Cool Factor: It's been said many times over, but the truth is there's no place in the U.S. like Jackson Hole. Beyond the unreal backcountry access, the tram at Jackson gives skiers and riders access to 4,000+ foot inbounds laps. Your terrain selection is endless, from mellow slopes to big airs, tight couloirs, and steep tree skiing. The locals who live and breathe this place are akin to those you'll meet at Squaw; they rip hard and focus their lives in one way or another to make sure whenever the Hole is reporting something fresh they're going to be in tram line.
Why Wait: The tram only holds 100 people. Getting first box means it’s just you and 99 others on top of a big mountain with a whole lot of terrain. While locals may have another opinion, Rendezvous Bowl to the Hobacks is nothing short of a heli-run. The trick is getting your legs in shape so you can hang from top to bottom without stopping.
Ask a Local: Derek Depiero epitomized the ski bum roots of Jackson Hole by sleeping overnight at the base of the tram a few years back to ensure he was the first person to board the new tram after it was replaced. “I get so psyched. This is what I think about all year long,” he says “As soon as that tram closes in April, that’s what I start doing — counting the days until it opens again.”