Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The cradle of American Equality.
This rugged remote corner of the world formed remarkable character. People drawn to the wild to ranch and be free and live life close to the edge of possibility, and to many, beyond the edge of reason. It was the birthplace of equality. A distinction that infused itself into the age and oak of people, remaining even still as a mystique present but intangible to visitors. Here, the mountains are reflected in the people, and vice versa. This as the foundation of place gave rise to opportunity and, ultimately, to the very thing that would threaten it's mystique. The promise of it's constancy loomed from 13776 feet of granite that forms the Grand Teton, and it's range rising above Grand Teton National Park .
Jackson Hole was named by trappers and early travelers to the valley. The word "hole" referring to the valley surrounded entirely by mountains, 22 miles across and 40 miles long, and Jackson given to it for it's namesake, trapper and explorer Davey Jackson.
Long before the trappers arrived in Jackson Hole, Native American tribes spent summer months hunting in the valley. Earliest inhabitants were the Sheepeaters, followed by Shoshoni, Blackfoot, Crow, Bannock and Gros Ventre tribes taking advantage of the wildlife and protection of the valley. In 1806, during the return from the famous Lewis and Clark expedition, one of the members, John Colter, left the party to further explore the mountains and to scout for an east coast fur trading company. Traveling into what was then Crow territory, he likely encountered Jackson Hole during the winter of 1807-08.
The valley was settled by cattle ranchers in the 1890s
Highest Vertical Rise. North America's steepest ski mountain rises out of downtown Jackson, is the area's after school program.
Snow King Mountain. The first ski area in Wyoming, boasting the first chairlift west of the Mississippi built in 1939, she is the mother resting at the foot of her town, and the test for those who live there. In summertime, there are charity competitions for number of times it can be climbed. In winter, three local chairlifts carry the hardiest skiers and snowboarders to face the "highest vertical rise per horizontal feet" (steepest) ski mountain in North America.
For Skiing in Jackson Hole, The Crown Jewel is Rendezvous Mountain
Rising 4,139 feet from the Valley Floor is one of the most difficult and awe inspiring mountains in North America. In 1960 Barry Corbett and Paul McCollister skied from the summit of Rendezvous Mountain. As they hiked up, Barry squinted and looked up into an impossibly steep couloir near the summit and stated in fact and amazement, "Someday someone will ski that." The run would later become known as the famous Corbett's Couloir, first skied by a ski patrolman by the name of Lonnie Ball. Now legendary, the run is a destination for extreme skiers. It was documented by filmmakers Peter Pilafian, Leslie Goodyear
and Troy Beauchamp
for the Barry Corbett Film Festival, a piece that went on to win People's Choice awards and travel with the Telluride Mountain Film Festival. Rendezvous mountain
has the largest vertical rise served by one lift system in the United states. It's huge. Although now served by luxury resort hotels, the raw crags and steep terrain of this incredible mountain will never truly be accessible to the merely overly well heeled. Those who seek true expertise and grit will thrive on this mountain. The rest will enjoy it's vista with a fire and champagne.