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Skiing in Jackson Hole

Skiing in Jackson Hole

Almost every lift in the resort gives access to both difficult and easy terrain, with the majority of runs groomed daily or weekly. The Jackson Hole Mountains are huge and rugged, with bad weather perhaps more common here than in many other resorts. Coming prepared for harsh conditions is the best idea, even if you don’t need to use extra protection. The common choice, due to the variable weather, is mid-fat or fat skis, making life more comfortable when the snow falls. These are easily purchased or rented in Teton Village ski shops.

The aerial tram gives the fastest access to most of the vertical, although its popularity sometimes results in queues in spite of its capacity of 100. Be warned, however, there’s no easy way down from its destination, the Rendevous Bowl, as the runs are suitable only for intermediates or higher. For intermediate skiers, the Apres Vous lift via the Teewinot chair leads to groomed runs with lots of terrain to practice on. In particular, the nightly-groomed Werner and Moran runs offer smooth cruising back down to the Apres Vous chair lift, with Moran’s several short, steeper pitches a minor challenge.

On the north side of Apres Vous, the St John’s run, although only occasionally groomed, is satisfyingly long. Right under the chair is Teewinot Face, a slight misnomer as it isn’t that steep, with testing cruds, rocks, bumps, shrubbery and some wind lift. Saratoga Bowl, also off the Apres Vous chair, avalanches in extreme weather but is now considered in-bounds and features loads of natural terrain including gullies, rockeries, low cliffs and trees, an exhilarating experience, particularly on new snow.

For low to mid-level intermediates, the Casper triple chair comes out on the wide expanse of the Easy Does It run, on the left heading back down to the lift base, making it a great confidence-builder. The smaller, user-friendly Campground and Timbered Island trails off Casper give wonderful lazy skiing with no hassles. To the right of the chair are Sleeping Indian and Wide Open, giving great upper-intermediate to advanced level skiing.

For advanced skiers looking for serious challenges, the Thunder Chair gives access to some sporty choices. Gold Mine Chutes, Mushroom Chutes, Hoop’s Gap and Tower Three all open out from the top, with the famous Thunder Run’s bumps passing right under the chair. The Laramie Bowl area holds the expert terrain of the Alta Chutes, leading to the Laramie Traverse on Rendevous Bowl at the head of the aerial tram and the drop-off at Flip Point. Upper intermediate, advanced and expert skiers will get the most out of Jackson Hole, but there are plenty of comfortable lower-level runs for the less experienced wanting to up their personal ante.