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Backcountry Skiing in Jackson Hole

The Mountain Guides
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The Mountain Guides
  • Spent enough time on groomers and ready to take it out of bounds? Set yourself up for future backcountry endeavours by learning about skiing in variable conditions before heading out for a scenic tour and transitioning into a true backcountry skier. Guides will help the intimidating transition feel more approachable by sharing the fundamental skiing skills both in theory and the field.

    Not sure if you should hire a guide? Listen to our ambassador Greg Hill debate the ultimate question: To be guided or not to be guided?

    • Before you head out with your guide, jump on an introductory Zoom call and find out what you’ll be doing once you step into the backcountry. After introducing yourself to the group, your guide will explain everything you need to know. Plan out the tour, talk about the forecast and gear selection, and finally, learn about packing and layering.

    • Meet your guides in the early morning hours at the location you previously agreed on. Around 8 AM, your guide will take you though the basics of avalanche rescue. Around 9 AM, head out and start touring! Have fun on the slopes, learn how to pace and navigate, and see why so many decide to spend their time in the backcountry. You should be back by 3.30 PM for a debrief and course closure.

    • What you get in this adventure:

      • An experienced Jackson Hole ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
      • A full day of backcountry ski touring

      What’s not included:

      • Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
      • Transportation to the meeting point
      • Meals and accommodation
      • Trip insurance
    • In order to enjoy this backcountry adventure, you need to have a moderate level of fitness. You will be on your feet for a full day. While there is terrain for all skill levels in Jackson Hole, you will need to manage controlled descents in variable conditions. All participants should feel comfortable on blue level resort runs and be able to carry a loaded daypack while skinning up variable degrees of terrain.

      For the enjoyment and safety of everyone involved, participants must be approved to participate in advanced backcountry skiing tours either through a previous trip with the guiding service or through recommendations.

    • Backcountry skiing isn’t just for pros looking for the ultimate thrill ride, it’s also beginner friendly, meaning anyone with a moderate level of fitness and blue level resort experience can have fun in the backcountry.

      If you’ve never backcountry skied before, heading out with a private guide is your best bet. They’ll take care of the planning, introduce you to the basics, like skinning uphill, and teach you how to manage the terrain. They also have the experience and avalanche training to keep you safe.

      Participants in the Backcountry 101 course should be capable of hiking 3500 feet uphill in a day and must be strong intermediate to advanced skiers who are capable of skiing ungroomed and treed terrain. This course is also ideal preparation for for taking an AIARE 1.

    • For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:

      • Alpine touring skis, telemark skis or splitboard with skins (can be rented)
      • Touring boots and poles (can be rented)
      • Avalanche safety equipment (can be rented):
        • Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
        • Lightweight snow shovel
        • Avalanche probe

      For personal items, we recommend bringing:

      • Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-tex recommended)
      • Ski pants (Gore-tex recommended)
      • Helmet
      • Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear and socks
      • Down jacket or vest
      • Gloves and hat
      • One triple-action locking carabiner or two conventional locking carabiners
      • Repair kit and Leatherman for your equipment (can be shared between several people)
      • Water bottle and 1L of water
      • Food you can eat on-the-go
      • Sunglasses or ski goggles
      • First-aid kit
      • Sunscreen
      • Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (around a 30-40L bag)
      • Camera — optional
    • All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent:

      • Avalanche safety pack, including backpack, beacon, shovel and probe locally from your guide or rental shops in Jackson Hole
      • Alpine touring or telemark skis, touring boots and poles can be rented locally from your guide or rental shops in Jackson Hole
      • Splitboards can be rented locally from your guide or rental shops in Jackson Hole

      Ski rental locations are in Jackson Hole and should be picked up the night prior to your outing. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.

    • Groups and pricing:

      • For this adventure, the max client-to-guide ratio is 4:1.
      • For advanced ski touring, the client-to-guide ratio is 2:1.
      • The cost per person decreases as the group grows for private tours, so it’s the perfect opportunity to backcountry ski with friends and family.
      • Cost per person doesn’t decrease for group courses.

      Guided ski touring in Jackson Hole can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

      Min. age requirements:

      • Everybody over the age of 18 is welcome to book this backcountry skiing adventure.
      • Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis.

      If you plan to ski with anyone under the age of 18, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

    • Jackson Hole has its own airport (located only 15 minutes away), but Salt Lake City, Utah (4.5 hour drive) is also an air travel option. It is helpful to arrive a couple of days prior to your trip in order to acclimate. Otherwise, you should arrive the day before to get your rental gear sorted out prior to your day in the backcountry.

      Once you and your tour guide agree on the details of your itinerary in Jackson Hole, your guide will suggest the best place to meet. The day usually starts early at the guide’s office or the trailhead. From there, you will go through a quick gear check as well as a quick avalanche beacon refresher. The group will head out and you will quickly get into touring mode and start stretching the legs for the uphill ascent.

    • 57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

      We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Jackson Hole, please refer to the Wyoming Department of Health website.

      Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

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