Intro to Backcountry Skiing in the Tetons!

Any level
1 day
All ages
1–4 people
Overview

This course is booked through and operated by Jackson Hole Mountain Guides.

The Tetons and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, are synonymous with big skies and epic outdoor adventures year round.  As fall and winter approach plan now for an unmatched trip skiing in the Teton backcountry. No lift ticket is required and the powder is incredible.


Ski backcountry tours in tree glades skiing on low visibility days and check out scenic summits and high mountain traverses. There’s something for everyone and every skill level. Let your guide treat you to the best skiing the area has to offer.

Here’s what to expect

The day starts early with your guide at your determined meeting place. Each participant will go through a gear check as well as an avalanche beacon refresher. Next, the group will head out to Grand Teton National Park or Teton Pass, where we’ll get into touring mode and start stretching the legs for the uphill ascent.

With sustained efforts up Olive Oil, Wimpy’s Knob, 25 Short, Maverick or Shadow Peak, you’ll earn thousands of feet of pristine snow in the heart of the Tetons before you drop to the valley floor. Expect to get in 2500-5000 vertical feet.

These days run about 6-8 hours in total,

After this class you’ll
  • Have skied in some beautiful, gorgeous powder
  • Be ready to try the next step, we’re happy to travel with you!
Prerequisites for backcountry skiing
  • All participants need to have some experience on variable packed snow and untouched terrain. The days are longer and the objectives demand a good degree of fitness and experience.

This course is also great to take in conjunction with an Avalanche Level 1 or an AIARE Avalanche Rescue class (those are available, too).

Where we are
A word on travel and preparation
  • Grand Teton National Park is located roughly 30 minutes from the Jackson Hole Mountain Guides’ office in Jackson, WY. The office is located at 1325 S. Highway 89, Suite 104, and shares a parking area with Smith’s. Most trips and classes will meet at this office for gear checks, preparation, and classes.
  • It is helpful to arrive a couple of days prior to your trip/class in order to acclimatize. Otherwise, arrive the day before and stop by the office for an equipment check. Do not plan on traveling the day after a significant climb – you will be tired and there are no guaranteed times when you'll return to the trailhead.
  • Plan on having accommodations for the night prior to and the night you return from a significant climb. There are ample hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts in Jackson and the surrounding area. It is highly advisable to make reservations as early as possible.
  • The Jackson Hole airport is the closest, but Idaho Falls (2 – 2.5 hour drive) and Salt Lake City (4 – 5 hour drive) are worth considering as well.
Equipment

UPPER LAYERS

BOTTOM LAYERS

  • Bottom Synthetic or Wool Long Underwear Bottoms Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Butterman Tight
  • Shell Pant: full side zips and built-in gaiters Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Highball Pant
  • Socks: Synthetic or wool. Sized for your boots and blister protection. Liners recommended.

HEAD AND HANDS

  • Gloves  3 pair: 1 light, 1 medium, 1 heavy pair  Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Cyclone Alpine Glove
  • Hat: medium weight ski hat
  • Hat: baseball or visor for sun
  • Buff/neck gaiter

ACCESSORIES

Guides running this program

Doug Workman

Doug Workman began climbing in Converse All-Stars on Connecticut’s Traprock in 1988. Since then he has climbed and skied all over the world. He's been on expeditions to Pakistan, China, Alaska, and Antarctica. He's also climbed throughout Europe and North America—including a day trip up El Capitan’s Triple Direct and multiple trips up the Nose and Astroman in Yosemite. He began guiding for Jackson Hole Mountain Guides in 2001. As a guide for JHMG, Doug has guided hundreds of guests up the Grand Teton and over a dozen brave souls down it on skis.
Doug also currently works for Valdez Heli-Ski Guides, High Mountain Heli Skiing, Ice Axe Expeditions and Jackson Hole Alpine Guides. He has guided skiers off the summit of Denali, guided 5 ski mountaineering trips to the Antarctic Peninsula, and led sail/ski trips to Iceland, Svalbard, and the Lyngen Alps of Norway. Past experience also includes rigging and safety work for National Geographic Television, Camp Four Collective, Chris Davenport Productions, Warren Miller Entertainment, and Teton Gravity Research.

Doug is the Snow and Avalanche Technical Representative for Mammut North America.

 

CERTIFICATIONS:

  • OUTDOOR EMERGENCY CARE
  •  AVALANCHE III

Paul Rachele

Paul is a midwest transplant who drifted to the mountains after college and never really left. Climbing has taken Paul from the deserts of southeast California to the glaciers of central Alaska and everywhere in between. Some of Paul’s most memorable climbing experiences are the Cassin Ridge on Denali and a solo, nighttime ascent of the Hossack-McGowan on the Grand Teton. In the winter, Paul enjoys skiing and ice climbing throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. His most memorable descent was skiing the Grand Teton in boot-top powder, and his favorite run is the Do-Its on Teton Pass. In addition to guiding year-round for Jackson Hole Mountain Guides, Paul is our Avalanche Program Coordinator and Colorado Branch Manager. He is an AMGA/IFMGA Mountain Guide and has completed a Level III Avalanche Course through the American Avalanche Institute.

CERTIFICATIONS:

  • WILDERNESS FIRST RESPONDER
  • AMGA CERTIFIED ROCK GUIDE
  • AMGA CERTIFIED ALPINE GUIDE
  • AMGA CERTIFIED SKI GUIDE
  • IFMGA / UIAGM LICENSED MOUNTAIN GUIDE
  • LEVEL III AVALANCHE

Izzy Lazarus

Izzy grew up in the heart of NYC but found a passion for climbing when she moved to Vermont for college. While balancing in-classroom education and outdoor adventure, Izzy started working for a local climbing gym and guiding service and for her college’s outdoor program. That road led her west to work for the Colorado Outward Bound School, teaching mountaineering, skiing and rock climbing programs year round. After several years of extended wilderness expeditions, she has found herself in the Tetons to take people on their high alpine adventures. Izzy has a passion for education, conversation, ecology and mountain adventures. In some circles she is known as TBM (Tiny But Mighty).

CERTIFICATIONS:

  • AMGA APPRENTICE ROCK AND ALPINE GUIDE
  • AMGA CERTIFIED SINGLE PITCH INSTRUCTOR
  • AVALANCHE LEVEL 1 & 2
  • WILDERNESS FIRST RESPONDER
  • CPR
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