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Skiing Jackson Hole: Finding Easier Terrain for Novices

If you’re looking for a great place to start skiing, you might be surprised to learn that Jackson Hole is perfect for novices. There are some important landmarks here and a great community.

Here are some tips and advice for finding easier terrain around Jackson Hole if you’re just starting out.

Make Sure you Come Prepared

Ski RF

Before you buy your lift ticket, before you even pack up the car to go to the Hole, make sure you’re both physically and mentally prepared. You don’t have to stay in a luxury hotel Jackson Hole, but you’ll probably want to after your first day here. There’s a lot of skiing here, and you’ll not get through it all in one day.

Plan on staying a few days to get a good idea of what it’s like here. Bring good goggles, waterproof but breathable shells, multiple layers of synthetic or wool garments, some good-quality gloves, and a neck gaiter.

The weather here can change on a dime, and the elevation is over 4,000 vertical feet. So, the weather you experience at the bottom of the hill won’t necessarily be what you experience up top.

Start with the Novice Terrain

If you’re a novice, the logical place to start is with novice terrain. Your landmark, as it were, is the Teton Tram Building. Always ski back toward this one, as this mountain can take you really far away from it. And, if you end up a mile away from the main building, you’ll have a long walk ahead of you.

If you want an easier ride down the hill, choose Moran and, if you’re looking for something a little more difficult, choose Werner. St John’s is a little longer of a run, but it’s not groomed as frequently as Moran and Werner (which are groomed every night).

Another good place to test your skills is the Saratoga bowl. This used to be out of bounds and it can avalanche if the weather is really bad and the conditions are right, but it’s actually permanently open and relatively safe for most skiers.

Rough Terrain

Skiing Royalty Free

Most of the rough terrain you’ll find here is out of bounds. But, don’t go out of bounds if you’re not a pro skier or you have any doubts about your abilities. That means, unless you’re skiing with friends, you have the gear, and the experience to ski on unknown and uncharted land that’s not groomed or maintained, don’t do it. There are no snow patrols and no snow safety screws out here. You get what you get.

With that being said, there’s some amazing opportunities for the adventurous skier. If you do want adventure, but you’re not ready to risk life and limb to get it, Try the Apres Vous Chair.

It doesn’t look like much, but it’s strictly for intermediate skiers. Another run that’s quasi in-bounds is Saratoga. This one is a little patchy, there’s some rock gardens, and you’re not always getting good vertical.

Then there’s Togwotee Pass traverse. This run will lead you from Moran Run to Casper Chair/ Casper Chair is another intermediate run and, if you’re feeling very adventurous, try Thunder Chair. It’s one of the most challenging runs at Jackson Hole.

Debbie Huntsberry recently discovered the joys of skiing. An avid writer, she loves to share her experiences with anyone who loves to try new things. Look for her interesting articles on a variety of websites and blog sites, too.

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