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Jackson Hole Mountain Tour

Jackson Hole Mountain Tour

By Edith Thys Morgan
posted: 04/20/2001

It used to be that the tram was the sole gatekeeper to Jackson's riches, and it had the lines to prove it. But in the 1997-98 season, the Bridger Gondola, running straight up the center of the resort, came to the rescue. The gondola effectively marries the tram and quad chairs on the resort's southern end to the more moderate terrain of Après Vous and Casper to the north. It also accesses nearly 3,600 vertical feet of its own prime fall-line terrain, such as Sundance and the Gros Ventre.

Expert skiers who want to see immediately what the Jackson lore is about should head straight for the tram. On the ride up you can survey the terrain of the lower faces, view the quad chairs and then, near the top, get a bird's eye view of the drop into Corbet's Couloir. Once at the top of Rendezvous Peak, your first turns will be in Rendezvous Bowl, never groomed but often windblown to perfection. From the bottom of the bowl, Laramie Traverse leads to Amphitheater and the lower Gros Ventre. Cruise this rolling boulevard top to bottom or catch Thunder Chair to keep skiing on the upper-mountain quads.

Alternatively, from Rendezvous Bowl go straight on Rendezvous Trail to the wilder terrain of Sublette. On a powder day, this is the well-worn route to the Hobacks. But many days after the fresh tracks are gone, there is still light powder to be found by peeling off the groomed ridgelines to the north-facing slopes like Bivouac Woods and the Alta Chutes. Or, off Thunder Chair the snow in Tower Three Chute is usually high and dry.

Intermediates should head directly to the wide, sunny slopes of Après Vous, also home to the area's halfpipe. Immaculately groomed, AV is a confidence builder for the increasingly challenging terrain of Casper and the Bridger Gondola.

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