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Best Ski Breakfasts


The Hootenanny




LONG Journeys HOME

Jackson Hole’s wildlife migrations are among the most extensive and spectacular on the planet.

A life lived wild is a life well lived.

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THE HOMESTEADS AT SHOOTING STAR Designed by nationally acclaimed JLF & Associates, these 5 bedroom (plus bonus room), 5.5 bath, 5,179 SF homesteads are located on Fish Creek and built with reclaimed log timbers, barn wood siding and Texas Limestone. Floor to ceiling windows will feature spectacular mountain views from the great room, kitchen, dining room, and master bedroom. The Club provides on-call shuttle service to and from the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

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# 1 P R O D U C I N G R E A L E S T A T E A G E N T I N J A C K S O N H O L E I N 2 0 15 This is not an offer to sell nor a solicitation of offer s to buy real estate in Shooting Star by residents of Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, New Yor k, New Jer sey, Oregon, or in any other jurisdiction where prohibited by law. ACCESS TO AND RIGHTS TO USE RECREATIONAL AMENITIES WITHIN SHOOTING STAR MAY BE SUBJECT TO PAYMENT OF USE FEES, MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS, OR OTHER LIMITATIONS.




“Low Water Crossing” by Mark Keathley, Oil, 48” x 36”

“You’re The One” by Ray McCarty, Oil, 36” x 24”

“Still Waters” by Michael Hadley, Oil, 30” x 40”


“Where The River Runs” by Nancy Cawdrey, French Dye on Silk, 38” x 50”

“Million Dollar Cowboy Bar” by Trey McCarley, Oil, 36” x 48”

75 N. Glenwood, across the street, west of the Wort Hotel • PO Box 4840 • Jackson, WY 83001 PH: 307 734-2888 • TF: 800 883-6080 • FX: 307 734-2812 • •

Jackson Hole

Winter 2017





54 Yurt Life

62 Long Journeys Home

70 Drilling for Fish, Teton-Style

In Kelly, more than a dozen people live in yurts. But the housing style is the least interesting thing about this small community, which has been going strong since 1981.

Greater Yellowstone’s extraordinary wildlife migrations make for an intact ecosystem, and bind people together in awe.

Ice fishing’s glory days in Jackson Hole have passed, but this unique brand of angling still persists. BY MIKE KOSHMRL



ON THE COVER: Photographer Scott McKinley has taken images of this tree in the Bridger-Teton National Forest many times over his thirty-five years living in Jackson Hole. To capture this particular shot, McKinley waited for elk in the area to move onto the ridge. “Within thirty minutes, three bulls came into view, and I shot seven frames of this magical scene,” he says. “The three bulls never came together as a picture, but the last two did for one perfect frame. Their posture and energy were just what I was looking for.” McKinley, who first moved to Jackson in the 1980s specifically to photograph grizzly bears, has had work published in National Geographic, Ranger Rick, Audubon, National Wildlife, Outdoor Life, and Field & Stream magazines. For the last ten years, he has led photographers into the field with his Grand Teton Photo Tours. 6








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Jackson Hole

Winter 2017


126 Best of JH GETTING OUT

91 Heli Yes! For the ultimate ski day, try heli-skiing. BY FREDERICK REIMERS

98 Walk This Way

JH Living 18


Community radio KHOL, Local quiz, Trash-talking, Fat bike commuting

Just because the valley is under feet of snow doesn’t mean you can’t hike. BY DINA MISHEV

102 Talking While Eating Let your inner food critic loose. BY LILA EDYTHE

BODY & SOUL Some of our favorite winter stuff


32 Meet the Locals Julia Heemstra, Mark “Fish” Fishman, Aylin Marsteller


38 The Anonymous Entertainer Moose Hockey’s lovable mascot, Knuckles, puts on a show. BY CLARK FORSTER


42 Everything Old is New Again Page


Remodeling a property can give you the home you want, and a good backstory. BY JOOHEE MUROMCEW


78 Astoria Hot Springs

106 Thrive, Don’t Just Survive A head-to-toe guide to taking care of yourself during the long winter. BY DINA MISHEV


110 What a Hoot The Hootenanny is an adventure for both musicians and the audience. BY ISA JONES


116 Black Diamond Breakfasts Master the art and science of picking the perfect breakfast. BY BRIGID MANDER


126 Dead or Alive? Western and wildlife art still rule the valley’s art scene. BY ISA JONES




84 Saving Lives



Teton County Search and Rescue’s program, Backcountry Zero, has a lofty goal. BY CAROLINE MARKOWITZ

132 Shame of the Worm Buyer BY TIM SANDLIN





For more information on 3 Creek Ranch, please contact:


Owner / Broker | 3 Creek Ranch Real Estate Services LLC. | Exclusive On-Site Brokerage at 3 Creek Ranch Office: 307.739.9292 | Cell: 307.690.1084 | |

Greetings from the Editor Derek and I don’t talk winter up to friends just because we want to see them more often, but also because winter in Jackson Hole is as close as I’ve ever come to magic. And we want to share that. This issue of Jackson Hole magazine does a good job of capturing our valley’s winter magic. There’s the obvious, like writer Frederick Reimers’ story about his epic day heli-skiing (“Heli Yes!” p. 91). My story about hiking in Cache Creek captures some of the valley’s subtler winter magic (“Walk This Way,” p. 98). Take a hike up Cache and tell me you don’t feel like you’re in the world’s most beautiful snow globe. Todd Wilkinson’s feature about the extraordinary wildlife migrations that happen in and around this valley is the kind of journalism Jackson Hole magazine is proud to publish; illustrating this story with the vivid imagery of National Geographic photographer Joe Riis is the only way to do it justice. Read the story and see Riis’ photos starting on page 62. But winter in Jackson Hole isn’t special only because of the outdoors. While summer crowds give the valley a special energy, in winter, the smaller number of residents and visitors allows the spirit of the community to shine. Meet the man who has been the voice of Jackson Hole for two decades on page 34 and learn about why some community members use their bikes to commute year-round on page 24. As always, I hope this issue of Jackson Hole magazine inspires you to explore the valley, inside and out. @DINAMISHEV


LIKE MOST PEOPLE fortunate enough to live in Jackson Hole, my boyfriend and I host a lot of guests. The vast majority of them come in the summer and early fall rather than in winter. (As much as I love this valley, I don’t know that I would ever suggest visiting in early spring.) Writing this in late September, the aspen leaves as bright yellow as spring’s arrowleaf balsamroot flowers and the tops of the surrounding mountain ranges dusted with white, we’ve just had two friends return to their home in Stockholm. Tomorrow, my parents arrive for a weeklong visit. My parents are not skiers, and snow is to my father as sunlight is to vampires, so I know summer and fall are the best times of the year for them to come. But Derek and I lobby almost all other summer visitors to return to the valley in the winter. This fall, while hiking in Grand Teton National Park, enjoying afternoon tea at Persephone, and eating dinner at Il Villaggio Osteria in Teton Village with our Swedish friends, Leemon and Fredrik, Derek and I began to sound like broken records. “It’s gorgeous now, but winter, it’s like a fantasyland,” I said. A couple of hours later I added, “Coming in winter, it’s like visiting another world.” Before bed, Derek and I tag-teamed talking about how amazing the skiing is here. Leemon and Fredrik left promising they’d return in January 2018.




Jackson Hole

Winter 2017 //

What is your favorite winter wildlife-watching spot? What do you see there?

Not just the fastest Internet provider in Jackson



Snow biking up Cache Creek, where wildlife run the gamut—moose, pine martens, and wolves!

Adam Meyer EDITOR

Dina Mishev

A sleigh on the National Elk Refuge—you see so much more than elk


Colleen Valenstein

Glassing foraging elk and deer from my deck on the south end of Munger Mountain


Bradly J. Boner COPY EDITOR


Pamela Periconi

Fiber Internet


The Elk Refuge Road. I go running out there, and bighorn sheep stare me down.

Depends on my mood. If I feel like being part of the up Elk environment, I ski way Refuge Rd. and keep my eye out for wolves. If I want to be civilized, I head to the National Museum of Wildlife Art, grab a latte or a glass of wine from the cafe, and use their spotting scopes to scour the Elk Refuge for wolves.

Lila Edythe Mark Huffman Mike Koshmrl Caroline Markowitz Frederick Reimers Tim Sandlin Rachel Walker

Clark Forster Isa Jones Brigid Mander Joohee Muromcew Whitney Royster Maggie Theodora Todd Wilkinson

You can never go wrong with the National Elk Refuge.

Cloud-based Phone Systems

David Bowers Price Chambers Ryan Dorgan Ryan Jones Rugile Kaladyte Joe Riis David Stubbs


Networking & IT Support Data Center



Wi-Fi Solutions

Hiking with the moose up Game Creek

Security & Smart Control Systems


Lydia Redzich Sarah Grengg Natalie Connell DISTRIBUTION

Kyra Griffin Russell Thompson

Hank Smith Jeff Young


Kathleen Godines

© 2016-17 Jackson Hole magazine. All rights reserved. No part of this production may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher. No responsibility will be assumed for unsolicited editorial contributions. Manuscripts or other material to be returned must be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope adequate to return the material. Jackson Hole magazine is published semiannually. Send subscription requests to: Jackson Hole magazine, P.O. Box 7445, Jackson, Wyoming 83002. (307) 732-5900. Email: Visit

Elizabeth Acosta

Drew Izatt






The former editor of Canoe & Kayak magazine, Frederick Reimers is a regular contributor to Outside, Men’s Journal, and SKI magazines, and his work has appeared in Sports Illustrated and Bloomberg Business. For this issue, Reimers wrote about his adventure heli-skiing in “Heli Yes!” p. 91.

For the last four years, Mike Koshmrl (“Drilling for Fish, Teton-Style,” p. 70) has reported on the environment for the Jackson Hole News&Guide. The native Minnesotan earned a master’s degree in environmental journalism at the University of Colorado and, after graduation, stayed in Boulder to work at Solar Today magazine. Koshmrl’s writing has also appeared in Boulder Magazine, The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, and the Fort Collins Coloradoan.

Tim Sandlin (“Shame of the Worm Buyer,” p. 132) is a novelist and screenwriter. His books include Sex and Sunsets, Western Swing, Honey Don’t, Jimi Hendrix Turns Eighty, Rowdy in Paris, and the GroVont Quartet. Movie credits include the Showtime original Floating Away, based on Sorrow Floats, and Skipped Parts, a Trimark Pictures film. Sandlin is also a contributor to the New York Times Book Review. 14



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

Since 1970

Johnny Stout and his Grandfather wrapping a another great season. March 23, 2016

Memories are made in Jackson Hole. Give us a call, we can help.

DOUG HERRICK Associate Broker / Owner 307-413-8899

JACK STOUT Associate Broker / Owner 307-413-7118

Teton scapes

entertainment KHOL 89.1 station manager Zach Zimmerman delivers his biweekly radio show, 7/10 Split, at the station’s studio in the Center for the Arts.


corner from where I lived.” He didn’t think he’d end up on the air. “Everybody is a DJ so choose something,” Albert remembers being told. He mentioned he was a fan of Phish. Eight years later, Albert’s 9 p.m. Monday show, Live Phish, is KHOL’s longest running.

Pump Up the Volume You never know what you’ll hear on community radio station KHOL. BY MARK HUFFMAN

IN RADIO, THE trend for years has been bigger and blander, more of the same and nothing weird, remotely produced, and strictly managed. KHOL doesn’t get it. The Jackson station, at 89.1 FM, started as a dream in the mid-1990s and went on the air in 2008. The station’s 3,300-watt signal is heard in Yellowstone; Victor, Idaho; and “almost to Bondurant,” says station manager Zach Zimmerman. KHOL is a staple for area music lovers, partly because it plays just about anything you can imagine. And it’s the music and the people playing it that make the station stand out among the 15,000 others in the country. Because the volunteer DJs pick their own thing to do, “We’re heavy on the jam band scene,” Zimmerman says. But there’s also a steady musical diet of blues, rock, metal, reggae, EDM, indie, rockabilly, and rhythm. One recent morning show had the DJ going from John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers to 18


the Beatles’ “Penny Lane” to “Stomping Grounds” by Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. MOST KHOL DJS start out long on love for music and short on experience. “Becoming a radio DJ was not on my bucket list at all,” says Rosie Read, a Jackson attorney who specializes in immigration law. “But I’ve always really taken a lot of joy in sharing music with people.” Read likes what she calls “post rock,” which includes bands such as Caspian, Sigur Rós, and Explosions in the Sky. She plays emo and hardcore such as Sunny Day Real Estate. And trap music, a combination of trance and rap. Neil Albert, who works for Roadhouse Brewing Co., says the same about how he got into KHOL: “I had zero radio background.” Hearing that a community station was starting, Albert volunteered, crediting the fortunate confluence of a love for music and the fact that KHOL was “right around the

THE STATION PLAYS to a market of between 20,000-25,000 people, and has about 4,000 weekly listeners. Nearly 2,000 tune in online each week, going to the website and hitting the “listen” icon at the top of the page. It’s all live, except from midnight to 6 a.m., when KHOL plays tapes of its own programming. There are six- to eight-minute interviews with Jackson newsmakers by Cassandra Lee, the station’s part-time community affairs director. Lee talks to two people a day, five times a week. But it’s still mostly music, and, like the time and the cash, it’s mostly donated, brought in by the DJs, or sent by musicians and publishers eager for exposure. During their two-hour shows each DJ is required to play five or six tunes that stretch their boundaries. Read likes this aspect. “I never play the same song twice,” she says. “It would feel like a waste, because there’s so much more, the lesser-known—obscure, some might call it.” KHOL’s budget is a bit more than $100,000 a year, Zimmerman says, donated by listeners and a few business sponsors. There are two fund drives per year, and the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole, via the annual Old Bill’s Fun Run, is a big source. The station runs mostly on dedication. Albert says the payback is the feedback. When he first started, he was reassured about his lack of skill by a guy who said, “Don’t worry, man, nobody’s listening.” Now he hears from listeners every Monday night, “people who call in to request songs, people who’ve let you into their lives,” he says. “I work all the time. This is the thing I look forward to every week.” There are always DJ openings, Zimmerman says. This past summer, he was hoping for someone to play classical music. “There’s no experience necessary,” he says. “We’ll train you.” JH


Jackson Hole resident Jane Baldwin is a hiker. But a few years ago her hip made walking, not to mention hiking, painful. After considering her options, she came to our Peak Joint Replacement Center.


Immediately after her hip replacement surgery, her hip felt better. Less than 3 months later, she put her new hip to the test on a trek across Nepal. How did she do? “My hiking partners had doubts about my ability to hike, but I knew I could do it. On day 2, we did 11 kilometers and 3,500 steps.” That’s about the height of the Grand Teton. For more #ICanAgain stories, visit . #ICanAgain

Teton scapes



How long have you lived here? It’s a question everyone is asked, and the answer—like it or not—is a bit of social currency. Did you shop at Pamida, at Fred’s? Could you believe the change in the landscape when Melody Ranch was built, or Rafter J? Did you take a harrowing flight on a prop plane into the airport in a snowstorm? Take our quiz and see where you rank as a newcomer or local.

1 SKIING THE VILLAGE IS: A. So awesome, best mountain ever B. Great, once you get beyond the base area C. Only done via an early tram D. Over

7 YOUR FAVORITE NEWSPAPER EDITOR WAS: A. Angus M. Thuermer Jr. B. Angus M. Thuermer Jr. C. Fred McCabe D. Virginia Huidekoper

2 YOU MISS: A. Happy hour at the Cadillac B. Pamida C. Fred’s Market D. Cows grazing on the Town Square

8 YOUR IDEA OF RESPONSIBLE DEVELOPMENT IS: A. A chicken in every pot and a good return on my trust B. Pay your dues and get lucky in the housing lottery C. Deal with the free market D. Close the gate thirty years ago

3 YOU ARE MOST CONCERNED ABOUT THE DEVELOPMENT OF: A. Live-work lofts B. South Park C. Teton Village D. Snow King 4 YOU GET YOUR COFFEE AT: A. Starbucks B. Persephone C. Pearl Street Bagels D. The Virginian 5 YOU HAVE A BONE TO PICK WITH: A. Jim Stanford B. James Watt C. Ralph Gill D. Calvin Coolidge 6 YOU GET YOUR CAR REPAIRED AT: A. The Mercedes dealer in Pocatello, Idaho B. The Subaru division of Teton Motors C. Roy’s D. That guy down the street in the Gill Addition

9 YOUR NEWEST ITEM OF CLOTHING IS: A. A Stio trucker hat B. A Cloudveil shell C. Patagonia Capilene underwear D. A duct-taped Gore-Tex shell from Browse ’N Buy 10 WHEN YOU SEE KIRBY WILLIAMS, YOU SAY: A. Excuse me, sir, there is a shocking amount of dog slobber on the windows of your BMW. B. Dude! I love your coffee!! C. Hey Kirby, what are you skiing? D. Remember when the tram operators would come looking for passengers? 11 AS THE NIGHT WINDS DOWN, YOU WANT TO HEAD TO: A. Pinky G’s B. The Shady Lady C. LeJay’s D. The basement of the Soj JH

SCORE: Mostly A’s = Sorry, we’re full. There are other cool mountain towns, probably in Oregon. B’s = Victor, Idaho, is pretty sweet. A lot of us are over there now, but the pass is admittedly getting worse. C’s = Almost a local! That’s pretty good street cred. You either went to high school here (and not the current high school, of course) or you have crow’s feet. Either way, the winters aren’t as bad, are they? D’s = Old-timer. On behalf of the entire community, we are so sorry for the traffic, the bling, and the attitudes. 20


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Teton scapes



THE MOST PHOTOGRAPHED GERACI FIRST GOT the idea to look things in downtown Jackson are into the possibility of doing placethe elk antler arches at each corner specific street furniture in Jackson of the Town Square. But since last after a visit to another town. That spring, both locals and visitors have town has a strong tradition of western been taking shots of very different furniture making. “There was a antlers, too: the antler design on new pocket park near my hotel—two trash cans. “I like that the design is benches, a couple of trash cans, referential—it is of the antler, but some trees with grates,” she says. “It not exactly the antler,” says Nona was all standard street furniture. Here Yehia, a founder of Jackson-based we were in an area that was home E/Ye Design. As far as Yehia and to some of the world’s best western Carrie Geraci, director of Jackson furniture makers, and this was so Hole Public Art (JHPA) and the nondescript. It was nice to have a person who initially had the idea space to rest, but I thought it was for these trash cans, know there a missed opportunity to showcase aren’t any other cities or towns that something about the area.” have receptacles that speak to the JHPA secured private donations area’s character like these do. “I to cover the fees of the design have been to places where benches team. And then the project “just stand out and there are different capitalized on money that was street furniture installations that are already in the town’s budget,” Geraci of the place, but I’ve never seen says. “[Jackson Hole Public Art] trash cans,” Yehia says. “But why does lots of stuff behind the scenes, not trash cans?” so we don’t always get recognized For years there was a line item for sparking ideas. This is a great in the Town of Jackson budget to example of how we’re pretty scrappy. BY MAGGIE THEODORA replace downtown trash cans. The For this project we just needed a new ones were going to happen in little seed funding.” Not counting spring 2016. Jackson Hole Public Art, a nonprofit that works—often the privately donated design fees, seventy-four new trash cans cost in partnership with different entities—to integrate art into various $93,106. JHPA worked with Premier Powder Coating in Rexburg, public spaces, knew about this expenditure. In fall 2014, as part Idaho, on design engineering. Since Rexburg is only two hours away, of the annual recommendations the group gives the mayor and Premier delivered the trash cans for free. “That saved us thousands Town Council, JHPA included Jackson Hole-themed street furniture. of dollars in shipping and is a much smaller carbon footprint than “This was an easy way to make daily trips around Jackson more something from overseas,” Geraci says. interesting,” Geraci says. The group was told that if they could match the budget for standard trash cans, it could happen. JHPA “I THINK CALLING these art is going too far,” Yehia says of the put out a call to local artists and designers and, by spring 2015, a antler-patterned cans. “But I hope people notice the good design. design team had been assembled: Yehia and Inanna Reistad of E/Ye By rethinking how we could use time on the laser cutter—the offDesign, Bland Hoke from Jackson Hole Public Art, and Jack Koehler the-shelf trash cans were laser-cut—in a more inspired way, we of Friends of Pathways. were able to create pieces that are totally unique to the identity “Very quickly we gravitated to patterns in nature,” Yehia says. of our town.” Geraci says, “People seem tickled by them. People “We had water patterns, leaf patterns—we were looking at different have actually been sending me photos of them throwing stuff away.” variations of these and at different scales. But then a member of the Jackson’s street furniture also includes benches, which, right now, team hit upon the antler theme and that seemed so obvious.” are privately funded, and tree grates. JH






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Ride This Way The key to commuting by bike year-round in Jackson Hole comes down to one word: planning. BY RACHEL WALKER

IT’S ONE THING to roll into work on two wheels when the sun is out and the roads are clear. It’s quite another to ride your bike to work in the winter, especially in Jackson Hole, where temperatures often plummet below zero, the days are short, and a big dump means fighting traffic that may include skiers and snowplows. And yet that’s what a hardy and growing contingent of valley residents do. With Jackson’s investment in bike lanes and multiuse pathways, winter riding has never been easier, says Mollie Houkom, who commutes five miles round-trip by bike from her South Park home to her job at Lotus Cafe. In recent years, Teton County/Jackson Parks and Recreation has increased its pathways winter grooming schedule to six days a week on a rotating basis (not every trail is groomed every day) so that travel routes around town can be reliable for commuting. “We expanded our plowing program, and there was an explosion in popularity of fat bikes,” says Brian Schilling, Jackson Hole Community Pathways coordinator. “So there was growing demand for winter bikes right around the same time we started expanding our services.” OF COURSE, “EASY” is in the eye of the beholder (or bike rider, as it were); commuting by bike in the winter requires decidedly more logistics than riding 24

in the summer. First, there’s the inconsistent road surface. Most bike riders know what dry asphalt feels like beneath their wheels. But when that asphalt is covered with a mix of ice and dry snow, the surface is unpredictable— it could be a skating rink or like riding in sand. Typically, though, “Ice is only a problem later in winter when drastic temperature swings result in a melt/freeze cycle,” says Walt Berling, a valley resident since 1976 who rides his bike year-round from his Wilson home to his job at Jackson Hole High School. (Berling retired this year, but still relies on his bike for primary transportation.) To safeguard against sliding, Berling, Houkom, and other winter bike commuters have several options. One is to use studded snow tires, available at local bike stores. Another is to invest in a fat bike, a type of ride that has exploded in popularity in the last five

years. Fat bikes have tires that are about 4 inches wide. (A normal mountain bike’s tires are about 2.5 inches wide.) The extra width allows fat bikes to ride on top of packed snow without sinking through. Next, there’s temperature regulation. Winter cyclists juggle keeping their core cool and their extremities warm. Houkom’s solution is layers, heavy boots, and thick mittens. Another potential impediment: visibility. During the winter months, the days are short; winter commuters are almost guaranteed to bike in the dark at one end of their ride. But Berling says it’s not a problem. “There are really nice lights on the market these days, and they’re all rechargeable, plug into a USB, and they’re not that expensive—you can find a great set of lights for under $100,” he says. Riders should have lights on the front and back of their bikes. Houkom also mounts a headlamp to her helmet, for added visibility.

BOTH HOUKOM AND Berling insist that riding year-round enhances their quality of life. The proliferation of bike paths in and around Jackson and the completion of the nonmotorized bridge over the Snake River have made riding significantly safer and less intimidating. And though planning is required, riding year-round delivers a range of benefits. Berling says that his bike commute was essential for preparing for his workday and then decompressing after teaching special ed to learning-disabled kids. Houkom appreciates how riding immerses her in the outdoors and the community. When you’re face-to-face with the frozen moisture in the air—the ice crystals collecting on the fences you ride by—and the reflection of sunlight on the snow-capped peaks, you’re immersed in the area’s quiet winter beauty. And that alone makes the Mollie Houkom commutes five miles round-trip by bike from her South Park home to her job at Lotus Cafe. effort worth it. JH




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Pagosa Springs, Colorado-based VOORMI is innovative within the outdoor technical clothing industry for numerous reasons, but this season we only care about two: its limited-edition weatherproof merino wool AN/FO jacket and pants. In the AN/FO pieces, VOORMI has put merino wool on the exterior of a waterproof fabric. The result: pieces as rugged and weatherproof as they are stretchy and soft. The fact that they look good is a bonus. Pants $499; jacket $549;


2/ FOG OFF 1 3

Finally—goggles with useful technology. It’s cool and all to see text messages in the corner of your ski goggles, but it’s even better to be able to see what’s in front of you. Abom goggles have active anti-fog technology. Yeah, we rolled our eyes at first, too. But active anti-fog tech is a thing, at least the way Abom does it. Abom goggles have a two-part lens. Sandwiched between the two parts is a transparent film that heats up and evaporates fog. We pinky swear! A small lithium-ion battery built into the goggles powers the film. Flip it on and no fog for six hours. From $249.99; available at

3/ PICK YOUR PERFECT PACK We couldn’t decide whether we loved Dakine’s new Poacher RAS 26L backpack or its Mission 25L pack more. They’re totally different from each other, and each is totally perfect for what it is. The Poacher RAS is the ultimate backcountry pack, with a vertical snowboard carry or diagonal ski carry, deployable helmet carry, a main compartment accessed from the back, and interior and exterior pockets for goggles, a water bladder, and snow tools. What we like most, though, is that the pack easily fits Mammut’s new Removable Airbag System 3.0 (sold separately). The Mission 25L isn’t as technical, but instead carries a computer (in a padded laptop sleeve) as well as it does skis or a snowboard. For us, it’s the ultimate carry-on bag whenever we’re traveling to ski: stuff it with books and games and food, and then when you arrive, you’ve got a great ski pack. Mission 25L, $70; Poacher RAS 26L, from $210; available at Jackson Hole Sports, 7720 Granite Rd.;





We love singing the praises of homegrown products, and Trilipiderm has given us more than its fair share of awesomeness to write about. We loved its original AllBody Moisture Retention Crème. Then the Jackson-based company had to make that lotion with vitamin D and broadspectrum SPF 30. Then came Rehydration Night Crème, which is the only lotion we’ve found that saves our faces from the twin winter scourges of dryness and flakiness. Now, Trilipiderm has Ultra-Hydrating All-Body Oil. We want to win the lottery so we can afford to take a bath in this stuff every day. Until then, we’ll settle for applying the 100 percent plant-derived oil to our legs, arms, hands, and back after every shower and marveling at how quickly it is absorbed—and how supple and silky it makes our skin feel all day long. $34.95; available at valley retailers;

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JH Living

5/ DOWN WITH CUSTOM When your style is too unique for an off-the-rack lightweight puffy jacket but you don’t have the budget for couture, head to Eddie Bauer. The king of khakis has been making waves with its First Ascent technical outerwear line for several years now. Even if you couldn’t custom-design its MicroTherm StormDown hooded jacket, we’d still love it. The MicroTherm has a windproof, ripstop shell with a durable water-repellent (DWR) finish that sheds moisture. Inside, there’s 800-fill down that’s also treated with a DWR finish. This makes for a down puffy that performs even in wet conditions. And then there’s the customization. Eddie B has about twenty colors to choose from so you can make every part of this jacket, from the hood to the chest, zippers, and even zipper pulls, the exact color you want. $229 for standard colors; $279 for customized; Eddie Bauer, 55 S. Cache;



6/ TRACK SKI RUNS, AND YOURSELF The Garmin fenix 3 looks tough with its 1.2-inch display and stainless steel bezel and buttons. After months of exposing it to the valley’s harshest conditions and roughest places, we’re pleased to report you can judge this wristwatch by its cover. Its navigator GPS and ABC (altimeter, barometer, compass) haven’t failed us once, and its wrist heart-rate monitor is spoton. Making it perfect for a Jackson Hole winter is its capability to measure ski stats—speed, vertical drop, distance, and number of runs. Study those stats and then ask the fenix 3 to give you its estimation of your VO2 max. Seriously. $549.99; available at Skinny Skis, 65 W. Deloney


7/ BACKCOUNTRY PERFECTION Black Diamond isn’t admitting this, but its new Helio 105 skis must be custom-made for Jackson Hole’s backcountry. We long ago decided 105mm was the perfect waist width for the Tetons. Weighing a little more than six pounds (per pair; 175 length), the Helio 105s are lightweight enough to help make your biggest vert days a little easier. But with a prepreg carbon fiber layup, these skis have serious torsional stiffness that keeps them from getting thrown around like most other lightweight rides. $849.95; available at Teton Mountaineering, 170 N. Cache



8/ SWEET GONDOLA It’s been nineteen seasons since Jackson Hole Mountain Resort last unveiled a new gondola. Of course in the interim, the resort built a new tram and the Marmot and Sweetwater lifts, and it updated the aging Casper lift to a high-speed quad. But still, gondola fans have been wanting more. Meet the Sweetwater Gondola, new this season and sure to become a favorite lift of intermediate skiers. Sweetwater goes from the base area to just above the Casper lift, with a midstation about one-third of the way up. Lift tickets from $76;





Long known for designing great products that are a good value, Seirus has outdone itself with its new SolarSphere Brink glove. Stuffed with an animal-friendly alternative to down, the Brink absorbs warmth from the sun to naturally heat up by 10 degrees. These gloves are also waterproof/breathable and touch-screen capable. $49.99; available at Hoback Sports, 520 W. Broadway

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JH Living



Julia Heemstra JULIA HEEMSTRA DOES more in the Tetons in one day than most people do in a lifetime. She recently shattered the existing record for the “Moranic”—bicycling from town to Grand Teton National Park’s Leigh Lake (twenty-five miles), swimming two miles across the lake to the base of the Falling Ice Glacier on Mount Moran, climbing Mt. Moran (12,605 feet tall), and then doing the entire thing in reverse, all without any assistance. (Heemstra carried her wetsuit, extra clothes, and food in waterproof panniers on her bike and towed them behind her as she swam.) She did this in 16 hours, 13 minutes, besting the previous record—set by a man—by 1 hour and 17 minutes. But don’t expect any swagger or smack talk from Heemstra, who is also the director of the Wellness Department at St. John’s Medical Center. The forty-twoyear-old South Africa native says she pushes herself athletically because it brings her peace. Gratitude, not accolades, is her goal. 32


Q: Do you enjoy suffering? A: I enjoy it, especially the mental piece. But, believe it or not, [the Moranic] wasn’t a sufferfest. These bigger days are incredibly powerful metaphors for life. Q: Explain the metaphor. A: Nose down, work as hard as I can, and I believe things might get a little easier. Life is a lot like that. Q: You’re the director of the Wellness Department at St. John’s Medical Center. Can you be “well” without being extreme? A: To me, wellness is the combination of

mind, body, spirit, and social balance in an individual’s life. And it’s how that balance allows them to reach their individual apex, whatever that is. So often people think of wellness as eating a bunch of kale and exercising, but it’s also about reaching to achieve their goals. Q: Have you always been goal-oriented? A: I grew up in South Africa, at the height of apartheid. My mother worked hard to make me aware of the injustice, and when I moved to the States [for high school], I did all I could to learn about South Africa, which was starting to desegregate. I was determined to help change the country for good, and I set specific goals and worked toward them.




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Q: What kind of goals? A: I wanted to help Zulu children get an education, but to be admitted into the newly desegregated schools they had to speak English. So I took a year off between high school and college, and in 1991 moved to the middle of nowhere in South Africa and started a preschool for Zulu children. Q: I’d imagine that was a learning experience for you as well? A: I was seventeen and had a level of optimism that, in retrospect, I can say was at times unrealistic. But it served a really strong purpose, because it allowed me to believe I could beat the system and prepare these kids so they could go to school. Q: Do you have a personal philosophy or mantra? A: At this stage in my life there are three statements that drive me: (1) decide what matters; (2) try my hardest; and (3) be grateful.


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Q: Tell me more about gratitude. A: Oftentimes, I try my hardest and I still don’t succeed, but being grateful for the experience is just as important to me. I see the gifts that come from my failures. Previously, I linked gratitude to success. Q: Let’s talk skiing. Is it true you only ski the backcountry? A: Yes! I haven’t skied lifts in two winters now. For me, skiing is very much about replenishing my soul, and that happens more for me in the backcountry. INTERVIEW BY RACHEL WALKER



JH Living



Mark ‘Fish’ Fishman IN 1989, MARK “Fish” Fishman moved to Jackson Hole for one winter. The plan was to then return home to Atlanta, marry his college girlfriend, and eventually join the restaurant world or maybe work for CNN. “But I wasn’t going to be an on-air guy,” he says. Fish is still here, though, and he is on the air. For twenty-eight years his voice has been a constant at KMTN (96.9 FM). He started at the radio station—he did the overnight shift the same day he was hired, which was also the same day he interviewed for the job—within several months of moving to the valley. Then he did afternoons for several years while working in different restaurants. (At one point, he was assistant food and beverage manager at Spring Creek Ranch.) In 1996, Fish, now fifty, became the station’s program director and switched to doing the weekday morning show, which includes the iconic Trash and Treasure segment, where listeners can call and sell almost anything. Last August, his peers across the country awarded him the Program Director of the Year Award for markets fifty-plus in the AAA (Adult Album Alternative) format. 34


Q: How long has “Fish” been a thing? A: The earliest I remember being called Fish by everyone was third grade. And then in 1979, my mom remarried, to a guy named Mark. So from that point, the family always called me Fish. In the high school paper I had a column called “Fish Schtick.” Q: Is the Fish on the radio today a schtick? A: I’m always just being me, and I often get the comment from people when they meet me, “Oh, you’re just like you are on the radio.” I think listeners like being talked to, not talked at.

Q: What’s hosting Trash and Treasure like? A: There are more people who have walked on the moon than hosted Trash and Treasure. It is such a part of the community; we were the original Craigslist. Q: How do you find new music? A: I sit in my office and take calls from industry people twice a week. I also communicate with other programmers around the country and listen to other radio stations. Mia [his oldest daughter, twelve] sometimes tells me I need to check out a song or band. Q: Her recommendations go beyond Taylor Swift and One Direction? A: Lots of her friends listen to pop, and Mia likes The Lumineers and Michael Franti. One of my proudest father moments, musically speaking, was seeing Mia sitting on the dining room table listening to a CD and reading the liner notes. I think this generation misses the album art and liner notes. Q: Out of all this new music, how do you know what you want played on KMTN? A: I program with my heart, my ears, and with the knowledge of the community. Nowadays, with big stations, it is all about analytics—a PD could be in Dallas and have no idea what’s going on in the community. We’re lucky we’ve been smaller owned forever. Rich Broadcasting is the fourth owner I’ve been under. I can play bands that are coming here, or have the potential to come.

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Q: Such as? A: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. We’re playing the Marcus King Band, and I hope to see them at one of the outdoor concerts next summer. Q: Do you like to stretch people’s taste? A: I look at it like a menu for a restaurant. We serve a little bit of everything. I might not like all of the artists we play on KMTN personally, but it is not about me. This is such a melting-pot community. I try to program as a music lover. Q: How do you know you’re getting it right? A: Someone stops me and thanks me for introducing them to a band.


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JH Living



Aylin Marsteller It’s a heavy burden for a sixteen-year-old—being an inspiration. “I get that a lot,” says Aylin—pronounced “Eileen”—Marsteller. “I don’t really see myself that way, though,” she says. “Because I’m not really sure how to reply, I think a lot of the time I just smile and say, ‘Thanks,’ when someone says that.” When asked how she describes herself, Marsteller, a sophomore this year, pauses before answering, “I’m very cheerful most of the time. I love to encourage people.” While these qualities are certainly inspiring, they’re not why so many people in the community approach her. Marsteller is legally blind (her vision is 20/1000; 20/200 is legally blind). And she hunts, runs cross-country, and races Nordic for Jackson Hole High School. (Marsteller fell from a three-story building when she was three, suffering a brain injury and losing significant strength and mobility on her left side, and most of her eyesight.) She also plays Angry Birds, texts “way too much,” and, according to a fellow choir member, is a “beautiful singer.” (Marsteller sings soprano.) “I just don’t see that I’m that special for doing what I do,” she says. “Like everyone, I’ve got goals, and there are things I need to do to reach them.” 36


Q: So what are some of your goals? A: I’d like to be a veterinarian, or maybe go to a music college and teach voice lessons someday. I love animals, at least most animals. My mom likes some animals that I don’t know how she likes them, like snakes. Q: Favorite musicians or songs? A: Oh, I have lots of favorites, and they’re all different kinds of music, from Christian to country to pop. Q: How did you get into singing? A: I don’t remember. I’ve just always loved music and singing. I’ve been in choir for four years now.

Q: This is your second year running cross-country for the Lady Broncs. Is running as natural for you as singing? A: No. I didn’t necessarily like running when I started, but my parents wanted me to do some sport after I stopped swimming. I went over the list of sports and I thought running might not be so bad. Cheerleading was definitely not me. Q: Have you come to like running? A: It took a while, but I do actually like it now. I’m doing something I didn’t know my body was capable of! Q: How blind are you? A: I can see colors and shadows and outlines of things, but can’t see details. If my mom is by the sink, I can tell there’s a person there, but couldn’t tell you who it is. Q: Cross-country races are on trails over uneven terrain. How do you manage? A: My coach pairs me with one of my teammates to be my guide. All of my teammates got trained to guide me. They just tell me what is coming up— stuff like, “Go to the right” or “There’s a hill ahead.” Q: Have you ever fallen? A: Yes, but it was on the track, which is smooth! I didn’t understand how I fell. I thought, “This is weird!” Q: How do you approach trying something new? A: Things that are unknown to me and where I don’t know what to expect can be a little scary, and I’m skeptical of them. Sometimes, though, I just jump right in; other times, my parents need to encourage me. Q: Can you give an example? A: I was terrified to go on a roller coaster, but my parents thought I’d like it, so they pushed me. I was almost crying, but then it was so awesome. Q: And what about something you jumped into? A: I saw other people Nordic ski and thought it didn’t look too hard. As soon as I was doing it, I realized the people I saw, though, had just been really good. I fell a lot. I’d just laugh at myself as I struggled to learn. Sometimes falls hurt, but not enough to cry. INTERVIEW BY DINA MISHEV



JH Living

on the job

The Anonymous Entertainer Moose Hockey’s lovable mascot, Knuckles, puts on a show for fans while hiding behind the mask. BY CLARK FORSTER PHOTOGRAPHY BY RYAN DORGAN

THE MOST POPULAR member of the Jackson Hole Moose Hockey team can’t handle a puck and can’t play defense. Nor can he affect the scoreboard in any way. That’s because he’s a moose rather than a Moose. And moose don’t play hockey. This moose is the team’s mascot, and its name is Knuckles. Knuckles is furry, with three-foot-wide antlers. It wears a full hockey uniform; the only thing missing is a pair of skates. Knuckles can be seen winter weekends at Snow King Sports & Events Center fist-pounding with fans, pulling pranks on the opposing team, and pumping up the faithful Moose Hockey fans. Former college mascot (University of Denver) Tom Haigh 38


conceptualized Knuckles sev- Knuckles wishes the Moose en years ago and played him Hockey team good luck as they make their way toward the ice. through the 2014-15 season. Knuckles is not the first Moose mascot. The Senior A—think fast and full-check skating by former Division I collegiate players and ex-semi-pros— JH Moose have had one since their inaugural season in winter 1997-98. Steve Tatigian, twenty-seven at the time and friends with several Moose players, created Hatrick, also a moose, and performed as the mascot for two seasons. Hatrick’s best trick was putting on ice skates and jumping beer kegs during inter-

Past JH Moose Hockey mascots have jumped beer kegs on ice skates. The current one instead dances, runs around the ice rink, and plays with kids.

mission. Tatigian wasn’t sure how it would turn out the first time he tried it. “I didn’t think I was capable of doing this in the slightest,” he says. “It was more like, ‘Let’s just see what happens.’ ” It happened that Hatrick was a jumper. But fans wouldn’t let him rest on his laurels. The more kegs he jumped, the more kegs were brought out the next time. Eventually, the line of kegs on the ice got so long—ten—Tatigian couldn’t do it. When he bounced off a keg and went down on the ice, he tried not to cry while fans laughed and smiled. “I made nine, then crashed on ten like six times, and then I retired,” Tatigian says. But he came out of retirement when the Moose needed him. The hockey team was still searching for Haigh’s replacement when the 201516 season started. Tatigian and Hatrick stepped in to do the team a favor after Knuckles wannabes bowed out. “Everyone thinks they want to do it and then it’s a pain in the ass,” Tatigian says. “It’s six hours, you’re in a costume all night, little kids are pulling on your tail, people are throwing stuff at you. ... It’s a lot of work.” Not to mention the keg jumping, which was Tatigian’s schtick. But in 2015, at age forty-four, he was no longer willing to sacrifice his body by trying to jump nine or ten kegs. Fans didn’t seem to mind that he cut the number in half.

Hatrick had come back to life, if only for a couple of games. Wanting out of the role as soon as possible, Tatigian mentioned to a longtime friend and Moose Hockey fan that the gig was up for grabs. But his friend, who is a self-proclaimed introvert, had concerns about being in the spotlight. The beauty of donning Knuckles’ cos-

tume, Tatigian explained, is that no one knows who’s inside. The only rule of being Knuckles is being quiet about being Knuckles. Knuckles is anonymous. “It’s great when no one knows who you are, and it’s great not to blow your cover,” Tatigian says. “There’s a degree of mystery to it.” So the friend gave it a try early in the 2015-16 season. She’s still doing it. Going forward, as we quote her, we’re going to call her Ms. Knuckles. “THE FIRST FIVE minutes I knew I wanted to keep doing it,” says Ms. Knuckles, who attended the majority of Moose Hockey’s home games for six years before putting on Knuckles’ uniform. “It’s infectious to have that much of an impact on people. There are so many people you bring so much joy and happiness to in such a short period of time. It’s an adrenaline rush. I never want to give it up.” Because she was a fan before she was Knuckles, Ms. Knuckles is familiar with the antics of mascots past. “There’s been [one] that jumps six or seven kegs on the ice,” she says. “This Knuckles doesn’t have the physical ability to do that. I just try to do whatever I can that night in that time and in that space. It’s all differ-

Knuckles takes time off from pumping up the crowd to pose for a picture with a group of young Moose Hockey fans. WINTER 2017 JACKSON HOLE MAGAZINE


The Knuckles costume weighs thirty pounds. A fan inside the mask circulates the air, but because of Ms. Knuckles’ physical exertion, it still fogs up. Knuckles disappears once or twice a game to defog.

ent. When I have the costume on and I’m out in the arena, I know that if I’m out in public view I’m always Knuckles. And I can’t just stop and do nothing.” Instead of jumping kegs, the current Knuckles dances and takes selfies with fans, pounds the glass around the rink, and generally frolics throughout the entire venue. Ms. Knuckles’ game day begins with chugging two liters of water and a couple of Gatorades to counteract the sweat she’s sure to lose inside the heavily padded, furry costume. (The costume weighs thirty pounds.) She arrives at the Snow King ice rink an hour before the puck drops to suit up. By the time the doors open at 7 p.m., Knuckles is at the entrance to fist-bump every fan that comes into the arena. Once the game begins at 7:30, Knuckles knows the crowd is watching her every move. “Given my introvertedness in reality, the opportunity to escape and become Knuckles is a true gift,” she says. “I would be totally freaking mortified with 1,000 sets of eyes on me as an individual. The invisible force field provided with suiting up as Knuckles is an incredible disguise, which allows for self-expression I would seldom, if ever, be able to share otherwise. It is my very own real-life superhero costume.” 40


As active as Knuckles is, she needs to pull Knuckles’ tail or use Knuckles as a create time to cool off. “In the third pe- punching bag. The arena’s security team, riod, when the arena has had 1,500 peo- recognizable by their red hooded sweatple in it for three hours, the temperature shirts, has the moose’s back, though. “The in that costume increases dramatically,” security guards all take very good care of Ms. Knuckles says. “You go outside in me,” Ms. Knuckles says. “If there is a the middle of January to get some air throng of young bucks that wanna pick and the steam rises off on Knuckles, the security you.” Despite a small fan guards always have their “ IF THERE IS A circulating inside the eyes on them.” THRONG OF YOUNG mask, the goggles lookKnuckles’ night ends ing out from the head around 10:30, after evBUCKS THAT WANNA tend to fog up. That’s ery last hockey fan has PICK ON KNUCKLES, when Knuckles disapleft. Exhausted, she’ll THE SECURITY GUARDS pears. She takes the drink a beer or two— ALWAYS HAVE THEIR head off and sets it on the costume is safely top of another fan for as back in storage—before EYES ON THEM.” long as it takes the mask going home. If it is a – MS. KNUCKLES to defog. Knuckles Friday night, Ms. makes sure no one is Knuckles needs to rest watching—although that doesn’t always so she can do it all again the next night. work. “Some of the kids like to follow (Home games are always back-to-back.) Knuckles around,” she says. “I had one But the energy she has after four-plus little girl pull back the curtain on me hours of entertaining 1,500 people isn’t once. I think the secret was out at that conducive to sleep. “I get home, and it point.” takes me an hour and a half to come down,” she says. “I think of it as putting KIDS ADORE KNUCKLES. One boy on a superhero costume. This gives me a gave Knuckles a dollar bill in appreciation chance to be an extrovert where I don’t of the mascot’s services. But some kids have to talk, nobody can see me, and I are more mischievous than magnani- can still have the human interaction. It’s mous. Packs come together to try and so gratifying.” JH

Let The Outside In

JH Living


Everything Old is New Again Remodeling a property can give you the home you want, and a good backstory. BY JOOHEE MUROMCEW

FEW PEOPLE CAN speak about the allure of a renovation project with more knowledge than Eric Thorkilsen, chief executive officer of This Old House, now in its thirty-sixth year as the leading multiplatform media outlet on home improvement. Thorkilsen finds the typical This Old House viewer and reader, even with bull-market budgets and state-ofthe-art technology, desires a place of one’s own that has a story. “If you can take advantage of advances in energy, comfort, and maintenance and add a personal experience to the history of the house, the melding of the two is the strongest appeal. It makes the place seem more authentic,” he says. 42


Whether it’s a fresh coat of paint or a complete gutting of interiors, renovations can present simultaneously the most stressful and gratifying of creative problem-solving projects for homeowners, and the designers, architects, and builders who help them achieve their goals. While the prospect of renovating a kitchen or an entire house can be daunting for some, many homeowners relish a meaty fixerupper with all its inherent challenges. Key to successful outcomes is the right guidance from professionals and a Remodeling a historic log cabin, Wind River Builders firm vision, so call in a pro. kept the existing structure, When considering the purchase refreshing the bones and of a home that requires work or updating interior finishes.

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even before renovating your current home, “Involve an architect immediately,” says Kurt Harland, managing partner and majority owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Brokers of Jackson Hole. At the outset, an owner’s commitment to the location and long-term plans for the home factor heavily into the renovation investment. “It all depends on the relationship of the owners to the location, but costs can get carried away quickly,” Harland says. “Move forward with

county regulations or a strong belief that there is value to safeguard in existing foundations and infrastructure. “Renovate or update the entire structure to current standards; don’t make it look like a patchwork quilt,” he says.

actual cost estimates from a trade professional so you know up front what your investment will be.” Given a home with integrity in the infrastructure—“good bones,” as builders like to call it—Harland generally prioritizes cosmetic upgrades that immediately and consistently add value. “Kitchens and bathrooms are first,” he says. “You spend the most time in those rooms, and remodels in those spaces give the best return on resale. Then, windows and doors, exterior finishes, landscaping, and outdoor living spaces.” The list goes on, and certainly some renovations are so transformative that the refreshed home is unrecognizable from its previous self. Alex Romaine, owner of Wind River Builders, recommends focusing on materials and finishes. “Windows, cabinetry, countertops—construction materials can be fairly easily altered, but infrastructure usually cannot,” he says. Romaine has seen renovations that have left nothing but the exterior walls intact, most often to adhere to

the Gill Addition. “It was a WRJ Design, the Jackson-based design firm whose well-designed house archi- project won Mountain Living magazine’s 2016 tecturally, built in 1968. The Home of the Year award, transformed this older home in the Gill Addition into an open and lightlayout of the house was very filled space. The original kitchen is on the right. good.” Always with impeccable manners, Jenkins very politely describes the former exterior as “in need of repair.” From the “before” photographs of the interior it would be fair to call the house dated, with the glory fading from its 1970s disco days. Dark brown paneling covered much of the yellowed interior walls. Windows were smaller, and there was no transition or relationship between the interior and exterior spaces. A corrugated fiberglass awning hung over the dining room doors. The house was, in general, quite dark. The transformation of the home’s foyer speaks to Jenkins’ skill for mining beauty in existing structures. He kept the good-quality stone floor, but repainted the red front doors a fresh


RUSH JENKINS, OWNER and CEO of WRJ Design in Jackson, reveals the sunny, crisp-lines potential in a modest three-bedroom, threebathroom ranch-style home on Moran Street in

Photo Audrey Hall


A R C H I T E C T S ,



blue color, updated light fixtures, and streamlined ing screening from neighbors. Given the in-town the railings. All the interior paneling was removed intimacy of the lot, Jenkins still managed to create and the walls painted in Benjamin Moore’s usable, private spaces for outdoor living. A simple, November Rain, one of those versatile off-white elegant trim was added to the exterior walls. The colors that changes ever so existing faux stone remained, slightly as it responds to furnishbut the wood was painted in an ings and textiles. The bulk of “ RENOVATE OR UPDATE understated very pale gray. The Jenkins’ work and budget was overall feel is now very contemTHE ENTIRE STRUCTURE spent on upgrading materials porary, down to the slim black TO CURRENT STANDARDS; and letting light in. Faux stone in house numbers. DON’T MAKE IT LOOK LIKE the fireplace was replaced with real stone. The deep shag carpetRENOVATIONS, OF COURSE, A PATCHWORK QUILT.” ing is now handsome gray oak don’t always require the deep– ALEX ROMAINE, flooring. The kitchen was redive involvement of a designer. WIND RIVER BUILDERS freshed with updated appliances, Some homeowners experience granite countertops, and new great satisfaction in the planning cabinetry. and details. Al Dorsett, a serial “The house was kind of a party house,” Jenkins renovator, chose to work directly with his general says, recalling the basement room with a disco-era contractors, Craig Olivieri and Brian Nystrom of bar and stacks of LPs. He honored its groovy en- Jackson Hole Contracting, when renovating his ergy by updating rather than ripping out the bar vintage log cabin in Moran. Dorsett’s 2,600-squareand creating another bedroom suite in what had foot log cabin sits on a grassy, rolling knoll near been unfinished space. Throughout the house, the north entrance to Grand Teton National Park. Jenkins capitalized on light to enlarge and enliven From the outside, it’s a postcard-perfect log cabin

spaces. The master bedroom, closed off and constrained in its previous state, was now filled with sunlight with the addition of sliding doors to a small but trim and pretty backyard that Jenkins also redesigned. Overgrown bushes and trees were cut back or ripped out, replaced with plantings more appropriate to the slender lot lines while still provid-

When remodeling this Gill Addition home, the stone floor in the entry was kept, but little else was. The original entry is shown on the right.



with wraparound porches and mountain views. The interior, however, had been decorated “in a very different taste than my own,” Dorsett says. He never considered tearing down the structure: “I loved the cabin and the location, and wanted to hold onto that. I kept the metal roof and oiled the logs. It’s a really solid cabin.” He did gut the entire interior, updating finishes and appliances while still trying to maintain some of its rustic charm.

Wind River Builders owner Alex Romaine recommends focusing on materials and finishes when investing in remodeling a property. Shown above are the original and new kitchens in a log cabin the company remodeled.

The rough, unfinished basement found new life as a bunk- and playroom for Dorsett’s “bunch of grandkids.” He particularly enjoyed sourcing many of the materials, working directly with suppliers and fabricators when he could. The vanities in the bathroom were from a discovery in Arizona. Dorsett admits that he thoroughly enjoyed working on the renovation, even at a distance from his home in California. “I really enjoy the pro-

cess, maybe even more than the end result. I should have been an architect!” he says. Indeed, Dorsett is among the many homeowners who find such joy and gratification from their completed projects that another project quickly appears. His latest is a recently purchased condo in the Middle East, in need of some upgrades for sure. “These are fun, creative projects. You need an outlet for ideas. It’s part of human nature,” Dorsett says. JH

Stockton & Shirk Interior Design is a full-service Residential and Commercial design firm with 30 years of experience in Jackson, WY. We strive to make each space as unique as the people we serve. Our team supports our clients every step of the way by collaborating with architects and builders, spatial planning, and providing quality furniture, fabrics, and accessories to expertly reflect each client’s personal taste and style. VISIT OUR SHOWROOM AT 745 W. BROADWAY




Special Interest Feature


Peak Properties THE FACTOR THAT makes the Jackson Hole real estate market so unusual is the relative scarcity of private land. Ninety-seven percent of Teton County, Wyoming, is publicly owned—either national park, national forest, or wildlife refuge. This computes to just 75,000 privately held acres in a county spanning 2.5 million acres. The guaranteed open spaces and unobstructed views these surrounding public lands afford make the remaining private land a real treasure. Add the abundance of recreational opportunities found in and around the valley, and the quality of life one can enjoy in Jackson Hole is simply unbeatable. Moreover, many of the properties featured here are secluded, scenic retreats located in the midst of prime wildlife habitat. Most existing and prospective property owners in Jackson Hole cherish this notion, and serve—or will serve—as stewards of nature. One cannot put a dollar value on waking to the Teton skyline, skiing home for lunch, or listening to a trout stream gurgling through the backyard. In Jackson Hole, “living with nature” is not a fleeting, vicarious experience a person has while watching TV. Here it’s a fact of life, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.


1.72 acres



Situated on an elevated butte with stunning panoramic views. To the northwest, unobstructed views travel up the 18th fairway of the immaculately kept Rees Jones award-winning golf course, a member-owned private club, to the Teton Range. Located in a private cul-de-sac, lot 154 is both quiet and convenient and includes ski-in/ ski-out access to over 7 miles of 3 Creek Ranch’s private Nordic trails.

15-924 MLS#


square feet





7,950,000 dollars

15-1532 MLS#

This spectacular working and recreational ranch is nestled on the banks of the world-renowned New Fork River and for sale for the first time since originally homesteaded over 100 years ago! Nearly 7 miles of the New Fork River weaves through 1,442+/- deeded acres of the 3 Bar H Ranch, providing it with some of the best blue ribbon fly fishing in the region. Excellent water rights, all mineral rights intact, and no conservation easements.

Jackson Hole Real Estate Associates Chopper Grassell, Richard Lewis, Biz Doyle (307) 699-3927 -



square feet




Perched high above the valley floor this 12 acre property offers stunning mountain and Star Valley views. The 4,980 square foot home has four bedrooms, four baths, a green house, vegetable garden, home gym, gun room, and granite counters in the gourmet kitchen. The garage is large to hold all of your recreational toys. This home sits on a parcel within a 50 acre equestrian estate. There are no CC&R’s and no HOA fees.


3,300,000 dollars



3 Creek Ranch Real Estate Services LLC Todd Domenico - (307) 739-9292 -



— MLS#

Jackson Hole Sotheby’s International Realty Jane Carhart - (307) 739-8026 -



square feet



4.5 baths

Located at the base of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort this ski-in/ski-out free standing townhome is perfectly located in the heart of Teton Village. Constructed in the western tradition with stone and timbers, this is the perfect mountain getaway. The welcoming open floor plan features soaring ceilings, large windows that frame the mountain views, upper level master suite, hardwood floors, granite counters, fireplace, private hot tub, abundant storage and an oversized two-car garage.

16-1593 MLS#

Jackson Hole Sotheby’s International Realty Bill Van Gelder - (307) 690-0178 -



square feet




In town living at its finest with large common area off your back deck offering privacy and elevated views of Karns Meadow and Glory Bowl from the front deck. This end-unit boasts cherry hardwood floors, spacious kitchen, open concept living area, gas fireplace, built-in cabinetry, and an abundance of windows to take in the views. This townhome is convenient to popular hiking trails and all of town’s amenities.


16-2558 MLS#



This 1.34 acre parcel at Shooting Star is located on a quiet cul-de-sac and is one of only two lots adjacent to the Tom Fazio core golf course, which was recently ranked 4th Best Residential Course by Golfweek. The home site has a seasonal stream and boasts spectacular southerly views overlooking the 7th golf hole and great views of Après Vous. Owner/Members will enjoy the luxurious amenities of the Shooting Star Clubhouse.



16-2644 MLS#

TCCG Real Estate (The Clear Creek Group, LLC) John L. Resor - (307) 739-1908 -


875,000 to


The Refuge AirRanch offers private pilots the most exquisite setting, modern facilities, and inexpensive fuels on some of the best-situated private residential lots with direct runway access anywhere! The Refuge offers both vacant lots and architect-designed private residences complete with hangars to accommodate your private aircraft, and provides virtually unlimited access to the area’s amenities and public lands.

2,400,000 to


1,199,000 dollars



3,150,000 dollars


Jackson Hole Real Estate Associates Budge Realty Group - (307) 413-1364 -

— MLS#

TCCG Real Estate Reynolds Pomeroy, Associate Broker - (307) 413-2429 - A Division of The Clear Creek Group, LLC WINTER 2017 JACKSON HOLE MAGAZINE



2.25 acres


Enjoy Grand Teton and Teton Mountain Range vistas from this peaceful location on the western boundary of Ponderosa Drive. Bordering the 250 acre Trinity Ranch to the west provides for pastoral views both west and southwest. A seasonal water feature enhances the ambiance of the property.


Jackson Hole Real Estate Associates Budge Realty Group - (307) 413-1364 -



square feet



4.5 baths

This high quality home is situated on 3 very private acres in John Dodge subdivision on the Village Road, just minutes from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Shooting Star Golf Club, Aspens Market, and Teton Pines Country Club. The one level living creates a beautiful and open layout for entertaining between the kitchen, dining, and living areas. A 1,320 square foot garage is perfect for 3 cars and additional storage. This property offers Snake River access.

15-1904 MLS#





— MLS#

Jackson Hole Sotheby’s International Realty Ed Liebzeit - (307) 413-1618 -


Jackson Hole Real Estate Associates John Farrell & Chad Budge - (917) 612-2185 -



square feet






3,575,000 dollars

square feet

Mountain chic meets modern contemporary architecture with this ultra-luxury home in Teton Pines to be completed October 2016. Curved roof lines and floor-to-ceiling windows accent the beauty of the surroundings. Located on the 18th hole of the Arnold Palmer designed golf course and overlooking a large pond, this home will have breathtaking views. The home includes an office, a bonus room, loft and 3 car garage.


750,000 16-2349







16-272 MLS#

This property is situated on 5.2 acres with elevated views of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The kitchen has an open layout and is appointed with Miele and Sub Zero appliances. Unique spaces include a media room, office and library, an oversized study, formal dining area, and sun room. Three wood burning fireplaces, rare green Oakley stone, old growth Cherry flooring, comprehensive technology systems, and European fixtures add to the delights that only this home offers.

Jackson Hole Sotheby’s International Realty Audrey Williams - (307) 690-3044





Direct Teton views and easy access make these lots ones you don’t want to miss. Bring your four-legged friends to this horse-friendly subdivision just outside Driggs. These lots are at the rear of the subdivision bordering open ranch land. Designated build sites preserve stunning Teton views.

16-1239 MLS#

square feet




Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Brokers of Jackson Hole Real Estate John McNaughton - (307) 200-9209 -

Stunning Teton views and a seasonal stream—this property has it all. The custom home is adjacent to open space on three sides. The home itself is 2,669 square feet featuring 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, and a huge bonus room. Built with the highest quality of construction and craftsmanship, with cathedral ceilings, slate and hickory hardwood floors. The alder wood kitchen boasts high-end built in appliances and granite countertops. Agent Owned.


— MLS#



Overlooking a beautiful pond with direct views of the Tetons, this 5 bedroom, 5.5 bathroom home in Tucker Ranch is the epitome of the Jackson Hole dream. The house is ideal for guests or a family, with bedrooms on either side of the welcoming great room, each with its own full bathroom. A one-bedroom apartment provides additional privacy. Private access to the Snake River and walking paths around Tucker Lake are exclusive privileges granted to owners.

4,850,000 dollars

16-2146 MLS#

Jackson Hole Sotheby’s International Realty Mercedes Huff - (307) 690-9000 -


9.74 acres


One of the finest lots available in Indian Springs. This beautiful building site boasts views of the Grand and Snake River Range. Multiple ponds, trees, privacy, and wildlife add to the perfect Jackson Hole property. Only 15 minutes to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and 5 minutes to the town of Jackson makes this the most convenient and ideal building site.


1,400,000 dollars

square feet










Rare Properties of Jackson Hole LLC Rick Armstrong - (307) 413-4359 -


16-1281 MLS#

Brokers of Jackson Hole LLC Doug Herrick - (307) 413-8899 - WINTER 2017 JACKSON HOLE MAGAZINE




Enjoy the warmth of wood, openness of glass and comfort of this 4 bedroom and 4.5 bath home. Innovative design offers family privacy, yet spacious rooms for entertaining. Details make the difference— relax next to a roaring fire, a gourmet kitchen, custom cabinets throughout, slab granite counters and oversized garage. A home that radiates good taste, quiet charm, and quality construction.


square feet




The best blue ribbon fly fishing in Wyoming. This 130 acre parcel is part of a 3,200 acre fly fishing ranch. Seven miles of the Green River, Horse Creek, Faylor Creek, and Poole Slough. Only 19 total parcels with very controlled fishing access and regulations.

130 acres








Jackson Hole Real Estate Associates, LLC Nancy A. Martino - (307) 690-1022

— MLS#

16-2160 MLS#

Brokers of Jackson Hole LLC Doug Herrick - (307) 413-8899 -

L O C A L LY E N G A G I N G . N 2016 EDITIO



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Best Ski Breakfasts


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Remodeling WIN TER

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Issue # 23



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LONG Journeys HOME


Jackson Hole’s wildlife migrations are among the most extensive and spectacular on the planet.

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For over 40 years, visitors and locals have turned the pages of Jackson Hole’s leading glossy magazines for insights on the character and characters of our Valley. Find our titles on magazine stands throughout the region.

SUBSCRIPTIONS: | | 307.732.5900 52


4 / 201


Life Yurt



In Kelly, more than a dozen people live in yurts. But the housing style is the least interesting thing about this

small community, which has been going strong since 1981. BY WHITNEY ROYSTER PHOTOGRAPHY BY RYAN JONES




T’S 15 BELOW zero at a home in Kelly. dents on the south side of the Kelly Road adjacent to The air cracks. Any moisture in it has crys- the Kelly Elementary School and in the shadows of the talized. Outside, nothing moves. The Cathedral Group and Sleeping Indian. The yurt park, home’s door—the link between inside and like the rest of Kelly, is an inholding within Grand out—doesn’t move either; it is frozen shut. Prayer flags Teton National Park. When the park was founded, Kelly was grandfathered in as a small enclave of private are stiff, frozen in midflap. The walls of the home, which are fabric not wood, ownership. Today, Kelly has a population of fewer than are solid like boards. To get to this home’s bathroom 200 people. requires a journey not only out from under the covers, but out the frozen door. Get the door unstuck, and the YURTS ARE TRADITIONAL dwellings that nomadic bathroom is still a 200-yard walk—on a frozen path. people in Central Asia, primarily Mongolia, have used for centuries. They are circular, tent-like homes. Today It’s a lot of frozen. This may sound like winter camping, but it isn’t. they are made from all-weather vinyl fabric, but tradiNot really. This is a full-time home. Yet this home is a tional ones, and most of the ones you’ll still see on the 450-square-foot round yurt. It has rafters, windows, a steppes of Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan, are made of wool wooden front door, a real bed, and a small kitchen. The or animal skin. Yurts are among the world’s first mobile owners’ clothes are scattered about, and there is a homes; they are portable but stable, comfortable, and durable enough for longer-term livcouch, and even a computer and ing. A yurt is supported by rafters printer. This yurt does not have run- None of the yurts in the Kelly radiating out from a top dome and ning water or an electric heater; heat Yurt Park have running water, but residents have no problem dealing lattice work on the sides. A cable comes from a wood-burning stove. with it. Notice the large Igloo cooler Welcome to the Kelly Yurt Park, in Peter Popinchalk and Ellen wraps around the top of the lattice and attaches to the rafters of the roof thirteen yurts with nineteen resi- Yeatman’s kitchen.



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Gladys was born in Kelly. Her family, the to hold the structure together. While Central Now thirty-one, Owen Popinchalk Mays, were among the first settlers in the Asians still move their yurts seasonally, the grew up spending summers at the Kelly Yurt Park. Today, he lives there valley, homesteading on Mormon Row in yurts in Kelly don’t move. full-time with girlfriend Joana Lau. 1896. In 1925, when the north side of Sheep In 1981, Lyn Dalebout was twenty-six Mountain collapsed in a giant landslide, slid and working as a poet, writer, and bookseller in Jackson. Her sister, Jan, also in her twenties, was a nurse at into the Gros Ventre River, and created a 225-foot-tall dam that St. John’s Hospital (now St. John’s Medical Center). They lived was half a mile wide, Gladys was seven. Two years later, the in Kelly—Jan in a “regular” house and Lyn in a yurt next door. dam broke, and the Gros Ventre River washed away most of the Jan put the yurt up after living in a similar structure in Alaska town of Kelly, including the homes of forty families, and killed in the late 1970s. The Dalebouts’ neighbors, Don and Gladys six people. Up until this time, Kelly was a bustling commercial Kent, had a twenty-two-acre property and ran it as a seasonal hub in the valley. After the flood, though, Kelly struggled to campground. The sisters wanted to lease this land year-round maintain a population; keeping people there was important to Gladys her entire life. for yurts. Gladys’ innate creative spirit also embraced the idea of a “It was just this idea of wanting to live in a yurt,” Lyn Dalebout, now sixty-two, remembers. “Who knows where these yurt park. “My mother loved to talk to other people about all great ideas came from? It was an organic process.” The sisters different sorts of ideas,” Kent says. “That’s the type of person didn’t have a vision for a community, she says, but wanted yurts who lives over there.” With the Kents’ agreement to rent them for themselves. They approached the Kents, who quickly agreed. the land, the Dalebout sisters asked their parents for help. Dawn Kent, Gladys and Don’s daughter, remembers her parents “Our parents supported the vision, and bought us the combeing very supportive of the idea of a yurt park. “For my folks, mercial sewing machine to sew the yurts and also some of the it was low-maintenance,” Kent, now in her sixties, says. What construction material,” Dalebout says. “There were no comalso appealed to Gladys was the connection to young people in mercial yurt companies at the time.” The yurts took two months Kelly. “She enjoyed the young people, because it really is not a to make. (Today, they can be bought online. A basic 450-squareplace for older people, going back and forth to the bathhouse,” foot yurt costs about $9,000. Add on wind and snow protection, Kent says. And her mother felt keeping younger people in town roof and wall insulation, and a stovepipe outlet, and the total can run up to about $14,000, depending on size.) The Dalebouts would help “keep the community of Kelly alive.” 58


made their yurts of canvas, and insulated them with hay. The hay used to rot during the winter and was replaced every spring. In 1981, the sisters were the entirety of the yurt park. The next year, someone asked if they could set up a teepee. Over the years more and more people—friends of the Dalebouts and friends of friends—came, asking if they, too, could set up and live in the yurt park. MOVING INTO THE yurt park today is similar. When a resident moves, the remaining yurters get together and talk about whom to invite to fill the space. Yurters must pay monthly rent for the land, buy or build a yurt, and be willing to split and pay monthly utility bills. (The yurt park gets one utility bill, which covers the bathhouse and its common spaces.) And they have to get along with their neighbors. The “getting along” has meant different things to different people. When the Dalebouts began the park, they were looking for a simple way to live. As more people moved in, some embraced the idea of a community, a more close-knit group than just people living in similar houses. But others wanted to live more independently. In 1984, tensions mounted between these groups. Ann Kreilkamp, who now lives in a traditional house in Indiana, remembers: “There was polarity in the yurt park, which is so fuc!#%g human. Everybody had their issues. We were a bunch of anarchists trying to get along.”

Dalebout says, “The more people who started living there, the structure of how to organize the growing community would undergo shifts and changes in leadership, and how different people thought the structure of the group should be run.” Generally, one or two people would collect rent and serve as a liaison to the Kents. As more people joined, there were more community meetings and more questions as to how to manage the land and community. “Some wanted to keep things more independent, like me, while others wanted more communal collaboration,” Dalebout says. “There were disagreements, even drama, at certain times, given the personalities of the yurties. But we always muddled through to the other side of some sense of collaborative cohesion.” That collaborative cohesion continues today. A sign in the bathhouse asks people to register guests and charges two dollars per day for a guest fee. Residents agreed that parents are exempt from guest fees. FedEx and UPS deliver packages inside the bathhouse door. As cozy as any single yurt is, the bathhouse is the undeniable heart of the community. It is a 1,200-square-foot building constructed in 1925. It was built as Kelly’s original elementary school, which was fancy at the time since it was a two-room rather than a single-room schoolhouse. By the time the Kents ran this land as a summer campground, it had been converted from a school to a bathhouse. Today, in addition to a shared bathroom and shower area, it has a full kitchen and a laundry room, which doubles as the library. In the bathroom, men and women share three sinks, showers, and toilets, and every resident has a hook with his or her name—most are occupied by towels—and a cubby for toiletries. The bathhouse is heated with electric baseboard heaters; the water is heated with propane. Before cellphones, the bathhouse was home to the yurt park’s lone phone and a message board. The area is still used for messages, but the phone has been replaced by individual cellphones. Residents take turns cleaning the bathhouse, and one person’s idea of clean is often not someone else’s. People leave laundry in the washer, dishes in the sink, and hair in the shower or sinks ... some things are timeless. LIVING SIMPLY AND with a small footprint the yurters certainly do. But harmony with the land? Some days are more harmonious than others. Every resident has a story of being “up close and personal” with wildlife. Wendell Field, a current resident, remembers sleeping with his head nearly touching a bison’s while the bison slept on the outside of the yurt. He could hear it breathing. “People always ask, ‘Where does your property end?’ ” Field says. “And I say, ‘Yellowstone!’ You either love it or you hate it.” Owen Popinchalk, another current resiGuests are welcome at the Kelly Yurt Park, but must live by the rules.



dent, remembers a renter getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathhouse and walking into the dark rear end of a bison. That yurter moved out a month later. In more recent years, people hear the howl of wolves on most winter nights. Growing up, Popinchalk, now thirty-one, spent summers in the yurt park. “Being a kid, it’s like an extension of playing fort,” he says. Today, custodians, artists, baristas, and mountain guides live in the yurt park. Some people are seasonal. Some rent out their yurts. Some yurts have gardens or extensive decking. Other yurts have neither. The setup in all the yurts is similar— after all, there’s only so much you can do with 450-ish square feet. There is a bed, dresser, a kitchen area with food and a small refrigerator, and, perhaps most importantly, a wood-burning stove. (Electric lines are run from a central hub to each individual yurt.) “We carry our own wood, our own water,” Field says. “People think I’m this extreme type of guy, but no. This is how most of the world lives. People say I’m extreme, and I say, ‘No, you are the crazy

ones. You have six sinks.’ Jackson Hole has become incredibly polished and rich, and this is kind of the anchor of it, the last authentic way of living in this valley.” A lot of the problems affecting the yurts come from the wind, not other weather elements. Popinchalk has seen bent chimney pipes and snowdrifts as high as the side of a yurt. Yurters have had to shovel out their entire homes. Neighbors have shoveled out neighbors; whoever can dig their door out from the snowdrift by hand starts digging out others. Popinchalk has also seen winters where it’s so cold, if a yurt’s fire isn’t constantly stoked, the inside freezes. His brother, Peter, had bottles of vinegar explode when temperatures got too low. The only things that didn’t explode were those inside the refrigerator, which ended up being the warmest place in Peter’s yurt. UNDERSTANDABLY, THE SPIRIT of helping neighbors pervades the community. “If someone’s not here and we get a big snowstorm, you go knock the snow off their roof,” Field says. Because

woodstoves are a yurt’s only source of heat, if someone is gone all day or is away, other yurters will start a fire for them. It can take twelve hours for a yurt to heat up in winter. Even though there is a waitlist—unofficial, of course—of people that want to live in a yurt in Kelly, there will never be another yurt park in Teton County. After fielding complaints from Kelly residents worried the yurt park would decrease their property values, the county said no to any more yurts in the late 1980s. The Kelly park was grandfathered in. “Since we didn’t have that bigger vision of a yurt community, I was surprised every year I went back after I had moved out [in 1988] and saw that it was still going,” Dalebout says. “I am impressed with the longevity, endurance, and evolution of what we started. I honor the Kent family for their courage in always supporting the yurt community. And it’s phenomenal that it has gotten wilder over time. Kelly did not have grizzly bears, bison, and wolves wandering through the yurts in the 1980s. I wish that had been the case—that makes living in one even more fun and interesting.” JH


Explore fine art depicting humanity’s relationship with nature dating back to 2500 BC.


Roam the Sculpture Trail, paintings, sculpture, photography and dine overlooking the National Elk Refuge.

BE INSPIRED. Enrich your mind and soul with the power of nature, wildlife, and the West.

307-733-5771 | Open Daily | Just 2 Miles N of Jackson Hole |








Greater Yellowstone’s extraordinary wildlife migrations make for an intact ecosystem, and bind people together in awe. BY TODD WILKINSON PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOE RIIS



Migrating pronghorn antelope are seen in western Wyoming at a fence crossing. Wildlife biologists have worked with landowners to create more wildlife-friendly fences and road crossings that make it easier for ungulates to navigate.

IN THE SPRING of 2005, Steve Belinda and I stood in the middle of the commodious Pinedale Anticline, ninety minutes south of Jackson. We watched a river flow north across the land, wending its way toward the distant heart of Grand Teton National Park. This current, which would take weeks to reach its destination then reverse course again come fall, wasn’t water, but the hooves of pronghorn. Before us, they navigated a scattered maze of energy industry well pads, access roads, and pump stations under construction. (Natural gas drilling was amping up in the area.) From here they encountered gauntlets of barbed wire, a residential subdivision rising on the outskirts of Pinedale, and traffic blazing up and down Highway 89. On that single day I counted three dead antelope—two that had been struck by cars and a third wrapped in a four-string livestock fence. Belinda, then a federal wildlife biologist with the Bureau of Land Management, expressed grave concerns about pronghorns’ future. “These animals have been migrating for thousands of years,” he said. “We don’t know about the impacts of the obstacles we’re erecting. If we’re not careful, the critters could disappear long before we understand why.” THE GOOD NEWS is that Grand Teton’s pronghorn herd, which spends 64


Migrations function as a living, breathing encyclopedia of insights, the volumes of which are only starting to be cracked open. Founded in 2012, the Wyoming Migration Initiative started searching for answers to two questions: Where are the different migration corridors, and how are they threatened? “We were concerned especially with energy development, because it was happening quickly and changing landscapes so rapidly,” Kauffman says. “But obviously our scope has expanded.” Kauffman grew up in southern Oregon, the son of a horse logger. He warm months in Jackson Hole, is still spent a lot of time in the woods, and with us. Even more fortuitous is that went on to get undergraduate degrees in around the same time Belinda expressed ecology and biology, and earn a PhD in his concern, another ecologist was about conservation biology from the University to address the problems he flagged. of California at Santa Cruz. Kauffman Matthew Kauffman is pioneering an did post-doc work at the University of epic monitoring effort, Montana in Missoula the Wyoming Miand then landed at the gration Initiative University of Wyo“When I started, the plan (WMI), which has atming in 2006. was never to specialize in tracted attention from “When I started, around the world. the plan was never to migration, but the GPS on People are following it specialize in migraa lot of our animal collars from rural outposts on tion, but the GPS on a Tanzania’s Serengeti lot of our animal coljust kept bringing in a Plain, the steppes of lars just kept bringing deluge of data. When we Mongolia, and the tunin a deluge of data. dra in the high Alaskan When we put it toput it together on maps, Arctic—some of the gether on maps, it it would surprise us what only other places in the would surprise us world that still have terwhat the animals apthe animals appeared to restrial migrations on peared to be doing,” he be doing. You see all of this the scale of those in the says. “You see all of Greater Yellowstone this movement, and movement, and you can’t Ecosystem (GYE). you can’t help but WMI, a collaborawonder why.” help but wonder why.” tive effort housed at the Over the years, -MATTHEW KAUFFMAN, WMI ECOLOGIST University of Wyoming, Greater Yellowstone is devoted to studying has boasted a roster of the migrations of the extraordinary reGYE’s major mammal searchers contributing species—pronghorn, mule deer, elk, big- to major scientific advancements. There horn sheep, and moose. Migrations like was Jackson Hole’s own Olaus and those that the Wyoming Migration Adolph Murie writing on elk, bears, Initiative studies set the GYE apart from wolves, and coyotes; Frank and John almost anywhere else in North America. Craighead’s seminal work with grizzlies




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and radio telemetry; and geophysicist Bob Smith’s insights into supervolcanoes. Plus there’s the Yellowstone Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team, and groundbreaking studies on GYE trumpeter swans, lobos, fire ecology, and microbes. The work of the Wyoming Migration Initiative is the latest contribution to this incredible resume. And because of it, we now know the 22.5-million-acre tri-state region of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho contains some of the longestknown pathways for mule deer and pronghorn ever documented. These overland routes rival, in distance, the movement of wildebeest on the Serengeti and caribou herds in the Arctic.

knowledge has caused ecologists to rethink how the boundaries of Greater Yellowstone are drawn, contributing to a more expansive view of how the region is tied together across man-made lines scrawled on a map. “Rivers run in only one direction— downward, carried by gravity,” says Middleton, who did his doctoral research at the University of Wyoming but is now on the faculty at the University of California-Berkeley. “But large megafauna using their ancient corridors flow back and forth, up and down mountains, between winter and summer range. They pulse through the landscape like heartbeats, pumping and recycling caloric energy.” Migrations facilitate the movement of biomass. They transform grass to meat, which, in turn, becomes available

human settlement, they often vanished, and, along with them, animal homing instincts that evolved over ages. Migrations do not always adhere to straight routes between points A and B, but involve meanderings attuned to greenup, snowfall, temperature, climate, and other factors that shape highly nuanced timing in travel across landscapes. While Middleton and his colleagues believe migrations rank among Greater Yellowstone’s profoundest wonders, equally jaw-dropping is that the full extent of these wildlife highways was only recently discovered.

SHORTLY AFTER THE new millennium began, around the time I met with Belinda on the Pinedale Anticline, wildAN ARRAY OF metaphors has been inlife biologist Hall Sawyer opened many voked to describe the significance of eyes when he began studying mule deer wildlife migrations. Dr. Arthur and the potential impacts of oil Middleton, a researcher affiliand gas drilling in western ated with the WMI, draws a Wyoming on them. Wyoming At least nine elk herds converge upon the mountain slopes comparison to the circulatory Game and Fish biologists knew of Yellowstone in summer and then funnel back out system of the human body, a that some mule deer herds flowing of blood vital to the were in steep decline, and that again to distant winter ranges. And there’s the pronghorn health of our internal organs was about it. migration. Then, just to the south, a mule deer population and the function of external Sawyer is credited with disappendages. covering the Red Desert-to500 animals strong in the Hoback River Basin embarks At least nine elk herds conHoback migration, and today seasonally on a 300-mile round-trip trek to the Red Desert. verge upon the mountain he is part of the Wyoming slopes of Yellowstone in sumMigration Initiative’s distinmer and then funnel back out guished network of field scienagain to distant winter ranges. And to human hunters, wildlife predators tists. “Mule deer are creatures who exthere’s the pronghorn migration. Then, such as grizzlies and wolves, and dozens press incredible fidelity to their migrajust to the south, a mule deer population of species of mammalian and avian tion routes based upon behavior passed 500 animals strong in the Hoback River scavengers. Migrations also reach down down from mothers to offspring over Basin embarks seasonally on a 300-mile to the microbial level in the soil through generations,” Kauffman says. “Unlike round-trip trek to the Red Desert. This hoof action by hundreds of thousands mule deer, pronghorn are more flexible of animals and decomposition in their migratory strategies. Elk are of ungulates that die in transit, more toward the mule deer side of the Middleton says. spectrum in terms of their fidelity.” The typical way science works is that HOW WILDLIFE MOVES, data is collected, published in a peer-reand when and where it goes, viewed article, circulated narrowly in a also affects many other things: journal, and then put on a shelf, seldom the abundance of prey and to find its way into applied science. predators, the potential spread Information gathered by the WMI is of diseases, hunting opportuni- readily disseminated to government ties, tourist economies, and de- land-management agencies and the cisions regarding the potential public. The organization has an excellocation of natural resource ex- lent website ( traction, highways, and human where even schoolchildren have gone to development. Elsewhere in the trace the journeys of critters. Lower 48, where migration Under Kauffman’s leadership, the routes became fragmented by WMI is currently assembling a compreWildlife ecologist Dr. Arthur Middleton, a professor at UC Berkeley, searches for radio-collared elk in summer range near Yellowstone National Park. 66




hensive atlas of maps to document where the area’s wildlife routes are. Noteworthy is that for all the public land that migrations cross, the survival of elk, mule deer, and pronghorn herds also depends on how 3 million or 4 million acres of private ranchland are stewarded.

for a whole third of the year they are lolling and feeding along the way.” “On their way to greenup in the mountains, they are getting the best groceries available all year-round, young plants high in protein and low in fiber,” he says. “It affects how fat, healthy, and

Elk migrate over a high mountain pass on the eastern boundary of Yellowstone National Park as they head into the park for the summer. This image was made with a motion-triggered camera trap.

As a result of better information unearthed by Sawyer, a key stretch in the mule deer corridor was identified as being vulnerable to development. The late Luke Lynch, former Wyoming State Director of the Conservation Fund—after whom this new wildlife area is named—led the effort to buy this important 364-acre parcel. Nearly half of its $2 million price tag was paid for by the Knobloch Family Foundation in Jackson Hole. Other contributors to the purchase were the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Fundamentally, the greatest epiphany from the WMI’s work is the recognition of corridors as their own rich subsets of habitat. Most migrations do not involve animals zipping between winter and summer ranges like commuters racing on the interstate, Kauffman says. “They are stopping over along the way. Upwards of 90 percent of the time they are not making forward progress,” he explains. “Migrations can be two months in spring and two months in the fall, so 68


ments of the rest of the elk in the heart of the ecosystem. “Elk are the ultimate transboundary species in terms of entering and exiting Yellowstone Park,” he says. “Their journeys and those of other migrating animals form the essence of why Greater Yellowstone needs to viewed across the individual borders of the different land-management jurisdictions that comprise it.” A KEY PORTAL opening the eyes of researchers has been the dazzling imagery of National Geographic photographer and University of Wyoming graduate Joe Riis. Using camera traps, he has chronicled elk passing through the Thorofore region in the southwest corner of Yellowstone—the most remote roadless area in the Lower 48—climbing steep mountains and fording raging rivers. Riis has also documented antelope wending their way along the “Path of the Pronghorn” through a place called Trapper’s Point, and crossing national forest, Bureau of Land Management tracts, and private land. “What’s rare about Greater Yellowstone is the diversity and the comprehensiveness of these migrations radiating around multiple populations of six different species. Around the world, the number of places that have epic migrations of wildlife is in fast decline,” Middleton says. “What I hope our research does is inspire people in other areas of the country to look closer at wildlands in their own backyards. My hunch is that migrations are more common than people think. They are right under their noses.” “Losing wildlife migration is like destroying a human language,” says Joel Berger with the Wildlife Conservation

resilient they’ll be through summer and into fall and winter.” For Middleton, an “a-ha” moment in understanding the importance of migrations occurred a few years ago when he was investigating declines of calf elk in the Clarks Fork Herd north of Cody. This was immediately blamed on wolves. But by trailing the herd on the full extent of its annual migration, he discovered it was the effects of an extended drought—which impaired the abundance of summer grasses in the mountains—that were impacting elk survival “ It really reinforces the notion that in Wyoming, and fecundity. This resulted interest in big game herds is a social phenomenon in fewer healthy offspring. Young elk also were dying the entire state is trying to wrap its head around.” from grizzly bear predation. -MATTHEW KAUFFMAN “You can’t make broad (DISCUSSING THE TRACKING OF JET, THE DOE MULE DEER) extrapolations about what is going on based upon one data point,” he says. “I realized I had to go where the elk went to Society. Indeed, migrations reflect more understand the full story, and that meant than physical navigation. They serve as seeing what happened at every leg of windows into the cultures of the animal their migration.” This, in turn, led world, including the learning passed Middleton to wonder about the move- down from mothers to offspring, in-

stincts that have ensured survival from one generation to the next. Kauffman and Middleton hope that migration routes, once invisible to the human eye but now inspiring awe, don’t suffer their own versions of a coronary episode. “A person who suffers a heart attack has done incremental things over time that led to poor health. The same thing could affect the circulatory system of Greater Yellowstone,” Middleton says. “With these magnificent migrations and the corridors they depend upon, it won’t be a single clog in the arteries, but many slowly encroaching over time. Then one day, the heart just stops beating and they’re over. We have to make sure that never happens.” What will be the effect of climate change? Kauffman says no one knows yet. One thing that hasn’t been a surprise is how animals respond to humancaused disturbance of habitat, because much is known already pertaining to residential development, the impacts of roads, and, more recently, outdoor recreation. “The effect is always the same: Animals don’t like to be near humans, so they alter their behavior in response to human disturbance,” he says. “I am an avid mountain biker, and I bike in animal range near where I live in Laramie,” Kauffman says. “I frequent areas where there are a lot of moose, but

I’ve only seen moose two or three times. That doesn’t mean the moose aren’t there, but that they’ve moved. Human activity displaces animals. The question we must ask is, what are the costs of that displacement? If an animal is fleeing habitat that offers superior forage or escape cover from predators or deep snowpack for less-optimal areas, that is a concern.” One of the Wyoming Migration Initiative’s newest allies is the Western Landowners Alliance. That group has begun discussions with Greater Yellowstone ranchers who are in a position to make a difference by protecting corridors. Tweaking little things can yield huge dividends in preventing conflicts or eliminating them. What continues to amaze Kauffman is the huge public interest in the phenomenon of migrations. While many wildlife issues are divisive, this one seems less so. The Western Governors’ Association issued a statement expressing its support for studying migrations, joining industry groups, hunters and anglers, recreationists, conservationists, and even local chambers of commerce. There’s no better example of the public interest than the tale of the doe mule deer Jet, a Red Desert-to-Hoback migrant fitted with a satellite collar by a research team. Postings about her over a seven-week period became a sensation

Mule deer cross a creek near Yellowstone National Park.

on Twitter, also attracting up to 40,000 views on Facebook every time a new map reading was given. Drama built as fans anxiously awaited word as Jet started her spring migration jaunt later than expected. “People were really interested. They wanted to know when she started to move,” Kauffman says. “They worried that maybe she had died. If you look at who was tracking her, it was all mostly just regular Joe and Jill Wyomingites, from oil field workers to ranchers, sportsmen, and college kids. It really reinforces the notion that in Wyoming, interest in big game herds is a social phenomenon the entire state is trying to wrap its head around.” Montana and Idaho aren’t aggressively mapping many of their corridors yet, but it’s coming, Kauffman says, noting that he’s been meeting with wildlife officials in those states, sharing with them how the Wyoming Migration Initiative works. They know migration is important, especially for the performance of the big game herds that are treasured. Migrations not only hold the spirit of Greater Yellowstone together, they’re magnets that help tether the nature-loving identity of its human denizens, too. JH WINTER 2017 JACKSON HOLE MAGAZINE






FISH TETON-STYLE Ice fishing’s glory days in Jackson Hole have passed, but this unique brand of angling still persists.



Ice fishing on Jackson Lake can be a chilly affair, but the view is unparalleled. WINTER 2017 JACKSON HOLE MAGAZINE


out of Jackson Lake in the winter, and you have a hard time telling the difference between that and Atlantic salmon. We can it, we smoke it, we cook it all different ways.” FOR THE TYPICAL valley resident and visitor, ice fishing is lost in the shuffle of wintertime activities: downhill, backcountry, cross-country and skate skiing, along with snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and even fat biking. Perhaps the caricature of the sport in the Midwest, where shanty towns appear on frozen lakes and it’s big business, doesn’t help its popularity: think old men sitting on a fivegallon pail, bickering and bored, with a light domestic beer in hand just as often as their fishing rods. But ice fishing in Jackson Hole is vastly more interesting than that. Plunking a silver spoon or jig head into the icy waters of Jackson and Lower Slide lakes is a wintertime activity that’s steeped in history, unites families and friends outdoors in beautiful places, and—if you know where and when to carve out a hole and what to tie on the

Fishing two holes is more work, but it increases the odds you’ll catch something.





HE PROSPECT OF standing on “I joked about it. I had a pin going two feet of barren ice, peering through my thumb, and I called it my down into an eight-inch hole in lake trout detector,” says Colligan, a decthe grip of frigid temps and adelong valley resident who works in the hoping for the best, became conservation nonprofit world. “It was more alluring to Chris Colligan supercold fishing with that piece of metwhen he had few other al going into your options. A backcounthumb and your bone.” try snowboarder who The hardship aside, a ... think old men sitting on has taken on seldomcouple months of a five-gallon pail, bored carved lines in places heavy time on the ice like Mount Moran, the hooked him onto and bickering, with a light native Michigander Jackson Hole’s underdomestic beer in hand just was raised ice fishing. appreciated ice-fishing In his early years in opportunities. as often as their fishing Jackson, he occasionAfter his thumb rerods. But ice fishing in ally pursued trout atop covered, Colligan had a a frozen lake, but never hard decision to make: Jackson Hole is vastly more made it a regular part hit the ice or the slopes? interesting than that. of his life. Then, he fell Diversifying the conwhile snowboarding tents of his game-filled and tore the ligament freezer played into the connecting the bones of his thumb. transition as well. “Somebody asked me (Its severity became clear when Colligan recently if I wanted to go in on freecouldn’t hold a drink.) The injury range sustainable salmon from Alaska,” would necessitate surgery, and derail his Colligan says. “Why, when I’ve got smoked lake trout? Catch a brown trout season on the slopes. 


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day—more than one hundred of the propelline—can make for top-notch fishing. Mike Braghini and Keith McCoy ler-driven tracked vehicles had permits to “I look forward to it more than any other watch their electronic fish cruise over the frozen surface of the fifteentype of fishing that I do,” says Andy Asadorian, finders as they fish for trout on Slide Lake. “It’s a wonderful mile-long body of water. a Victor, Idaho, resident and WorldCast thing when man can walk on The snowplanes were tightly tied to ice Anglers guide. “And I’ll fish for anything, water,” McCoy says. fishing, recalls Wyoming Game and Fish with any rod.” To Asadorian, there’s a mysDepartment regional fisheries supervisor Rob tique about spending a day on top of a frozen lake at the base of the Tetons. The typical outing for the fish- Gipson. “They were only used to fish,” Gipson says. “I don’t ing guide is a social one, complete with good eats—the fresh- know of anybody who used one for just tooling around.” After est of fish tacos have been had. But he also has days of soli- the snowplane ban thirteen years ago, the Jackson Lake icetude. There have been plenty of winter days on Jackson Lake, fishing scene “didn’t have the same feel,” Gipson says. the most popular of local ice-fishing spots, where he hasn’t Snowplaners, oftentimes Idahoans and residents of elsewhere in Wyoming, stored their machines, along with campers, at seen one other angling party. Colter Bay for the season. They drove to Jackson Lake and THE POPULARITY OF ice fishing in the valley has dwindled stayed most weekends, snowplaning from fishing hole to fishover the decades. Two primary developments have dampened ing hole during the day and recovering in their campers at local participation: the evolution of cold-weather fly-fishing night. Jackson Lake ice fishermen can still use snowmobiles to gear and Grand Teton National Park’s 2003 prohibition of move around (fishing access is the only acceptable use of “snowplanes” on Jackson Lake. snowmobiles on the lake) but it seems that part of the appeal The former allows anglers to stay warm(er) while plying of ice fishing there was the novelty of using a snowplane to always-open rivers with nymphs and streamers. Now, even in move across the lake. Most of the former snowplaners stopped the depths of winter, you can fish places like the Snake and its ice fishing rather than switch to sleds. South Fork. “Neoprene waders came out and changed the whole game,” valley resident and avid ice angler Joe Burke says. DESPITE THE RELATIVELY slim crowds out on the ice now“Before, you’d get out there and you wouldn’t be able to feel adays, the fishing can be stellar. “I think it’s world-class,” your feet for a week.” The snowplane prohibition addressed ve- Asadorian says. While that description may be Homer-driven hicles that aren’t aircraft in the conventional sense. In the sec- hyperbole, fisheries biologists confirm that the lake trout ond half of the twentieth century—the valley’s ice-fishing hey- (mackinaw) are available for the taking. The limit is six, with 74


no more than one measuring over twenty-four inches. Averaged across all of last winter on Jackson Lake, anglers hauled in about 0.6 lake trout an hour—not gaudy, but enough action to keep fishermen on their toes. Diana Miller, the Game and Fish Department fisheries biologist in Gipson’s old job, says the groups she checks in on out on the ice are a mix of families and old-timers, mostly nearby Star Valley and Idaho residents who grew up ice fishing. “It’s definitely a certain breed of person that wants to go sit out on the ice all day,” Miller says. “I’ll go occasionally, but usually I like to ski as much as I enjoy fishing.” Commercial ice fishing in this corner of Wyoming is nonexistent, so everybody is a do-ityourselfer. “They don’t really have a whole lot of doodads,” Miller says. “Generally it’s just kind of the crowd that’s been doing it their whole lives, and they have their tried-and-true reel and rod and stick with it.”

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Golf & Tennis Estates Retreat Run into someone on the ice and there’s a good chance it’ll be a longtime Jackson Hole ice fisherman who can teach you some tricks of the trade, which are not given up willy-nilly. Several old-timers I reached out to declined to be interviewed, not wanting to disclose their secrets.

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To the most fanatical of ice anglers, the sport can be gear-intensive and a drain on the wallet. Peruse a Cabela’s catalog and you’ll find an impressive collection: powerful and pricey ice augers, underwater cameras, fish-finding sonar, ice-fishing-specific rods and reels, and accessories ranging from an “outdoors portable beverage holder” to ice chaps and portable heaters. It wasn’t always such a gear-intensive endeavor, Burke recalls. “We used to get a couple of sticks off the shore and stick them in the hole so we could see where it had been the week before,” he says. Plenty of local anglers eschew highWINTER 2017 JACKSON HOLE MAGAZINE


tech gear. All it takes, essentially, are warm clothes and a summer spin-fishing setup. In the absence of an auger, anglers can punch open holes that were carved out in recent days. No boat, of course, is necessary. Colligan had a power auger early in his ice-fishing days, but retired it in favor of a simpler and lighter hand-cranked device. “I like to incorporate a little exercise into it,” he says. “Taking skis and using a hand auger, going kind of light and getting out there is the way we like to go. At the end of the day you’re whooped, just like you would be if you skied all day.”

you dressed yourself up in stovepipes. “There’s an adventure element to it that I guess people probably don’t understand,” he says. While Jackson and Lower Slide lakes are the only viable drive-up ice-fishing options in the valley, for those with a willingness to glide or tromp over the snow to get there, there are more choices, like Jenny, Phelps, and Leigh lakes. Lakes holding only Snake River fine-spotted cutthroat are best avoided, because the native trout species is notoriously apathetic about eating under the ice. But there are plenty of lakes with lake trout, a species that was introduced here and that tends to remain active and forage through the winter. Lakes on the east slope of Togwotee Pass like Torrey Lake and parts of the Brooks Lake watershed and the Finger Lakes at the western base of the Wind River Range are mackinaw fisheries. If you want to be part of a true ice-fishing scene, drive five hours to Flaming Gorge or Boysen reservoirs, where there are some warm-water species in addition to trout, and plenty of other anglers around. If you have a snow machine, Green River and Grassy lakes are options and have solid stocks of trout. Yellowstone’s Lewis, Shoshone, and Yellowstone lakes are fishable, but because of the scarcity of wintertime permits authorizing solo snowmobile access into the park, anglers are rarely seen on the ice of these lakes. RYAN JONES

IN ADDITION TO the physical exertion that can be had by adopting the Jackson Hole brand of ice fishing, The Teton County 4-H Sportfishing Club hosts annual adventures to Lower Slide Lake to turn there’s the serenity. “It’s so peaceful out kids on to the activity. there,” Asadorian says, “and it’s beautiful.” Colligan’s drawn to those same Once Grand Teton National Park’s interior road gets qualities. “You have this whole lake, seemingly to yourself,” he plowed out in spring and is open to bikes (but not cars), says. “It’s pretty quiet on Jackson Lake and, really, any of the lakes Colligan has cycled to ice fish on smaller lakes along the base of in the winter. The few ice fishermen that go through are probathe range. (This usually happens the second half of March.) bly the only people they see at the entrance station some days.” On one outing at “zero dark thirty” this past year, he hooked Run into someone on the ice and there’s a good chance it’ll into and landed a three-foot-long mackinaw on a semibroken be a longtime Jackson Hole ice fisherman who can teach you and lightweight rod that was barely up to the challenge. The some tricks of the trade, which are not given up willy-nilly. fight took ten minutes. “I was a little undermatched for it,” Several old-timers I reached out to declined to be interviewed, Colligan says. “You hook into something like that and it feels not wanting to disclose their secrets. They were sad there was like a log and it’s pulling line out of the reel. They fight hard, an article being written about ice fishing at all—most see the especially in the winter, and especially when you’re trying to activity in general as secret. get them through an eight-inch hole.” To Asadorian, there’s little to worry about when it comes to keeping competing fishermen away from his favorite holes. ON OTHER OCCASIONS, Colligan’s had epic fights not with “There’s plenty of room for growth in ice fishing,” he says. fish but with the elements. There’s the biting bitter cold and Burke, a retiree and avid volunteer who’s involved with the 4-H blinding, blowing snow that can produce the same disorient- Sportfishing Club, is part of an effort to turn the next generaing effect skiers tackle on top of the aerial tram at Jackson tion on to the sport. Annual winter trips to Lower Slide Lake Hole Mountain Resort. Rare wintertime thunderstorms have have exposed a number of Jackson Hole youth to the patiencecaused his fishing rods to buzz with static electricity, and on stretching endeavor. “The kids have fun just playing up in the more than one occasion Colligan has broken through the ice hillsides,” Burke says, “until one fish gets hooked, and they’re in the early season. Frozen pants on such days, he says, feel like all right back down there on the ice.” JH 76


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JH Living

looking back

Astoria Hot Springs BY MARK HUFFMAN




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Astoria Hot Springs opened just south of Hoback Junction in 1961. It closed in 1998, but is currently being brought back to life by the Trust for Public Land.

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brass and iron hardware to digners, architects, contractors, furniture makers, cabinet shops, and homeowners WINTER 2017 JACKSON HOLE MAGAZINE


WHEN ONE OF Jackson Hole’s favorite attractions closed nearly twenty years ago, they shut off the lights and tore down the buildings. But no one turned off the water. Sixteen miles south of Jackson, the spring that made Astoria Hot Springs possible has been sending its flow into the Snake River without cease, the way it did for thousands of years before the first cold and/or dirty human came by, dipped a toe, and decided that hot, running water was the thing to have. Astoria is coming back—organizers are aiming for 2018—to offer the same steaming bliss, but on a much bigger scale. It’s safe to surmise that Indians used the Astoria springs before white people arrived. They liked a hot bath as much as


The original Astoria pool was 40 feet by 80 feet, and between two and eight feet deep.

anyone, even if it was a bit thick. By 1900, the area just south of where the Hoback River meets the Snake was homesteaded by Johnny Counts, one of the earliest Jackson settlers (some of his original buildings are still in the area). Later on, Million Dollar Cowboy Bar founder Ben Goe and his wife, Hilda, owned the

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land and made a little cash letting people use the springs. They added a couple of changing rooms and not much else. “It was a big ol’ mudhole,” remembers Sharon Gill, a granddaughter of Robert Porter—who bought the hot springs in the 1960s—and a former manager of Astoria Hot Springs. “People went down there and paid to swim in it. The mud would ooze up between your toes, and it had snakes in it.” Robert Gill, another Porter grandchild and former manager, remembers the same thing: It was “a big hole in the ground where the water would overflow and go back into the river ... a big, warm mud puddle.” ROBERT PORTER, THE founder of Jackson Drug and an entrepreneur, rancher, and real estate magnate, owned a ranch across the river from the springs. He looked at the mud puddle and saw potential. When Goe died and his widow was on hard times, Porter bought the land. Besides being a sharp businessman, Porter may have been an early health nut. Robert Gill says his grandfather was active, “interested in sports, swimming—he loved tennis.” Sharon Gill thinks he must have viewed the hot water, as many have over the centuries, as therapeutic. “It was a health thing,” she says. “I think he thought it was going to be a health spa.” Porter hired Boots Nelson, then an engineering student at the University of Wyoming, to design the Astoria Hot Springs that people now remember. It was Nelson’s thesis, Robert Gill says. The bridge that lets people cross from the highway side of the river was repurposed. Originally, it was part of the old Wilson Bridge, whose concrete abutments can still be seen upstream of Highway 22 in the Snake River. Porter, though, wasn’t able to see the project through. It was all in motion, but he died in March 1961, and the new Astoria welcomed its first enthusiasts that May. For swimming, there was a 40-by80-foot pool, from two to eight feet deep. A smaller adjacent pool was for wading and soaking. There were three buildings for locker rooms and a snack bar. The basic offering, hot mineral water, was free. It came into the pool at about 103 or 104 degrees, Robert Gill says, and cooled in the pool to about 98°F. The flow of the spring was about a

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Heating Up Again

For decades, Astoria’s owners tried related side businesses to make the enterprise profitable, but it didn’t work.

million gallons a day, and the pool would fill in eight hours after the twice-weekly draining to flush it out, clean it, and do any repairs. Nelson designed a gravity-fed system; excess water flowed out and into the Snake. As Porter predicted, people loved it. Astoria grew into something more than a roadside attraction: It was a meeting spot for parties and school events, fundraisers and reunions, a place that became part of the memories of thousands of people. It wasn’t a trip to Disneyland, but maybe that was a big part of why people loved it so much—it was a small-town kind of attraction for a small town. “I had swim team down there. ... I remember going to Girl Scout campouts there, end-of-theschool-year picnics, and birthday parties,” says Paige Byron of the Northern Rockies-Wyoming office of the Trust for Public Land. Chris Deming, the project manager for the Northern Rockies-Wyoming office, which is spearheading the revival of the hot springs, says, “It was the locals’ place to go, to have those memories that shaped generations. It all has to do with being at that hot springs.” AS POPULAR AS the pool was, it wasn’t a great business. Campers and RVs kept it afloat. Ralph Gill, who married into the Porter family and took over when Porter died, built thirty-two spaces with full hookups and many other camping spots along the river. “It ran a lot of years without making any money,” Ralph Gill’s sister, Sharon Gill, says of the pool. Keeping prices down and being open only in the summer meant that “it was the campground that made money.” 82


IN LESS THAN forty years, Astoria went from a mudhole to a roadside hot springs pool to a bulldozed piece of land that was going to become a luxury hotel surrounded by second homes. Thank shaky finances and the Great Recession for its return as a hot springs pool that will be open to the public. When Northlight Financial, the eventual buyer of one hundred acres that will be redeveloped, purchased the land, it intended to go ahead with commercial and residential development. But a proposal by the Trust for Public Land changed that. Instead, development approved for the site has been cut, and the remainder transferred down the road to Snake River Sporting Club. “ THIS WAS A LOCALS’ PLACE, AND The trust recently began campaigning to raise $5 million to buy the one WE WANT IT TO BE THAT AGAIN.” hundred acres and pay the cost of – CHRIS DEMING, TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND bringing Astoria back. The trust aims by 2018 to renovate the old Johnny Counts cabin and build a new headquarters, locker room building, and several pools. Included will be a 1,700-square-foot “leisure pool,” about the same size as the old Astoria pool but shaped like a pond rather than a rectangle. Water will be between 94 and 98 degrees. Kids get a pool of their own; it will be slightly cooler than the leisure pool. Three or four soaking pools will be in the 100-degree range. They’ll be surrounded by decks and offer a more intimate experience. There will be lawn and picnic space. Though the old Astoria was open just in summer, the new operation will run year-round. The new pools and associated facilities will be on five acres next to the Snake River at the old Astoria site. Along the river just south of the bridge will be a park with fishing ponds and additional parking spaces. Much of the rest of the parcel will remain wild. The entire area will be criss-crossed by three miles of trails. The Trust for Public Land, an offshoot of the Nature Conservancy, focuses on “conserving land for people” rather than maintaining strictly natural conditions, says Chris Deming, the group’s leader in Jackson. Astoria is a perfect project for the group, he says, because of the connection of place and people. “This was a locals’ place, and we want it to be that again,” Deming says. “We want it to be a wonderful place for the next fifty years.” To see plans for the redevelopment and to donate, go to An artist’s rendering of the proposed Astoria Hot Springs bathing pools

Eventually the camping income wasn’t enough. Various members of the Gill and Porter families owned shares in Astoria. When the time came in the late 1990s for a big repair—“that mineral water is very hard on things,” Robert Gill says—the will and the finances didn’t add up. “Selling it was the most difficult decision we ever made, at least it was for me. But it was deteriorating, and we were putting pretty much everything we got out of it back into it.” Astoria Hot Springs closed in 1998. Dick Edgcomb, a Jackson developer who was planning the Canyon Club (now the Snake River Sporting Club), bought the land. Edgcomb’s view of Astoria didn’t include a roadside hot springs and people camping in tents and RVs: The Canyon Club would have a forty-unit lodge of more than 100,000 square feet with twenty-three homes built around it. It was one of those deals that started and stopped because of financing and fights with the government. Edgcomb was broke by 2005. The land changed hands several times before its current owners stepped in. They completed the clubhouse in 2009 and got the golf course back in shape after it had sat unused for several years. They also said they were willing to talk about a new plan for the hot springs. “I’ll be glad to see it come back; people are going to love it down there,” says Ralph Gill’s daughter, Liz Gill Lockhart. “It’s a case of what’s old is cool again.” JH

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Saving Lives A new Teton County Search and Rescue program, Backcountry Zero, has a lofty goal: zero fatalities in the valley’s backcountry.

The nonprofit volunteer Teton County Search and Rescue team goes to great lengths to rescue anyone who needs their help, and it also recovers bodies. A goal of its Backcountry Zero program is to encourage conversations that will reduce the need for the latter.






IT WAS A crisp Saturday morning on August 22, 2015. Smoke vertical. Before noon, Nix and Strandberg had both fallen 200 from the forest fires burning in the Pacific Northwest and feet and were dead. California poured into the valley. The Tetons’ drastic lines grew sharper against the sky as Catherine Nix, twenty-eight, Tyler THREE YEARS BEFORE Nix and Strandberg died on Teewinot, Strandberg, twenty-seven, and Rebecca Anderson, twenty-six, Stephanie Thomas, executive director of the Teton County scrambled up Teewinot. At 12,325 feet tall, it is the sixth-high- Search and Rescue Foundation (TCSARF) and a team member est peak in the Teton Range. The trio had lived in Jackson for a since 2007, convened the group’s executive board to brainstorm combined fifteen years. ways to reduce backcountry deaths. In November 2015, the Derived from the Shoshone word meaning “many pinna- group introduced Backcountry Zero, a program Thomas hopes cles,” Teewinot is infamous for tricky route-finding. While it is will get the valley’s outdoor community—retailers, guides, and not a technical climb, neither is it a regular hike. From the those who play in the backcountry—talking and thinking about Lupine Meadows parking area, the trail switchbacks eighteen backcountry safety and education. The idea is that this thinking times (or so) until reaching the top of and talking will then lead to fewer the “Apex,” about 3,000 feet above the people, both locals and visitors, dying valley floor and at tree line. It is from “ IF PEOPLE ARE MORE WILLING TO on the valley’s rivers and trails and in here that things get difficult: The our mountains. The program aims to SHARE THEIR CLOSE CALLS SO OTHERS “trail” comes and goes through loose engage all backcountry users, from MAY LEARN, IF PEOPLE HAVE AN rocks as it passes beneath the mountain bikers to boaters, snowINCREASING WILLINGNESS TO ENGAGE Worshipper and Idol. (If you study mobilers, skiers, climbers, mountainTHEIR FELLOW RECREATIONISTS IN the south side of Teewinot’s east face, eers, anglers, and hunters. these rock formations can be seen Thomas says to imagine three cirCONVERSATION WHEN THEY WITNESS from the valley floor.) Above the cles that are small, medium, and large. UNSAFE ACTIVITIES, AND IF PEOPLE Worshipper and Idol, it gets even The large circle is filled with the “fiveSTART SAYING, ‘I ACT DIFFERENTLY NOW more difficult, as the route disappears minute crowd.” These are the visitors BECAUSE OF BACKCOUNTRY ZERO,’ THEN and the peak’s “many pinnacles” are to the valley and novices that liable to dupe you. Backcountry Zero has five minutes to I THINK IT HAS BEEN A SUCCESS.” Nix had previously summited impact, with simple and bluntly – SCOTT GUENTHER, JENNY LAKE DISTRICT RANGER Teewinot, but Strandberg and worded materials—look for them at Anderson had not. In the couple of the airport, tram dock, and popular months before the three headed up Teewinot together, Nix trailheads. The second circle, the middle size, includes experisummited Disappointment Peak, the Middle Teton, South enced recreators that have educated themselves about the backTeton, Gannett Peak, and Mount St. John, some of which re- country and likely know people who have been in backcountry quire more skill than Teewinot. She had also attempted Mount accidents. The smallest circle consists of outdoor professionals Moran but turned back due to timing. Strandberg, Nix’s fre- and guides. Thomas sees Backcountry Zero’s role as a starting quent climbing partner and coworker at C-V Ranch, a residen- point in each circle: Sometimes the initiative imparts knowledge tial school and treatment facility for disabled and emotionally and information; other times, it encourages open discussion and disturbed youth, was alongside Nix for most of these outings. thought. The goal is the same for each group, though—to emWhen not working or climbing, the two spent their days run- power the people in it to make better backcountry decisions. ning in the Tetons and racing (and placing) in area trail-runBackcountry Zero engages the large circle through three ning competitions. planned videos with Teton Gravity Research (TGR), bus adverAnderson had summited the Grand in 2014, and her goal tisements, a “Don’t Know, Don’t Go” Instagram contest, and for summer 2015 was to climb more. handouts in shops, rental places, and She had already gone out several times ranger stations. In the summer of 2015, with Nix. Because it was Nix’s last sumThomas and her team also began workmer in the Tetons (the New York native ing on a program, Education Through was leaving for graduate school at the Partners, in which they’re creating a end of August), she wanted to make the curriculum based around the motto most of it. Each adventure Nix posted “Prepared, Practiced, Present.” Rangers, to Instagram was marked #victorylap guides, and retail workers use this to exand #bucketlist. plain Backcountry Zero to customers. The scramble up Teewinot was goTo reach the other circles—the miding well for the three until about 800 dle and small ones—Backcountry Zero feet below the summit. Nearly 2,000 is launching a number of programs this feet above the Worshipper and Idol, year, including introducing Backcountry they, like many groups before them, lost Zero Ambassadors, a series of podcasts the route. This part of the peak is like a and blogs, the Wyoming Snow and maze, but made from granite and nearAvalanche Workshop (WYSAW), friends and family avalanche awareness days, a companion rescue refresher course, and Stephanie Thomas, executive director of the Teton County Search and Rescue Foundation a speaker series. WINTER 2017 JACKSON HOLE MAGAZINE


Jenny Wolfrom

Cade Palmer

Crystal Wright

Crista Valentino

Andrew Whiteford

And then there are signs, which reach all three groups. But signs are a conundrum—do people actually read them? “You hear all the time that people never saw the signs telling them that they were going out of bounds [at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort], or [in Grand Teton National Park] they never saw the bear warnings,” Thomas says. So Thomas and her team are exploring different takes on signage. “Public art is one option I’m exploring for this winter,” she says. “Would someone notice a public art piece at a trailhead more than a poster with words?” WHILE NO ONE argues with Backcountry Zero’s goal, there is debate about the initiative’s name. Merriam-Webster defines “zero” as “the arithmetical symbol 0 or 0 denoting the absence of all magnitude or quantity.” So, on its face, the name Backcountry Zero suggests the absence of fatalities. But risk is inherent in adventuring in the wilderness, and in life. Snowshoe around Taggart Lake and you’re exposing yourself to risk. Sit on the couch watching reruns of Law & Order and a plane could fall from the sky, or a burglar could shoot you, or you could choke on a Cheeto. There’s no way to avoid risk. You can increase the riskiness of something with the choices you make, but not all risky choices are mistakes and not all fatalities are the result of choices you’ve made. Accidents just happen. “We will never reduce risk to zero,” says Zahan Billimoria, a native of the Alps, an Exum Mountain Guide for seven years, and the lead Tetons guide for TGR. “If you suggest that zero exists, then we start to create a culture in which people believe they can be masters over the mountains. And that leads to arrogance and overconfidence. It suggests that if people 86



Ryan Burke

Backcountry Zero introduced its Ambassador team this past fall. The six ambassadors are all accomplished local mountain athletes dedicated to the goals and mission of Backcountry Zero.

are smart enough, they won’t have accidents; they will reduce their exposure to zero. And so, instead of instilling this deep respect for the mountains and for the risks inherent in them, we minimize it. We act as if it’s controllable by man. It does the op-

If You Don’t Know, Don’t Go

“IF YOU’RE PLANNING to leave the resort into the backcountry today, please make sure you have the proper equipment, knowledge, partner, and a plan. ... If you don’t know, don’t go.” This addition to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s (JHMR) tram announcement started in early February 2015. Two people had recently died in backcountry areas accessed from the ski resort. The first time I heard the new announcement, I looked to the tram riders around me and we exchanged impressed words of, “Wow, that’s a great addition.” It felt powerful. Jon Bishop, the risk manager at JHMR for ten years, explains that the resort is currently working to support and improve the Backcountry Zero initiative. “Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has changed our stance on backcountry travel,” Bishop says. “Instead of not encouraging or discouraging backcountry access, we will not encourage but occasionally [will] discourage it if we identify individuals who are clearly unprepared for that kind of endeavor.” This is an impactful step. “Some of the worst choices I have ever seen in the mountains resulted in no accident, and everybody came home completely safe,” says ski mountaineer Zahan Billimoria. “Good choices don’t always result in good outcomes and poor choices don’t always result in bad outcomes. Decision-making, information gathering and personal judgment are not an exact science. Anyone who spends time in the mountains should [understand] the reality that there are no guarantees, and we will never remove all the risk.” As the 2015-16 season progressed, the tram announcer began saying, “If you don’t know ... ” waiting for those on the tram to sing, “Don’t go!” Since the addition to the tram announcement, there have been no deaths in the JHMR backcountry. “Don’t Know, Don’t Go” has since become the tagline for Backcountry Zero. “[It] can be used in so many ways,” says Stephanie Thomas of Teton County Search and Rescue. “Don’t know your gear? Don’t go. Don’t know the avy conditions? Don’t go. Don’t know the river you’re floating? Don’t go. Don’t know if you’re up for turning around if necessary? Don’t go.”

posite of what we’re trying to do.” Jenny Lake District Ranger Scott Guenther says, “While zero may be an unrealistic goal in the big picture, it is not unrealistic at the personal level. If every time you go out, you go prepared, practiced, and present, you recognize your limitations, and you set an added margin of safety in your activity, [then] you are more likely to come home.” Meredith Edwards, thirty-one, an accomplished ultrarunner and ski mountaineer who has skied numerous challenging peaks including the Grand, Middle, and South Teton and was a mentor, friend, and adventure partner to both Nix and Strandberg, has experienced this. Of course, “[Nix and Strandberg’s] accident really changed my perspective,” Edwards says. “They left me with a gift of mindfulness in the mountains. In my earlier years, I was naive. I was always aware of the risks, but now they’re superheightened for me. It wasn’t like they died doing the most extreme thing, and that’s where it gets hard. Out of the three of us, how am I still alive and they’re dead? I take a lot more risks than they [ever] did.” Seeing Backcountry Zero’s message concurrently with thinking about her friends has been impactful for Edwards. Last winter, Edwards says she felt “bombarded—positively—with information on social media,” from videos of the snowpack to information on avalanche conditions. She attributes the fact that the majority of fatalities in the 201516 winter season involved nonlocals, in part, to Backcountry Zero’s surplus of information and the respect locals gave it. “The more you see [Backcountry Zero’s social media posts and outreach], whether or not you’re aware of it, it’s getting into your head,” she says. And that’s what Guenther thinks the point is. “Even if we went the next three years with no fatalities in the backcountry, it wouldn’t necessarily be a direct result of Backcountry Zero. I think the better, though more subjective, metric will be a noticeable culture shift within the community,” he says. “If people are more willing to share their close calls so others may learn, if people have an increasing willingness to engage their fellow recreationists in conversation when they witness unsafe activities, and if people start saying, ‘I act differently now because of Backcountry Zero,’ then I think it has been a success.” JH



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getting out


Heli Yes!

For the ultimate ski day, try heli-skiing. BY FREDERICK REIMERS PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRADLY J. BONER

High Mountain Heli-Skiing started offering heli-skiing in the valley in 1974. Today, they’re still the only company that does it. WINTER 2017 JACKSON HOLE MAGAZINE


High Mountain HeliSkiing can take skiers and snowboarders to parts of five different mountain ranges. They almost always find untracked slopes.



IF YOU’VE EVER skied a slope of untracked powder, you don’t need me to explain the appeal of helicopter skiing. If you’ve ever ridden in a helicopter before, you don’t need me to tell you that flying in one through the mountains might even be the better part of the heli-ski experience. The question about heli-skiing is not whether you should go, but what you’re willing to do to afford it. Thinking about buying a new pair of skis and bindings this winter? I’d put that money toward heli-skiing. Planning on putting the kids in ski school for the week? How about you go heliskiing while they figure it out on their own? High Mountain Heli-Skiing is Jackson Hole’s lone helicopter-skiing outfit; they’ve been at it since 1974. For $1,350, you get six guided runs on untracked slopes somewhere in the Snake River, Palisades, Hoback, Teton, or Gros Ventre mountain ranges. Even a bad day heli-skiing is good, but the day I went last February was stellar.


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ON THAT DAY, I find myself buckled in shoulder to shoulder in the back of an AS350 B3e AStar helicopter with three other clients: two Frenchmen named Alex and Caesar, sales managers for a fancy Swiss watchmaker; and Bobby, an orthodontist from North Carolina. Guide Charlie Cornell sits in front with the pilot. The heli is so loud that we are each alone in our thoughts; I’m thinking I can’t remember the last time I was so giddy. Skimming treetops, it’s remarkable how much this feels like the flying I’ve done in dreams. Swooping toward

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Top: High Mountain HeliSkiing pilot Steve Wilson instructs clients on the protocols for boarding, takeoff, and landing. Left: Clients hunker down after the helicopter drops them off. Safety requires that the heli depart before clients ski the slope below.



the mountain where we’ll land for our third run, the helicopter flares upwards and then sets down so gently I can’t tell when exactly its skids touch. We pile out and, just as Charlie showed us earlier, huddle in a clump on the snow well clear of the dangerous blades. Charlie unloads our skis and snowboards from a steel basket bolted to the side of the aircraft. After it lifts skyward and flits downslope, we stand up, shaking off the roar of the engine and blinking at the ramparts of snow-covered peaks in every direction. Below us lies an untracked slope. Black-diamond steep and the width of a city block, it plunges for a thousand unbroken feet to a treed ridge below. “This one is called Main 101,” Charlie says. “It’s 101 turns to the bottom.” Charlie is loosening up. Early on, he was as serious as a block of ice, which, really, is what you want in a helicopter ski guide. He’d sternly directed us on how to get in and out of the helicopter without getting chopped in half (or kicking a hole in the $2 million craft), and told us where and how to stand while he dug a pit in the snow to assess the avalanche hazard. “I need to take a leak. Mind if I scoot over to those trees?” I had asked. “You can do it right there,” Charlie replied, as he threw shovelfuls of snow below him. I held it, not wanting to splatter my new friends. Now, though, as Charlie drops into Main 101, he shouts, “Oh yeah!” That sounds about right to me. The snow is unusual—a four-inch-thick layer of graupel, BB-size balls of ice that ski like a mix of powder and perfect spring corn. It’s hero snow. As much as I want to play it cool, I can’t help but crack a grin.

If there are one hundred turns here, that breaks down to about two dollars a turn. I don’t want to waste a single one and slide each arc with deliberate care. Alex, on the other hand, skis with gusto. A former ski racer, he slashes huge turns, picking up speed and hopping a roller. He lands and tomahawks headfirst into the snow. Alex comes up with his helmet and goggles crammed full, but grinning. “Nothing puts a smile on my IF THERE ARE ONE face like that,” he says. HUNDRED TURNS HERE, At the bottom of the bowl, we’re not finished. We pop onto THAT BREAKS DOWN a knife-blade ridge and slash TO ABOUT $2 A TURN. I turns down either side of it. We DON’T WANT TO WASTE don’t stop until the flat meadow A SINGLE ONE AND at the bottom of the ridge. (The meadow is the same spot the SLIDE EACH ARC WITH helicopter has picked us up afDELIBERATE CARE. ter each run so far.) We stop one hundred yards from another waiting group. They are clustered together with their skis in a pile. One helicopter serves three groups each day out, and High Mountain typically runs two helicopters a day. “We’ve got 305,000 acres of terrain permitted,” Charlie says. That’s 122 times larger than Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. “We can always find fresh tracks,” he says. BECAUSE JACKSON HOLE is ringed by wilderness and national parks, where helicopters are forbidden, the area where High Mountain operates is south of the valley. Their permit




covers all of the Snake River and Palisades ranges, and parts of the Tetons, Hobacks, and Gros Ventres. We’re in the Snake River Range. Groups fly out of the Snake River Sporting Club, thirteen miles south of Jackson, or Teton Springs Resort, just over Teton Pass in Victor, Idaho. Both are in the northern end of the Snake River Range. Guests can drive themselves to a meeting spot, or High Mountain can arrange complimentary transportation. After another run, we hang out and eat lunch in the sun while the helicopter flies back to the helibase to refuel. One of the other groups, a pair of young couples, starts a playful snowball fight with us. Charlie describes moving to Jackson a week after college and never leaving. “That was twenty-five years ago,” he says. It’s a typical story around here. In the summer he guides fly-fishing trips or works as a carpenter. If heli-ski guiding were my job, I’d 96


do whatever it took in the sum- High Mountain HeliSkiing’s permit areas cover mer, too. Near the bottom of our fifth 305,000 acres, 122 times larger than Jackson Hole lap, Charlie announces that it’s Mountain Resort. time for the group to decide if they want to order up extra runs. “We can do more, but it’ll cost you,” he says. Additional bumps are $140 a pop. The Frenchmen are on board, as am I. Six heli runs are like a ten-minute massage— not enough. All eyes turn to Bobby. “Why not?” he says. Pumping their fists, Alex and Caesar break into a cheer of “USA! USA! USA!” Our last landing is a spicy one. Alex is in the right window seat. He looks out at the ground and turns to us with his eyes wide, pointing toward the back of the helicopter. I assume he is excited about the run below, but when I climb out, I see that the back half of the helicopter’s skids are hanging into


















space off a tall cornice. Alex had been worried we were going to plunge backwards off the mountain, chopper and all. Neither the pilot nor Charlie look worried, though. Once he has unloaded our skis, Charlie gives the pilot a wave, and the helicopter roars off down the hill to wait for us 2,500 feet below. JH


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getting out

Walk This Way Just because the valley is under feet of snow doesn’t mean you can’t take a hike. You just have to know where to go. BY DINA MISHEV PHOTOGRAPHY BY RYAN JONES 98


Thanks to an increase in human-powered grooming, you can hike without snowshoes or Nordic skis in the Cache Creek area.

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JACKSON HOLE IS known for its skiing. And snowmobiling. And, increasingly, its Nordic skiing. There are wonderful opportunities to snowshoe in Grand Teton National Park. Jackson Hole even has dog sledding, fat biking, and ice climbing. It’s just been the last couple of winters you can add hiking to that list. Yes, you can hike in Jackson Hole in winter, at least if you pick your trails carefully. I have skied, biked, hiked (in summer), and run up Cache—pronounced “cash”—Creek, a

like them. Their architecture is even more interesting than that of snowflakes. And, while these frost crystals will eventually melt, compared to snowflakes their lifetime is infinite— up to weeks, depending on the weather. Generally the crystals on this tree are shaped like feathers. I find one I think is the most perfectly shaped, carefully compose a photograph, and snap the shutter button. No sooner than I capture that image do I see an even more perfect feather. I must take a photo of it, too.

small valley in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, for nineteen years now, but it isn’t until I hike there in winter that I really pay attention to the details of the area. Only two miles from the Town Square, Cache Creek is the favorite gym of many locals, myself included. I go there to work out, not to savor the surroundings. But when hiking here in the winter, there’s no choice but to go slow. And when I slow down, I can’t help but be drawn into the scenery.

Eventually, I move on from this tree, but within one hundred feet spot more frost crystals I want to study. These look like fangs instead of feathers. I get so close to the tree, the frost fills my entire field of vision. I smell the earthiness Year-round, Cache Creek is a great area to spot wildlife. In of the emerald green moss winter, moose are the most that also grows on the pine frequently seen animals. tree. I see a hoarfrost fang that looks like it belongs to a T. rex. Another five minutes pass, but my camera never comes out. Sometimes it’s nice to just engage with experiences like these rather than try to capture them. I’m hiking with a visiting friend, Keri. If I had traveled halfway around the world (Keri is here from New Zealand), and my friend took

FOR FIVE MINUTES now I’ve been snapping photos of hoarfrost—sometimes called “frost on steroids” because its crystals are larger and more intricate than usual frost—on the trunk of a downed tree. These flakes, between one to two inches, are huge. I’ve never seen anything 100


Another Option

es wide, wanted more exciting winter riding options. Last winter, Friends of Pathways (FOP) Emily’s Pond Levee Trail (“the Dike”) runs northeast joined Hunger and Quant. The along the Snake River starting from the east side of the cycling advocacy group wrangled Wilson Bridge. It does not feel as wild as Cache Creek, but volunteers to help with groomdoes allow for a five-mile (round-trip) hike all winter long. ing—it was all human-pow(Because this is an out-and-back hike, you can turn ered—and also got funds to pay around at any point.) This hike starts at the Emily Stevens Trailhead off Wyoming Highway 22. On it, you’re sandsome people, including Quant, wiched between the Snake River and giant cottonwood to groom a few times a week. trees, so the scenery is pretty spectacular. Like Cache This winter, FOP is experimentCreek, this spot is popular with moose. Unlike Cache ing with mechanized grooming. Creek, the dike is completely flat. Whether done by snowshoe or with the help of a machine, a groomed singletrack trail can almost always support a hiker as me on a hike and we’d been walking for well as a fat biker. thirty minutes and only covered oneAs lovely as hiking up the main quarter of a mile, I would be disappoint- Cache Creek trail is, the singletrack reed. Testifying a little to Keri’s positive turn trip to the car is more so. I’m usuattitude, but mostly to the frozen beauty ally a fan of big, wide-open spaces and of Cache Creek, she’s been happily face- vistas, but there’s something calming first in hoarfrost, too. When we finally about winding through a forest blanketmake it deeper into the valley—but still ed in snow on a path that’s only one foot not more than one mile from the park- wide. I feel like Mother Nature is giving ing lot—Keri begins noticing the larger me a giant bear hug. There’s no doubt scenery. “Anywhere else this would be a the trail is hugging me; the few times I national park,” she says. As I ponder this step out of the packed track, my foot statement, we round a curve and almost sinks into snow up to my knee. Learning come face-to-face with a moose. Since from my mistakes, Keri makes sure to we’re at a point where a singletrack trail stay on the packed snow. Because she is comes into the main trail, which we’ve far more coordinated than me, she has been walking up, we take a different no difficulty doing this. route back to the trailhead. Several days after my Cache Creek hike with Keri, her comment that the HIKING A SHORT distance on the de- area would be a national park anywhere commissioned road up Cache Creek in else sends me off on a Google search. winter is not new. Thanks to grooming Her sentiment might be a bit exaggerat(for skate and Nordic skiing) by Teton ed, but Cache Creek is certainly special. I County/Jackson Parks and Recreation check to see if other mountain towns and heavy foot traffic from area dog have a place that is as easily accessible, owners, the first bit has been hike-able diverse, beautiful, and wildlife-rich as for five years. What’s changing is that the this area. I don’t find anything. I find a first bit is getting long enough to be con- couple of places that come close, but exsidered an actual hike. Keri and I go one ploring them requires snowshoes or mile up the road before running into the cross-country skis, which, now that I’ve moose; if it wasn’t for the ungulate, we learned winter hiking can be a thing, I’m could have kept going. It’s only been a less excited to do. JH couple of years that there are any packed singletrack trails, though. It is one of these trails Keri and I jump on to return NUTS & BOLTS to our car. THERE IS NO fee to recreate in the Cache Over the last three years, fat bikers, Creek area. The main trailhead has a led by David Hunger from Teton vault toilet. The trailhead is about three Mountain Bike Tours and avid cyclist Kris Quant, began to purposefully pack miles from Jackson’s Town Square. To get to the down summertime singletrack moun- trailhead, follow Cache Creek Drive east until it tain biking trails. The fat bikers, whose dead-ends. The trailhead is where there’s a gate rides have tires that are nearly four inch- across the road.

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Talking While Eating At monthly tastings of potential new menu items at the restaurant Gather, the owners want you to let your inner food critic loose. BY LILA EDYTHE PHOTOGRAPHY BY RYAN DORGAN

Each chef presents one item, which is served family style. Before digging in, tasters get a quick description of the dish from the chef who made it. 102


THE ROASTED BABY beets on top of a Colorado peach-French Brie galette look creepy. Also, there’s not nearly enough Brie. But the cornbread galette itself is delicious; I’ve never had cornbread I’ve enjoyed so much. Rather than topped with longtentacled baby beets, though, I want it topped with ice cream. In the next dish, the lamb rillette looks like tuna salad, in a not-good way. The beet chips beneath the rillette are wonderfully crunchy, but the accompanying cucumbers, even if fresh from a local farm, do not go well with the smokiness of the lamb. The carrot-caramel sauce artistically brushed beneath everything is worthy of licking off the plate. But I restrain myself.

I do not have to restrain myself when it comes to sharing my feelings for these dishes, though, even if I am lunching with Graeme Swain, co-owner of the restaurant I’m eating at, Gather. My feelings, and those of my fourteen fellow tasters, are the point of this culinary adventure named Tuesday Tastings at 2. Gather started doing Tuesday Tastings at 2 shortly after it opened in December 2014. Held the first Tuesday of every month, the late lunch has the restaurant’s three main chefs, executive chef Clark Myers, chef de cuisine Chas Baki, and sous chef Abe McKinnon, each fix a dish they think would make for a worthy special addition to the restaurant’s regular menu. Up to fifteen diners—no qualifications necessary—judge the dishes on presentation, taste, and creativity. Sometimes wine is also served, but Swain isn’t looking for the same depth of feedback on spirits as he is on the food. Each dish is brought out family style, and the chef that created it comes out to introduce it. All of the chefs are obviously more comfortable with produce than people; each races through the description of his dish and then quickly disappears. I do wonder if the chefs hide just out of sight as we begin talking Top: Executive chef Clark Myers, center, helps Chas Baki finish his French Brie and Colorado peach galette dish. Bottom: Graeme Swain, co-owner of Gather, presides over Tuesday Tastings at 2, looking for guests to be food critics. Gather’s three chefs bring out new dishes and tasters critique them. Only the best make it onto the weekly menu of specials.



had, though. The group gets into a conversation about whether this should be a dessert or an appetizer. My vote is dessert: Put more peaches on top of the galette and top the THE FIRST DISH out is from chef de whole thing with lavender ice cream. I’m cuisine Baki: a Colorado peach and outnumbered. Two-thirds of the tasters French Brie galette with lavender-pepper want it to be an app—get rid of gastrique. I love how the yellowthe peaches, up the Brie, and orange of the cornbread and drizzle it with a savory sauce of peaches pops beneath the deep “ THE BEETS LOOK CREEPY,” SAYS MELINDA BINKS, some sort. This discussion leads purple roasted baby beets. Baki A DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER AND TELEVISION to talk about the dish’s creativigets an 8 for presentation from PRODUCER. NOW THAT BINKS HAS POINTED ty. I give it a 7 because of the me. Another taster disagrees: THAT OUT, MANY OTHERS AT THE TABLE AGREE. combination of flavors. Other “The beets look creepy,” says COMMENTS START FLYING LIKE MASHED POTATOES tasters rate it from 5 to 8. Melinda Binks, a documentary I have problems grading the filmmaker and television proAT A FOOD FIGHT. ducer. Now that Binks has galette’s taste. After all, the cornbread at the heart of it is the pointed that out, many others at the table agree. Comments start flying not enough to make up for the dearth of best I’ve ever had. I eat the first piece I’m given, and then I go back for a second like mashed potatoes at a food fight. Brie flavor in the dish. “They’re like tentacles reaching up for When Baki described this galette, it piece. And a third piece. Neither of my you,” a woman across from me says. was “Brie” that I heard the loudest, but final two pieces has peaches or Brie on “They are not appetizing,” her husband the cheese is, sadly, not the loudest flavor. them, but that’s fine, because it’s the adds. And he doesn’t eat them. I stick It’s more of a whisper. The cornbread cornbread I want more of. But chef Baki with my 8, though. I think the “tentacles” galette is the best cornbread I’ve ever billed the dish as a Colorado peach and about the presentation of their dishes, the first of the three things Swain is looking for us to judge.



reinforce how fresh these beets are. Baki roasting them brings out their sweetness, and the “tentacles,” which I usually cut off beets I roast at home, have a softer texture than the rest of the vegetable. They might look creepy, but they taste good and have a pleasant mouthfeel. But

Opposite: Executive chef Myers’ Tippets Ranch New York strip was the winner at a tasting last fall.

French Brie galette, so the tastes did not live up to those that were promised. After struggling for several minutes, I end up hesitantly rating the taste a 7, and voice to Swain that had I not been expecting peaches and Brie, I’d give it a 10. Swain’s final question about the galette is about pricing: “How much would you pay for this and feel like you got a good value?” Tasters throw out figures from $12 to $19. Eventually, we decide we could all live with $14. (Not that this dish makes the cut to be a special menu item in the end.) Only one of the three dishes we taste—the final one, executive chef Myers’ Tippets Ranch New York strip with carne asada, succotash, and corn smut—ends up making it as a special. When Myers first describes it, “corn smut” doesn’t sound too good. When he describes it further, it doesn’t sound any better—it’s a fungus that grows on corncobs. Had I been out at a regular dinner and contemplating ordering this dish, such a description would have dissuaded me. But at Tuesday Tastings, you get what you get, so I eat corn smut. The steak is superb and cooked a perfect medium-rare. But it is corn smut’s rich, earthy flavor that makes the dish. All of the tasters give it a 9 or 10 in all three categories: presentation, taste, and creativity. It is decided that corn smut needs to be called something other than “corn smut.” “There’s no instance where that sounds appetizing,” one diner says. Prior to this Tuesday Tasting, I’ve done two others at Gather. At both of those, all of the dishes got ratings like Myers’ steak did at this one. Swain isn’t disappointed with the two duds, though. “It’s a true testament to the process,” he says. “That is why we do what we do, to get the best items for the menu.” JH


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NUTS & BOLTS TUESDAY TASTINGS AT 2 are held at 2 p.m. the first Tuesday of every month. Each is filmed, and you can watch past tastings at the restaurant’s website. Advance reservations required; $20 per person; 72 S. Glenwood St.; 307/264-1820; WINTER 2017 JACKSON HOLE MAGAZINE


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body & soul

Ski gear one hundred years ago looked, and performed, very different from the ski and snowboard gear available today. 106




Illus t

guide on pages 10 8




ro Flas


Thrive, Don’t Just Survive A head-to-toe guide to taking care of yourself during the valley’s long winter BY DINA MISHEV ILLUSTRATION BY ANASTASIA PONOMAREVA

WINTER IN JACKSON Hole is not for the faint of heart. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort reports an annual snowfall of 400 inches. That’s more than thirty-three feet. Every winter, a cold snap settles into the valley, during which temperatures don’t get above zero. Some winters, this lasts for a couple of days. In really bad winters, it can last a couple of weeks. Historian Phil Roberts from the University of Wyoming says Wyoming’s record-low temperature—66 below—was recorded in Moran on Feb. 9, 1933. “I heard the temperature was actually colder,” Roberts says, “but the thermometers didn’t have the capacity to register a lower reading!” We couldn’t find official temperature records for New Year’s weekend 1979, but plenty of longtime Wyomingites have anecdotal stories about how brutally cold it was then as well. Jody Coleman, of Riverton, was in Jackson Hole that weekend for a ski trip. “The power was off, and we woke up at the Antler Motel with the walls inside covered with frost,” she told “We went outside and started our pickup every hour. The next day, we spent the day jump-starting other people’s cars.” Winters here are so long and harsh the valley wasn’t permanently occupied until the 1880s. There is archaeological evidence that several tribes of Native Americans lived in the area in the summer, but they were smart enough to clear out when snow began to fall. While the season hasn’t gotten any easier, today there are products to use and things we know to do that not only help us survive winter in Jackson Hole, but enjoy it. The following pages show you how to make the most of it. America’s Premier Boutique Cutlery Manufacturer is located at the corner of Center and Deloney. Right off the Town Square





According to the Wilderness Medical Society, at high altitudes you lose water through respiration twice as quickly as you do at sea level. At Jackson’s 6,400-foot altitude—and that’s just the base area—simply breathing can dehydrate you. Even mild dehydration leads to a decrease in energy and a feeling of lethargy. The National Academy of Medicine advises that adults drink about 4 liters a day. You’ll know you’re hydrated when your urine is clear. From $22; available at retailers around the valley


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GENERAL Acute Mountain Sickness can afflict anyone visiting elevations higher than 6,000 feet. The most common first sign of AMS is a headache. This is usually followed by symptoms such as loss of appetite, sometimes vomiting, weakness, dizziness, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping. AMS can occur as early as two hours after arrival, or be delayed for 24 hours. Decrease the chance of getting AMS by resting your first day here, staying hydrated, and avoiding alcohol.

Neck gaiters aren’t always necessary, but on those subzero days, they can be your favorite accessory. Because it’s spun from a mix of lightweight wool and elastane, Arc’teryx’s Rho LTW Neck Gaiter holds its shape, even after it’s been pulled up to protect your chin and nose all day. $39; available at JH Sports and Teton Mountaineering


UV rays reflected into your eyes by bright snow can cause snow blindness, which, in extreme cases, can cause actual blindness. More usual symptoms include bloodshot eyes, increased tearing or watering of the eyes, eyelid twitching, and eye pain. Protect your eyes with Smith’s redesigned I/O Goggle and improved ChromaPop lenses. Expect a wider field of view from the former, and greater definition and more natural color in any weather condition from the latter. From $180; available at Hoback Sports and Teton Village Sports


Prevent chapped lips and skin cancer, which can grow on lips, by using a lip balm with at least SPF 30.


You might not be able to ride and fly like Jackson native Travis Rice— who, according to Red Bull, was the best contemporary snowboarder in the world in 2013—but you can ride this board he created with Lib Tech. Rice designed the Gold Member to handle any of the valley’s gnarliest lines. $750; available at JH Sports


While it can take twenty-five minutes to sunburn at sea level, you can get sunburnt in as little as nine minutes here, where we’re at nearly 7,000 feet. Jackson-based Trilipiderm’s All-Body Moisture Retention Crème is SPF 30. Make sure to reapply every two hours. From $10; available at retailers around the valley


The National Ski Areas Association reports that head injuries are the leading cause of deaths in skiing and snowboarding, with about thirty annually in the United States. POC is on the cutting-edge of cranium care. Its Fornix model uses MIPS (Multidirectional Impact Protection System) technology to reduce brain injuries. In addition, the Fornix comes in over a dozen colors, so you can be as colorful (or not) as you want. $200; available at Jackson Hole Sports and Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole




Feet can’t help but be happy in CEP’s Ski Merino Compression Socks, which are made from a combination of merino wool and water-repellent synthetic fibers, are antibacterial, and have a consistent 18mmHg of compression over the calf. $60; available at Teton Mountain Outfitters, Grand Targhee


Nothing kills a winter day faster than painful ski boots. Fischer’s Vacuum line of boots doesn’t just have moldable liners, but also moldable shells. From $900; available at JH Sports


This winter is a La Nina year, so you’ll want ski pants that can stand up to the harshest storm. Arc’teryx’s Theta SV Bib’s elastic waist and N80P-X GORE-TEX keep warmth in and snow and drafts out. $549; available at Teton Mountaineering and JH Sports


When you need one ski to rule them all, choose Rossignol’s new Soul 7 HD. It’s as versatile, playful, and maneuverable as the much-loved Soul 7 (which it’s the replacement for). But Rossignol added torsional stiffness and stability to make these skis as fun for fast, aggressive skiers as for the rest of us. At 106mm underfoot, and with significant rocker at the top, it does pretty well in powder, too. $850; available at JH Sports

Performance meets comfort in Burton’s Ritual snowboard boot. Ritual’s (the closest men’s model is the Imperial) Speed Zone lacing system ensures easy entry and exit, and fit customization. “Sleeping bag” science in the inner liner recirculates body heat back to your feet for added warmth. From $299; available at JH Sports


Burton [ak]’s stretch GORE-TEX 2L Summit Pant is as waterproof as pants come, and has inner-thigh vents to make sure you don’t overheat. $380; available at JH Sports


Outdoor Research’s Lodestar Sensor Gloves are touchscreen-compatible, have wonderful articulation, and are highly breathable. Polartec Power Shield High Loft fabric and a microfleece lining ensure they are also warm. $99; available at Teton Mountaineering


Whatever your feet are strapped to, Stio’s Shot 7 Insulated Jacket (available in men’s and women’s) will keep you warm and dry. It combines 800-fill HyperDRY water-repellent down with a waterproof/ breathable outer layer, pit zips, a removable powder skirt, and helmet-compatible hood. It’s like it was designed for Jackson Hole. (Maybe it was; Stio is based here.) $550; available at Stio Mountain Studio

Change your base layer to Opedix KNEE-Tec Tights and you could become a better skier or rider. The tights are scientifically designed and tested to reduce destructive knee forces, quadriceps fatigue, and knee pain, all while improving dynamic balance. From $225; available at Medicine Wheel Wellness




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What a Hoot A weekly open mic night, the Hootenanny is as much of an adventure for the audience as for musicians.



BEFORE THE HOOTENANNY was “the Hootenanny,” it was a secret meeting around a fire under the Moose bridge in Grand Teton National Park. That was in the 1950s, and it was called the “Teton Tea Party.” Bill Briggs, the famous mountaineer and skier, organized and led it. “It” was a few friends strumming acoustic guitars, with Briggs playing the ukulele, under the star-filled Wyoming night sky. That lasted until the early 1990s, when Briggs and friends’ Teton Tea Party changed names to the Hootenanny and moved from under the bridge. But it didn’t move far. The Hootenanny takes place at Dornan’s in Moose, which is just around the corner from the bridge over the Snake River where it started. For years, it was known only by those who participated, but today the open mic night draws crowds of both performers and spectators. And there’s the occasional celebrity drop-in. On any Monday night—inside Dornan’s Pizza Pasta Company in Hank Phibbs, Dan Thomasma, fall, winter, and spring, and outside and Rob Sidle perform at next to Dornan’s Chuckwagon in the weekly Hootenanny at Dornan’s in Moose. the summer—musicians and specWINTER 2017 JACKSON HOLE MAGAZINE





tators from near and far gather. The audience is usually from The best proof of this is from 2003, in the form of Mardy farther away than the musicians, though. Any musician is wel- Murie. Nicknamed the “grandmother of the conservation come to put his or her name in the can for a random chance to movement,” Murie was a legend. She helped pass the play, but week after week it is often the same ones—John Wilderness Act and create the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Kuzloski, Sally McCullough, Jenny Landgraf, John Carney, She was also a longtime attendee of the Hoot, barely ever Dan Thomasma, and Adrienne Ward are all locals and Hoot missing one. But in 2003, she was too ill to attend. So one Monday, the Hootenanny came to her. “About regulars—albeit often in different permutaa week before she died was the last time we tions. You’ll find solo musicians on the Hoot’s went to play for her,” says Phibbs, a board modest stage—carpet-covered plywood in “ GENERALLY, SONGS AT member who played his first Hoot in 1993 and front of the fireplace at the east end of the dinTHE HOOT ARE FROM still plays about three of them a month. “She ing room—but more often it’s duos and trios. THE FOLK, COUNTRY, was beyond speech, but as soon as we started And usually these groups come together right OLD-TIME, BLUEGRASS, tuning, her eyes snapped open. It was like before they go on. One evening I’m there, AND SELF-WRITTEN playing to a spirit; it reached beyond speech to Hank Phibbs plays his Dobro guitar with no something real deep.” fewer than four different configurations. A TRADITIONS,” COOKE musician “will ask a friend or two to play with SAYS. BUT NOTHING IS them,” says John Byrne Cooke, a musician who SINCE AROUND 2000, the number of musiOFF-LIMITS. played his first Hoot in 1993 and is now on the cians wanting to play the Hoot has exceeded Hoot’s board of directors. “It’s all so informal.” the concert’s three hours. “We were no longer able to guarantee everyone two songs,” Cooke And that’s part of what makes it so special. Tales of the uniqueness of the Hoot spread to legends John says. “We had extensive board meetings about it. Do we give Denver and Chuck Pyle. Both of these men, separately, heard everyone one song? Or do we maintain the two songs because of the Hootenanny from acquaintances. Neither could resist it’s like a miniset?” The board decided to stay with two songs the chance to stand in front of an unsuspecting crowd and and instituted the “old can” method. Musicians that want to belt out a tune. But mostly, the Hoot is about the community. play put their names in a can. The MC (Briggs usually handles this duty) pulls out names at random. What you’ll hear any night is pretty random, too. There are Opposite page: Bill Briggs, who started the Hoot in the 1950s as a original songs as well as covers. “Generally, songs at the Hoot jam session with friends under the bridge over the Snake River near are from the folk, country, old-time, bluegrass, and self-writDornan’s, often still acts as MC today.


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ten traditions,” Cooke says. But nothing is off-lim- Folks of all stripes come other people,” Phibbs says of the intent of the its. “At a recent Hoot, we expanded the range. A to enjoy a laid-back Hootenanny. “This valley is full of remarkable regular performer brought a musician from Kenya, atmosphere every Monday musicians. The opportunity to both share muat the Hootenanny at who played [the guitar] in traditional dress, ac- Dornan’s in Moose. sic with them and hear so many different mucompanied by four Hoot musicians. In the same sicians perform has been continually magical set, Jack Sallee, who visits every summer from for me. I never tire of it.” Tennessee, brought out not his five-string banjo but his flamenco guitar, at which he is quite adept.” Bassist THE INSIDE (WINTER) Hoot is a different scene than the Mark Memmer is sometimes accompanied by a friend on jazz summer one in a pavilion next to Dornan’s Chuckwagon. There trumpet. The only amplification is a single microphone. There are two walls of windows behind the bar in the Pizza Pasta dinis no soundcheck. It’s the open mic of every romantic, music- ing room, but, since it’s pitch black by 6 p.m. when the Hoot obsessed coffee shop owner’s dreams. starts, you can’t see the Tetons at all. And even if it wasn’t dark, And also of musicians’ dreams. “People do not talk when chances are the range would be obscured by falling snow— people are on [the Hoot] stage, which is unheard of in a bar,” Moose gets several more feet of snow every winter than downPhibbs says. The only sound you hear from the Hootenanny town Jackson. Through intermission, the kitchen to the right of outside of the strums of guitars and vibrations of vocal cords is the stage is cranking, and a line of people waits at the cash registhe host announcing who is next on stage. ter in front of it to order dinner. (The spinach-artichoke dip is a “It’s the chance to both play with other people and hear great starter, and you can’t go wrong with any of the pizzas.) All 114


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of the tables and chairs are full. There might be an open stool or two at the bar. People wander between the dining room and the attached wine shop, which has been recognized numerous times by Wine Spectator as one of the best in the state. About two-thirds of the audience are regulars; the rest, like John Denver and Chuck Pyle, are here because they heard about it from friends (or maybe read about it in this magazine). Even before the music starts, it’s all very cozy. Then the music begins, and it becomes a night you can’t experience anywhere else. JH The Hootenanny runs from 6 to 9 p.m. every Monday night at Dornan’s; free; 12170 Dornan Rd., Moose; 307/733-2415

Photography: ©Thomas D. Mangelsen

Kill Us And You Could Be Killing A Big Part Of Our Economy 8400 Furbearers Killed by Traps Last Season. That estimate is low. That’s because with the exception of bobcats, the Game and Fish relies on voluntary reporting. Less than 38% bother. Who knows how many foxes, mountain lions, dogs, eagles, and owls are indiscriminately trapped and killed. Our wildlife makes this place special. Tourism is Wyoming’s 2nd largest industry. And wildlife viewing is a big part of that. It’s vital to our economy to sustain a diverse, thriving wildlife population. If you agree, please donate and help us make trapping reform a reality.



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Black Diamond Breakfasts Master the art and science of picking the perfect breakfast, and you won’t have to stop for lunch. BY BRIGID MANDER PHOTOGRAPHY BY RUGILE KALADYTE Persephone Bakery is a favorite with local skiers and riders because its breakfast sandwich can keep you going all day long. It’s a nice spot for an afternoon snack, too.



Lotus Cafe offers more vegetarian options than anywhere else in town, but it also has plenty for carnivores. Whatever you go for, count on it being filling without making you feel too full.

IT’S A WELL-KNOWN mantra: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” It’s a good thing then that breakfast cuisine—French toast, waffles, eggs Benedict, huevos rancheros, breakfast burritos, and pancakes—is often extremely delicious. But for skiers, breakfast is not just about inspired cooking or getting a nutritionally complete day rolling: It can also make or break a ski day. Choose wisely and you can keep hunger at bay and energy levels high enough to make it through to après. Choose poorly and you’ll need to pause from turns for snacks and/or lunch, a disaster on a powder day. But properly planning and picking the perfect ski breakfast—the one that will have you sated until 4 p.m. nachos and beers—is not easy. It requires research and honing in on the right breakfast for your body. Katie Franklin, a Jackson Hole Ski Club racing coach, finds “lots of rich calories” work for her: “I love things such as the ham and Swiss cheese croissant at Elevated Grounds in the Aspens.” Since she says she’s often running too late on big days to get a cooked breakfast out, Franklin knows other quick things that fuel her. “Pumpernickel bagels from Pearl Street Bagels with honey-walnut or berry [cream cheese],” she says. “[Always] fully loaded, never a schmear. Sometimes I go truly nuts and get peanut butter and avocado and honey-walnut. This makes my company gag, but I think it’s delicious. Pumpernickel purportedly has protein, but it’s also my favorite by far.” Larry Poma has been skiing Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and the valley’s backcountry for two decades, and he says it is a continual battle to find the perfect breakfast for a big day. A bowl, or even bowls, of cereal at home is cheap and easy, but doesn’t last. “Not even the really heavy muesli stuff,” he says. Poma was into the premade bagel sandwiches at Pearl Street Bagels (bacon, egg, and cheese on an everything bagel) for a while, but “it was as much of a gut bomb as it was delicious,” he says. “I would get

Remodeled in 2006, this contemporary farmhouse in Polo Ranches offers a bucolic, end-of-the-road setting on 3 acres south of the town of Jackson. The private parcel features mature landscaping yet still provides generous outdoor living spaces and stunning view corridors from the home to Munger Mountain and the southern Teton Range. An abundance of windows allows for natural light to fill the home. The floor plan of nearly 3,500 sq.ft. features an upstairs master bedroom with en suite bath, two guest bedrooms and a mother-in-law apartment with its own entrance. The main floor of the home affords a separate office and study in addition to the great room with remodeled kitchen, dining nook and living room with fireplace. A three-car garage provides ample storage for vehicles and toys. $2.15MM. #16-1113.

Brett McPeak, Broker/Owner RE/MAX Obsidian Real Estate | | 110 E. Broadway | PO Box 1009 | Jackson, WY 83001 (p) 307.734.4808 ~ (c) 307.690.4335 ~ (f) 307.739.1249 WINTER 2017 JACKSON HOLE MAGAZINE


While a kouign amann isn’t enough to

one and mean to eat just half, saving the keep you going all day long on the slopes, breakfast sandwiches you almost have to it makes for a nice side with one of unhinge your jaw to bite into. Any of these second half for a midmorning snack, but Persephone’s breakfast entrees. will keep you satisfied all day; it comes it was so good I could never eat just half, down to personal preference. The most even when I knew I was hurting myself. Thirty minutes later, all I’d want to do was take a nap.” Poma’s popular is the spicy meat burrito. Eight dollars buys you 1.5 now testing the menu at Down on Glen (D.O.G.). The spicy pounds of eggs, diced onion, tomato, jalapeños, fried potatoes, breakfast burrito seems to be working well for him, on some cheese, and spicy meat. Don’t expect coddling or pandering days. “I can only do the burrito if I’m gearing up for a day at customer service here: Ski bums run this place for other ski the resort,” he says. “If I’m heading for the backcountry, I call bums. D.O.G. is more akin to a busy midtown Manhattan deli ahead and order one of the breakfast sandwiches, which are than any other eatery in the valley. Its motto is “Cheap, Fast, smaller than the burritos. I think I’ve finally found the perfect Friendly ... two out of three ain’t bad.” 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily; 25 S. Glenwood; 307/733-4422 system.” Here are some places to start as you look for your best skiall-day breakfast: LOTUS CAFE DOWN ON GLEN (D.O.G.) This hole-in-the-wall takeout spot and outdoor eatery is a bastion of local color and big breakfasts. Its calorie-to-cost ratio is possibly the best in the valley. The menu is simple—ski-bum breakfast staples like burritos the size of your forearm and 118


Don’t be fooled by the vegetable-centric-ness and organic emphasis of the menu at this cozy cafe. Lotus’ mission is to have something for everyone, carnivores included. (You can get bison gravy on your biscuits here.) Executive chef and owner Amy Young sources sustainably farmed and local ingredients as often as possible, including organic free-range meats and

cheeses. Most menu items, from the creamy lemon-cinnamon-ginger tikka sauce to gluten-free bread and very glutinous biscuits, are house-made. For onthe-go, the deluxe Breakfast Sandy ($9.50) provides all-day fortitude: egg, cheddar, spinach, ancho chile sauce, roasted garlic aioli, and a choice of protein, including bison sausage, bacon, marinated tempeh, or a breakfast veggie patty. If you’ve got the time to sit down, it’s worth it (unless it’s a powder morning). Other breakfast options include blue corn-banana griddle cakes ($11), Belgian waffles ($10), an acai bowl ($12),

fast to après. Start with a pastry—even if you can’t pronounce “kouign amann,” order it ($3.75); it’s like a caramelized croissant. Then go for a hot dish like the herbed farm-fresh omelette ($10). It’s stuffed with fresh herbs, goat cheese, vegetable hash, and fried fingerling potatoes, and topped with Dijon cream sauce. Of course it comes with some toasted Persephone bread on the side. Persephone’s egg sandwich ($8) is the fanciest breakfast sammy in town with an organic fried egg, Gruyere, Creminelli ham or Snake River Farms bacon, and Dijon aioli on a croissant. If

The James Beard Foundation recognized Nora’s Fish Creek Inn as one of “America’s Classics,” and Guy Fieri featured it on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Breakfast here can be filling enough—the huevos rancheros are huge—that you might not be hungry even by the time après-ski rolls around.

and breakfast tacos ($13). There’s also a pastry case full of cookies and muffins (traditional, GF, and vegan options here, too). It never hurts to stick one of these in your pocket for a chairlift snack. Breakfast served daily from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; 145 N. Cache; 307/734-0882; PERSEPHONE BAKERY This cheerful bakery and cafe fuses French country breakfast cooking with American tastes. There’s no question its croissants and breads are the best in town. But, no matter how buttery, a croissant alone won’t get you from break-

you have the sweet potato/Brussels sprout hash here, all other hashes will be dead to you. If you’re a coffee connoisseur, Persephone is your spot. Espresso drinks are made from beans roasted by Chicago-based Intelligentsia Coffee. Persephone’s one possible drawback is actually a plus for skiers: If you don’t get here early, you’ll miss your chance for a table. Breakfast served daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; 145 E. Broadway; 307/200-6708; NORA’S FISH CREEK INN Even before the James Beard Foundation recognized it in 2012 as one of “America’s WINTER 2017 JACKSON HOLE MAGAZINE


Top: Sous chef Vincent Affinito puts the finishing touches on the cedar-plank trout with poached eggs, heirloom tomatoes, and sweet onion kale salad at Four Seasons’ Westbank Grill. Bottom: Affinito prepares the huevos rancheros, his favorite dish, at Westbank Grill.

Classics” and Guy Fieri featured it in 2014 on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, locals from ski bums to senators and cowboys loved Nora’s. It opened in 1982, and founder Nora Tygum’s daughter, Kathryn, and son, Trace, run it today. This isn’t the place to come on a weekend powder day—you’ll have to wait for a seat, whether you want a table near the soapstone hearth or a spot at the U-shaped bar. Weekdays, though, get the trout with two eggs ($15), corned beef hash with two eggs ($13), biscuits and gravy ($7), or banana bread French toast ($7.50), and there’s no doubt you’ll be good to ski all day. Get Nora’s most popular breakfast— huevos rancheros ($10 and topped with house-made green salsa)—and you might not even be hungry at après. Thankfully, about a year ago, Nora’s switched out its coffee. It replaced the horrible drudge it had served for years with Snake River Roasters’ brew, which is roasted in small batches right here in Jackson Hole. Breakfast daily from 6:30 to 11:30 a.m. weekdays and 6:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. weekends; 5600 Highway 22, Wilson; 307/733-8288; FOUR SEASONS’ WESTBANK GRILL BREAKFAST AND BUFFET When you want a refined start to your day, swing by the Westbank Grill in the Four Seasons, a snowball’s throw from the Bridger Gondola. The cedar-plank trout with poached eggs, heirloom tomatoes, and sweet onion kale salad ($23) on the à la carte breakfast menu is delicious. But so is the huckleberrystuffed French toast topped with lemon whipped cream ($19). If you’re really hungry, there’s the breakfast buffet ($37/adult, $16 for kids 14 and under, kids 5 and under are free); this is the first winter it’s available every day. When you’re full, it’s just a short walk from Westbank to the lifts, and the commencement of calorie burning. Breakfast daily from 7 to 11 a.m.; 7680 Granite Loop Rd., Teton Village; 307/732-5000; JH 120






French-American Bistro 380 S. Broadway • Jackson 307-739-1100 •

Wine & Tapas Bar, Specialty Grocer and Bottle Shop

Modern American Cuisine

200 W. Broadway • Downtown Jackson

307-734-1633 •

307-739-9463 •

155 N. Glenwood • Downtown Jackson


Gastropub with Craft Beer

Rustic Italian Fare

2550 Moose-Wilson Rd • Wilson

3335 W. Village Dr, Hotel Terra • Teton Village

Locally-Focused Specialty Grocer, Bottle Shop and Fried Chicken Food Truck

307-739-0700 •

307-739-4100 •

3200 W. McCollister Dr • Teton Village 307-200-4666 •

Weddings - Rehearsal Dinners - Private & Corporate Events • 307-739-4682 •

Best of


dining out







The Branding Iron

Grand Targhee Resort



$/$$ $$/$$$

The Bunnery Bakery & Restaurant











Teton Village




The Kitchen


307-734-1633 $/$$$

Il Villaggio Osteria

Teton Village



Q Roadhouse and Brewing Co.

Teton Village Road


Rendezvous Bistro







Ascent Lounge

Teton Village



The Handle Bar

Teton Village




Westbank Grill

Teton Village





307-264-1820 $ $$

Fine Dining Restaurant Group

Flying Saddle Resort & Steak House



$/$$$ $/$$

Four Seasons Resort



Jackson Hole Mountain Resort


Café 6311

Bottom floor of Bridger Center 307-739-2596

Casper Restaurant

Base of Casper chairlift



Corbet’s Cabin

Top of Aerial Tram




Nick Wilson’s

Base of Aerial Tram




Off-Piste Market

Top of Bridger Gondola




Piste Mountain Bistro

Top of Bridger Gondola



Rendezvous Cafeteria

Top of Bridger Gondola





Kings Grill

Snow King Mountain Resort

Piste Mountain Bistro

Teton Village, top of Gondola 307-732-3177

The Rose


307-733-1500 $$

The Silver Dollar Bar and Grill



Snake River Brewing Company


Sweet Cheeks Meats


$/$$ $/$$ $/$$ $$$










Teton Pines Restaurant

Teton Village Road

307-732-4110 $$ $$/$$$

Teton Thai

Teton Village

307-733-0022 $$ $$

The Wildwood Room

Victor, Idaho












Inspired Rocky Mountain fare and ingredients



Jackson’s best breakfast and tempting lunch options




Wine, tapas bar, specialty grocer, and bottle shop



Bottle shop, grab & go food, provisions, butcher




Modern American cuisine in the heart of Jackson




Wood-oven-fired pizzas, house-made pasta




Eclectic roadhouse fare, craft beer, and brewery




Locals’ favorite, French American bistro fare, raw bar




Featuring the finest meats cooked to perfection




J High-end pub fare by Michael Mina



American steakhouse inspired by indigenous flavors




Modern American cuisine






Classic gourmet ski comfort food



Top-of-the-world waffles and drinks





Coffee, breakfast foods, and Sicilian pizza



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s New mountain cuisine, craft cocktails, beer and wine s



Regional cuisine, live music, happy hour




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Superb fare, exquisite wine, and talented staff



Outdoor patio and amazing views

Teton Valley’s catering for great events!



Average entree; $= under $15, $$= $16-20, $$$= $21+ WINTER 2017 JACKSON HOLE MAGAZINE


Handcrafted, award-winning fine wine made locally in Jackson, Wyoming.

Dinner + Catering Modern American Cuisine Located in DOWntown jackson 1 block from town square + parking garage

PSSST... stay tuned for "Palate" coming at the National Museum of Wildlife Art.

72 S. glenwood | 307 . 264 . 1820 |

come to gather...come together



SNAKE RIVER BREWING 265 S. Millward | 307.739.BEER

Make an appointment Today! Jackson Winery 2800 Boyles Hill Road Jackson, WY 307-201-1057

Gallery on Main 3rd & Main Dayton, WY 307-655-2443

GREAT FOOD I LIBATIONS I MUSIC UNMATCHED ATMOSPHERE Inside the Historic Wort Hotel • Broadway@Glenwood Just off the Town Square • 307-732-3939 •


“Teton “Teton wedding catering at at its its finest finest for forover over20 20years” years” hospitality

307 733 0022



Teton Valley’s best special occasion venue 800.787.9178 or 208.787.2667 | 800.787.9178 or 208.787.2667 |


- JH Weekly

Best of


art scene

Dead or Alive? Yes, you can find a fair amount of contemporary art in Jackson Hole today, but it’s western and wildlife art that still rule the valley’s art scene. BY ISA JONES Trailside Galleries was the first art gallery to open in Jackson Hole. It still specializes in western and wildlife art, including the works of painter Robert Duncan, whose Winter’s Arrival is shown above. 126


TODAY, THERE ARE over thirty galleries in Jackson Hole, and the art on their walls ranges from traditional western/wildlife (Remington) to European (Picasso) to pop art (Warhol) to abstract contemporary (Monica Aiello). And then there are local cafes, which all exhibit the work of area artists. But Jackson Hole wasn’t always so artsy. In 1963, there was one gallery in town, Trailside Galleries, and two types of art, wildlife and traditional western. By the turn of the millennium, a couple dozen other galleries had opened, but it was still traditional western and wildlife art that dominated the scene. In the last decade, though, you’d be excused

The National Museum of Wildlife Art Turns Thirty BY 1987, AFTER twenty-five years of collecting, Joffa and Bill Kerr had one of the finest collections of wildlife and sporting art in the country. Together with several others who would one day become the backbone of the NMWA—Marion Buchenroth, Eliza and Tom Chrystie, Robin and Sam Lightner, Mary Mead, and Maggie and Dick Scarlett—they rented 5,000 square feet of space in downtown Jackson, which they named Wildlife of the American West Museum. The Kerrs put their collection on display for others to enjoy. In 1993, Wildlife of the American West had outgrown its space; a new home was needed. In September 1994, the 51,000-square-foot National Museum of Wildlife Art, constructed out of 4,033 tons of Arizona sandstone, opened on Highway 89 2.5 miles north of Jackson. (The Arizona sandstone exterior was replaced by Idaho quartzite in 2011). While events celebrating the museum’s thirtieth anniversary ( aren’t happening until summer and fall, there’s no reason not to stop in now. The museum’s permanent collection has grown from about 1,000 pieces in 1987 to over 5,000 pieces, and includes work by John J. Audubon, Carl Rungius, Charles Russell, John Clymer, Albert Bierstadt, and even Picasso. There’s a piece that dates to 1496. At the time of the museum’s fifteenth anniversary, Bob Koenke, the publisher of Wildlife Art magazine, put the museum’s significance best: “The National Museum of Wildlife Art is to animal art what Cooperstown is to baseball.”

for thinking these genres were falling by the wayside, as new galleries focusing on contemporary artists and broader subject matter opened. But, despite the diversification of the valley’s art scene, Jackson Hole remains one of the country’s biggest, and best, markets for traditional western and wildlife art; only Santa Fe and Scottsdale are larger. “Jackson Hole and Wyoming are still thought of as the West,” says Maryvonne Leshe, managing partner of Trailside Galleries. “The real West—cowboys and Indians. There’s so much western history here.” In Jackson, there are still “guys wearing cowboy boots and hats.” Today’s collectors may have more modern tastes, but, because they’re in Jackson where we have wooden sidewalks, policemen riding horses, and summer stagecoach rides, they end up searching for that western spirit. Or maybe they don’t have modern taste. “There are still collectors that remember John Wayne and the western movies, and want the more traditional art,” Leshe says.

TRADITIONAL WESTERN ART in Jackson began in the 1800s, when the first European and American settlers visited the valley. This landscape and its wildlife were like nothing settlers had seen before, and they captured it in sketches and paintings. “[American western and wildlife art] has strong European roots,” says Adam Harris, curator at the National Museum of Wildlife Art (NMWA), which celebrates its thirtieth anniversary in 2017 and whose permanent collection includes more than 5,000 pieces. “When European artists were able to travel the globe, they painted those animals that were of interest. It’s a very strong tradition in North America.” The NMWA, while not the first place to celebrate western art in Jackson Hole (Trailside preceded the museum by twenty-five years), put the valley on the map as a national destination for its fans and collectors. “It’s a mutually beneficial relationship,” Harris says. “We go down to an exhibit of a new artist and say, ‘Hey they might be good for us one day.’ Or we have an exhibit here and a gallery says, ‘We might like to work with them.’ ”

Winter’s Onset by painter Dan Metz, who is represented by Legacy Gallery WINTER 2017 JACKSON HOLE MAGAZINE


Painter Robert Bateman’s work is in the National Museum of Wildlife Art, as well as a gallery in town. Chief, shown above, hangs in the NMWA’s Greene Pathways Gallery.

Jackson Hole Art Auction RIGHT WHEN IT seemed contemporary galleries and nontraditional western art were taking over the valley’s art scene, Trailside Galleries partnered with Santa Fe’s Gerald Peters Gallery to found the Jackson Hole Art Auction, which specializes in work by living and deceased western and wildlife art masters. The annual auction celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2016. It is now widely recognized as one of the premier auctions of western and wildlife art in the country. Since its founding, JHAA sales have totaled $70.8 million. In 2015, sales were $6.6 million. Last year’s sales were $8.3 million; 83 percent of 388 lots were sold over two sessions. The auction’s record sales year was 2014, when it sold $11.3 million of art. The most a single painting has sold for at JHAA is $1.583 million. That happened in 2011 and was Frederic Remington’s 1893 oil on canvas, He Lay Where He Had Been Jerked, Still as a Log. “The auction has grown immensely, and that growth has served to place Jackson among the top western art destinations in the nation,” says Madison Webb, JHAA auction coordinator. “Collectors associate Jackson Hole with top-notch western art, and fly in from around the country for the auction each September, spending time in the galleries and museums while they’re here.” While most bidders attend the auction in person, there has been remote bidding from collectors and their representatives in Switzerland, Singapore, and South America.

In addition, the museum puts all the art that collectors or just casual browsers and tourists see around town into a larger context, according to Harris. “It’s important to realize that a lot of what we’re showing is the historic aspect of this; we’re showing the roots of a lot of what you see in the galleries downtown today,” he says. “As Jackson has grown in terms of galleries, we’ve also grown in step, but also in some ways we are leading the charge.” Trailside’s Leshe says, “We have introduced collectors to a number of artists, and every one of the western artists we’ve introduced has gone on to major museum shows.” Some of these shows have been at the NMWA. Legacy Gallery represents artists that have had shows at the museum and are in the museum’s permanent collection, too. Legacy opened its first gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona, and expanded to Jackson in 1988, a year after the NMWA opened. Initially, Legacy Gallery here represented the same type of artists as it did in Scottsdale: mostly plein-air artists doing landscape pieces. But Jackson’s western soul quickly found 128


its way onto Legacy’s walls. The gallery has become known for the number of its artists that have participated in and won awards at the prestigious Prix de West show at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. With Trailside, Legacy is one of the anchors of the western/wildlife art scene. “Western art is timeless,” says Legacy co-owner Brad Richardson. “It stands the test of time, so it will always be around.” JH



September 7-10, 2017



2 5 T H



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Best of



WHETHER YOU’RE PASSIONATE about plein-air, a serious collector of western paintings by contemporary or deceased masters, or a casual art fan searching for a keepsake to remind you of your time spent here, in Jackson Hole you have the opportunity to enjoy art in its multitude of forms. Over the past two decades, Jackson Hole has grown to become one of the most heralded art centers of the West, popping off the tongues of aficionados alongside the likes of Santa

Altamira Fine Art specializes in the exhibition and sale of Western Contemporary artwork. We offer an active exhibition schedule year round between our two gallery locations in Jackson, Wyoming and Scottsdale, Arizona. Altamira offers fine art in a range of media—from oil painting, acrylic and bronze to digital art installations, and found object mixed media. The gallery works with estate collections and offers expertise with auctions, conservation and other curatorial concerns. Altamira also buys and consigns quality artwork. Contact us for more information.

Fe, Palo Alto, and Scottsdale. Begin by visiting some of the galleries highlighted here, where you can pick up a copy of our summer/fall arts magazine, Images West. In it you will learn more about the valley’s artists, galleries, and arts-related classes and events.


Jackson’s original Fine Jewelry Store and exclusive designers of the Teton Jewelry Collection since 1970. Our collection features Teton pendants and charms ranging from small to our stunning diamond pavé and inlay gemstone pendants; rings, earrings and a large array of men’s jewelry complete the collection. Our entire Teton Collection is also available in affordable sterling silver. In our Jackson studio we also hand craft the Wyoming Bucking Bronco jewelry, extraordinary Elk Ivory jewelry as well as Wyoming’s largest selection of gold and silver charms indicative of the area. We also specialize in a dazzling selection of hand etched crystal.

80 Center Street (307) 733-5599 130



The Legacy Gallery features a large selection of representational art with an emphasis on western, landscape, figurative and wildlife paintings and bronze sculptures. This 7,000 square foot gallery is located on the northwest corner of the Town Square and caters to the beginning collector as well as the art connoisseur. Legacy Gallery is proud to be celebrating is 28th Anniversary and has two other locations in Scottsdale, Arizona and Bozeman, Montana.

75 North Cache (307) 733-2353

172 Center Street (307) 739-4700


Legendary nature photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen has traveled throughout the natural world for over 40 years observing and photographing the Earth’s last great wild places. Mangelsen has captured wild moments and vast panoramas from all seven continents. We invite you to visit the Mangelsen—Images of Nature Gallery located one block north of the historic town square. The gallery features over 200 limited edition and artist proof prints in a variety of display options. Visit to explore the entire Mangelsen portfolio.

170 North Cache Street (307) 733-9752



The National Museum of Wildlife Art, founded in 1987, is a world-class art museum holding more than 5,000 artworks representing wild animals from around the world. Featuring work by prominent artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Andy Warhol, Robert Kuhn, John James Audubon, and Carl Rungius, the Museum’s unsurpassed permanent collection chronicles much of the history of wildlife in art. Built into a hillside overlooking the National Elk Refuge, the Museum received the designation “National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States” by order of Congress in 2008. Boasting a museum shop, interactive children’s gallery, café, and outdoor sculpture trail, the Museum is just two-and-a-half miles north of Jackson Town Square.

2820 Rungius Road (307) 733-5771

RARE Gallery, a collector’s destination! At 6,100 square feet, one of Jackson Hole’s largest and most acclaimed galleries, we represent nationally and internationally collected artists. Featuring museum exhibited artists in mediums of painting, sculpture, photography, glass, 3 dimensional art, and designer jewelry. RARE Gallery was named Mountain Living Magazine “Hot Shop in Jackson Hole.” Our Curator is available for private gallery or in home consultations.

60 East Broadway (307) 733-8726


Since 1998 clients have been discovering an extraordinary collection of original western art at the WEST LIVES ON GALLERIES. Both galleries have an impressive collection of fine art reflecting the rich heritage of the American West. Featuring Western, wildlife and landscape art in original oils, acrylics, watercolors, and bronze. We represent over 100 national and regional artists. Our knowledgeable staff will work with you to locate that special piece for your home or office.

55 & 75 North Glenwood (307) 734-2888

Experience the wonder of nature through the lens of Thomas D. Mangelsen. 170 North Cache | Jackson, WY | 307-733-9752 1 block north of the town square | 888-238-0177 | FIN E A R T PHOTOGR A PH Y | A R TIS T PROOF PR IN T S | BOOK S | C A LEN DA R S



Best of


as the hole deepens


WE LIVE WITH a three-legged turtle named Herbie who only eats worms, so once every month or so I have to buy worms. Those of you who don’t live on the Lycra Archipelago— Sun Valley, Jackson Hole, Steamboat Springs, Aspen, Park City, Taos—won’t understand what a pickle this puts me in. Political correctness in Jackson isn’t refusing to open doors for old women or keeping up with the correct way to address diversities; it’s how you catch fish. In order of proper through acceptable to shameful, the list goes like this: (1) dry flies with barbless hooks; (2) nymphs; (3) spinners; (4) fish eggs and stink bait; and, down there under the pond scum, we find (5) worms. Except for a few truly warped chinless wonders dabbling in electric currents or explosives, worm fishermen are the lowest of the low. If any of my peer group at Trout Unlimited caught me buying worms, I would be stripped of my Prius. Banned from Tevas. Shunned at Whole Grocer’s bulk bins. They’re for my turtle won’t wash. No one is going to buy that any more than they will I got it from the toilet seat. In October, Herbie slurped the last of his worms. I tried a basil-reduced hummus lump. No soap. He craned his neck out at a piece of cantaloupe and bit my finger. The turtle is on a macrobiotic worm diet. He’d rather die than eat commercial turtle chow. First, I approached Heather Heidi Walsowski-Smith’s grandson Romy and offered him five dollars if he’d make my purchase. He said sure, but only if I’d buy him a six-pack of Blue Ribbon. I said, “How old are you, kid?” “Fifteen.” I gave him my responsible adult look. 132


He said, “Fourteen, but I’m mature.” “Your mother would scalp me. I could go to jail. You don’t go to jail for buying worms.” Romy was too smart for words: “If those doctors and Realtors at Rotary find out you have a refrigerator full of worms, you’ll never eat Sunday brunch in this valley again.” So I went to Browse ’N Buy and bought a blonde wig and a Rock Springs cheerleading sweater with “LaDonna” stitched on the breast, a white pleated skirt, and red trainers. I would have shaved my legs if the sweater hadn’t said “Rock Springs.”

I parked two blocks from Stone Drug and walked over. By the time I arrived, I’d collected a pack of six dogs and a tame raven. The worms are in a minirefrigerator up front, by the door. My plan was to get in and out in ninety seconds. No one back in Sporting Goods and Licenses would know I’d been in the building. Of course, Penny Wilkerson at the cash register flipped that toggle that turns on the loudspeakers. “Price check on night crawlers!” I could have throttled Penny, only it might get me in the newspaper Police Blotter: Worm fisherman throttles innocent cashier I flashed back on high school, buying condoms that would never get used. I slid into Rexall and put on my deep radio DJ voice. “Prophylactics, if you please.” And Harriet Gardner yelled that “price check” line for the whole store to hear. Took me five years to realize Harriet did that every time a kid came in for rubbers. “Price check on Trojans! I assume you want small?” Harriet knew the price. She did it to give us a hard time. Then she said, “You’re Liz Sandlin’s boy, aren’t you?

I play contract bridge with Liz on Thursdays.” Why are locals so judgmental about fishing technique anyway? Wyoming used to be the Not My Business What You Do State. Different strokes for different folks. People could be as weird as a carnivorous cow and no one cared, so long as you didn’t try to convert them. Now it’s, “If you don’t do things my way, you’re dirt.” Lord knows what would happen to a man who kept a few fish for supper. I recently saw a bumper sticker that said catch and release or death. These are the same people who gave me crap when they heard my four-year-old had never skied from the top of the tram. “She prefers Casper.” “Child abuser!” Or the old codger who invited me to run from the Stagecoach to the top of Teton Pass. I’m in my sixties, for Chrissake. In Alabama, men my age don’t leave the BarcaLounger. But in Jackson Hole, what I got was, “Wimp. Why not spare us your presence and check into a nursing home?” I’m sick of it. Time to come clean. I’ve lived here fifty-five years, and I deserve to live the way I want to live. No more shame. I don’t go ecstatic for mountain bikes. I would rather not sleep on the ground. I cross-country ski in Levi’s 501s. I bought my winter boots at Kmart. And they aren’t Sorels. I eat boxed macaroni and cheese (nothing cheaper than Kraft). Not all the white sugar I buy goes into hummingbird food. I prefer lettuce to kale. Just last month I threw #1 plastic into the #2 plastic bin, and when I realized my error I didn’t crawl in after it. (This is a double sin since some of my neighbors will be aghast that I owned any #1 plastic in the first place.) Worst of all, right from the beginning, I was for Hillary over Bernie. There you have it. Crucify me if you must. Bottom line: I came out of Stone Drug in my cheerleading outfit, clutching my plastic bag, and that vengeful little turd Romy clicked my photo on his iPhone 6. Slapped that picture on Snapchat with the caption Tim Sandlin has worms. I’m looking to move to South Carolina. JH WINTER 2017 JACKSON HOLE MAGAZINE





JACKSON n Hike up Cache Creek (p. 98). n Pretend you’re an Iron Chef judge (p. 102). n Walk the Sculpture Trail at the National

n Check out traditional western and wildlife art (p. 126). n Bite into town’s biggest breakfast burrito (p. 116).

Museum of Wildlife Art.

n Tune in to KHOL (p. 18).

n Admire downtown’s new trash cans (p. 22).

n Go to a JH Moose Hockey game (p. 38).

TETON VILLAGE n Ski the JHMR backcountry (if you have the skills and gear) (p. 84). n Shop for the gear to make the most of the ski season (p. 106). n Ride the new Sweetwater Gondola

(p. 28).


n Snowshoe to the Phelps Lake Overlook.

n Walk along the Snake River dike (p. 98).

n Ice fish on Jackson Lake (p. 70).



n Hit the Hoot (p. 110).

n Ride a fat bike on a pathway (p. 24).

n Go heli-skiing (p. 91).

n Drive by the Kelly Yurt Park (p. 54).

n Order trout with eggs at Nora’s

n Wolf watch in Yellowstone.

Fish Creek Inn (p. 116).



Best of


calendar of events

The Jackson Hole Moose play double-headers at the Snow King Sports and Events Center throughout the winter.

ONGOING JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT’S 2,500acre, 4,139 vertical feet of terrain is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily through April 9 with an aerial tram, eleven lifts, and two gondolas, including the new Sweetwater gondola. Open 137 days this year, the longest ski season in JHMR’s history! The Mountain Sports School offers ski, snowboard, telemark, and adaptive lessons for all ages and abilities. 1-888-DEEPSNOW (733-2292), JACKSON HOLE MOOSE HOCKEY team plays against other clubs across the country. Home games start at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Snow King Sports and Events Center, PICA’S MARGARITA CUP is Jackson’s adult skiracing league. Teams consist of up to six people, with four scoring points each race. Races begin mid-January and run through March 17. 307/733-6433, 136


GRAND TARGHEE RESORT, on the west side of Teton Pass, is open through April 16. Take advantage of short lift lines on all five lifts, 2,602 acres of powder, and a 2,270-foot vertical drop. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., 307/353-2300, SNOW KING MOUNTAIN is Jackson’s locals’ hill—and was the first ski resort in the state—with four hundred acres of terrain and a 1,571-foot vertical drop. With three chairlifts and thirty-two named runs, the King is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through March 26; night skiing is 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Nonskiers can take a scenic chair ride daily until 3:30 p.m. 307/734-3194, WAPITI WATCH. Sleigh rides onto the National Elk Refuge—and into the middle of the elk herd—depart the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center (532 North Cache) daily through early April (except Christmas) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Reservations for


Winter 2016/17 groups of twenty or more are required; reservations for smaller groups are not necessary but can be made by calling 307/733-0277. NATIONAL MUSEUM OF WILDLIFE ART takes an expansive view of wildlife art with pieces in its 5,000-plus-item permanent collection from Albert Bierstadt to Pablo Picasso. It celebrates its thirtieth anniversary this year. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 307/733-5771, COWBOY COASTER is the first Alpine Coaster in the state, with individual carts (to hold one or two people) that climb nearly four hundred feet before winding and looping their way down two-thirds of a mile back to the base. Open daily from 2 to 7 p.m.,

DECEMBER 3: DOGS IN A DRIFT is a live radio theater performance with Bob Berky & Friends

presented by Off Square Theatre Company. 6:30 p.m., Center for the Arts Center Theater, $20 adults, $7 children under 15, 307/7334900, 3: HOLIDAY ART BAZAAR showcases local artists in time for the holiday season. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., The Lodge at Jackson Hole, Conference Center, $5 suggested donation, 307/733-6379, 7-9: WORLD-CLASS RACE TRAINING CAMP is a three-day intensive course including drills to get you in shape for ski season. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR), starts at $555, 307/739-2686, 12-16: WORLD-CLASS SKI TRAINING CAMP is a chance to get fit and strong for ski season while also brushing up and improving technique and skill. JHMR, starts at $730, 307/739-2686, 29-31: GOPRO FALL LINE CAMP is a one-of-akind ski and snowboard camp for middleand high-school-aged students offering teens the ultimate freeride experience. JHMR, from $790, 307/739-2686, 31: GLOW WORM PARADE FOR KIDS welcomes kids to participate in an evening parade lit by glow sticks. 4:30 p.m., Kids Ranch in Teton Village, free, 307/739-2788, 31: TORCHLIGHT PARADE AND FIREWORKS start with skiers carrying torches descending Apres Vous. Fireworks follow. 6 p.m., Teton Village, base of Teewinot, free,

16-20: WOMEN’S SKI CAMP at Jackson Hole is geared toward intermediate and advanced skiers, and taught by top women coaches and pro athletes. JHMR, from $1,520, 307/739-2686, 19: VERDI’S NABUCCO – The Met: Live in HD is copresented by Grand Teton Music Festival and Center for the Arts. 7 p.m., Center for the Arts Center Theater, 307/733-4900, 24-27: STEEP & DEEP CAMP 2 is for advanced to expert adult skiers looking to grow more confident in skiing JHMR’s extreme terrain, while expert coaches provide tips and wisdom throughout the journey. JHMR, from $1,125, 307/739-2686, 24-27: WOMEN’S SNOWBOARD CAMP Refine skills while challenging yourself. JHMR, from $1,125, 307/739-2686, 27: PEDIGREE STAGE STOP SLED DOG RACE begins in Jackson with a ceremonial twomile leg starting at the Town Square. 6:30 p.m., 307/733-3316, 31-FEB. 3: SNOWBOARD STEEP AND DEEP CAMP is a chance to up your riding. JHMR, from $1,190, 307/739-2686,

FEBRUARY 1: GOUNOD’S ROMEO AND JULIET – The Met: Live in HD is copresented by Grand Teton Music Festival and Center for the Arts. 7 p.m., Center for the Arts Center Theater, 307/733-4900, 7-10: STEEP & DEEP CAMP 3 JHMR, from $1,125, 307/739-2686,

JANUARY 10-13: GOPRO STEEP & DEEP CAMP is led by GoPro/Jackson Hole Mountain Resort athlete Andrew Whiteford and geared toward advanced and expert skiers. Get instruction in skiing steeps and using your GoPro. JHMR, from $1,190, 307/739-2686, 10-13: BACKCOUNTRY CAMP is a four-day opportunity to learn avalanche awareness, efficient touring, and terrain selection from JHMR’s backcountry guides. JHMR, from $1,125, 307/739-2686,

7-10: TELEMARK STEEP & DEEP CAMP is for intermediate to expert telemarkers to learn techniques and tactics necessary to navigate steep terrain. JHMR, from $1,190, 307/739-2686,

18: MOOSE CHASE NORDIC SKI RACE includes a 30k, 15k, 5k, 3k, and, for kids, a free 1/2k. Trail Creek Nordic Center, 307/733-6433, 18-19: 46TH ANNUAL CUTTER RACES in Jackson Hole is the only thoroughbred Cutter Race on a groomed snowtrack in the U.S. 12:30 p.m., Melody Ranch – five miles south of Jackson, 20-22: GOPRO FALL LINE CAMP 2 JHMR, from $790, 307/739-2686, 24-26: DICK’S DITCH CLASSIC BANKED SLALOM challenges racers to descend a challenging run as fast as they can. JHMR, 28-MARCH 3: STEEP & DEEP CAMP 4 JHMR, from $1,125, 307/739-2686, 28-MARCH 3: ADAPTIVE STEEP & DEEP CAMP is a chance for adaptive athletes to take their skiing to the next level. JHMR, 307/739-2686,

MARCH 6-10: WOMEN’S SKI CAMP AT JACKSON HOLE is geared toward intermediate and advanced skiers, and taught by women coaches and pro athletes. JHMR, from $1,520, 307/7392686, 8: DVORAK’S RUSALKA – The Met: Live in HD is copresented by Grand Teton Music Festival and Center for the Arts. 7 p.m., Center for the Arts Center Theater, 307/733-4900, 11-12: MINI HAHNENKAMM TOWN DOWNHILL is one of the spring’s most popular events, both for racers and spectators. Snow King Mountain, 307/733-6433, 13-15: GOPRO FALL LINE CAMP 3 JHMR, from $790, 307/739-2686,

12-15: BACKCOUNTRY CAMP 2 JHMR, from $1,125, 307/739-2686,

16-19: 4TH ANNUAL RENDEZVOUS SPRING FESTIVAL is a weekend of free live concerts at the base of JHMR and on the Town Square in downtown Jackson.

12-15: STEEP & DEEP MOUNTAINEERING CAMP is four days of ski and snowboard mountaineer training. JHMR, from $1,190, 307/739-2686,

19: MARMOT COOMBS CLASSIC honors legendary local skier Doug Coombs with a full day of events. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., JHMR, free, 307/733-2292,




20-22: GOPRO FALL LINE CAMP 4 JHMR, from $790, 307/739-2686, 23: VERDI’S LA TRAVIATA – The Met: Live in HD is copresented by Grand Teton Music Festival and Center for the Arts. 7 p.m., Center for the Arts Center Theater, 307/7334900,

25: KAREN OATEY POLE PEDAL PADDLE consists of four events: alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, biking, and kayaking. Teton Village to the Snake River Canyon, 307/733-6433,


23-26: 41ST WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SNOWMOBILE HILL CLIMB. Snow King Mountain, 307/734-3194,

The Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race kicks off with a ceremonial start through downtown Jackson on January 27 this year.


APRIL 9: JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT CLOSING DAY. Celebrate the end of the winter season dressed in your best (or goofiest) ski and snowboard gear. 307/739-2686,

13: MOZART’S IDOMENEO – The Met: Live in HD is copresented by Grand Teton Music Festival and Center for the Arts. 7 p.m., Center for the Arts Center Theater, 307/7334900,

20: JACKSON HOLE MINI MAKER FAIRE celebrates the Maker movement. Makers, from tech enthusiasts to crafters, show what they’re making. Jackson Campus of Teton Science Schools, free, 307/413-5654, JH

Built for the way you live. Daybreak. Fresh coffee followed by fresh tracks. Lungs filled with crisp mountain air on a bluebird day. We believe your home should feel this good too. Your life. Your home.

Rocky Mountain perfection.

(406) 363-5680





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Jackson Hole magazine // Winter 2017  

Jackson Hole magazine // Winter 2017