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Jackson Hole


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Jackson Hole is the greatest ski resort on the continent. But it's quite different from any other ski resort. At the resorts back East, you take a chair lift ride for a few minutes, then ski down a trail which in five minutes takes you back to the base, where you get in line for the chairlift again. You might make 40 runs a day. At the other Rocky Mountain resorts, you take a bigger chairlift 10-15 minutes to the top, then ski 30-45 minutes back to the base, where you might stop in for a hot beverage before getting back in the chairlift line. You might make 20 runs a day. At Jackson Hole, you take the cable car shown at right, or a second one going up the other mountain, 20 minutes to the top of the Grand Tetons, where you enjoy the view and stop off at the hut for a hot beverage. Trails of varying difficulty fan out in all directions and you spend an hour or so descending. Jackson Hole offers the highest vertical drop of any resort, and these are the most challenging trails you'll ski. Only 10% of these trails are Greens. 20% are Blues. 35% are Blacks, and 35% are Double Diamonds. Furthermore, at Jackson Hole there is another whole world you can choose to ski : the back country. There are gates all along the groomed trails where you can drop off into untracked terrain.

cable car
Rendezvous Mtn All ski resorts, especially in the Rockies, are beautiful, but Jackson Hole is simply spectacular. You have to continually resist the temptation to stop and gaze at the landscape and take out your camera. Another characteristic of Jackson Hole is its powder. The only ski resort in Norh America with more powder, deeper powder and finer powder is Whitefish up in Montana. If you're an experienced skiier, you're going to fall in love with Jackson Hole. However, you have to come prepared for adversity. You're on the roof of the continent, and weather can turn hostile fast. You may have to cut your skiing short and get down off the mountain. The trails are so long this is not as easy as it sounds. Avalanches are also a threat here. The Ski Patrol keeps a close eye on this and will close certain trails if there's an avalanche risk.
Shown at right are skiiers peering down at Corbet's Coulior, one of the most challenging established runs in the world. Only expert skiiers with excellent equipment can attempt Corbet's. First, you launch yourself off the rim and free fall for 20-30 feet. You hit the snow skiing, then face an immediate hard right turn to avoid a rock wall. Once out of the cleft, you drop into a huge bowl of deep powder. Past that, you face a very long, very steep descent straight to the bottom. It's an exhiliarating experience. Good skiiers from everywhere come to measure themselves against Corbet's Coulior. Lesser skiiers spend time here watching and photographing the ones who do try it. Corbet's Coulior
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