If you’re tired of the bunny slopes, head out to Jackson Hole. Here, you’ll find mostly intermediate and advanced slopes. These are not to be taken lightly. They’re devious little runs that don’t look daunting or treacherous from a distance but, once you’re on them, you’ll experience the infamous drops, the vertical, and hard banking that makes this one of the most epic places in the U.S. to ski.
The Apres Vous Chair
This run sneaks up on you. It doesn’t look as steep as it really is. Mostly, intermediate skiers run here. Ride up the Teewinot Chair to get here, and off to your right you’ll see the loading station for the Apres Vous Chair.
If you’re staying at one of the many luxury hotel Jackson Hole offers, it’s a quick run to the top and you might want to call it quits for the day or at least for an hour or two until your heart stops racing.
Casper Chair is another intermediate stretch of terrain. Ride up the lift, then turn right off the chair and pass the entrance for Sleeping Indian and Wide Open. Look for the sign for Casper Chair, turn right, and follow the traverse. You’ll wander into the trees a bit going down this one, and end up in Wide Open.
This trail has a lot of trees and some boulders, so watch out. Not a lot of skiers go here, which means you may have the trail all to yourself.
There’s a deli on the main floor here at the Bridger Gondola You can also take a bathroom break, if you need to. Take a lift to the top and start skiing down immediately once you exit the gondola. There’s a little place for you to ski to the left of where you get off. If you take this route, you’ll end up in Upper Casper Bowl.
If you go right, you’ll be met with a sign, and caution signs. This area is a little rocky and leads to Granny Chutes. It’s pretty challenging. There are a lot of boulders and drop-offs that sneak up on you.
Now we get to the serious stuff. Thunder Chair is one of the hardest runs to ski, as it goes up a ridge-line with several routes coming down the ridge as well as both flanks. When you ride the lift up to the top for this run, look on your left. This is Riverton Bowl. When you get to the top of the mountain, you’ll see a barricade made of orange fencing. This is the “no-go” zone.
You can go straight off the chair, take the road between Amphitheater and Laramie Bowl and take a 180 degree left turn around the chair station to orient yourself back down the mountain. The tram cables should be directly above you.
As you go down the mountain, you’ll see an obvious road veering off to the left. If you take this one, it leads back to Amphitheater and to the bottom of Thunder Chair.
If you stay on that road, however, you’ll come to the top of a run on the right called Paintbrush. It’s a steep bump that faces north and takes you down to Toilet Bowl. From there, you’ll make your way back down to Amphitheater. Have fun, and be safe.
Debbie Huntsberry can’t get enough of the ski resort scene. An avid writer, she loves to share her experiences on the slopes with others who are searching for new places to ski. Look for her informative and interesting posts on a number of travel, ski and vacation resort blogs and websites today.