Wyoming Ski Roundup

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Some of the action at Jackson Hole
JACKSON HOLE ESSENTIALS
Telephone: 888 DEEP SNO
Prices: Approx. $61 adult and $31 seniors & juniors
Skiable acres: 5,500 acres
Operating Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily

* Skiable acres include backcountry and Snowcat areas.
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Although Jackson prides itself on its reputation as an "extreme" resort, it doesn't forget that tomorrow's extreme skiers are today's beginners. Jackson upgraded the Teewinot chair to a high-speed quad in 1998-1999. Previously beginners spent more time on lifts than on their skis. The eight beginner trails off of Teewinot and Eagle's Rest are wide-open, congestion-free, and scenic. This area also has a few very mild terrain parks for the use of kids in the ski school.

If the skiing off the two beginner lifts ranks a "2" (out of 10) for difficulty, the runs off of Casper Lift, servicing the next easiest slopes, rank a "5." Wide Open and Easy Does It both live up to their names. Sleeping Indian, Timbered Island, and the ungroomed Moran Woods will satisfy advanced intermediates in the Casper area.

The journey to the 8,481-foot summit of Aprhs Vous Mountain used to take nearly 15 minutes on a rickety double lift that locals swore predated the last ice age. Recently, the resort installed a new high-speed quad that cuts travel time to the top by more than half. After Casper, Aprhs Vous services the most intermediate terrain. AV, as the locals call it, also provides access to Saratoga Bowl, one of Jackson's ten expert bowls, and offers some beautiful views of the Tetons to the north. To skier's left at the top of AV Mountain, Saratoga Bowl is often overlooked on powder days. Fresh tracks can usually be had right up until lifts close at 4 p.m. AV's Moran and Werner are some of the longest and most continuous intermediate runs at the resort.

The governor of Wyoming, Jim Geringer, was present at the ceremonies celebrating the launch of Jackson's Bridger Gondola at the beginning of the 1997-1998 season. One of the first real improvements on the mountain in years, the Bridger Gondola opened up several hundred acres of new terrain, improved access to some of the resort's best inbounds expert terrain, and gave skiers an unparalleled view of the valley. While not receiving guest of honor honors at the Ski Ball, the gondola was the sole topic of conversation in and around town for months.

A 30-minute hike up a bootpack from the top of the gondola puts skiers and boarders at the summit of the Headwall. Rumored to be one of the most avalanche-prone areas open to skiers at any resort in North America, the Headwall, after it has received its daily dose of dynamite, ranks as some of the best skiing on the mountain. Open, and with very few large obstacles (hence its proclivity to slide), the 30-38 degree slope hides powder caches that could swallow entire ski schools. When the snow is knee-deep on the rest of the mountain, it's a good bet that the Headwall will be a foot deeper.

Article © Dina Mishev


Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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