President's Day Weekend in Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole is a skier’s paradise. Many would argue that Jackson Hole is simply the greatest ski area in North America, if not the world. I would tend to agree now that I have realized my dream of skiing Jackson Hole.
During President’s Day weekend over 50 HBS students left Boston for Jackson Hole’s 2,500 square acres of awesome bowls, faces, chutes, glades and ridges. The first day of skiing offered blue skies and steep groomed slopes with some patches of powder in the trees. The next two days were powder packed with some of the best backcountry skiing I have ever done.

Former Norwegian telemark skiing champion, Harald “I have no fear” Hoegh (ND), led us through some of Jackson Hole’s toughest terrain. Harald left us all in awe as he raced through the powder and jumped of steep cliffs.

After long days on the mountain, we spent some quality time at the Mangy Moose Salon, a rustic, lively tavern which is THE place for aprŠs ski. Pitchers for $11. Say no more. We also enjoyed high-class aprŠs ski in front of an outdoor fireplace at the newly built Four Seasons Hotel overlooking the mountain. Phil “October Fest” Saumweber (NH) led the charge at what was to become a most memorable afternoon. “Don’t underestimate the power of aprŠs ski,” he said. “It’s better than a foot of fresh powder.”

And, of course, I must not forget to mention the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, where tourists and locals alike wear cowboy hats and chew tobacco. The Cowboy Bar serves up a crazy mix of live country/Western entertainment seven nights a week.

Tired after three days of awesome skiing, and a few nights and the Cowboy Bar, we returned to Boston. Jackson Hole had offered us all an unforgettable experience. I am already planning my next trip there.

Jackson Hole Facts
Jackson Hole is within spitting distance of both Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. Jackson Hole is remote, but relatively easy to get to. A mere 45-minute plane ride from Salt Lake City.

Days open in 03/04: 128
Year opened: 1965
Average snowfall: 400 inches
Total # lifts: 11
Top elevation: 10,450 feet
Vertical drop: 4,139 feet
Longest run: 7.2 miles
Skiable area: 2,500 acres

Beginner: 10%
Intermediate: 40%
Expert: 50%