At the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, American ski racer Tommy Moe, then 23, snagged gold in the downhill and, four days later on his birthday, silver in the super-G. It was the first time an American alpine skier had won two medals at a single Olympics.
“That was the highlight of my career. I’d never won an international competition before that,” Moe says. That same year, the Montana born-and-bred skier moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where he currently resides.
Moe with his medals.
Copyright: Focus Productions
“I like it because of the outdoors. The skiing’s really accessible. Kayaking, mountain biking, fishing, everything is right here,” Moe says. But it’s the mountain that made him stay all of these years. “It’s one of those places that you can always ski and never get tired of.”
Moe loves the 4,100-vertical-feet of continuous skiing that Jackson Hole Mountain Resort offers. “You can ski the mountain top to bottom,” he says. And despite Jackson’s rep as a hardcore skier’s paradise, one of the things Moe likes best about the mountain is its mix of terrain.
“There’s the steeper, expert side of the mountain, and then 50 percent is intermediate and beginner.”
When Moe’s not working for the Jackson Hole ski school, he’s guiding at Alaska’s Tordrillo Mountain Lodge, which offers heli skiing and fishing expeditions (sometimes in one trip). Whether you’re coming to Jackson Hole for the skiing or the scene, this resort offers something for everyone.
Here’s Tommy Moe’s guide to the best of Jackson Hole
Favorite run: Corbet’s Couloir. It’s pretty a much a double-black diamond run. I only ski it when it’s soft. In powder, it’s beautiful. You can ski Corbet’s all the way down to Expert Chutes, then go to Toilet Bowl and then take Gros Ventre to the bottom of the mountain. It’s four runs in one.
Best groomer: Sleeping Indian in Casper Bowl.
Best treeskiing: Thunder lift. There’s amazing glade skiing. The trees are perfectly spread out and there’s a mix of terrain.
Best hike-to terrain: Cody Bowl, just off the top of the tram. It’s accessed through a backcountry gate.
Secret stash: Saratoga Bowl, off the Après Vous lift.
Best month to ski Jackson Hole: January or February because the snow is the driest and it’s the height of the snowpack.
Best on-mountain dining: Couloir restaurant at the top of the Bridger gondola.
Best on-mountain meal: The lasagna at Osteria in the Hotel Terra.
Best après: Mangy Moose. They have the best wings and nachos and a great après scene.
Best restaurant in town: The Rendezvous Bistro and also Stiegler’s.
Best breakfast: Nora’s Fish Creek Inn. Try the huevos rancheros.
Best hotel: The Teton Mountain Lodge. It’s right next to the tram.
Best hot tub: In Teton Village, the Four Seasons.
Insider secret: If you’re a hardcore powder hound, get to the tram early. That means by 7 a.m. The tram opens at 9 a.m. Also, scout some of the other backcountry terrain on the north-side of the mountain. I won’t give the name away, but people will figure it out if they really want to figure it out.
Powder-day itinerary: Skiing can get jammed up waiting for the tram, so the next option on a powder day is to hit the Bridger gondola. Ski the trees under the gondola—it’s 2,500-vertical-feet of perfect glades. Cut into the singles line on Bridger gondola or Après Vous, which is on the right side of the mountain and is another good option because you can get plenty of turns in while everyone else is standing around waiting for the tram.
Extra tip: If you’re coming to the mountain for the first time, hire a guide. You can bring up to five people with a Jackson Hole ski instructor or hire an alpine guide if you want to explore the side or backcountry. If you get a guide or an instructor for the day, you get line-cutting privileges, which is worth it if it’s busy because you get twice as many runs. (You can even hire Moe himself by contacting the Jackson Hole ski school.)