Does Jackson Hole live up to the hype….
Conditions make all the difference when you are searching for that perfect run. You only need one and your day or trip is worth every delayed flight, flat tire or bad decision made on tour. When this place has powder, nothing comes close if you are an advanced mountain man.
We decided to go to Jackson Hole, as we were just sick of everyone raving about it. People who haven't even been will raise eyebrows at you when mentioning that you are making the trip to the all mighty Jackson Hole Mountain. It has a reputation.
There are always pretenders in a place like this and will only go to say they have been. Then you have the hardcore. There are more hardcore mountain woman and men here than just about any mountain we have seen.
It truly is a place where you can find your limit. The majority of the mountain is black runs, and only a tiny part of the mountain is for beginners. Don’t come here to learn. Come here to advance.
The first test to find out where you are at is getting the Tram up to Corbet’s Cabin. Once you get to the top, the driver will give you some brief instructions; its pep talk on this place is only for the advance. They always finish off the talk with “if you don’t know” which is replied back by the whole Tram of “You don’t go”. It’s a bit like being in a ski cult.
Here you choose your adventure and skill level. If you have brass balls, then wander down the legendary Corbet’s Couloir. You have the do a vertical drop to enter the run. Check it out first and there you will know that this place is not for everyone, it’s the only marked run with a drop like this.
There are plenty of more cliff drops, so if you are into finding your limit, get a guide, and they will show you were the wilder drops are. If you are at a different level than the group you are with, get a guide, and they are so experienced here and will be able to show you parts of the mountain you will never find.
If you love tree runs, this is one of the best for it. Here you have the options of the tighter runs, and there are some that are a bit more spread out. For the more advanced, which is why you are coming here, the runs will keep you entertained for your whole trip. Just remember, if you look at the tree you will become a part of it. Find the gaps, find your limit.
If you are into boot packing/hiking and want to get away from the crowds, there is a good 20min hike off the Bridger Gondola. Walk around the Gondola Summit, and there is a trail that will lead you up to the Casper Bowl. You can only get here by earning your turns. So get a buddy, make sure you have all your avalanche equipment and get on your merry way. There are no marked runs in the Casper Bowl. So don’t go alone. But fuck it is fun.
There are so many options to go out of bounds. There are gates everywhere at the top of the mountain. Either pay the money for a guide or go with someone who knows the mountain and trained in avalanche rescue. There is no compromise.
One thing they take more serious than anything here is safety. So many pretenders come here and get found out trying to be better than they are. They have gone past their limit by being careless, crashed out and spend the rest of their holiday in a sling or a body bag. So be sure to take precautions.
After a spending enough time here you start to realise that so many people give up there a way of life to live in Jackson Hole and be at one with the mountain life. You will meet more people that have uprooted and decided Jackson Hole is the place for them than locals. We can see why as this place is intoxicating.
There are two options when it comes to accommodation. Teton Village which is at the base of the mountain. Good for the hardcore as there is not much in the village. If you want some nightlife and more options, go and stay in Jackson Hole Town. It’s a 20min drive to the mountain each day. All depends on what you want to get out of your trip.
Make sure you spend at least a week here testing the mountain and yourself. It’s the training ground to see just how good you are. Find Your Limit.
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