5 A-Lister Ways to Celebrate Jackson Hole's 50th

1st December 2015 | Becky Lomax

News Regions: Wyoming

Resorts in this article: Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole - ©Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

Jackson Hole is known for steep terrain and deep snow.

Copyright: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

When Jackson Hole Ski Corporation started up 50 years ago, lifts accessed Apres Vous Mountain while the tram to the 10,450-foot summit of Rendezvous Mountain remained under construction until the second winter. Once the tram launched, Jackson Hole slid into one of the hot spots in North America for skiers seeking big vertical and steep descents.

This winter, Jackson Hole celebrates its golden anniversary. The celebration kicks off Dec. 19 with inaugurating a new chairlift, après music and fireworks. But if the party day doesn’t match your vacation schedule, you can still turn your Jackson Hole ski trip into a golden A-lister adventure. Here’s how to do it: 

Located slopeside, Four Seasons at Jackson Hole lights up at night. - ©Don Riddle/Four Seasons Jackson Hole

Located slopeside, Four Seasons at Jackson Hole lights up at night.

Copyright: Don Riddle/Four Seasons Jackson Hole

1. Stay at Four Seasons

The slopeside luxury Four Seasons Resort caters to real skiers and snowboarders, not snow-bunny wannabes. For one, the resort is closest to first tracks: reach the Bridger Gondola in a few steps or the tram in three-minute walk. During your stay, ski concierges ease equipment management, so you don’t have to schlep the gear. Upon arrival, check in your skis and boots from your car with the concierge. When you’re ready to ski, they’ll have your skis tagged with your name slopeside in the ski corral. Downstairs in the lodge, Base Camp has the works, alleviating the need to march around the village for rental gear, lift tickets, or booking lessons. For beginners and families, Base Camp concierges will even put on your boots for you. After skiing, drop your boards at the corral to take in après, drinks in front of outdoor fireplaces, soaking in outdoor hot pools, pampering in their spa and dining in the Westbank Grill steakhouse. Get a mountain-view room facing the slopes to catch the moon setting over Rendezvous Mountain and wake to the sunrise lighting up the slopes. (Reservations: 307-732 5600 or 800-295-5281.) 

The new Teton Lift accesses the full length of Kemmerer Run. - ©Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

The new Teton Lift accesses the full length of Kemmerer Run.

Copyright: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

2. Ski the Teton Lift

New this year and opening on Dec. 19, 2015, the Teton Lift shoots up from South Pass Traverse between Casper and Apres Vous lifts. Its 1,722 vertical feet is mostly terrain only accessible to hikers in the past. The 4-minute quad lift will lure intermediates for the Crags and Wide Open runs while advanced skiers can plunge into tree shots or Kemmerer, a black diamond drop named after the current owners of the mountain. To explore the terrain’s nooks, hire a ski instructor for a customized private lesson in the boulder drops on Moran Face. (Reservations: 307-739-2779.) 

The Handle Bar burger stacks up with caramelized onions and mushrooms. - ©Becky Lomax

The Handle Bar burger stacks up with caramelized onions and mushrooms.

Copyright: Becky Lomax

3. Après at The Handle Bar

After skiing, head to the Four Seasons, where The Handle Bar combines a pub atmosphere with mountain views for those who earned their après on the slopes. Order a cocktail to relish the scenery through extra large windows or from the outdoor patio surrounded by a flaming rock half-wall. Pair up craft beers on tap with shots of international whiskeys and a platter of elk chili nachos. For bell-to-bell skiers who earned beefier nosh, go for the stacked Handle Burger with dollops of truffle whip and caramelized onions, mushrooms and smoked blue cheese. 

Four seasons has slopeside pools for soaking. - ©Becky Lomax

Four seasons has slopeside pools for soaking.

Copyright: Becky Lomax

4. Soothe Sore Muscles

If you really skied Jackson Hole’s vertical, your muscles will talk. To ease pain and prepare for repeat days, slide into the several interconnected, boulder-scaped hot pools to soak at the Four Seasons. When sufficiently noodled, grab a heated towel to dry off. To let someone else work out the soreness, visit the 11,685-square-foot, 16-treatment-room Four Season spa for massages, facials and body treatments. Relax in front of fireplaces in the two tranquility lounges, one for each gender, and schedule a High Altitude Body Soak in one of the two private spa suites that have a Swiss shower, fireplace and deep tub. (Reservations: 307-732-5120.) 

Backcountry skiing in the Tetons surrounding Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. - ©Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

Backcountry skiing in the Tetons surrounding Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

Copyright: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

5. Join the Fantasy Camp

Jackson Hole multi-day programs, such as the Steep and Deep or women’s Elevate camps, work with the resort’s terrain. But now the Fantasy Camp bundles together bigger adventures for advanced and expert skiers. Scheduled Jan. 3-9, 2016, the Fantasy Camp combines the local guide expertise in five days of skiing, an après, a dining experience, and lodging at Four Seasons Resort. The camp starts with one day of in-bounds skiing to warm up followed by four days of guided backcountry skiing in Grand Teton National Park. The guide-to-guest ratio is best: one guide from Exum Mountain Guides and one athlete from Teton Gravity Research per three campers. (Reservations: 307-733-2297.)


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