, Real Deep Snow

by Cal Glover 2007/08 Jackson Hole Skier Now, just slow down there. If you want to ski the other side of the Tetons (from Jackson Hole, that is), slooooooow down. Grand Targhee, we’re talking here... Directions: Go to the center of Driggs, Idaho (Hey, we’re proud of our new stoplight!), head east toward Les Trois Tetons (the three breasts, as fancied by the French fur traders), drive slowly

Wade McKoy photos

Powder With A View

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

palachians around 240 million, Rockies about 65 million years old.) A geologist standing in Grand Teton Park: “Cal, imagine a trap door opening up in front of you.” The fault displacement, over these last nine million years, has been about 30,000 feet; from the top of Fred’s Mountain you’re seeing the top 6,000-7,500 stick up out of that displacement. On our side, west of Grand Teton Park, lie the foothills, which enable you to drive up to the base of Grand Targhee, located in Caribou-Targhee National Forest, one of seven different national forests comprising part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem – the largest intact wilderness ecosystem in the lower 48 states. Now, one more thing. When you come down from the sunny side of the Tetons and see the

Cardboard Box Derby

Grand lit up in pink/orange sunset colors, slow down to 0.0 mph, take a picture, and breathe in the quiet. Targhee, a chief of peace, a place to stop.

Basking In Grandeur and Deep Powder

Wade McKoy photos

by Brigid Mander 2008/09 Jackson Hole Skier Viewed from the west, the imposing Teton Range has a distinctly different feel from the jagged sight looming on the massif’s eastern side. The giant peaks appear smoother, more defined, and even the air, rushing around in a wide-open sky, seems different. Beneath this

Mark Kozak, Jason Tattersall, Jeff Leger, Bissell Hazen w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

view, sits Grand Targhee Resort, basking in grandeur, isolation, and most importantly during winter, deep, deep, powder. Targhee quietly receives over 500 inches during an average season, but rarely will you find yourself stuck in a buzz-killing, mind-numbing lift line. Even on the deepest powder days, the ski hill manages to keep its relaxed vibe, and its lift lines at a minimum. Maybe that is owed in part to the fact that over here, powder days are pretty common on what is known as the snowier side of the Tetons. The nearby towns of Driggs, Victor, and Tetonia, Idaho, help nurture the laidback feeling that ski towns risk losing when their slopes become so famous. Locals and visitors alike revel in the fact that they can stroll up to the chair in the mornings and slide right on.

A ride up Dreamcatcher high-speed quad chairlift will bring you to the top of Fred’s Mountain. In between all those open fields of powder, wide-open groomers drop off in all directions. Additional powder reserves can usually be found on Mary’s Nipple or Peaked Peak, which are hiking only, but controlled for avalanches by the ski area. If you’ve got bigger plans (and the proper gear), you can always stop in at the patrol shacks for a quick rundown on recent snow activity, stability, and whether the boundary gates are open. But beware: following tracks might bring you down a line left by one of the many local skiers who think little of a 50-foot air, since Targhee’s famed backside is the secret haunt of many a professional big-mountain extreme skier. continued With a reputation for some 2 0 1 3 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R


of the most family-friendly terrain in the region, More and more people are figuring that out, intermediate skiers feel comfortable exploring evidenced by the burgeoning local ski commumuch of the in-bounds terrain. The classic nity. And that seems just fine to born-and-raised Targhee-style run features rolling open-terrain, locals like 26-year-old Gary Mackenzie and his groomers, and glades. And let’s be honest, brother Max. “For a long time there weren’t there is pretty much no level of skier who can’t many other skiers around my age,” said Gary. fully appreciate the good times to be had on a “Now there are lots. Skiers and snowboarders long, smooth, fat (and who’ve come and uncrowded!) groomed stayed. We are riding run. with everybody these The littlest skiers days. Tele-skiers, haven’t been shortsnowboarders, snowchanged either. There mobilers.” is a whole section of Another local who’s fun short trails through skied Targhee since the woods, like Eye age three, Mike Leake, Ball Forest and Wacky also noted an increase Weasel Way. in the local ski comGrownups have been munity. “The typical known to ski through story is, people come here – even without Artist Greta Gretzinger and her friends rally in the here in their 20s for Cardboard Box Derby. kids to chaperone. some random reason, And in the valley below, farms still irrigate or after college to ski bum for a while, and never lush crops, cows low on neighboring ranches, leave,” he said. local produce abounds, and everybody knows The Grand Targhee Ski Team, started by everybody else. But when the snow flies, farm- local rancher Dana Mackenzie – Gary’s dad – ers become skiers, and ski bums head not and some of his buddies, took advantage of across the pass but up to Targhee, where the every opportunity they could imagine. Gary refriendly rural vibe from their towns is matched membered when Jackson Hole’s Tommy Moe by the mellow ski hill with the big terrain, nicely won his Olympic Gold Medal, “Dad arranged for tucked away from the hype. us to ski with Tommy and he taught us how to do a 360.” Roots, Rock Stars, and Soul “Dad always said Targhee could produce by Wade McKoy some world-class skiers, too,” he said. “He 20009/10 Jackson Hole Skier coached Sage Cattabriga-Alosa and helped him WARNING: Grand Targhee can be habitrealize his potential, but I think we were all forming. Soft snow. Friendly people. Quaint vil- shaped by that mountain as much as anything. lage. It gets under your skin – the quiet warmth Sage was a senior at Teton High when I was a of a day well spent – and keeps you coming freshman. We thought he was so cool. He back for more. would give ski racing his full, and then he’d go Grand Targhee has always been like that. off powder-hounding. We’d follow him and The key is consistency. Storms come in on a watch.” regular basis, continually refreshing the slopes. — Jackson Hole Skier

Wade McKoy photos

Grand Targhee Resort

Jason Tatersall

Follow Grand Targhee:

800-TARGHEE (800-827-4433) & 307-353-2300

Targhee Details & Information Targhee Village

The quaint mountain village sits at 8,000 feet and has four slope-side lodging options, five restaurants, a general store, four retail shops (including Habitat in Driggs), a Nature Center, an Activities Center, an Arcade and Party Room, equipment rentals and demos, a pro tune shop, and a photography service.

Mountain Characteristics

2,000 acres of lift-serviced terrain, 10% beginner, 70% intermediate, 20% advanced. Vertical rise: 2,000 feet. Base elevation: 8,000 feet. Average annual snowfall: 504 inches (42 feet). Groomed trails: 500 acres. Ski lifts: two highspeed quad chairs, one quad chair, one double chair, and one magic carpet. Snowcat skiing on Peaked Mtn.: 600+ acres, 2,000 foot vertical rise

Ski & Snowboard School

Under the direction of Mark Hanson, Grand Targhee’s Ski & Snowboard School offers PSIA/AASI instruction for adults, kids, and has a special program for adaptive skiers. The Start Me Up package for first-timers combines Targhee’s soft snow with experienced instruc-


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tors, beginner equipment, uncrowded slopes, mellow terrain, and the Papoose Conveyor magic carpet lift. The Kids Start Me Up and Kids FUN Zone is nationally recognized as an excellent kids’ program set on superb terrain. The Early Tracks program for intermediate riders and skiers squeezes the most out of vacation time. The Junior and Masters race school helps skiers refine their technique.

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 tree pitches.

Terrain Park

With 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 – Targhee’s terrain park is boss. Look for new features this season with monthly changes.


Centrally located in the Resort Plaza, the Arcade features video games, attractions, and a big-screen TV. Birthday and special-event packages available.

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’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


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

The Town Hill

Cisco Oldani, 1995

As Wyoming’s first ski area, Snow King’s his-

tory dates back to the 1920s. And though two bigger mountain resorts have long since stolen the

spotlight, many Jackson Hole skiers remain loyal

to the King. Here are excerpts from 30 years of

the Jackson Hole Skier magazine that provide in-

sight into why.

Wade McKoy photos

Loyal To The King

the 1960s childhood memories of Leanna Scott and Paul Huser as told to the editor 2004 Jackson Hole Skier When we were kids, the now-famous Ski Swap was just a bunch of families trading used stuff around. We picked up some old wooden skis, which my dad then painted to look new, and a big, puffy down jacket two sizes too big so it would last a few years. That must be what kept us warm, because we all skied in blue jeans, which usually wound up soaking us to the bones. Our folks always knew where to find us and that we were in good hands. Neil Rafferty greeted us every day as he watched over his funky old lift––Wyoming’s first and, for the longest time, only chairlift. Bill Briggs gave us a nod while he assembled the instructors of his Great American Ski School. The ski patrol and lift operators all knew us too, so there were plenty of caring adults around. I still remember my first run and being really scared when I got off the lift at the first station halfway up the mountain. To a six-year-old, that w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

Town Square, night skiing on Snow King

slope looked steeper than Gramp’s haystacks down in South Park. Before long, though, I was tucking it to the bottom of the hill. The King was our stomping ground, and we learned every little nook and cranny while training with Fast Eddy’s ski team, The Little Waxers. We built tiny jumps all over the place, and had hiding places and secret tree trails, sneaky little holes in the woods where you could make a couple of turns. We stormed the old gelandé next to the cemetery, a rat pack of kids in skiing’s hotdog era displaying a multitude of helicopters and flips, showing off in front of the old Ski Shelter– –the hub of our society, our hangout, our place to drink hot chocolate and watch people ski. It’s still that way today. A few modifications have taken place: the gelandé is now called

Jump Run and a new ice rink sits where the old shelter building used to be, but Snow King is still a gathering place for families and a hangout for kids. My own kids, actually. Homespun events like the Town Downhill––such a strong tradition that the years are marked by its passage––and special amenities such as the tube park bolster Snow King’s reputation as the “Town Hill.” One day last winter, when town got an eightinch dump, it felt like Old Home Day at the town hill. I skied with people I’ve known all my life, including some of the old gang. We were all acting like kids again, egging each other on, run after run. We skied some of our old secret pockets and gullies and learned each other’s favorite lines down Grizzly, Elk, Belly Roll, Exhibition, Kelly’s Alley, and Bearcat, rediscovering old friendships along the way. At the end of day, with the tired satisfaction emblematic of a great ski-day, I dug through an old box in the basement and found what I was looking for: a 1950s vintage ball cap with “I’m Loyal to the King” written across the front. That’s how I feel. Loyal to the “King.” After that day, I believe that’s how a lot of us feel. continued 2 0 1 3 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R


Sean Clark

by Kristopher Kaiyala 1996 Jackson Hole Skier Picture this: someone strolls into the town of Jackson for the first time, plunks down baggage at the hotel porter‘s feet and looks eastward to the nearby, sharply ascending western ridge of the Gros Ventre Mountains and says, “Boy I can‘t wait to ski that Jackson Hole Ski Area right over there.“ Wrong. You and I both know what he‘s really looking at. It‘s the Snow King Ski Area, one of the best town hills an American cowboy town like Jackson could ever ask for. The mistake is forgivable, and happens quite often. After all, people come to ski Jackson Hole because of the steep terrain. Snow King‘s got it. And the no-nonsense, close-to-town skiing environment. Snow King‘s got that, too. And the vertical. Well , that’s where the analogy breaks down a little. But at 1,571 vertical feet, it is the biggest little ski area you may ever encounter. Big and bold enough, in fact, to be included in Powder magazine ‘s 1994 list of “Little Areas That Rock.” Sure, Snow King may have two of the Rockies’ most popular ski areas planted in its backyard, but for almost 60 years now it‘s been celebrated as the unsung hometown ski hero. In most parts of the country, a ski area like Snow King could be top dog. Its vertical drop is greater than at some of this country’s major resorts. Add to that over 400 skiable acres, a fully staffed ski school, a north-facing fallline, and, hear this – no lift lines – and you can see why Snow King is the first choice of many a Jackson Hole skier.

Roll; the straightforward bump run Exhibition; and the unique Bearcat. The dictionary defines Bearcat as a slang word referring to a person, animal, or machine that is regarded as especially vigorous or fierce. The trail is loaded with character, and lives up to

The Landmark — Instantly Familiar, Immediately Welcoming,

Jess McMillan on Bearcat.

by Shannon Brooks 2005 Jackson Hole Skier Describing Snow King in relation to the other major ski resorts in the Jackson Hole area is much like describing your three closest-yetsurprisingly-different friends. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort requires the most effort, is constantly surrounded by adoring fans, and offers guaranteed excitement. Grand Targhee might be the hippie friend from college who has “China Cat Sunflower” on cassette in her ’78 VW van. Snow King is the friend you’ve known since childhood––the one who feels instantly familiar, the one you can drop by on without notice and immediately feel welcomed. As much a Jackson town landmark as the elk antler arches on the town square, Snow King

More Than The Town Hill

by Ed Bushnell 2002 Jackson Hole Skier Snow King has always been affectionately referred to as “The Town Hill,” but the nickname sells the area short. Ski area manager Jim Sullivan likes to say that the ski area has evolved from the town hill to a community resort. Five major trails spill off the summit: the steep but wide Grizzly and Elk slopes; the twisting, aptly named Belly


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Travis Svensrud 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; Bob Woodall (top); Jonathan Selkowitz (middle)

A Little Ski Area That Rocks

its name. Plunging off the summit of Snow King, the obscenely steep trail exposes its daring skiers to a double fall line for the first several hundred vertical feet. Next, a steep gully funnels skiers and snowboarders straight down the mountain. The trail’s pitch modifies slightly as it becomes a glade run for the last several hundred vertical feet. The trail has no definitive ending; it just peters out near the bottom of the mountain and skiers use any one of several short traverses that lead back to saner terrain. The most recent addition to Snow King’s alpine offerings is a tube park, King Tubes. The park consists of two slick, banked runs, plunging inner tube riders down the lower slopes of the mountain. In recent years, “The King” has added another notch in its belt: international training mountain. In January, ski teams from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, France, Great Britain, Spain, and Japan will use the in-town ski area as a training ground for the 2002 Olympic Games. Sullivan said that elevation and ski conditions similar to Utah resorts, where Olympic events will be held, are making Snow King a hot spot for pre-Olympic training. The influx of international ski teams began in the mid-1990s, with the installation of the Cougar triple-chair lift. The United States Ski Team, followed shortly by ski teams from France, Norway, Finland, and Grenada, began to use Snow King’s lower slopes as an early season training ground.

Snow King is the friend you’ve known since childhood – the one who feels instantly familiar, the one you can drop by on without notice and immediately feel welcomed. Torchlight Parade, Snow King Mountain, Jackson, Wyoming, circa 1980s

staked its claim as the first ski area in Wyoming in the early 1930s. Facing long winters, significant snow, and a glaring lack of indoor entertainment, locals turned to then Ruth Hannah Simms’s Ski Hill for an outdoor recreation fix. Hiking up to mid-mountain and ski jumping was the trend until the National Forest Service provided hiking and horseback trails for “top to bottom” runs. These days, Jackson residents and guests continue to visit Snow King to add fun to a dreary workday or long winter season. “The King is basically your own personal ski area,” said admitted Snow King junkie and Jackson local George Putnam. “It gives us town desk-bound fanatics a daily ski fix – making laps on Exhibition is one of my favorite lunchtime activities and it is one of the best classic lift-line runs anywhere.” Putnam highly recommends the night skiing off of the Rafferty lift and offers an insider tip: a pair of goggles with clear lenses to prevent the onset of sight-andfun-inhibiting frozen eyelashes.

Wade McKoy photos

Feels Like Home

by Mike Calabrese 2011/12 Jackson Hole Skier Ask any local about the “Town Hill” and immediately, the words “Snow King” color and shape the conversation. Everyone around here knows at least something of its history, its terrain, its vital role in Jackson life year-round. Trot out the term Hausberg, though, and

Zach Schwartz

by Ed Wiand 2001 Jackson Hole Skier During the past 30 years of skiing Snow King I’ve been humbled by its tough runs more than a few times. And I’ve been lured away from the King by other major resorts. But my affection for this steep, challenging little hill hasn’t wavered. Why am I and so many other skiers and snowboarders so loyal to the “King” when “The Big One” is only a few miles away? Maybe it boils down to what my good friend and former Austrian Ski Team member told me after skiing Snow King for the first time some years ago: “It feels like home.” A number of years ago a Ski Magazine writer called Snow King “the steepest little S.O.B. in the West.” His affectionate observation is not without merit: 60 percent of the mountain is rated advanced, 25 percent intermediate, and 15 percent beginner. Locals put it this way: “If you can ski the ‘King,’ you can ski anywhere.” w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

The House Hill

those same locals likely will go mute, dumbfounded, possibly irritated by the unexpected foray into Deutsch territory. A brief venture into ‘the Google’ could quickly dissolve the chance for insult or ire. Hausberg, the German word for ‘home mountain,’ or better yet, ‘house hill,’ evokes a fondness and pride for the same type of landscape features among the German’s as “Snow King” does for the Jackson Hole populace. Snow King’s role as the ‘town hill’ might lack the historical dust of similar alpine features in Europe, but the mountain lays claim to its own colorful, Western heritage. Back in the 1920s, sheer exhaustion and boredom with winters plagued many valley souls. A bitter-cold snow season, often rivaling expedition-length ordeals into the arctic, drove some Jackson Hole sufferers in search of unusual relief. To wit: after hauling rough-cut 10-foot wooden planks up the King’s demanding vertical, early-day adventurers would then “ski” the fall line with nothing more than a

single pole to steer themselves away from disaster and on to the valley floor. Few surviving accounts attest to the safety of these antics. The ‘Google’ thing attests to Snow King’s appeal to winter’s treasure hunters, even in its nascent form. A YouTube clip, “Rare Footage Jackson Wyoming Snow King Resort 1940,” captures a sizable gathering of cold-weather enthusiasts festooning the hillside above a snowblanketed town and valley. This, even before the famous Rafferty Lift was installed in 1946. The now legendary Neil Rafferty breathed life into the ski area in 1939, when he installed a 4,000-foot tow rope on the bottom half of Snow King. Powered by an old Ford tractor engine, “(s)kiers were towed up the bottom half of Snow King by holding on to a stick that was attached to a rope that was clamped onto the cable with a wrench. Lift tickets cost $2.95 for a full day of skiing.” But Snow King’s historical fabric isn’t limited to hardware. Its ski school was founded by hall-offamer Bill Briggs, the first guy gutsy (insane?) enough to ski the Grand Teton. Briggs, also a founding member of the Stagecoach Band, created a ski school at Snow King that has nurtured thousands of adept long-boarders and even Olympic material. Snow King’s in-town location and hospitality, for instance, spurred one of its homegrown skiers onto the world Olympic scene. Jackson native Andy Chambers trained and competed with the U.S. Ski Team in the men’s downhill for eight years before settling back into a Jackson lifestyle. His insight into the King’s challenges may sound cliché coming from many of us, but not from Chambers: “It’s a difficult mountain to ski: if you learn to ski on it, you can ski anywhere.” And, if by winter’s end, boredom with skiing has taken root, kill the ennui by competing in or viewing the World Championship Snowmobile Hill Climb, held on the historic slopes of Snow King, Jackson’s own Hausberg.  2 0 1 3 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R


30th Annual

“There aren’t many places in the world where a citizen can strap on a pair of long skis and race in a downhill,” said Jim Sullivan, Snow King’s ski area manager from 1984 to 2010. “Especially on a mountain as steep as Snow King.” The Town Downhill (TDH) has been a Jackson tradition since 1982. The origin of its nickname,

Jamie Farmer

Rick Hunt, owner Fish Creek Excavation, title sponsor

the Mini-Hahnenkamm, dates back to the 1950s, when Jim Huidekoper, 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. Pro-division racers hit speeds of 70 mph as they schuss Grizzly top to bottom in less than a minute. The Steilhang rushes towards racers as they rocket out of The Chute. Shitzenpantzen absolutely gets their attention, followed by The Pro Bump and The Money Turn. Chief of course Josh Daigle has been at his post for over 20 years. Rick Hunt’s Fish Creek

Benny Wilson

Excavation has been the title sponsor for 10 years. Aaron Pruzan serves as announcer, as does Benny Wilson. Long-time local family names including Hansen, Stevenson, and Watsabaugh annually appear on

start lists and as course crew. “The competition is always pretty stout,” said Tommy Moe, two-time Town Downhill champion. “For me, it’s an excuse to go as fast as I can down the mountain, and then chill with a bunch of good friends.” Speed and camaraderie are common denominators among veteran TDH racers. Veteran TDH racer and announcer Ben Wilson said, “It’s where we get to go really fast, take air at 66 mph, and not get angry if someone goes faster. The true king of the TDH is Adam McCool, who’s been in every one.”

Longtime sponsor and TDH veteran Rick Hunt said, “My first time down the Pro Chute at Snow King is beyond description. You have to try it. Two years ago I pushed through the addition of a junior division. The teenagers love it!” Veteran TDH racer Rob Watsabaugh said, “The guy that has the most fun wins. I’ve been winning every year. One year I won a pair of skis as the fat-and-over-fifty champ. It’s neat to see how it pulls everybody out.” Crystal Wright, three-year women’s pro division champion, four-year amateur champion said, “The Town Downhill is my all-time favorite community event and once-a-year downhill adrenaline rush. There is nothing like it for bringing skiers together and skiing fast!” Former Olympic Nordic ski jumper Hans Johnstone places the TDH top in the “rush” catagory. “It’s the only thing that gives me the adrenaline rush that I got from ski jumping.” Aaron Pruzan, a 15-year TDH race veteran and six-year event organizer said, “It’s scary fun, the Mini-Hahnenkamm. Steeps, high speed, big air. Hacks can race against Olympians. Always among the most fun weekends and best party. Be there!” Info at — Jackson Hole Skier

TDH King With 30 Starts


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the finish and said, ‘I’m done.’ I wasn’t going to do my second run. “But then the weather cleared, so I went back up. I was skiing down to the start and I bobbled on the cat track, adjusting a strap or something, and went flying into the trees at about 40 mph. It flashed through my mind, ‘This can kill you.’ I slammed into a tree with my right leg and it felt like I broke it. But slowly, I got up and realized I it was just severely bruised. I said, ‘Okay, that’s it. I’m done.’ But as I got closer to the course, the pain started to subside, so I said, ‘Well, why not? Let’s go do it again!’ So I did the second run, but I wasn’t skiing very good! “After 30 years racing the Town Downhill, I wonder, ‘Do I still need to be doing this?’ But once the countdown goes and I’m in the course, I realize why I’m doing it. There’s nothing like the adrenaline rush. You can’t understand it until you do it. It’s unbelievably exhilarating and fulfilling. And you’re with your friends, the guys who’ve been doing this together for years. The Town Downhill brings us all back together.”

Wade McKoy photos

Fifty-year-old Adam McCool is Jackson’s only Town Downhiller to race in all 30 events. And that’s saying a lot, considering the severe weather last year, and that McCool was racing with an injured shoulder. But there’re more twists and turns to this story yet, which might just put the unique mindset of McCool – and that of many other Jackson Hole skiers – into perspective. Adam McCool: “I’d had a skiing accident while with my son, trying to show him how to jump into Corbet’s. I wound up showing him how not to, when I hit the wall and ruined my rotator cuff. I was going into surgery the following Tuesday, the injury wasn’t hindering my skiing, and I felt obligated to do the 30th Town Downhill with my friends. We’d been racing together for years. “The weather made it one of the worst Town Downhills ever; heavy snowfall and a rotten base created very dangerous conditions. If you went off course and crashed, there was a good chance you’d really hurt yourself by going though the snow and hitting the ground. “My first run was in a total whiteout. It was snowing like crazy and we couldn’t see––skiing at downhill speeds was scary as hell. I made it to

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

Alpine Medical Advice Accidents happen, or so the saying goes. Avoiding the known dangers specific to high mountains, though, can help keep a perfectly good ski vacation, well, perfect. “Certain conditions related to the mountain environment can cause injuries,” said Dr. Jeff Greenbaum, Teton Village Clinic Medical Director for St. John’s Medical Center Emergency Department. “Cold-related injury, injury due to altitude itself, and injury related to the icy environment—including falls on ice and motor vehicle collisions—are all preventable.” Dr. Jeff, as he’s called by his fellow skiers and with whom he regularly reconnoiters, has plenty of firsthand experience with these pitfalls. He offered some practical advice that could keep your interaction with the doctor along the lines of skier-to-skier rather than patient-to-doctor.

Most avid Jackson Hole skiers and snowboarders have felt old Jack Frost nipping at their nose. A run down Rendezvous Bowl on a bitter day can easily turn pliable flesh hard and icy white. “Keep it covered,” said Greenbaum, referring to the tips of the nose and ears, and the cheekbones. “That’s one big mistake many visitors make—not properly covering those areas in extreme cold.” Be aware of extreme-cold and wind-chill warnings. Keep an eye on your ski partner’s flesh

Altitude Sickness “If you live below elevation 5,000 feet, which, by the way, includes ski areas in Vermont and Whistler, BC,” noted Greenbaum, “traveling to higher altitudes can cause altitude-related illnesses.” The most common one is acute mountain sickness (AMS). Symptoms, which may be mild or severe, include headache, fatigue, lightheadedness, lack of appetite, frequent waking from sleep, and nausea. The most common prevention for AMS applies more to high-altitude climbers than to resort skiers and snowboarders. The mantra “climb high, sleep low,” directs a climber to ascend slowly over a period of several days, which allows the body to adjust. “For vacationers to Jackson Hole, though,” said Greenbaum, “hydration is the number-one protection against altitude sickness. Part of the acclimatization process results in increased urination, so that means you must re-hydrate.” Another major factor contributing to AMS is

Gnarly course conditions highlight the 2012 Jackson Town Downhill. The rotten snowpack challenged the racers and crew. A blinding snowstorm knocked out the visibility, most perilous at 60 m.p.h.

Quality Medical Care Away From Home St John’s

St John’s

Family Health & Urgent Care

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Driggs ID 208 354 4757

307 739 8999

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Emergency Department Open 24/7/365 National awards for patient satisfaction 625 East Broadway in downtown Jackson, WY

307 733 3636

Teton Mountain Range

9:00 am - 7:00 pm Mon - Fri, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm Sat, Sun 1415 S Highway 89, Smith’s Plaza, Jackson, WY

Idaho Wyoming

Wade McKoy photos

Cold-related Injuries: Frostbite and Frostnip

tones, and if their facial parts turn white, get yourselves out of the cold immediately. For minor cases, staying indoors for just a few minutes often does the trick. “There’s not a lot a doctor can do except to warm you up,” he said, “and the best method for that is in a hot bath, soaking in 102º F water until the numbness and discoloration is resolved. That goes for hypothermia, too.”

Jackson Hole Airport

St John’s Clinic at Teton Village

307 739 7346 Winter only

Snake River

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4 Peaks Clinic 8:30 am - 6:30 pm Mon - Fri, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm Saturdays 852 Valley Center Drive, Driggs, ID

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Clinic at Teton Village 9:00 am - 4:30 pm, seven days a week, winter season only Cody House, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

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2 0 1 3 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R


Alpine Medical Advice protective sunglasses or goggles. But it’s also easy to forget the eyewear on a cloudy day when the danger still lurks. “The sun’s UV rays are invisible,” said Greenbaum, “and they reflect off the snow equally in bright sun and cloudy conditions.”

Injury Due To Icy Environment Busting your noggin on the sidewalk after slipping on the ice could be the most common way people wind up in the emergency room.

day. Of course, if you get injured while skiing, it probably will be your last run that day. But lastrun fatigue is no joke. “The majority of our ski-and-snowboard patients arrive in the ER between noon and four,” said Greenbaum. “And they usually tell a classic, late-day ski story in which they were tired.” He explained that if more people realized the increased susceptibility to injury when fatigued from skiing ‘The Big One,’ the more specific skiand-snowboard injuries due to fatigue would drop substantially.

Injury Due To Improper Equipment Boots that don’t fit correctly, bindings improperly adjusted, the wrong skis on the right day—these are all things sure to cause trouble for vacationers not quite prepared. “I’ve heard stories like, ‘I put on my sister’s skis and jumped into Corbet’s,’” said Greenbaum. “Or, ‘Coombs made it look easy, so I jumped next and my bindings exploded!’” Some categories of improper equipment: too old to function properly; not fitted correctly; inappropriate for ability—either the equipment’s not good enough for the skier or the skier’s not good enough for the equipment. All these can be avoided by checking in with the local ski shops. “Anybody can have an accident,” he said. “Cuts from ski edges, bone breaks from hitting rocks and trees, torn muscles, head injuries— those minor traumas are still the number-one reason we see skiers in the emergency room. But it’s the other range of preventable issues that we’d hope to see less of.”

Corbet’s Couloir – Going...

Snow Blindness If you think “ultraviolet keratitis” sounds bad, try pouring some sand in your eyes for a real preview of this medical condition. Snow blindness hurts and, on top of the pain, you can’t see very well. It’s easily prevented, though, by putting on


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So take precautions. Dr. Jeff would much rather swap ski stories with you on the chairlift than in the ER. Going...

— Jackson Hole Skier

“We see lots of slips in the parking lot and on sidewalks that result in broken hips or arms, back injuries (including breaks), and head injuries (including lacerations),” said Greenbaum. It pays to pay attention to surface conditions, even when it doesn’t snow. Melt-freeze cycles are notorious for causing icy conditions. Wear footwear with good tread. Sports shops carry Yaktrax that are easily attached to any shoe and turn even slippery tennis shoes into ice grippers. It also helps to walk in a shuffling gate rather than in long strides. Driving a vehicle on slick roads without the proper tires and winter driving skills not only endangers yourself and your passengers, it also puts all other drivers and pedestrians at risk of injury or death. So, please: if you’re not a pro at driving in snow country, consider taking the START bus. The Southern Teton Area Rapid Transit is a convenient public transportation system. Pick up a schedule at any of the bus stops, or online at

Bob Woodall photos

over-exertion; so take it easy on the slopes during the first few days at altitude. “Young athletic folks often exercise hard the day before their ski trip to Jackson Hole,” he said, “and that in itself can lead to altitude sickness. Arrive on your vacation rested, not exhausted.” During the first few days at altitudes above 5,000 feet, it helps to avoid alcoholic beverages and sleeping pills. Those drugs inhibit proper acclimatization. Coffee drinkers are in luck, though. If you drink it regularly, don’t stop. It’s safe at high altitudes and suddenly stopping can actually cause AMS-like symptoms. Preventative medicine is an option for those who’ve previously had AMS, or for those with a history of heart or lung disease or sleep apnea. Consult your physician before coming to altitude. If you develop signs of AMS you should return to valley elevations. Do not go higher until your symptoms have resolved, which usually occurs within 24 hours. Rest and avoid drinking alcohol and taking sedatives or sleeping pills as you recover. Aspirin and other anti-inflammatories can help prevent a headache that often occurs with AMS. The more serious life-threatening high-altitude illnesses – cerebral edema and pulmonary edema – are possible but rarely occur in resort settings. Symptoms include exhaustion, drowsiness, severe weakness, confusion, irritability, cough, and breathlessness at rest. High-altitude climbers more commonly contract these illnesses, which can be deadly and require immediate medical attention. More detailed information on high-altitude illnesses is available online at

Injury Due To Fatigue You’ve likely heard it before, but it’s more than just clever wordplay: most ski accidents happen on the last run of the


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Knee Injuries:

Why they occur with skiers by Dave Khoury, MD

Physicians for the US Ski Teams Joshua Beck MD Heidi Jost MD David Khoury MD

Andrew Bullington MD Geoffrey Skene DO Rafael Williams MD

Caring For All Your Orthopaedic Needs

Bob Woodall photo

Sports Medicine • Rehabilitation Fracture Management • Arthroscopy Knee & Shoulder • Foot & Ankle Hand & Upper Extremity • Spine • Hip BOARD CERTIFIED & FELLOWSHIP TRAINED

Ski patrollers Walter Stoessel and Lisa Van Sciver transport an injured skier.

Some of the most common skiing injuries involve the ligaments of the knee. A ski can generate tremendous torque through the knee, particularly when the bindings do not release. When the force transmitted through the knee exceeds the capacity of the ligaments and muscles to resist, injury can occur. The most common knee injuries are to the medial collateral ligament (MCL) and the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), while occasionally more than one ligament is injured. The severity of knee injuries varies widely. Partial injuries to the MCL tend to heal without surgery and a strong, stable knee is often achieved

Here’s a technical tip to help protect the knee while skiing: Most ACL tears occur when the skier is off-balance to the rear (in the “back seat”), with the hips below the level of the knees and the uphill arm back and behind.

in a matter of weeks. ACL injuries tend to not heal, and often surgery is required to rebuild the ACL and stabilize the knee. Not all knee injuries can be prevented, but there are some steps we can take to protect our knees before and during the ski season. Beginning the ski season with good strength and conditioning can minimize risks. Improving strength in the hamstrings and quadriceps can help protect the knee ligaments. Strong core muscles can help stabilize the body over the knees, while also reducing the risk of knee injury. With good conditioning we are less likely to fatigue at the end of the day, which predisposes the knee to injury. A strengthening program in a gym is a good place to start. A pre-season ski-conditioning class is another great way to hit the slopes with strength and endurance. Here’s a technical tip to help protect the knee while skiing: Most ACL tears occur when the skier is off-balance to the rear (in the “back seat”), with the hips below the level of the knees and the uphill arm back and behind. This position translates significant torque to the ACL. In order to prevent this fall pattern, maintain balance and control while keeping the arms forward and the hips over the knees. The knee is particularly susceptible to injury with snow sports. I hope these tips will help you safely enjoy our Wyoming winter.  w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t



Jackson • Wilson • Afton • Pinedale • Big Piney Lander • Riverton • Rock Springs • Green River 2 0 1 3 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R


National Elk Refuge

by Mike Calabrese Shopping – Jackson and Teton Village are well aware of another recreational pastime many or our winter visitors enjoy: strolling through valley shops, eyeing and buying mementos, tracking down those last-minute or left-at-home necessaries. Those leisurely, but sometimes focused, wanderings are part of any trip to a new locale. Exceptional outdoor gear and clothing (stuff that really works, especially in mountain country winters), art, books, and jewelry are all proffered right here in Jackson Hole, many in enterprises with notable history and equally notable goods. This despite the absence of mega-malls. Charming, colorfully stocked outlets are tucked into the town square and the village landscape, and never too far from an equally satisfying eatery. Naturally, shopping can take up just so much of a visitor’s or even a local’s time. Then it’s either off to the withdrawal clinic or out to some of the valley’s best-kept or least-well-kept secrets. To wit: National Elk Refuge – Okay, it’s an elk refuge.

New Year’s Eve fireworks on Snow King Mountain


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Shooting – Here’s one Jackson Hole winter diversion we’ll bet you hadn’t thought of: sport shooting. But the Jackson Hole Shooting Experience adds one more unique activity to the already stunning list of things to do by the winter traveler. Highly trained certified instructors will tailor a lesson or event to individuals or groups at the Jackson Hole Gun Club’s site just south of town. A wide array of weapons and a top-notch facility mark the Jackson Hole Shooting Experience’s offerings. The outfit works around the visitor’s schedule, seven days a week, all year, weather permitting. Call 307-690-7921 to line up a time and instructor or visit for more info. Western Dancing – Restless legs? Put ‘em to good use with a two-step or cowboy waltz at the Cowboy Bar on Thursday evenings between 7-9 p.m. The Cowboy and the Dancers’ Workshop Country Western Dance Program sponsor free instruction to anyone showing up before the band hits the stage. Paragliding – Kites-R-Fun, as the staff at Jackson Hole Paragliding would say. Clear days and light winds in our valley help set the stage But these majestic ungulates also share that win- for another equally astonishing view of Jackson ter range with bighorn sheep, bison, mule deer, Hole—from a paraglider! And the experts at and yes, Virginia, sometimes wolves and mounJackson Hole Paragliding tain lions. Set between take full advantage of these the Teton and Gros Ventre climatic conditions. They’ll mountain ranges, the Nahappily help launch novices tional Elk Refuge rubs up and veterans alike over the against the town of Jackvalley in tandem paragliding son and affords visitors flights that lift off from the top the chance to mingle with of the resort’s Bridger Gonwildlife–free of any zoo dola. This breathtaking expebars or cages. Oh, and rience requires no athletic running quietly through ability and the experienced that expanse is one of the pilots with Jackson Hole country’s most famous Paragliding can even help trout streams, Flat Creek. those a bit daunted by You can look, but don’t heights. And for a fresh take unholster that rod until on over-snow travel, try your late summer. For the lathand at snow kiting. Call 307est on the refuge, visit 690-8726 or visit jhparaglidwww.fws. gov/ Very cool photos on tionalelkrefuge. the Website, too! Ice skating on the Town Square Did you see that? – Ice Skating – Broomball Grab the camera or that league fanatics can take a wildlife journal and line up a tour turn for the better at the county’s outdoor rink with Wildlife Expeditions. This is housed in the Teton County Fairgrounds Arena, Jackson Hole’s most experi- right next to where cowpokes test their mettle all enced and prestigious tour com- summer. Teton County Parks and Rec. also pany, under the aegis of the maintains a rink at Owen Bircher Park in downregion’s highly regarded Teton town Wilson. Both rinks are local family favorites, Science Schools. Full-, half-day, and the schedules reflect that. The rinks are also even multi-day ventures into Yel- lighted for evening hours, and both feature “famlowstone and Grand Teton na- ily skating times,” when visitors should leave the tional parks reveal a side of pucks and sticks behind. Family hours at Owen nature brimming with breathtak- Bircher are noon to 2 p.m and 2-4 p.m. at the ing settings and subjects. Coy- rodeo grounds rink. But both areas are open otes, bison, wolves, sheep, mule daily, all day, weather permitting. A third rink, deer, moose, elk, all take on starslated for Davey Jackson Elementary School, tling clarity in this region’s brilliant just two blocks from the Town Square, should light and settings. Sunrise and have temporary evening lights for the season, sunset tours are especially mem- too. For more info call 733-5056. orable. Call 307-733-1313 or go Another indoor rink, and it’s a big one, the online at w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

Bob Woodall photos


Plenty to do in Jackson Hole when not on the slopes

plants and animals in the park as trekkers cover the one-and-a-half miles along the river bottom in about two hours. Dress warmly, using the layer system, and wear warm footwear. For those who would prefer to wander around indoors instead of outdoors, the visitorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; center houses exhibits on the natural history of the park. The snowshoe outings leave from the stunning Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center at Moose, just north of the Jackson Hole Airport. No experience is necessary. Groups are limited to 20 adults and children over eight. Reservations are recommended. Call 739-3399 for more info. Better yet, visit the parkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s site: Tubing â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Grand Targheeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tubing Park is just like the sledding of old, only better. Tubing at the

Ghee is a blast â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Wed. through Friday and noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and for only 10 bucks a day! For more info, go online at Check out the resortâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s huge menu of other activities, including sleigh-ride dinners, snowshoe tours, onsite iceclimbing park, backcountry ski touring, and much more. Cross-country Skiing in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National parks â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Two of the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most famous parks are true wonderlands under winterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s white mantle. The solitude and spectacle of landscape will leave indelible memories on those who venture out in it during winter. Snowcoaches and snowmobiles transport lodge guests, skiers, snowshoers, and sightseers into Yellowstone. Online for more info:

Year-round classes and customized shooting experiences for novice shooters and experienced marksmen! We'll bring the guns and instruction. You'll leave with the perma-grin!

Wade McKoy photo


Snow King Sports and Events Center is carving out a new niche in the Jackson Hole recreation scene. Located at the base of the Snow King Ski Resort, the center is undergoing a major upgrade and provides public ice time, open hockey, freestyle skating, and is home to the Jackson Hole Moose hockey club. For more information, hours, fees, and so on, visit the centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new site at or call 307-201-1633. Hockey â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll hear it soon enough: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Go Moose!â&#x20AC;? the battle cry for the Jackson Hole Moose, who play full-check hockey in the Elite Senior A division of the USA Hockey Association. Grab all the home action on Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m. at the Snow King Sports and Events Center. $8 for adults and $3 for children. Call 734-5300 or go online at Incidentally, all Moose practices are open to the public. Recreation Center â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Of course we have heated indoor-recreation outlets! Even the hardiest of locals come in from the cold every now and then. Located two blocks north of the town square on 155 East Gill, Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first-rate rec. center houses a gymnasium with full-size basketball and volleyball courts, an aquatic center, locker rooms, and a public meeting room. The aquatic center consists of an eight-lane competitive-workout pool, a therapeutic pool, a leisure-water pool, a hot tub, a water slide, a teaching pool, and sauna steam rooms. Open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday; from 12 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 7 p.m., Sunday. For daily fees, call 739-5056. Go online at In case you havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t noticed, our playground in winter boasts a lovely white wardrobe. The region is blessed with snow and lots to do out there, especially for those donning skinny skis, skate skis, or snowshoes. Snowshoeing â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Walk softly but carry a good camera, especially in mountain country! Grand Teton National Park offers ranger-led snowshoe hikes at 1:30 p.m. every day, from late December to March, weather and conditions permitting. A $5 donation is requested but snowshoes are provided. Park rangers touch briefly on the lore of snowshoeing and the winter adaptation of w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

Offering a Wide Range of Firearms


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Ice scupture at Winter Carnival Dial up the activity hotline, 7396789, for track grooming schedules and ski conditions, or call 733-5056 for more information about skate-skiing instruction. Teton County Library – Need time to chill? Or maybe to warm up? Teton County Library can easily lay claim to one of the valley’s best-known secrets: libraries are flat out sweet! And this one is second to none, from high-tech to page-tech to service and setting. A major, stunning addition is slated for completion by mid-February 2013. Check it out, like most locals do. Go online at and plug into Jackson Hole.


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Wo r l d C h a m p i o n s h i p Snowmobile Hillclimb – 2013 marks the 38th year for the World Championship Snowmobile Hillclimb, held annually on Snow King’s pitch-perfect slopes. Starting from the bottom of the mountain’s steepest ski run, contestants throttle their way straight up the snowbound terra firma, trying to nail the speediest high-mark. Competitors come from all over the country to vie for “King/Queen of the Hill” in a four-day worldclass event that benefits The The Shriners’ Cutter Races Shriners’ Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, the Make-aJackson Hole Historical Society & Museum – While you’re online, try this address: www.jack- Wish Foundation of Wyoming and a host of local It’ll transport you to the Jack- organizations and entities. Slated for March 21 son Hole Historical Society and Museum and the through March 24 this year. Call 734-9653 or go days of yore. Then pull-click on Photo Gallery for online at Triple Crown pursuits – Watch or be watched starters. Find the shot that Ken Burns dropped into his special on the history of this country’s in these winter festivals that push everyone’s national parks. We love this place, and it’s adrenalin into the fun sphere: The Moose Chase perched just off the town square. Truly a worth- on Saturday, February 16, 2013, at Trail Creek at the base of Teton Pass; The Town Downhill on while visit or side trip if you’re Snow King Mountain, in the downtown area. March 9-10, 2013; and the EVENTS big daddy of them all, the This one will take your Pole Pedal Paddle, slated breath away: The U.S. Ski for Saturday, March 30, Mountaineering Champi2013 at Teton Village, onship. Anybody can jump on along Wyoming highways the lift, board the gondola, or 22 and 26, and on the hop on the tram for a shot Snake River, from South down the resort’s magnificent Park to Astoria. All events terrain. But what if you had to sponsored by the Jackson hump your way up before that Hole Ski Club. Check ‘em exhilarating descent? That’s out at exactly the challenge ranClassic for a Classic – donee racers, amateurs and Legendary ski-mounpros alike, accept when they taineer and Jackson Hole skin up an arduous 7,500 feet local Doug Coombs at the JH Mountain Resort in (1957-2006) was loved a roundtrip that would tax a and admired by everyone mountain goat’s stamina. This around him. His passion Snow King Pond Skim year’s competition is set for for adventure skiing inJanuary 5, 2013. Get an early spired countless others to start, though: the race begins at 7 a.m. Visit jackexplore the backcountry and carve the country. To commemorate his remarkable skiing The International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled life, Marmot and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Dog Race – Don’t be put off by the cumbersome are hosting the Marmot Coombs Classic on Suntitle. Launching from Jackson’s Town Square, day, April 1, 2013. Each participant in the event mushers and their enthusiastic charges press on receives one raffle ticket for each lap completed through the snowy landscape of four states: on either of two designated routes. Sweet raffle Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Utah. The fes- prizes, too, from Marmot and K2. A party featurtive kickoff itself, on January 25, 2013, is reason ing live music will follow the event outside of enough to hit downtown Jackson. Go online at Nick Wilson’s Cowboy Café. To sign up for the for photos of cool event, meet at the bottom of the mountain by canines, celebrants, and festivities surrounding 8:30 a.m., where you’ll pick your desired route the event. and receive your commemorative patch. Visit Shriners’ All-American Cutter Races – A West- ern version of horse-drawn chariot racing, the The Dick’s Ditch Classic, presented by JH event always draws a huge festive crowd during Sports is Jackson Hole’s premiere race event for President’s Day Weekend, this year February 16 skiers and snowboarders, run on courses of and 17, 2013. Teams run two abreast in a 1/4- man-made and natural terrain. Two categories, mile sprint to the finish at the polo grounds south of course, require two weekends, March 1-3 and of Jackson. Competitors are auctioned in a Cal- March 8-10 for 2013. Snowboarders will face off cutta wager before each heat, so high stakes on one weekend, skiers on the other. For regisand excitement mark this celebration that raises tration info call 307-739-2770. Last year’s Pro dimoney for the Shriners’ philanthropic mission. visions earned cash prizes of $600 for first place, Call 733-3316, or go online at jackson- $350 for second place, and $150 for third place. for more info. 

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Wade McKoy 2; Bob Woodall sculpture,, and now, of course, on Facebook. Grand Teton National Park, minutes from Jackson, boasts 15 miles of stunning, groomed cross-country and skate skiing from Taggart Lake trailhead to Signal Mt. and a skied-in track north along Cottonwood Creek. Trails and trail maps can be viewed and downloaded at the park’s Web site. For info, call 739-3300. In Yellowstone, over 100 miles of skied-in cross-country track adorn the park. Concessioner-led or operated snowcoaches and snowmobiles access more remote parts. Information: 307-344-7381; roads report: 307-344-2117. Classic Nordic and Skate Skiing in Jackson Hole – Teton County / Jackson Parks and Recreation Dept. is just about the best and busiest rec. outfit this side of the Mississippi. In addition to its very cool rec. center, the department maintains seven cross-country tracks, about 15 miles of both classic and skate, snow conditions permitting: 10 km in Cache Creek, 8 km in Game Creek, and shorter sections on the Snake River Levee (starting at Emily’s Pond), the Russ Garaman Trail, the Wilson Centennial School Trail, the Melody Ranch Trail, and a short loop at the Davey Jackson Elementary School. To make tracks under the lights, drop by the trail between the valley’s middle school and Summit High School, illuminated nightly from 5-10 p.m. Novices can also sign up for skate-skiing instruction at this groomed site, just south of town and off the South Park Loop Road. For a trail map and more info visit the website: teton-

Locally Bred Ski & Snowboard Films Most Wanted

The Dream Factory

Teton Gravity Research

This year’s Teton Gravity Research film chronicles the history of Alaska’s early settlers and ski pioneers through historic documentary footage, interviews, still photography, and, yet again, superb modern cinematography of today’s pro skiers. For 16 years TGR made a pilgrimage to America’s last frontier, Alaska, chasing every skier’s dream: to fly in a helicopter through a remote mountain range, land on untouched peaks, and float down through pristine powder. Their movie, aptly titled The Dream Factory, documents this pursuit. The film takes viewers on a cinematic voyage through Alaska’s history as a place for dream-seekers. From the gold rush to the oil boom to the ski and snowboard freeride movement, The Dream Factory explores Alaska as a grand idea rather than as simply a destination. It compares early settlers who left everything and followed their gut instinct to an unforgiving remote land with modern-day pioneers of the freeride movement. Notables like Doug Coombs, Eric Pehota, and Trevor Peterson, restless souls who made the dream of skiing in Alaska a reality. TGR’s contemporary ski talent further explores modern Alaska’s awe-inspiring expanse, rich history, and colorful characters. On steep mountain faces and in iconic fishing communities, movie goers join Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Seth Morrison, Dash Longe, and other present-day pro skiers as they delve into the Alaskan way of life, find the best snow on earth, and ski the terrain that most skiers only dream about. The journey can also be experienced through a Web series, blogs, social media channels, and online contests. TGR partnered with Apple to deliver ongoing HD uploads “Live From the Field.” These on-the-fly clips, shot on HD iPhones, allow millions of viewers to track the TGR team in real time.

Wyoming Triumph KGB Productions

Wyoming Triumph is a grassroots ski and snowboard film that features young, yet veteran, athletes and coaches as they search for fresh lines in remote locations. Filmed entirely in Wyoming, viewers watch this band of friends discover unknown stashes of big-mountain backcountry. The film explores the drive of these unique and passionate individuals and takes the viewer on a wild journey through parts of the Old West that, surprisingly, still exist today. For the two-year project, KGB set out on a mission to scout the vast and mostly unskied terrain of their home state, Wyoming. Their journey of discovery leads them to mountain towns where more people own an elk rifle than a pair of skis. After countless broken bones, close calls, and getting lost, they return with their story, captured in a progressive cinematic format. These hard-charging, dedicated skiers journey deep into the mountains of Wyoming to explore some of the most rugged and remote terrain in the Lower 48. Wyoming Triumph’s goal is to captivate and prod its viewers into laughter, passion, and even tears. Using the environment as a constant source of inspiration, the film recounts authentic stories through powerful imagery. The high production values achieved while in remote locations, rugged terrain, and the harsh environment, aim to educate, inspire, and entertain.

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Storm Show Studios

The theme for Storm Show’s 2012 film, Most Wanted, is just that: Jackson Hole’s A+ dream lines, those big-mountain runs for skiers and snowboarders most sought after by the film company’s talented athletes. New in the line-up this year, Full Room Productions skier and cinematographer Ryan Halverson joins veteran Storm Show producer Darrell Miller to bring viewers more hard-hitting, action-packed, gnar-shredding footage from the Jackson Hole backcountry. Miller’s usual suspects are joined by some new bloods, who display why they’re among the best riders in the West. The result not only showcases the breadth of athletic talent working in the local ski-and-snowboard flick scene, but also aims to prove that there’s never a bad snow year in Jackson Hole. Highlights include: Jason Elms and crew exploring ever deeper into the Wind River Range, another dream day on Jackson Hole’s North Shore, unbelievable avalanche footage, Travis McAlpine and crew heading north to find the goods in Alaska, and all the classic Jackson Hole backcountry lines being skied hard at “low tide.” Most Wanted is Storm Show’s 12th feature-length ski film, another must-have movie for the library of all skiing aficionados. It follows in the footsteps of its previous award-winning films, Action Jackson and Miller’s Thriller. “Hold onto your hat,” said Miller, “and get your ski-flick fix with Jackson Hole’s premier ski-film production, Storm Show’s Most Wanted.”

The Art of FLIGHT

Brain Farm Digital Cinema The Art of FLIGHT combines cutting-edge filmmaking with storytelling to bring viewers the ultimate snowboard adventure. Brain Farm Digital Cinema’s Curt Morgan made the film by utilizing storytelling, character development, and novel action shots, all captured on custom-designed, state-of-the-art filmmaking equipment. Equal parts stunning action and harrowing adventure, the inevitable drama presents viewers with an exclusive opportunity to experience these endeavors virtually firsthand. Watch snowboarder Travis Rice and a cast of the world’s best riders complete a two-year quest to redefine what’s possible on a snowboard. The riders themselves became fully immersed in making the film. “We wanted to show, in the truest way, what it’s like it to travel to the most remote places on earth and search out the most dynamic terrain and conditions,” said Rice. “Our triumphs and tribulations are conveyed in this darker, more dramatic film. Throughout, we walk a fine line between when to keep pushing it, and when to pull back.” Rice handpicks his accomplices from a list of the best snowboarders of our time. Two-time Rider Of The Year John Jackson and Olympic medalist Scotty Lago are joined by Mark Landvik, Nicolas Muller, DCP, Jake Blauvelt, Pat Moore, Jeremy Jones, Eero Niemela, and others. Their sometimes successful, often trying, quest to open new mountain zones and approach them using unique angles takes place in a wide range of locales, including Chilean Patagonia’s Darwin Range, Alaska’s Tordrillo Range, Wyoming’s Snake River Range, Aspen, the Andes, and in British Columbia’s Kootenay Mountains, Revelstoke, and the Goat Range.

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Wintering Wildlife Photography by Henry H. Holdsworth, Wild By Nature Gallery Text by Bert Raynes

Red fox

Wolf pack

Great gray owl

Bald eagle

American bison (buffalo)


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Mountain bluebird

Winters in the northern Rocky Mountains are long and harsh, yet many animals and birds do not migrate south or hibernate. A remnant population of the threatened trumpeter swan winters on those ponds and creeks that remain unfrozen. Flat Creek immediately north of Jackson often harbors several dozen swans, and in Grand Teton National Park a few winter on the Snake River below Jackson Lake Dam. Trumpeters can be found in Yellowstone National Park on the Yellowstone and Madison Rivers. It’s nearly impossible to visit Jackson Hole in wintertime and not see elk. The National Elk Refuge occupies a prominent location, one you are unlikely to miss. Elk, moving by instinct from deep snows to their north, west, and east, are constrained by fences from following their traditional routes south, so they winter by the thousands on the refuge. Wherever you travel in the region, scan the buttes and lower slopes for mule deer. Mule deer, and occasionally white-tailed deer, depend upon south-facing slopes which, when blown free of snow cover, can support browsing animals. Moose, on the other hand, should be looked for along rivers, creeks, and wetlands. As a matter of fact, should you be off-road touring on your X-C skis in thickly vegetated areas, look carefully for moose. You don’t want to make them run, especially at you. They’re very large wild creatures. Bison, often called buffalo, are even bigger than moose. They can go a ton-and-a-half; don’t w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep

mess with them. Bison winter in and near Yellowstone National Park, particularly near thermal areas. Snowmobilers often come upon these wild beasts. Coyotes are active throughout the year, catching rodents, small animals, and birds; in winter they seek carrion. Tens of thousands of large mammels winter in the Yellowstone region, and many die. A single elk carcass, for instance, can feed wolves, coyotes, ravens, magpies, bald and golden eagles, and other animals and birds. There is little waste in nature. Little waste in nature; a hint comes from that realization. To wit, when you notice a coyote or two or a cluster of birds concentrating upon a particular spot in the landscape, you can anticipate that there’s some particular food source and also that a variety of animals will attempt to take advantage of it. Over a period of hours or even minutes ravens, bald and golden eagles,


Buck mule Deer

magpies, and other birds may arrive, sometimes in small flocks. Ravens are large, all-black birds. Magpies are black and white and sport long, mobile tails. Bald eagles are black and white and are impressively large; golden eagles are sometimes larger and are a brownish-black. Look for bald eagles along any river course in the entire area. They won’t pass up a carcass, but they are primarily fish eaters. Golden eagles prefer rock cliffs as perches and a few inhabit the Yellowstone region. w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

“Spirit of the Buffalo”

Wildlife & Landscape Photographs by Henry H. Holdsworth Limited Edition Photographs, Books, Note Cards 95 W. Deloney • Behind the Wort Hotel • Box 2673 • Jackson, WY 83001 • 733-8877 2 0 1 3 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R


WINTER DRIVING TIPS Give Wildlife a Brake!

• Expect wildlife on our roads. This is Jackson Hole and we share this valley with wildlife. Swans and river otter

It is a common misperception that winter is a poor time to look for birds. Such nifty bird species as hairy woodpeckers, mountain and blackcapped chickadees, evening and pine grosbeaks, Clark’s nutcrackers and Cassin’s finches are often seen around ski areas, in the towns, and along water courses. Waterfowl such as Barrow’s goldeneyes, Canada geese, Bull moose mallards, and pintails are found when ponds and streams have not frozen over solidly. The dipper, or water ouzel, an intrepid little gray bird that hops into and out of fast water seeking insects and crustaceans, is not only unique, but also will sing throughout the winter months. Less common wild residents in the area include otters and ermine and snowshoe hare, rough-legged hawks and some owls, mountain lions, and wolves. Every wild animal and bird that winters in the Rocky Mountains stretches its resources simply to survive all those difficult months. Temperatures

plunge to minus 40 or minus 50, access to natural foods is limited, and wild creatures must avoid their natural enemies. Survival is the first priority; surviving in good enough physical condition to be able to mate and to reproduce one’s kind next year. So: do not stress any wild animal unnecessarily! Don’t alarm it, or chase it, or mess with its flight or feeding. If you do you will likely kill it. You might not see the actual death – it may occur days later – but the responsibility would be yours. That’s not included in a good ski vacation. Bert Raynes writes a weekly column in the Jackson Hole News & Guide. He has penned four publications covering the birds and animals of Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks. His two favorite books, Valley So Sweet and Curmudgeon Chronicles, have received well-deserved, wide acclaim. Bert’s latest book is Birds of Sage and Scree.

• If you encounter an animal on a road with high snow banks, allow it to move down the road at its own pace until it finds a place to jump off the road. • Scan the sides of the roads for wildlife.

• Stay alert while driving; be prepared to stop. • Wildlife cross roads primarily during dawn, dusk, and at night. • If you see one elk, deer, or moose along a roadway, you are likely to see more.

• If you see an animal on the road, expect the unexpected. It doesn’t instinctively know how to react to your car. Give the animal time and room to move off the road. Do not try to outrun it. • If you see a wildlife-crossing sign, pay attention. It’s there for a reason. — Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation

Y E L L O W S T O N E S N O W COAC H E X C U R S I O N S We Specialize in Private Tours • Groups of 7 or Less Per Vehicle Scenic adventures to Old Faithful or Yellowstone Canyon

• Tours of Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks in the warmth & comfort of our luxurious Ford Excursions. • Jackson’s only snowcoach to Yellowstone Canyon.

Photos: Bob Woodall

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

Call for Reservations:

Winter Season: December 15, 2012 to March 15, 2013

Permittee of Yellowstone National Park


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1.800.661.4928 1.307.455.2225

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

MUSHING Husky-Powered Sleds

Bob Woodall photos

Mush! Hike! Let’s Go!

By Sandra Keats 2004/05 Jackson Hole Skier The tale is tried and true. Whether it was Lassie and Timmy, Dorothy and Toto, Travis and Old Yeller, Duncan and Rin Tin Tin, or Buck and John Thornton, dog has always been man’s best friend. But 12 Totos pulling Dorothy, Tin Man, Lion, and Scarecrow down the Yellow Brick Road? Not in Dorothy’s wildest dreams. Well, what if Dorothy had found herself trudging down a trail deep in the Yukon? Maybe then she might have swapped the ruby red pumps for a dog sled and her precious Toto for a team of Alaskan huskies to pull her home. Dog sledding combines that primal relationship of man and his loyal canine with the rush of whisking through snow-covered country and disappearing into the wild. It’s the Jack London storybook experience. Imagine a day where a foot of untouched powder settles over the Jackson Hole Valley. You leave your skis at home Sled dogs and their mushers share a bond. and, bundled in layer upon layer with a thermos of hot chocolate in hand, you take to the trail with a local musher. “Mush! Hike! All Right! Let’s Go!” the musher calls out to his team. The dogs explode into motion, and off you go, dog and man, on a picturesque journey across frozen rivers, snow-blanketed valleys, dense forest, and rugged mountains. For you this is a one-day adventure. For the musher, though, it’s a lifestyle. “Dog sledding Just ask Jackson Hole’s eight-time combines that Iditarod veteran Frank Teasley. It was the romantic allure that initially grabbed primal relationship him and pulled him into the dog-sledof man and his loyal ding lifestyle. But now it’s the rewarding relationship between a musher and canine with the his dogs – and the commitment to rush of whisking those dogs – that keeps him involved year-round in this hobby. through snow-cov“There’s a difference between a ered country and musher and someone leading a dog team,” Teasley said. “A musher lives, disappearing into eats, sleeps, and breathes dogs – 365 the wild.” days a year the dogs come first. It’s like having a very large family.” Teasley, owner of Jackson Hole Iditarod Sled Dog Tours, started running dogs in 1979 with three Siberian huskies and a chair nailed to two skis. He now owns the largest touring company in the nation. He refers to his 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 w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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Bob Woodall photos Traveling at the speed of dog lets mushers take in the incredible mountain scenery.

best time in 1991, a sixth-place finish out of 74 racers. That same year they received the Sterby Blair Pendleton, ling Silver Award for the most improved kennel 2001/02 Jackson Hole Skier and the Leonard Seppala Humanitarian Award Sounds of nature and the swooshing of the for the “best cared-for team” in 1989. sled’s runners through the snow create the During his earlier years competing in the Idi- soothing soundtrack to our journey. Snow-blantarod, Teasley and other racers voiced concern keted trees seem to fly by as we mush along at that “The Last Great Race” wasn’t easily acces- nearly seven miles per hour. It seems to me, sible to spectators. Spectators could view the however, that we’re maxing-out around 20 mph. start in Anchorage and maybe the finish in Nome Could be. When racing, these same dogs avertwo weeks later. But unless fans snowshoed deep into the Alaskan wilderness, sometimes in 40-below-zero temperatures, most of the 1,000“Snow-blanketed trees mile-plus race remained a mystery. “I have to give credit to the Iditarod for putting seem to fly by as we dog sledding on the map,” Teasley noted. “It’s a mush along at nearly great race; it will always be a great race.” But Teasley decided in 1995 he was a bigger seven miles per hour.” fan of the “Stage Stop” race concept, which enables the media and spectators to see teams cross the finish line age a speed of 17.8 mph each day. So Teasley for a total of 60 miles! created what is now At one stop, we the largest dog-sled switch drivers, and I take race in the lower 48 a seat in the sled’s crastates: the Internadle to become another tional Pedigree Stage musher’s cargo. Riding Stop Sled Dog Race so low to the ground of(IPSSSDR). fers a totally new and Now in its 18th amazing scene. It’s as if year, and boasting I’m one-on-one with the nine different starts dogs. I notice their every and finishes in seven movement and begin to different Wyoming pick my favorites. One towns and one each in dog, Ally, enjoys the Montana, Idaho, and snow so much, she reUtah, the 400-mile peatedly bumps her berace provides an alterhind into the snow bank native to the typical by the trail. Another marathon-style races. looks back at me each Teasley says this type Dogs are silent as they go about their work. time we pause for a picof race is much better ture break, a pleading for the dogs than marathon races, where dogs look in his eye, waiting for the cue to continue: rest only as much as they run. But a stage race “Alright!” Really, it sounds more like “Aaahhallows the dogs to rest more than they run. ight.” But the dogs definitely understand and Additionally, every dog in the IPSSSDR is ex- bolt into a run at each command. amined by a veterinarian and “microchipped,” a After a few hours, we make it to Granite Hot high-tech procedure involving implanting a mi- Springs, a pool constructed in 1933 by the Civilcrochip under the dogs’ skin, so their vitals can ian Conservation Corps. Steam rises from the be routinely checked. 112-degree water and brilliant rays of sun poke “The dogs have no ulterior motives,” Teasley through snow-heavy limbs hanging precariously said. “You take care of them, they take care of over the spring. We excitedly make our way toyou.” ward the pool to soak in its warmth. 

A Journey Back In Time


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International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race

The 18th Annual International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race (IPSSSDR) begins in Jackson on Friday, January 25, 2013, and ends near Evanston, Wyoming, on February 2 after traveling through Montana, Idaho, and Utah. The celebratory first stage starts with the Jackson Hole Winter Fest/Pig Roast on the town square. Music, food booths, and lots of hot

“With its unique ‘stage-stop’ format, the race pauses in a different community each night.”

chocolate keep the crowds in a festive mood. The race begins at 6:30 p.m. and is followed by a torchlight parade and fireworks show on Snow The festive ceremonial start of the race takes place on the Jackson Town Square. King Mountain at 8 p.m. Over the week-long period, the racing more accessible to the public. With its small towns selected for each stop. Teasley atrace courses through stages in West Yellow- unique “stage-stop” format, the race pauses tributes IPSSSDR popularity to these smallstone, Alpine, Pinedale, Lander, Big in a different community each night. Mushers town Wyoming hosts, who attract mushers to Piney/Marbleton, Kemmerer, Mountain View, and spectators are treated to banquets, barthe race. “We hear each year how much the Lyman, and Evanston. beques, Dutch-oven dinners, pancake feeds, teams enjoy meeting and staying with the peoThe (IPSSSDR) was founded in 1996 by snowshoe softball, dog parades, and iceple of Wyoming.” — local musher Frank Teasley to make sled-dog sculpture demonstrations in the Wyoming 

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

Call: 307-733-7388

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

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

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Bob Woodall photos

The Great White Open

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

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

Can I ride a snowmobile?

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

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

Guided or go it alone?

If you have never snowmobiled before, by all means go guided. All tour companies offer guided-trip packages. They usually provide transportation from your lodging and they all supply the warm clothes needed for a comfortable experience. Continental or hot breakfasts and hot lunches usually round out the package. The guides, of course, are trained in snowmobile and winter safety and have a handle on the area’s flora, fauna, and history. Modern machines have evolved into a whole new beast from those of just 10 years ago. New designs and increased power allow ‘slednecks’ to access more extreme terrain than ever before. But along with greater access comes greater

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




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


Granite Hot Springs • Togwotee




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

• Snowcoach – Snowmobile Yellowstone National Park • Continental Divide •

• Granite Hot Springs • Continental Divide • Gros Ventre • Togwotee • Greys River • 76

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danger. A large percentage of backcountry avalanche fatalities are snowmobilers, and riders should be mindful of this. Unguided rentals, though, are a great way to see the country at one’s own pace, except in Yellowstone, which is closed to all but commercially guided parties. But be sure to be prepared for severe winter conditions, and know where you are going. Wyoming winters can be painfully brutal for the unprepared. Just ask Olympic Gold Medalist Rulon Gardiner. After getting separated from his snowmobile party, he grew disoriented and then bogged down his machine. He spent a night out in below-zero temperatures, and lost a toe to frostbite because of it. So never head into the backcountry alone!

Where to go?

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

Yellowstone National Park

Tops on many travelers’ lists is Yellowstone National Park. Snowmobiling through the park is a great way to experience this wonderland. The steam from geysers and hot springs is accentuated by the cold, crisp air. Herds of bison and elk graze the geyser basins, where the earth’s heat keeps the snow melted away from the summer grasses. If you’ve never been to Yellowstone, then a visit should be on your must-do list. Winter access to the park is from December 15 to March 15. But make no mistake: Yellowstone is not a snowmobile playground! The machine is merely personal transportation through the scenic and natural wonders of the park. Travel is restricted to the groomed roadways. All off-road travel is w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

prohibited and the speed limit is enforced at 35 mph from West Yellowstone to Old Faithful and at 45 mph on all other park roads. Snowmobiles actually offer less access than do automobiles in the summer. Contrary to some misperceptions, snowmobiles and riders cannot wander wherever they want in the park. All this info will be stressed by your guides, though, as private citizens are no longer allowed to snowmobile in the park, even if they have the required four-stroke machines. New National Park Service restrictions have cut the number of machines allowed to enter the park. This number is spread among the four entrances. Therefore it is extremely important to book a trip early. The plan also continues to provide for motorized oversnow travel over Sylvan Pass and the East Entrance road.

Granite Hot Springs

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

Togwotee Pass

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

Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail

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

Gros Ventre River

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

Greys River Valley

South of Jackson, near the mouth of the Snake River Canyon, lies the Greys River Valley, one of the locals’ favorite spots. This playground serves up everything a snowmobiler could want: towering mountains, great trail riding, and unlimited backcountry, the ultimate riding and powder-hunting grounds. — Jackson Hole Skier w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

Jackson Hole SNOWMOBILE TOURS Specialist in Scenic & Backcountry Tours ?



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

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

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

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

1/2 DAYL CIAe SPE est valu

b n Hole in Jackso

Yellowstone Park Tours • Old Faithful • Canyon • Multi-Day Tours

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

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


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Ski Town Jobs

Being a passionate, accomplished skier/snowboarder is a prerequisite for some resort-town jobs. For others, it’s the end to the means.

Olaf Koehler

Ranch Handyman, Mead Ranch

Favorite part of job: “I just enjoy watching the grass grow. I have to water it first. It’s a lot of grass.” JH Skier Mission Statement: “Same as everybody else. Recreate and have a good time.”

Lisa Van Sciver

Ski Patrol, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

Wade McKoy photos

Favorite part of job: “The like-minded, mountain people who form our community, where life is shaped by nature and the ways of the mountains.”

JH Skier Mission Statement: “Have fun, go fast, take chances…and come back home.”


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Deb Hurlburg

Waffle Barista, Corbet’s Cabin, Elevation 10,450 feet

Favorite part of job: “Being here with the ski patrollers and ‘trammies’ in a cozy cabin. It has a family feel. And no matter what, you get to ski 4,000 vertical feet, every day, at the end of the day when nobody’s on the hill. It’s absolutely wonderful. Those snowy days when it’s blowing sideways and the bowl is totally wind-buffed, stepping off the deck and you’re by yourself after a busy day…. Or on a pretty day you can stop on R Trail and look out at the valley and say, ‘This is my job.’

It’s a lifestyle choice. It’s only waffles, but talk about being connected to the people – I was good friends with Kathryn and Wally. And I can picture Theo sitting here and having tea, always smiling.”

JH Skier Mission Statement: “Jeepers, I don’t know if I have one. Bigger, faster, more. Go fast, take chances. When in doubt, straighten them out. All the clichés.”

Lawrence Stordahl

Electrician, Fall Line Electric, Inc.

Favorite part of job: “I go to a lot of different places in the valley to work. But if it snows five inches or more, I go skiing at the Village first. And if I’m working somewhere on the Village Road and it’s Friday, I’m going skiing at the Village at some point.

JH Skier Mission Statement: “Seventy days. I’m working at the Pines, so I can get away for some runs at the village on any day.”

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Ski Town Jobs Chris Denny Eric Henderson

Public Relations, Denny Inc. Favorite part of job: Chris Denny (rt) – “We’re driven by our passion for the sports we participate in and we feel lucky and honored to work with some of the top brands in the ski industry, companies that I’ve idolized since I was a kid. One of the biggest perks of having clients that are based in Europe, Canada, and the U.S. is traveling to some amazing places, seeing them for the first time, and meeting new people. And as an extra bonus once we get there, we usually ski, climb, run, or ride.”

Eric Henderson (left) – “Doing PR is a vehicle for getting the scoop on the coolest gear before it hits the shelves. I’ve always loved to tinker with gear, to play with it, and even to break it. In this job I get to do all that, plus tell the world how cool the gear is and, amazingly, people listen!

JH Skier Mission Statement: Chris Denny – “Since we spend a lot of time out of town during the winter, our mission when we’re at home is to ski every day before going to the office!”

Eric Henderson – “When I moved here in ‘96 I took a personal vow to learn and explore every turn in the valley. After I broke my neck in ‘09 I thought that would change. Au contraire, mon frère. Since my recovery, I’ve skied 100-plus days in the urban backcountry of Jackson Hole and have had some of the darkest, deepest runs in my life off Mount Glory. Darkest because they’ve been before most people drink their first cup of coffee. And, after years of guiding, I’m looking forward to returning to the village as a member of the Jackson Hole Air Force and skiing for me! See you out there...”

Pete Romaine

Bus Driver, Southern Teton Area Rapid Transit (START)

JH Skier Mission Statement: “Gliding across that white stuff at high speed or in chest-deep pow’ is what I thrive for. Seeking untracked lines, deep pow’, or just cruising with friends and being outside in one of the most beautiful places on earth is what it’s all about. Skiing has evolved so much in the last 25 years and I am so grateful to be a part of it and watch it continue. Thanks, Doug and JZ.”

“PS: I’ll never forget my first year here, when I was a young, rad’ tele’ skier, and I met Brian Rutter. He took me into S&S at least four times before I ever attempted Corbet’s. ‘Come on Pete, follow me.’”


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Wade McKoy photos

Favorite part of job: “START provides one of the only jobs that allows you to sit down at work after skiing great snow and terrain all day, seven days a week. Whether taking people out to the village in the a.m. or bringing them home after a pow’ day, it’s just great to see everyone smiling. Seeing thousands of skier tracks all over the terrain south of the resort, listening to those skiers, many new to the area, talking about the rad’ lines they just skied up there, and all while playing the Sirius Grateful Dead radio station on the bus – what kind of bus driver ever experiences that? If only the newcomers knew what it was like before the boundaries were opened! Back in the day, it was great driving back out to the village, day after day, and looking up at our tracks that remained untouched on Four Pines or Rendezvous Peak’s Mini-Hobacks.”

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Johnny Verdon

Bartender, The Village Cafe

Favorite part of job: The energy that encompasses me, especially in the middle of a storm cycle when there seems to be no end in sight. I take a look around the VC (Village Cafe) and see the faces of bliss, smell the air of Capilene, and hear the song of snow reigning supreme. In this moment in time, we all seem to be floating in the same mountain dream. So get to bed early. It’s going to be deep and light.

JH Skier Mission Statement: To bring the stoke, especially to those visiting our eccentric little world here in the hamlet of Jackson Hole. Be well, do good work, and keep on turnin’. And come to the VC for Open Mic on Tuesday nights. You never know when Bob Dylan may stumble in.

Samantha Wilmot Night Creature, Jackson Hole Aerial Tram

Favorite part of job: “It’s my job to spend the night in Corbet’s Cabin, next to the tram summit, to help get the tram going in the morning. It’s definitely an interesting job. The lack of running water is a challenge, and sleep is tough with 60 mph winds shaking the cabin so much you swear it might blow away. But there’re some rewards to the job, as well. For one thing, beer tastes better at 10,450 feet while watching the sun set behind the mountains. I also have access to a nice ski-waxing station (the ski patrol’s) and an eclectic collection of DVDs (supervisor Scott Fought’s). And when the moon is out, I can take some ski laps in Rendezvous Bowl or jog out to Cody Peak like the late Chris Onufer used to do on his nights up there.” JH Skier Mission Statement: “When in doubt, air it out! If I am going home from the hill every day with a smile on my face, then my ski life is just what I want it to be.”

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Andy Peterson

Drummer, TramJam (et al.)

Favorite part of job: “Being a part of the TramJam tradition for over ten years. We play all-weather mountain music every Saturday at the base of the greatest ski area in the U.S.” JH Skier Mission Statement: “Speak softly and carry some big sticks! This applies to drumming as well.”

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People, events, and institutions of our community

Hostel Team members Matt DeVine, Ben Skelly, Sean Robinson, and Mike McDonald display their well-deserved trophy.

Ben Skelly leaps for victory.

Gelande Quaff World Championships The Hostel’s coach, Håkon Lagerqvist of Drammen, Norway, said, “The Hostel not only won the World Championships, I feel they changed the North American game of quaffing. I have not seen showmanship like this since Budapest, ‘86.” Heavy snow and strong wind pummeled the outdoor event and created extremely poor visibility on the wind-strafed mountain, causing the ski patrol’s quaff team to miss the competition because of delays in “sweep,” their closing tour of the ski area that insures everyone makes it down safely. — Jackson Hole Skier

Costumes and theatrics rule the day.

Hand-eye coordination is vital to a winning team.

Johnny Verdon, a former quaff champ

Bob Woodall photos; Wade McKoy (top right)

With a leaping catch during the final round, Ben Skelly helped his team, The Hostel, win the 2012 Gelande Quaff World Championships in Teton Village, Wyoming, on leap-day Wednesday, Feb, 29, 2012. The Hostel topped the field of 17 teams, besting 2nd-place New Zealand with an array of skicountry skill sets. To wit: catching and chugging a full mug of beer sent flying off the end of a snowboard, sliding a ski outfitted with four mugs down the bar for a group quaff, and roundly outchugging the Kiwis, countrymen widely respected for their high-caliber drinking ability.


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Pole Peddle Paddle

Masha Johnstone burns up the Nordic leg.

The all-important bib transfer: Joanne, Benny, and Mattias Wilson.

Wade McKoy photos; Bob Woodall (bottom left)

The Fun Class thrives on enthusiasm.

Harry Baxter founded the PPP almost 40 years ago when he was marketing director of the Jackson Hole Ski Corporation Harry Baxter: “The first year I turned the coursesetting over to the ski patrol, and they put in two gates – gate at the top and a gate at the bottom. I was scared to death someone was going to get hurt, but no one did. I wanted an event that locals would get into so I created different categories, like the Fun Class, where everyone had a good time but no one Racing in the individual class, Steve can remember who won Hahn quickly removes his alpine boots because, who cares? And that’s the way it’s still to hurry onto the Nordic course. going. I turned the Pole Peddle Paddle over to the Ski Club and it’s become their biggest fundraising program. It’s coming up on a 40th year anniversary in the next few years.” Davie Agnew: “Todd Sterns, one of the greatest skiers Jackson Hole ever produced, dominated the Pole Peddle Paddle in the early years. His thing was, he’d go into the top of Rendezvous Bowl and take it straight. Schuss it straight, and then right down Cheyenne Gully to the bottom of the traverse. They had a gate at the top and a gate at the bottom, and you could go anywhere you wanted in between. He proved that was certainly the fastest line, but when anyone tried to repeat it they crashed. — Jackson Hole Skier

A stand up paddleboard can’t match a down-river kayak; SUP: Dave “the Wave” Muccino w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

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SkiCulture You’ve heard it so many times, you might even know it by heart. The scripted, formal tram announcement: “Rendezvous Mountain is recommended for…If you want to ride the tram back down…Please observe the Caution Cliff Area signs….Waffles, hot drinks…The ski patrol is located…” Every now and then, though, it came off a little differently. And for those tram riders lucky enough to have ridden a Soul Tram, the announcement took on a whole new Vase’s friend, Debbie Rizzo, designed an sound. It started with the music – soul artful disco sticker that he gave to fans who music from the Barry White era: The rode the Soul Tram. The sticker itself gained Fifth Dimension, Sly And The Family a cult status, as stickers in Jackson Hole Stone, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, sometimes do. Aretha – the list goes on and on. Tram conductor Mike Vase’s iPod held hundreds of these songs, and occasionally he played them for his tram riders. Then one day, the spirit moved Vase to lend the tram announcement itself a soulful twist. “Some of us workers were thinking about how to spice up the famously consistent tram speech,” said Vase. “Most of the ideas were in jest and would’ve ensured our termination. But my buddy Brad thought it would be funny to speak in a low, sexy voice and say ‘soul tram’ instead of ‘tram’ every time that word comes up in the announcement.” Vase tried it out one day and followed it with Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On.” “The entire, full box erupted in laughter, whistles, cheers, you name Mike Vase “flying the car” it....the energy created and expressed was wild,” Vase exclaimed. So it began. Word spread and people started requesting the Soul Tram. “Soul Trams were never planned,” said Vase. “It would depend on the Vase created a play list and varied his soulful inflections during the an- vibe at that moment, standing in the operator’s station, waiting to close nouncement. A Soul Tram became a prized event, occurring only randomly, the doors while people packed themselves into the tram car and wait to unpredictably. You felt lucky if you rode one. summit the best resort in the Lower 48, accessed by the best lift in the “They got better because of the craze that developed around them,” U.S. I probably did a couple a day, but on big, blower, powder days, with said Vase. “People filmed it, writers wrote about it...the buzz that the Soul all the smiling faces, I would do a Soul Tram every time I flew the cars.” Tram created was amazing.” The future of the Soul Tram is uncertain. Mike Vase was promoted to the Vase’s friend Debbie Rizzo designed an artful disco sticker declaring, “I tram maintenance department as an apprentice tram mechanic. But if you Rode The Soul Tram,” and printed 600 that he gave to fans who had actu- hear strains of soul music while riding the big red box, turn to see who the ally ridden one. The sticker itself gained a cult status, as stickers in Jack- operator is. You never know. — Jackson Hole Skier son Hole sometimes do.

Wade McKoy photos

The Soul Tram

Gaper Fools’ Day

Bob Woodall photos

If it’s April 1 and you’re at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, put on something special and join the party.

Elvis Presley, Bugs Bunny, Beach Ball Man, Hockey Hero, That ‘70s Show, Fashionably Obnoxious ‘80s...

The helmet-cam craze drew scads of satirists.

Bonfire Parties In-run from the top of the barn – Check Gap jump with room for bonfire in between – Check Palettes and gasoline – Check Knee brace – Check Naked – Check Good to go. Skier Jeremy Walker, aka Bone Crusher, streaks the 4th Annual Ski Jump Party in 2010 at Redtop Meadows in Goat, Wyoming.

John Slaughter photo

In the Bone Crusher’s words: “I did the naked jump all four years that the party took place. I got into streaking back when the Subaru U.S. Freeskiing World Tour came through Jackson. I always poached it naked – a crazy, pasty, skinny naked dude skiing the Pro course. I like streaking a lot."

Not Burning Man, Cooling Man: Jeremy Walker

Jackson Hole Mountain Festival G. Love and Special Sauce headline the 2013 Jackson Hole Mountain Festival April 1-7. The month-long free outdoor concert series begins March 10 with Music Under The Tram, free aprés-ski concerts each Saturday, and, during the Mountain Festival, on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, too.

2007’s inaugural free concert featured The Blues Traveler.

The Pond Skim Ski culture’s deepest root, pond skimming, is a spring tradition dating back to the sport’s genesis. Snow King Mountain hosts this lively beach scene, whether the weather is warm and sunny, or cold and stormy.

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SkiCulture Soul Brew

by Mike Calabrese

Homebrews and homey hangouts A winter resort’s après ski life better boast every ounce the vibrancy of the skiing scene itself. That’s why ski areas are seldom hemmed in by cloisters, seminaries, or convents. Tropical resorts pitch amenities like bars accessed through swimming pools or liberally supplied front- and back-nine booze hutches surrounded with golf carts. Those won’t cut it in snow country. The hallmarks of summer sport scenes are replaced at winter resorts by food and spirit altars that snowboarders and skiers can approach in full regalia, or at least in raiment more suited to snow and sunshine – or snow and biting air. Comestibles and spirits feed the energetic high-profile scene where snow worshippers convene – that would be Jackson Hole, certainly – both during and after a day pushing the prize white stuff around. But there’s a bonus at those snow-town retreats: après ski affords the attentive visitor hints of insights into local haunts, characters, and powder stashes, the very stuff of the skiing life – on and off the slopes. Chatter and conviviality are lubricated in no small way by good drinks. What java is to truckers at their hang sites, first-rate spirits are to snow-hounds kicking back après ski. Local brews, and now, bourbon whiskey, are infusing Jackson area hotspots with signature homegrown

Wind River cannery

offerings, giving the area après ski scenes one more local dimension. Award-winning beers from the two major Wyoming enterprises, Snake River Brewing and Wind River Brewing, are celebrated in a growing number of area saloons, bars, watering holes, and retail liquor establishments. Both outfits have racked up a string of awards and both promise beer lovers plenty of unique offerings. Not surprisingly, both house eateries that brim with patrons who prize a meal to match the handcrafted beers – après whatever.


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Snake River Brewing, recipient of more awards than any other small brewery in the country, sits just a couple blocks off the Jackson Town Square. Its celebrated status in the industry also ensures beer drinkers a huge selection of top-tier choices. Known by locals as the Brew Pub, the well-known establishment sports a menu of 50 different beers of Snake River on tap Local means local for these hometown brewits own devising. The operation’s output of only 5,000 barrels a year allows for its creations to be eries, too. Both avail themselves of regional inthoughtfully crafted. That devotion to quality gredients when possible. For Wind River that means pure Wind River Range water, rather than quantity could also account for some of the most pristine ever poured the pub’s most recent award, a Silver Medal into a brewmaster’s mix. Scenic farmlands for its Le Serpent Cerise. of nearby Swan Valley help source Snake Based in Pinedale, Wyoming, Wind River’s barley. River Brewing hasn’t been shy about entry Like Wind River, Snake River Brewinto Jackson Hole’s beer scene. Its finely ery has chucked the glass bottles for the crafted brews are steadily gaining local uncompromising holding quality of and regional popularity. The farsighted cans. Wind River Brewing was at the foreIn a Mead hall of another front of the industry move to the kind, the one belonging to a famcanning of artisan-created beers. ily that’s now supplied two of the Right from the start, the master state’s governors, Wyoming brewers prized not only the Whiskey’s 5,000-square foot faprocess of bringing their brews to cility in Kirby, Wyoming, really life, but of ensuring the very same has its roots right here in Jackson. product perfection for beer The company’s founders, drinkers grabbing a six-pack inBrad and Kate Mead, run a cattle stead of a draft or two. The shift ranch out of Jackson Hole but away from bottling promises beer have ties to Kirby because of its as fresh as that right out of the choice grazing territory for their tank. stock. That territory has yielded Microbreweries are often as another prize benefit, water, perproud of the appellations they aphaps whiskey’s most critical inpend to their handcrafted beers as gredient. Wyoming Whiskey’s is they are of the beers themselves. sourced from a nearby artesian One has to tip a hat to the wordwell, and its grains are pure smiths behind brew-smithery. Newly released Wyoming. Wind River Brewing, for example, Top-notch breweries demand equally escan pique patrons’ attention with offerings like Mongo Mango Wheat Beer, Out of Order Porter, teemed brewers. Same for whiskey. The Mead’s TKO, Strom Bomb Stout, Buckin’ Bitter, and in a operation tracked down one of the best, a former master distiller from Makers Mark in Kentucky. nod to their county confines, Fremont Ale. Snake River’s creations, among them Blank That should put the mark of quality on Wyoming Czech Pilsner, Breakneck Barleywind, Custer’s Whiskey, top down. In a state that prizes itself as the last of the Last Ale, Discombobulator Maibock, Good Alt Days, and the Glutenator all promise their own Old West, these fresh spirits could help define the pun times. And in their gesture to a well-known new West, après ski, for Wyoming and its guests. backyard geographic feature, the Jackson brew— Mike Calabrese is a musician, writer, and ery offers the Grosventrester. (Try it this way: editor who lives in Wilson. He’s been copy editor Grow-von-ster.) of this magazine since its early days. w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m

Teton Pass Ambassador Jay Pistono Jay Pistono plays a crucial role in Jackson Hole’s ski culture – he’s the official liaison between skiers and a whole bunch of G-men. “I keep an open conversation between the public and the various official agencies that control the pass,” he said. “We want to keep that access open.” That’s a plateful. The heavy hitters on highway issues – the Wyoming Highway Patrol, the Wyoming Department Of Transportation, and the Teton County Sheriff – aren’t always impressed with the actions of skiers and snowboarders recreating on Teton Pass. The ultimate bad act is putting a slide across the highway. “If a skier causes and highway fatality, the highway patrol has said they will recommend closing the pass to skiing,” said Pistono. And there’s zero tolerance for parking violations. “It’s WYDOT’s parking lot,” said Pistono. “They can stop plowing it.” Pistono’s interest in skiing Teton Pass is deeply rooted. “It’s inspirational – the history, the people I’ve skied with on Teton Pass,” he said. “The first guy I skied with up there was Paul Petzoldt! Who would’ve thought in the 1970s that we’d be dealing

with the issues we have now?” In those days Teton Pass skiers were few and far between. “You were happy if somebody else got there first,” he said, “because you’d have tire tracks to follow through the deep snow on the road, somebody in their Buick, spinning out! “And back then we weren’t skiing all the terrain people ski now. Ask Jorge Colon, Davy Agnew, Marty Vidak, or Keith Benefiel. We weren’t skiing Glory and Taylor very often in winter. Those were spring runs. “There are so many good skiers here now, and that’s one of the things I point out to people, that just because you see tracks somewhere, don’t assume it’s safe. Because the grocery store checkout girl can probably out-ski you.” The Teton Pass Ambassador is employed by the United States Forest Service and supported in part by Friends of Pathways and Outdoor Research – Christian Beckwith. Last winter Pistono dovetailed his numerous trips up Mount Glory with the Vert For Vets program, helping raise money for Wounded Warriors.

AwardWinning Brews & Incredible Food!

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— Jackson Hole Skier

Celebrated Lifty Leon Weston Getting onto Leon ‘Slim” Weston’s chairlift is something that Targhee visitors usually don’t forget. Smiling from under the brim of his Western hat, greeting skiers like long-lost family, he doles out mini shoulder massages, inquires after your skiing happiness, and remembers your name. And so things have gone for four decades. An Idaho farmer and horseman, Slim started running lifts on Targhee’s opening day, in December 1969. The third generation of that era’s original families are still skiing Targhee, and saying hello to Slim at Dreamcatcher. Perhaps the most famous personage at Targhee now, Slim actually got his nickname from Warren Miller when he rode up to the ski hill on horseback, landing a spot in Miller’s movies and innumerable press clippings. Even with the inevitable changes, Targhee retains that original local-hill feeling with its staff, many of whom are farmers down in the valley in the summer. Carol Geiger, lift supervisor and a veteran of 15 years, loves working at Targhee. “The best part is seeing the people,” she said, “especially those who come back year after year.” — Brigid Mander

Long-tenured Everyday Skier

Taste our award winning beers brewed with pure glacier water Available at the pub and in stores throughout Wyoming


Brian Rutter

A Jackson Hole skier since 1978, Brian has logged 100 on-snow days every winter for 35 years at Jackson Hole Resort. “Me, Rusti (Scotti), Marty (Greg Martel) and (Bob) Comey before they were ‘trollers, we were always on the dock,” said Rutter. He’s missed only a few season openers, once for his father’s funeral and a couple others for Grateful Dead concerts. Ironically, he missed the legendary 2010 ski season opener of wall-to-wall powder from the summit by attending “The Wall,” a Roger Waters concert in Las Vegas. Other than that, Rutter is on the tram every day, carrying on a ski-culture tradition that brought most of us here in the first place. “I go no matter what,” said Rutter. “Skiing is what we do. That’s why I have a night job.” — Jackson Hole Skier w w w. j h s k i e r. n e t

Newly expanded, family friendly restaurant! Full menu with specialty burgers Wine & Liquor Daily Specials Free Wireless

CALL 307-367-BEER (2337) 402 PINE ST, DOWNTOWN PINEDALE, WY 2 0 1 3 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R



Dead snags prevail as millions of trees across the west die from beetle infestation and fungal rust due to climate change. Skier: Jeff Leger

TreeFight, battling to save the whitebark pine Wilderness Association, and our first U.S. Army veteran viving old growth forests with pheromone packets, Skiing the Teton’s TreeFighter! We protected over 700 trees at Holmes began planting trees and seeds. The organization was high alpine slopes a few Cave and Grizzly Cove, tagged saplings at Grouse invited by the Caribou-Targhee and the Bridger-Teton years ago, David GonzaMountain, listened for nutcrackers all over the place, national forests to help replant 2,500 whitebark pine on les noticed a nightmare and met a lot of beautiful whitebark. No griz yet, but the forest lands within the permitted boundaries of unfolding. Reddishwe’ve seen the signs. Grand Targhee Mountain Resort, Jackson Hole Mounbrown dying trees. Lots “A few weeks ago Karl B., our forest service vegetain Resort, and in selected locations near the Contiof them. tation director, and I checked the seedlings we planted nental Divide on Togwotee Pass. “Up high, in the in June on the Tower 4 cliffs at JHMR – and they’re In September Gonzales compiled several reports on alpine where we ski,” he thriving. Planting whitebark rules! Planting whitebark progressive days: said, “the big, old, with a sick view of the Hole rules even more. These “In the last few weeks we’ve gone TreeFighting with gnarled trees above David Gonzales trees could outlive us by a thousand years. college kids from Dartmouth, middle school kids from 8,500 feet have been “We planted over 800 whitebark seeds on the Tower Brooklyn and the Murie Center, great crews from the completely denuded in the last six years.” Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance and the Wyoming 4 cliffs today in a veritable mini orchard of careful sciWhitebark pines, a prolific evergreen species in entific design. John Schwantz of Jackson Hole and the Greater Yellowstone EcosysForest Health Services, two other tem, are rapidly dying, part of widespread tree loss scientists, plus Karl B., are making a occurring across western North America. careful experiment of whitebark pine “We take it for granted that the Greater Yellowseed planting to understand how to stone region is a wild, thriving ecosystem,” he noted. best pre-treat and plant seeds. “But it’s all dependent on a healthy forest that proPlanting seeds is more affordable vides food and habitat for all these amazing animals.” than planting seedlings, so this Gonzales produced a film, Seeing Red, as a call knowledge is crucial to restoring to action, and started TreeFight, an organization whitebark pine forests. It’s rad’ that whose mission is to save the whitebark pine. TreeFight is involved.” In its first two summers, TreeFight volunteers staTo view the Gonzales film, Seepled pheromone packets to thousands of trees. The ing Red, and for more information or hormone transmits a message to the perpetrating into get involved, go to sect, the mountain pine beetle, that the nearest trees are already occupied. In theory, this should save — Jackson Hole Skier trees, and Gonzales has hiked back into these treated areas and reports that, indeed, it seems to At the entrance to Teton Village, this Community Arts project by Ben Roth be working. displays beetle-killed whitebark pine taken from the ski hill. In 2012, TreeFight, in addition to protecting sur-


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Community Radio 98.1 KHOL, “Today I rode a tram so empty, we had room for a dance party!” said my car radio. “We were doin’ The Worm!” I broke out laughing at the image of diehard tram riders swinging in the wind on a bulletproof, flat-light day, having a blast despite the frozen, coral reef ski conditions. DJ Mike Dynia, also a tram operator, had captured the ironic humor of our winter lifestyle and broadcast it on KHOL, our community radio station. Mad Props! We asked a few of these volunteer disc jockeys to sound off on their connection to the Jackson Hole ski and snowboard community. Here is some of what they wrote: Ryan Kruger and Matt Erickson. Saturday Sports I met my co-host Matt (henceforth referred to by a couple of his many nicknames) on an eightday river trip down the Lower Salmon. The Drunken Angry Mongolian came rowing into camp in no shape to be captaining a ship. He was wearing a Viking helmet and screaming obscenities in what I can only assume to be his native dialect. We were in Jackson for one reason – to ski – and those summer raft trips were simply an added perk. Working at the ski school, at serving gigs, or not at all, we had been Jackson locals long enough to experience many years of well-above-average snowfall and become successful in our pursuit of riding pow’. Following that river trip, my roommate and fellow KHOL DJ, Crazy Tom, was lamenting our lack of programming diversity. I approached Mopey about doing a radio show, and Asian Steppe Sports was born. We covered a broad spectrum of the ski world with humorous banter, while also providing a venue for interviews with local ski athletes and film producers. I achieved my dream: working nights, skiing every day, and devoting my extra time to developing our radio show. And though we prepared as if professionals, we never really knew how many folks were tuning in. Naturally, we were excited to hear when the community shared our sense of humor. Much like our time on the river, being DJ Krueger Face Killah and working with an Angry

Neil Albert, Ryan Kruger, and Matt Erickson

Mongolian has been an added perk to the skibum ideal. Neil Albert. The Lot – Live Phish I’ve seen over 150 Phish shows since high school and I listen to their music when I ski the backcountry. It helps me daydream while staying connected to my surroundings. On my radio show I play exclusively from Phish live performances. When ski patroller Kathryn Miller lay in the hospital fighting for her life after falling in Space Walk a few years ago, through my show I sent good vibes to her and her friends and family. Patroller Kevin Pusey called the studio to tell me Kathryn had passed and asked me to play the Phish song, “Free,” for her. I never knew Kathryn, but I cried in the studio that night. That was the first time on my show I dedicated something to a fallen skier. More would come. Jovian, a fellow Phish fan and a snow groomer at Killington / Pico where I worked my first post-college ski resort job, let me ride on the back of his snow-groomer at night while he played Phish CDs. A couple years ago, I got word that Jovian had died from a drug overdose and I dedicated a show to him. We hadn’t talked in years, save for crossing paths at a Phish show here and there, but I’ll never forget those groomer rides with moonlight ski runs in be-

tween. I felt like James Bond. This will be my fifth year ski hosting at Jackson, helping out patrol with sweeps, accidents, etc. When Wally died (ski patroller, avalanche fatality), I remember all the snow that morning, the delays, and the look on my boss Leeann’s face. I did a show for Wally, played a lot of Phish / Grateful Dead collaborations, and got a lot of calls to the studio that night. I remember playing a cover of “Tuesday’s Gone” to close the show. Pusey thought that was perfect. I attended the entire 1999 Phish summer tour and wound up hitchhiking with a couple of guys I met, Craig and Kyle, who were also following the tour. We remained friends through college and afterwards. Kyle moved to Colorado to patrol at A Basin and died in an avalanche two winters ago. On my show, I remembered my friend by playing some choice selections from that 1999 summer tour. I have always believed in putting myself in the mountains first. You can figure out jobs later. When I heard there was going to be a new radio station in Jackson Hole, I had to be a part of it. Phish is a big part of my life, their music a source of freedom, excitement, and inflection. Just like the mountains. It is a natural thing for me to combine the two in celebrating life and death. PS: I’m writing this on my way to a Phish show in San Fran. — Jackson Hole Skier

Memorial Plaques The four ski patrollers who’ve lost ther lives on the job are enshrined at the summit of Rendezvous Mountain.

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A community, large or small, is shaped in countless ways. Its setting, its seasons, its era, its history, its cultures. Taken together, these elements create an image for those who know of it and inhabit that community. But, especially for those who live there, that community is also life itself, enriched by the work of its constantly changing populace, a populace added to or subtracted from as individuals come and go. The valley of Jackson Hole, while impressive and geologically old, is home to a young but vibrant community, particularly its outdoors culture. Every season here adds to the depth of that culture and its history. The ski culture is one part of that whole piece. Highly regarded, closely knit but welcoming, it is subject to the same passions as any culture. A passion for life can yield great riches, not only for the individual but for a community’s culture as well. Sometimes, though, death brings some of life’s most prized features into greater relief. Other members of our community have passed over the last year, but given the Jackson Hole Skier’s focus on skiers and recreationists, we’re linked more closely to some members than to others. Following, then, are a few who shared a fondness for and an intimate connection to the remarkable tapestry of the Jackson ski community.

The most recent loss, that of A.A. Zvegintzov, known locally as ‘Z’, severed

downtown Wilson’s Fish Creek, remains every bit a component of the area’s history as Z himself. The lore and lure of Jackson Hole have a way of both reaching and inspiring its devotees. They attracted Zvegintzov from his home in Philadelphia and also drew, but from from the Colorado Rockies,

a community thread stretching back to the early ‘70s. He was widely known for his work as an artist, a ski instructor, a river guide, and a former attorney and county prosecuting attorney. Less well known was that Z served briefly as a financial ofTheo Meiners, ficer to the Jackwho died while in son Hole Ski Corp Anchorage, Alaska, in its fledgling on September 20, days. Or that his 2012. Born in active work in the Alaska and raised valley’s recovery in Colorado, Meincommunity ers’ passion for skihelped nurture aning led him to put other kind of down roots in Jackhealth for valley son 33 years ago. residents. His passion for skiAn artist whose ing led him to share fondness for landit as an instructor, scape nourished ski patroller, and his drive to both guide here in the capture it and exHole. And in a twist perience it, Zvegon the circle game intzov died while of life, the 59-yearhiking with a comold Meiners had panion on one of melded his love for the valley’s most both Jackson Hole beloved features, and his native Mount Glory, on Alaska. Winter’s Teton Pass. endless appeal His death on pushed him to pioTheo Meiners 1953-2012 October 14, 2012, neer, along with struck home to perhaps the valley’s most well-established Doug Coombs, “The Last Frontier” of skiand oldest crop of devoted Jackson Hole ing, and eventually to become a busiskiing enthusiasts, those from the era be- nessman as the owner and operator of fore gated communities and homes the Alaska Rendezvous Heli-Guides and size of small palaces. Z’s uniquely fabri- lodge. After 13 years and counting, the cated flat-roofed abode, sitting right on enterprise stands as a seminal connection between the Jackson Hole ski community and the Chugach, Alaska, ski family. Meiners had in recent years parlayed his avalanche field experience into service with the International Snow Science Workshop, both on its Papers Committee and as a conference chair, where his presentations had gained respect. He left his mark as an instructor at steep-skiing camps, as a ski-racing coach, and as a guide to countless skiers. Like many skiers and teachers in the valley, Meiners had nourished skiers at both Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Snow King. Sadly, it was the May 2012 death of a veteran rescuer that brought home a very real danger for the courageous few who aid recreationists in trouble. Sandy Zvegintzov 1939-2012 Those who respond to folks

Photos, clockwise from top left: Theo Meiners Facebook collection; Wade McKoy; Steve Romeo self portrait; Mike Maples; Screen Capture, YouTube video from; Jonathan Slaughter


Chris Onufer 1970-2012

imperiled by the same setting that impelled them into it. Ray Shriver, a 63-year-old member of the Teton County Search and Rescue Team, was killed when the helicopter he was riding in crashed during a mission to aid the victim of a snowmobiling accident. Shriver, one of the longest-serving members of the county search and rescue team, had himself been saved from an av-

Ray Shriver 1948-2012

alanche over 20 years ago. The fortunate rescue of Shriver and one of his sons, Matt, who was also buried, inspired his commitment to search and rescue. A Vietnam veteran, Shriver was also well known for his work as a rescue-dog handler and had served in the K-9 unit since 1998.

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Search and rescue and an EMT and had worked teams can mean the difwith both Jackson and Teton Vilference between life and lage services. death for recreationists, Fittingly, the joint memorial especially for skiers, as service for Romeo and Onufer, Shriver well knew. drew hundreds of mourners, Sometimes, tragically, many of whom gave voice to those rescue efforts are Romeo’s “Live To Ski” ethic. in vain, and reveal that And although Jackson Hole nature’s hint of romance is rightly praised and valued for can also lead to heartits iconic social and physical break. A tragic enwinter landscape, the valley’s counter with Teton location in the heart of mountain backcountry last spring country whispers to artists and left another tear in the outdoor celebrants of another Steve Romeo 1971-2012 colorful fabric that also kind, writers. Cal Glover had three published novels documents Jackson Hole’s epic backcountry lore. Two of the skiing commu- under his belt, one even optioned for a nity’s younger, but no less central, figures, movie. It wasn’t skiing that linked him to Steve Romeo and Chris Onufer, perished the outdoors family, though. It was his retogether in a massive 3,000-foot ava- lentless pursuit of long-distance running. lanche on Teton National Park’s Ranger But his zeal for adventure was typical of Peak. those romanced by Jackson Hole’s recreRomeo, 40, and Onufer, 42, had in their ation charms. His death hit home for this short lives also permanently stitched magazine, too. Glover, who died in Livthemselves into the Jackson Hole region’s ingston, Montana, at the age of 60, in Deincreasingly colorful raiment. Both eagerly cember of 2011, had penned one of its made that connection in the early ‘90s, more charming pieces about downtown when Onufer hired on to the Jackson Hole Jackson’s colorful history. Mountain Resort’s trail crew and Romeo The arts community, like the ski comsigned up as a lift operator. munity, draws and nurtures valley residents His blog tagline, “Live to ski,” was just from all walks of life. Glover’s love of perone more bit of proof that Romeo, who forming – he was a veteran actor in the also worked as a ski technician and sales- local theater co-op – also informed his person at Jackson’s business creation, Callowishus Park Tours. Skinny Skis, was bound The enterprise afforded Glover a chance to fast to the culture. share his knowledge and affection for the Through his blog and his- Greater Yellowstone region while also suptory at Skinny Skis, plying his writer’s well with details. Romeo immersed himself The lives of these friends really is testiin both larger and smaller mony to time well spent in a place. Time ski communities. His site, that shaped their lives and the life of the, sometimes community – and a prized part of its cullogged 10,000 hits in a ture. day, its videos celebrat— Mike Calabrese ing on-snow exploits in nearby Teton and Wind River ranges and drawing the interest and comments of backcountry enthusiasts everywhere. Like Romeo, Onufer was first knitted into the valley ski culture working as an extra before ascending to his role as tram maintenance manager at the JHMR. The resort noted that Onufer was “one of several key figures who took care of the previous (and iconic) Jackson Hole Tram…” and was “an instrumental player in the design, development, installation and operation of the new tram….” As did Ray Shriver, Onufer played a critical, and again quieter, role in the community’s wellbeing. Onufer was also a Second Cal Glover 1951-2012 Lieutenant in the volunteer fire department 2 0 1 3 J AC KS O N H O L E S K I E R





CASPER RESTAURANT Cozy mid-mountain skiers/boarders retreat. Specialty burgers, burritos, a warm up station serving hot drinks with a kick, and a new Bloody Mary Bar. PG 27

THE TRAP BAR & GRILLE Featuring lunch, apres, dinner favorites, local brews, wine, and cocktails. The apres place to go for live music. (800) TARGHEE or PG 57

CAFE 6311 Base of the Bridger Gondola, serving toasted bagels, breakfast burritos, ever popular designer wrap sandwiches, and espresso and coffee drinks served all day. PG 27


CORBET'S CABIN Top-of-the-World waffles at the top of the tram on Rendezvous Mountain, quick snacks, hot drinks with unlimited views that are on the house. PG 27

DORNAN’S PIZZA & PASTA Enjoy great food & the best view of the Tetons. Full-service bar, open for lunch. M-F 11:30-3; Sat/Sun 11:30-5; Bar 10-6. 733-2415 ext 204. PG 67

JACKSON SNAKE RIVER BREWERY The Great American Beer Festival’s Small Brewery of The Year, 2000 & 2001. Serving tasty brews, delicious pizzas, pastas & sandwiches. Free WiFi. From 11:30 am to Midnight, 7 days a week. 739-2337 PG 87 WYOMING WHISKEY - Wyoming wasn't made by man. Wyoming is a singular blend of earth, rock, wood, grains, water weather and a whole lot of time. Same for the whiskey. Distilled, aged and bottled in Kirby, Wyoming. PG 2

JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT – TETON VILLAGE ALPENHOF BISTRO Located next to the Tram in the Alpenhof Lodge. Lunch, aprés, dinner, full bar, fondue, beer, pretzels, brats, warm fireplace. 307-733-3242 PG 95 NICK WILSON'S COWBOY CAFE Located next to the Tram. Breakfast, Smokehouse style lunch, daily specials, burgers, chili, snacks and more. Vibrant Apres Ski Happy Hour 3-6pm with food and drink specials. PG 27 VILLAGE CAFE Next to the JH Tram dock. Breakfast, lunch & Aprés Ski. Espresso, baked goods, wraps, sandwiches & the best pizza. 7am-10pm. Locals' aprés ski spot with full bar. 732-CAFE PG 33

PINEDALE, WYOMING WIND RIVER BREWING COMPANY Located in downtown Pinedale, Wyoming. The pub features handcrafted superior brews and many pub favorites including salads, homemade soups, appetizers, burgers, and fine steaks; all with generous portions.PG 87

DINING – RESTAURANTS – CAFÉS GRAND TARGHEE RESORT THE BRANDING IRON GRILL at the base of Grand Targhee Resort. Mountain-inspired cuisine that is family-friendly and perfect after a long day on the slopes. Reservations (800) TARGHEE or PG 57 SNORKEL’S CAFE AND BISTRO Serving the best coffee, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Family friendly dinners with pizza and pastas. (800) TARGHEE or PG 57 THE TRAP BAR & GRILLE Lunch, aprés ski snacks, light dinner. Cocktails, micro-brew beers, wine, aprés ski special. Live entertainment and special sports events. 1-800-TARGHEE PG 57

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, MOOSE DORNAN’S PIZZA & PASTA Specialty pizzas, calzones, salads, pastas, sandwiches. Enjoy great food & the best view of the Tetons. Full-service bar, open for lunch. M-F 11:30-3; Sat/Sun 11:30-5; Bar 10-6. 733-2415 ext 204. PG 67 DORNAN’S TRADING POST GROCERY Open 8-5 daily. Gourmet cheeses & specialty foods, full grocery, gas available 24 hour. ATM 733-2415, ext 201; In the Moose Village, Grand Teton National Park. PG 67

JACKSON THE BUNNERY Best breakfast in town, served all day. Fresh baked pastries & we proudly brew Starbucks Coffee. On North Cache, 1 block north of the town square. 734-0075. PG 25 JACKSON HOLE BUFFALO MEAT Buffalo: jerky, salami, smoked roast, steaks & burger. Elk: steaks, burger & jerky. Gift packs, smoked trout & more! Free Samples. Certified 100% natural. We ship. South end of Jackson, in Smith’s Plaza. 733-4159/800-543-6328 PG 19 McDONALD’S® OF JACKSON HOLE Where quality, service, cleanliness & value are a tradition. Featuring McDonald’s® freshly prepared breakfasts & regular menu favorites. WiFi available for your convenience. 5:00am–midnight. 1110 West Broadway at highway 22. PG 41 MEAD RANCH NATURAL BEEF For over 100 years, our family raised the highest quality Angus Hereford beef in the shadows of Tetons. Grass-fed beef on conservation land, grain finished, steroid free, antibiotic free, humanely processed, dry aged. Ask for it at finer Jackson Hole restaurants & grocers. 307-734-3911 PG 43 SNAKE RIVER BREWERY & RESTAURANT The Great American Beer Festival’s Small Brewery of The Year, 2000 & 2001. Serving tasty brews, burgers, delicious pizzas, pastas & sandwiches. Free WiFi. From 11:30 am to Midnight, 7 days a week. 739-2337 PG 87 SWEETWATER RESTAURANT Locals’ favorite since 1976. Lunch & dinner in a log cabin. Homemade soups, salads, burgers, sandwiches, lamb, steaks, full bar, deadly desserts & extensive wine list. Corner King and Pearl. 733-3553 PG 25

JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT – TETON VILLAGE ALPENHOF BISTRO Located next to the Tram in the Alpenhof Lodge serving lunch, aprés ski,and dinner. A locals’ favorite serving European-style meals. Soups, burgers, brats, and entrees. Great deck outside, roaring fire inside. 307-733-3242 PG 95

COULOIR RESTAURANT Fine dining at 9,095 ft. Step off the Gondola and walk into a contemporary & hip restaurant. Exceptional hospitality, delectable American cuisine with Rocky Mountain roots. Reservations recommended. 307-739-2675 PG 27 HEADWALL PIZZA AND DELI Located at the top of the Bridger Gondola, a quick stop to get you back on the slopes. Serving fresh pizza, Kobe hot dogs with unique toppings, housemade soups and gourmet grab and go items. PG 27 RENDEZVOUS RESTAURANT AT 9,095 FT. offering fresh salads, soups, Asian bowls and stir fries, grill meats and baked potatoes. Great view of Rendezvous Mountain and Corbet’s Couloir. PG 27

SPORTS SHOPS & APPAREL GRAND TARGHEE RESORT – DRIGGS, IDAHO TETON MOUNTAIN OUTFITTERS AND PHAT FRED’S BOARD SHOP Grand Targhee featuring the latest in alpine, nordic, snowboard, and apparel technology, TMO is your one-stop shop at the base of the mountain for shopping and ski rental needs. (800)-TARGHEE or PG 57 HABITAT HIGH ALTITUDE PROVISIONS Located just down the hill within inner-city Driggs, Habitat is the purveyor of highly technical and fashionable apparel and gear for all your summer and winter adventures. Downtown Driggs, Idaho PG 57

JACKSON – TETON VILLAGE BOOTERS An in-town shop run for snowboarders by snowboarders. Friendly, knowledgeable staff that walks the walk and can turn you on to the right equipment and accessories. Carrying the biggest names in the industry: Burton, Arbor, Jones, Ride and Prior. Demo before you buy. Open daily 490 W. Broadway. 307 734-9162. PG 19 HOBACK SPORTS Featuring the latest Wintersteiger tuning machines. Overnight repairs, full ski & snowboard rental shop, retail sales of major brands, specializing in expert boot-fitting. Located in Jackson at 520 W. Broadway. 733-5335 PG 19 HOLE IN THE WALL SNOWBOARD SHOP The original Teton Village snowboard shop located upstairs in the Bridger Center offering the latest from Burton, Arc’teryx, Smith, Anon, Oakley and more. A great hang out area for all ages with soft couches, TVs featuring the latest snowboard flicks, cool staff and the occasional sighting of some of the JH Snowboard athletes! 307.739.2689 PG 17 JACK DENNIS OUTDOOR SHOP The finest outerwear & hard goods for the whole family. Complete rental department, performance demos, overnight repair. Located in Teton Village 733-6838 & on the town square 733-3270 PG 99 JH RESORT STORE The official logo store of JH Mountain Resort, the source for logo apparel and gifts. Located on the town square, it is the in-town connection for lift tickets, snow conditions and activities. 734-6045 PG 17 JACKSON HOLE SPORTS THE mountain ski shop. In the Bridger Center at the base of the Gondola. Largest selection of fashion, technical outerwear and accessories from Marmot, Patagonia, Mountain Hardwear, KJUS, Smith, Oakley and Giro. Skis and boots from Rossignol, K2, Salomon, Fischer, Dynastar and Atomic. Custom boot fitting, precision tunes and repairs from an experienced staff. 307.739.2687 PG 17 LOWRIDER BOARD SHOP Specialty service and retail shop run for snowboarders by snowboarders, at the base of the tram, next to Pepi's in the Olympic Plaza, Teton Village 733-4505 PG 31 PEPI STIEGLER SPORTS The most exclusive collection of high performance skis and skiwear for the distinguishing resort shopper. Offering quality service, attention to detail and the best tune in Jackson Hole. Find us in Teton Village in the big white building next to Teton Mountain Lodge. 733-45045 PG 99 PETER GLEN SKI & SPORTS Huge selection of ski & snowboard clothing equipment & accessories for men, women, & children, including Spyder, Obermeyer, Bogner, Burton, K2 & more! PG 74 STIO is designed and developed in Jackson Hole. Stio is apparel you can live in – in both the epic and quieter moments of outdoor life. Visit Stio’s Mountain Studio at 10 East Broadway, Jackson, Wyoming, call 307-201-1890 or visit PG 23 TETON VILLAGE SPORTS Jackson Hole’s oldest and most trusted ski shop. Performance oriented product lines from Arcteryx, Patagonia, Bogner, Fire and Ice, Volkl, Tecnica, Rossignol, Salomon and more, we will make your skiing and shopping experience exceptional. With our great selection of high performance demo skis and our professional boot fitters always on staff, you will realize why TVS is the choice for skiers looking for the most. 307.733.2181 PG 100

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, MOOSE DORNAN’S GIFT SHOP Rental & sales of cross-country skis, snow shoes. 7332415, ext 301 In the Moose Village, Grand Teton National Park. PG 67

ALPENROSE RESTAURANT Located next to the Tram in the Alpenhof Lodge serving breakfast and dinner. Enjoy a relaxed dining experience and hearty Swiss cuisine. Full fondue menu, Wiener Schnitzel, Jager Schnitzel, and wild game entrees. 307-733-3242 PG 95


NICK WILSON’S COWBOY CAFE in the Tram building, daily specials, sandwiches, burgers, chili, snacks & beer, wine & liquor. Breakfast-lunch & aprés ski, 7:30am-6pm daily, happy hour 3-6pm. PG 27


VILLAGE CAFE Next to the JH Tram dock. Breakfast, lunch & Aprés Ski. Espresso, baked goods, wraps, sandwiches & the best pizza. 7am-10pm. Local's aprés ski spot with full bar. 732-CAFE PG 33


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IGNEOUS Custom Skis, hand-crafted in Jackson Hole. 734-8788 PG 45

DANSHELLEY JEWELERS Wearable works of art created by Dan & Shelley, plus other designers using gold & gems. From diamonds to elk ivory & Teton charms. Gaslight Alley, just off the town square. 733-2259 PG 7


GRAND TARGHEE RESORT FREE MOUNTAIN TOURS Backcountry Tours, and Early Tracks programs will our professional guides. (800)-TARGHEE or PG 57 JACKSON HOLE BACKCOUNTRY GUIDES Experience the Teton backcountry with a certified guide to reach untracked powder and challenging runs. Call Jackson Hole Mountain Sports School, 307-739-2779. PG 17 JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN GUIDES Since 1968. Join JHMG for a day of untracked powder & solitude. Novice to expert ski tours, Teton ski mountaineering, Level 1,2 & 3 avalanche courses & ice climbing. AMGA accredited. 307-733-4979 PG 37 RENDEZVOUS BACKCOUNTRY TOURS Operates the only hut system in the Tetons, allowing you an unparalleled backcountry experience with our professional guides. Since 1986. Daily Tours for all abilities in Grand Teton Park & Teton Pass. 877-754-4887 PG 37

NORDIC SKI CENTERS GRAND TARGHEE NORDIC CENTER Featuring 15km of groomed classic and skate-specific trails. NEW: Snowbikes allowed on trails. Rentals available. (800) TARGHEE or PG 57 JACKSON HOLE NORDIC CENTER Located in Teton Village, it is a full service X-C operation, with 17 KM of machine groomed trails and track including a new dog loop. Full & half day tours into Grand Teton National Park. Rentals, clinic & lessons. 307-739-2629. PG 17 NORDIC CENTERS Six maintained tracks and centers are open to the public in the Jackson Hole & Yellowstone area. PG 68



GRAND TARGHEE TUBING PARK Grand Targhee Resort The tubing hill is perfect for the whole family. Catch some air in the Terrain Park. (800) TARGHEE or PG 57

DD CAMERA CORRAL Jackson’s oldest full-service camera store. Binoculars, digital & film cameras, including Nikon, Canon, Leica. Friendly & knowledgeable staff. 2-hour film & digital processing. 60 So. Cache, across from Eddie Bauer. 307-733-3831 PG 3, 13, 97 & 98

JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT Check out the terrain parks, halfpipe, and new Burton Stash Parks. PG 31

WILD BY NATURE GALLERY features the wildlife & landscape photography of Henry H. Holdsworth. Behind the Wort Hotel, 95 West Deloney. 307-733-8877 PG 71

SKI & SNOWBOARD RESORTS GRAND TARGHEE RESORT is a year round mountain resort situated on the western slope of the Tetons in Alta, Wyoming, accessible only through Teton Valley, Idaho. (800) TARGHEE or PG 57 JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT General Info 1-888-DEEP-SNO; snow conditions 307-7332291; Ski School and activities 307-739-2779 PG 32 NIGHT SKIING AT SNOW KING RESORT Tuesday-Saturday until 8:00pm. PG 59

SNOW KING SKI RESORT 307-733-5200 PG 59

SKI & SNOWBOARD SCHOOLS GRAND TARGHEE SNOWSPORTS SCHOOL Our certified professionals provide a comprehensive experience for you and the family. Featuring a range of children’s lessons, daycare, group or private lessons in alpine, nordic, snowboard, and adaptive disciplines. 1-(800)-TARGHEE or PG 57 JACKSON HOLE KIDS RANCH Located in the Cody House at JHMR. Infant & child care: ages 6 month- 3 years. Ski/snowboard programs for ages 3-17 years. Kids Ranch participants experience Fort Wyoming, an outdoor playground with a Magic Carpet surface lift. Teen camps available during Christmas, President's Week and Spring Break. 307-739-2788. PG 32 JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN SPORTS SCHOOL The complete mountain experience with children’s programs, private and group ski, snowboard, telemark or adaptive lessons, and specialty camps. 307-739-2779 PG 32

HELI & CAT–SKIING ALASKA RENDEZVOUS LODGE & HELI GUIDES, a full-service lodge, operates out of Valdez, Alaska, from March 1 through September. We offer full-service guides for Heli-skiing, whitewater rafting & fishing., 307-734-0721, 907-822-3300 PG 51 GRAND TARGHEE SNOWCAT POWDER ADVENTURES Over 600 acres reserved for the ultimate powder experience. Breathtaking views and over 500 inches annually. Half & Full Day options available. (800)-TARGHEE or PG 57 HIGH MOUNTAIN HELI-SKIING flies skiers into the mountains around Jackson Hole for daylong powder-skiing excursions for intermediate to expert skiers. 733-3274 PG 55 KENAI HELI SKI in Alaska!!! Unlimited vertical – ski as much as you can. All inclusive weeks start February 23 and run until April 28, 2013. 1-800-559-8691 or, PG 55 SEABA HELI SKI Skiing and Snowboarding via helicopter, snowcat, snowmobile and ski plane in Haines, Alaska. The best terrain in the biggest mountains. Full service lodge, private homes and condo rentals available., PG 4 TORDRILLO MOUNTAIN LODGE Unrivaled heli adventures in the heart of the Alaska Range., 907-569-5588 PG 53 VALDEZ HELI-SKI GUIDES Our heli-skiing is unlike anything you could ever imagine. Runs are long & adventurous, up to 5,000 vertical. Deep powder is the norm. We cater to advanced & expert skiers & riders so groups are always small., 907-8354528 PG 51

SLED DOG ADVENTURES JACKSON HOLE IDITAROD SLED DOG ADVENTURES Half & full day trips into the Teton backcountry & Granite Hot Springs. Learn mushing first hand, drive your own sled team. Meals, transportation, supplemental clothing provided. 307-733-7388 PG 75

SNOWCOACH TOURS — YELLOWSTONE YELLOWSTONE SNOWCOACH EXCURSIONS Triangle C Ranch Ride in the luxurious comfort of an over-the-snow Ford Excursion. Experienced & knowledgeable guides. Private trips available. 800-661-4928 PG 72

SNOWMOBILING GRAND TETON PARK SNOWMOBILE RENTALS Guided OR unguided snowmobile tours to Togwotee Pass, Yellowstone & Granite Hot Springs: Family Friendly on groomed trail, clothing included. *Free Shuttle Van, Airport drop-off 800-563- 6469, 307-733-1980 PG 77 JACKSON HOLE SNOWMOBILE TOURS Over 20 years of family guided tours. Yellowstone, Granite Hot Springs, Togwotee Pass & Continental Divide. Current model powder & 4-stroke snowmobiles, experience makes the difference. 733-6850, 800-633-1733 PG 77 ROCKY MOUNTAIN SNOWMOBILE TOURS Day & multi-day tours of Yellowstone, Gros Ventre, Togwotee, Granite Hot Springs & Greys River. Day tours include breakfast, lunch & transportation. 733-2237 800-647-2561. email: PG 76 SNOWMOBILEPACKAGE.COM Guided tours to Yellowstone, Old Faithful or Canyon. Tours to all areas: Granite Hot Springs, Togwotee Pass, Greys River. Rentals on groomed trails. *Free Shuttle Bus 307-543-2052, 800-924-2052 PG 77 TRIANGLE C RANCH TOURS Multi-day trips on the Continental Divide Trail. Powder machines, clothing included, transportation available. Lodging, snowmobile from your cabin. PG 72

SHOOTING JACKSON HOLE SHOOTING EXPERIENCE Safe, educational, and FUN. Customized entertainment shooting experiences for novice shooters and experienced marksmen! Individuals, families, reunions & corporate events. Come have a BLAST! 307-6907921 PG 67

WILDLIFE & PHOTO SAFARIS WILDLIFE EXPEDITIONS OF TETON SCIENCE SCHOOL Discover the wildlife of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks with a professional biologist. Half-day. Full-day. Wolf & Bear Multi-day.. 307-733-2623 PG 71

ICE SKATING SNOW KING CENTER at the base of Snow King Ski Area offers indoor daily public skating. For an updated schedule and prices call 734-3000 OWEN BIRCHER PARK Outdoor public rink, illuminated 6-10 p.m. nightly, downtown Wilson 733-5056. 2 0 1 2 JAC KS O N H O L E S K I E R


TETON COUNTY LIBRARY has 50,000 books including a skiing and mountain climbing section, periodicals, newspapers, historical information and photographs. M-Th 10-9, Fri 10-5:30, Sat 10-5, Sun 1-5. Closed legal holidays. Corner of Snow King & Virginian Lane. 733-2164 US POST OFFICE: Teton Village: M-F 9:30-4, Sat 9-12, 733-3575; In Jackson: New P.O.-corner of Powderhorn Ln & Maple Way; Old P.O.-corner of Pearl Av. & Millward St. 733-3650. YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK 307-344-7381

BUS SERVICE GRAND TARGHEE EXPRESS Daily transportation from Jackson Hole & Teton Village to Grand Targhee. PG 57 START BUS Jackson to Teton Village – Schedules , routes & fares are available at bus stops, lodgings & information centers. 733-4521


MASSAGE GUA GUA JIAO FOOT MASSAGE Deep, firm combine gentle re’flexible. According to reflexology principle, with proper combination of deep tissue and Swedish massage, to release your stress. 970 W. Broadway, 209,Jackson, 307-413-4280 PG 67

GRAND TARGHEE RESORT Each of three western-style lodges at the base are steps from the lifts. We also offer a wide range of condominiums, vacation homes, and townhomes a short distance away. (800) TARGHEE or PG 57 GRAND TARGHEE SPA Outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, steam, sports massage, mud wraps. 1-800TARGHEE PG 57



ST. JOHN'S CENTER OF EXCELLENCE IN ORTHOPAEDICS Jackson Hole's orthopaedic specialists are renowned for their experience in knee, hip or shoulder replacement procedures and Stateof-the-art technology. 888-739-7499 or visit PG 5

DORNAN’S SPUR RANCH CABINS 1 & 2 bedroom log cabins with full kitchen & living room. Located on the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park at Moose, with breathtaking views of the Tetons. 307-733-2522 PG 67

ST. JOHN’S CLINIC AT TETON VILLAGE Medical Clinic for winter sports injuries and ailments. Open 7 days a week during ski season. Staffed with board-certified emergency medicine physicians. Located at the Kids Ranch Building, Cody House, 307-739-7346. PG 63 ST. JOHN’S FAMILY HEALTH & URGENT CARE Walk-ins welcome. X-ray & laboratory services on-site so doctors can assess & treat your condition promptly. Open extended hours, evenings & weekends. In the Smith’s Plaza, 1415 S. Hwy 89, 307-739-8999 PG 63 ST. JOHN’S EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT Staffed 24/7 by board-certified emergency medicine physicians. St. John’s offers comprehensive hospital care including diagnostic imaging, certified Clinical Laboratory & Surgery Center services. 625 E. Broadway, 307-733-3636 PG 63 TETON ORTHOPAEDICS has a team of doctors and physical therapists that offer a full spectrum of medical care devoted to diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation. Same-day appointments available. 307-733-3900,800-659-1335 555 East Broadway next to St John’s Medical Center PG 65

MUSIC NOTEWORTHY MUSIC AGENCY Provides entertainment for all types of occasions. Call Mike Calabrese, 307-733-5459 pg 94

INFORMATION – SERVICES AVALANCHE HAZARD & WEATHER FORECAST 307-733-2664 see story PG 33 & 37 FOCUSPRODUCTIONS.COM Subscribe to our magazines, order posters & photography. Read the online editions of Jackson Hole Skier, Teton & Yellowstone Country Adventure Guide, & the Jackson Hole Dining Guide. GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK 307-739-3300 JACKSON HOLE & GREATER YELLOWSTONE VISITORS’ CENTER on North Cache Street in Jackson has information on all activities in the area. Mon-Fri 8:00-5:00, Sat-Sun 10-2 pm. or call the JACKSON HOLE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. 733-3316 JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT GUEST SERVICE Located next to the tram ticket windows. Information on mountain/valley activities & events, daily snow & weather conditions, vertical foot club, lost & found. 307-739-2753 PG 32 JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN HOSTS Complimentary Mountain orientation tours leave from the front of Walk Festival Hall in Teton Village at 9:30 am daily. Hosts can answer questions & assist with anything from airline schedules to off mountain activities. 739-2697 PG 32 JACKSON HOLE SKI CLUB Since 1938 has provided a ski education foundation for Alpine, Nordic & Snowboard junior racers. For discounts on local services & merchandise, buy a membership at local ski shops. 733-6433 PG 30 LOST OR STOLEN SKIS should be reported to the Sheriff’s Office 733-4052 or through the Guest Service Center, 739-2753. SKI & SNOWBOARD STORAGE & LOCKERS Leave your gear at the mountain, convenient lockers & basket check available at the Bridger Center. 739-2755 PG 17

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 E-mail:


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JACKSON ANTLER INN Downtown Jackson. 100 units, hot tub, some fireplaces & suites, meeting room, fitness room. Ski & snowmobile packages available & ski shuttle. 43 W Pearl. 307-733-2535 or 1-800-522-2406 PG 29 COWBOY VILLAGE RESORT In the heart of Jackson Hole, offers 82 individual log cabins accommodating groups of 2–6 people. Property amenities include kitchens in all cabins and two hot tubs. Ski & snowmobile packages available & ski shuttle.120 South Flat Creek Drive. 307-733-3121or 800-962-4988 PG 29 ELK COUNTRY INN 88 units with 25 new log cabins. Family units with lofts. Hot tub & guest laundry. Ski & snowmobile packages available & ski shuttle. 480 W Pearl. 733-2364 or 800-4TETONS PG 29 JACKSON HOLE SUPER 8 Experience true western hospitality in the heart of Jackson Hole. Complimentary breakfast, evening popcorn, free wireless internet, microwave/refrigerator. Custom packages & group rates., 750 S Hwy 89, Jackson, 800-8008000/307-733-6833 PG 95 49ER INN AND SUITES Downtown Jackson. 142 units, 30 fireplace suites. indoor & outdoor hot tubs—fitness room—meeting facilities—continental breakfast. Ski & snowmobile packages available & ski shuttle. 330 W Pearl. 307-733-7550 or 1-800-451-2980 PG 29 MOUNTAIN PROPERTY MANAGEMENT offers a wide selection of Jackson Hole lodging, featuring vacation rental homes, condos, and cabins to suit all tastes and budgets., 800-992-9948 or 307-733-1648 PG 95 PAINTED BUFFALO INN provides comfortable lodging in the heart of downtown Jackson. Swimming pool, sauna, continental breakfast, WiFi & shuttle stops are just a few of the conveniences we offer our guest. 400 West Broadway, 800-2883866 / 307-733-4340 PG 95 TRIANGLE C RANCH Complete winter recreation packages, “The Old West In Winter”–dog sled trips, snowmobile excursions, snowcoach to Yellowstone, lodging, meals. Transportation available. 800-661-4928 PG 72

JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT - TETON VILLAGE ALPENHOF LODGE European style lodging & dining at the base of JHMR. Hot tub, pool, sauna, massage therapy, all in a cozy lodge setting with friendly professional staff. Many rooms feature fireplaces and/or balconies & everyone enjoys a complimentary breakfast to start the day. 307-733-3242 PG 95 THE HOSTEL A friendly lodge, come and stay with us. Enjoy a comfortable, pleasant & inexpensive stay at the base of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Private rooms with bathrooms and the chance to mingle with fellow travelers – Hostel Style. High-season and Low season rates, 1–4 persons $69 to $99. Bunk room: $25-36., 307-733-3415 PG 94 JACKSON HOLE RESORT LODGING Conveniently located next to the Teton Village Market, Ski-in/ski-out lodging & accommodation for all seasons. Affordable condos to luxury vacation homes, for family getaways and reunions. 800-443-8613, 307-733-3990 PG 95


We make it cheaper and easier for you to ski the legendary Jackson Hole Mountain Resort while staying slopeside. Filled to the rafters with ambiance, we offer both private rooms with private bathrooms, and the chance to mingle with your fellow travelers, Hostel-style. Low-Season & High-Season Rates: 1-4 persons $69-$99. Bunk room: $25-36. Teton Village, Wyoming 83025 307-733-3415,

Bob Woodall photo: Shriners’ All-American Cutter Races


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Alpenhof Lodge $$-$$$ Grand Targhee Resort $$ Hostel $ Jackson Hole Mountain Resort $$-$$$ Jackson Hole Super 8 $ Mountain Property Management $-$$ Painted Buffalo Inn $


Rates Based on Double Occupancy




Lodging LODGING Directory INDEX

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

Alpenhof Lodge

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

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

Alta, Wyoming 83414 800-TARGHEE (827-4433)

Jackson Hole Resort Lodging

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.


Grand Targhee Resort

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.

McCollister Drive, Teton Village, WY 83025 800-443-8613 Fax: 307-734-1077,

Mountain Property Management

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

Jackson Hole Super 8

Experience true Western hospitality in the heart of Jackson Hole. Just steps away from the free city bus and ski shuttle. Complimentary breakfast, evening popcorn, free wireless internet, microwave/refrigerator, cable TV with HBO and free local calls. Ski packages & group rates. 750 S Hwy 89, Jackson, WY 83001 800-800-8000 / 307-733-6833

Painted Buffalo Inn

The Painted Buffalo Inn offers comfortable rooms for the budget conscious traveler. Unwind in our sauna or indoor pool and wake up to a continental breakfast. Weʼre located 3 blocks from the town square with a shuttle stop to Teton Village on property. We offer discounts to locals, their friends and family as well as ski club members. 400 West Broadway, Jackson, WY 83001 800-288-3866 / 307-733-4340

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

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

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

Ski Lifts One triple chair, Two double chairs One surface tow.


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

Ski Lifts

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





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START Bus S N O W K I N G AV E offices & Jackson Public Works



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Teton County Fair & Rodeo Grounds

Center For The Arts
















S T. J O H N ' S H O S P I TA L






JH Chamber TO W N Of C o m m e r c e PA R K I N G LOT







HOME RANCH County PA R K I N G Teton Recreation LOT Center















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Greater Yellowstone MAP NOT TO SCALE Visitors’ © 2013 Focus Productions Inc. Center


















Jackson Whole Grocer





















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SNOWMOBILING Jackson Hole Snowmobile Tours – 20 Rocky Mountain Tours – 25

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SKI & SPORTING GOODS SHOPS Booters – 13 Hoback Sports – 15 Jack Dennis Sports – 7 Igneous Custom Skis – 28 Stio Mountain Studio – 6

MASSAGE Gua Gue Jiao Foot Massage – 21



PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEO DD Camera Corral – 8 Wild By Nature Gallery – 2


ELEVATION: 6,209 FEET Jackson Hole & 1,892 METERS


DINING & ENTERTAINMENT Blue Lion Restaurant – 1 The Bunnery – 4 Jackson Hole Buffalo Meats – 26 McDonald's of Jackson Hole – 22 Snake River Brewery & Restaurant – 19 Sweetwater Restaurant – 9


Meeting Place for National Elk Refuge Sleigh Rides


LODGING Antler Motel – 18 Cowboy Village Resort – 16 Elk Country Inn – 14 49er Inn – 17 Jackson Hole Super 8 – 24 Mountain Property Management – 23 Painted Buffalo Inn – 12

ART - JEWELRY - GIFTS -HOME DanShelley Jewelers – 2 Jackson Hole Resort Store – 5

MEDICAL SERVICES & EMERGENCY CARE St. John’s Family Health & Urgent Care – 27 St. John’s Center of Excellence in Orthopaedics – 11 St. John’s Emergency Department – 11 Teton Orthopaedics – 10



MOUNTAIN GUIDES & HELICOPTER SKIING High Mountain Heli-Skiing - 20 Jackson Hole Mountain Guides – 26

APPAREL Booters – 13 Hoback Sports – 15 Jack Dennis Outdoor Shop – 7 Stio Mountain Studio – 6




Jackson Hole Skier Magazine 2013