Photograph by Randy Barnes, Aurora Photos
When it comes to terrain, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort claims some of the best on the planet—famed chutes like Corbet’s Couloir and backcountry gates that access stuff straight out of ski movies are the norm here. But the resort is, after all, still a resort. To take it to the next level, head to Teton Pass, where a quick hike from the apex of Wyoming Highway 22/Idaho 33 (which runs between Wilson, Wyoming, and Victor, Idaho) will reward you with myriad adventurous backcountry lines and practically guaranteed powder. The most popular route, up to the top of 10,086-foot (3,074-meter) Mount Glory and down Glory Bowl, delivers 2,000 vertical feet (610 meters) of wide-open lines, trees, and secret stashes.
Teton Pass is no secret. In fact, on powder days it feels as if it’s a resort itself since many of the locals ski here exclusively. But it is a rite of passage for any backcountry skier or snowboarder visiting the Tetons. It’s also a fantastic way to experience powder skiing in the high, dry northern Rockies without committing to a long skin slog. The true beauty of the pass is that the hike is so fast and the ride down dumps you onto the highway so that you can rack up lap after lap of fresh white goodness. Plus, you can escape the crowds by heading across the highway to Avalanche Bowl or pack the skins and head farther north from Glory into Unskiabowl and the Great White Hump.
Just be very careful: This is true backcountry and it can be deadly. Carry avalanche gear and know how to use it. If you are unsure of your backcountry skills, hire a guide.
Need to Know: Get prepared with a 24-hour basic avalanche course with Exum Mountain Guides, starting at $235 (www.exumguides.com).