Best American Adventures: Backcountry Ski Teton Pass
We've just updated our popular America's
Best Adventures feature with 50 new trips, bringing our grand total to 100 iconic escapes (see the map, state-by-state list, and photo gallery, too). So no matter what your pleasure—hiking,
heli-skiing, surfing, climbing, biking, or paddling—we've got the perfect adventure
for you. Check in each day for a new, out-the-backdoor adventure highlighted here on our blog.
By Doug Schnitzspahn; 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.
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).
- Nat Geo Expeditions