The last weekend in March turns into one of the biggest parties at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The annual Jackson Hole Mountain Festival rocks the area with music, events and, of course, skiing March 25-27.
The weekend offers more than spring skiing or a powder buzz. "It's always huge. All the locals come, and hotels book up," spokesperson Zaham Billimoria told us. "Our thing with the Mountain Festival is to show a different side of Jackson's winter with often much milder weather, margaritas on the deck, and warm days. It's a very social event."
The highlight of the weekend is the free outdoor concert in the North Village Parking Lot March 26. The local band Rotating Superstructure will open the concert followed by the headliner band Katchafire. Katchafire launched as a Bob Marley tribute band, but has evolved into writing their own material that contains elements of early ska and reggae. The band became one of New Zealand's biggest acts, and they have toured extensively in the U.S. The Mountain Festival is Katchafire's first show in the region.
The weekend also adds two other events. The Pole, Peddle, Paddle takes place Saturday while the Coombs Classic Sunday.
The Pole, Pedal, Paddle is a fundraiser for the Jackson Hole Ski Club. Individuals or teams compete in the four-event race, featuring alpine skiing, cross country skiing, bicycling, and boating. The race takes place the morning of March 26 with an after party at 3 p.m. outside Nick Wilson's. Registration is available online.
The Marmot Coombs Classic, March 27 had its inaugural event last year. "It was started to celebrate the life of Doug Coombs, his talented skiing, and inspiration for others," said Billomoria. The event, which is open to all ages, gives out raffle tickets for every lap participants do.
Advanced skiers and riders hike up Peppi's Bench on the Headwall to ski down Coombs run. "For casual skiers, the hike takes 15-20 minutes," added Billimoria. "It's a low angle beautiful spot on the bench above the cirque."Non-hikers and youngsters can do laps off Bridger Gondola on Toad's Wild Ride to Lower Casper Bowl. The day ends with prize giveaways from K2 based on the raffle.
The resort is offering a Mountain Festival Package March 25-27. The package includes two days of lift tickets, lodging in a two-bedroom condo, and lunch at Nick Wilson's Cowboy Café. Rates start at $99 per person per night, based on quad occupancy and a two-night minimum stay.
March usually brings warmer temperatures to the Tetons offering the chance for skiing powder with blue skies.