Pg. 076 Jack­son Hole

Chill Factor - - Introduction - Words and ski­ing by Co­hen Ben­nie-Faul All pho­tos by Tony Har­ring­ton

Co­hen Ben­nie-Faull ex­plains why the com­bi­na­tion of Jack­son Hole’s in­cred­i­ble ter­rain and reg­u­lar deep pow­der is a skier’s dream

Hotham skier Coen Ben­nieFaull has made Jack­son Hole his home for the past two north­ern hemi­sphere win­ters, and he in­tends to keep go­ing back. Here he tells us why…

Jack­son Hole re­ally is the Wild West – an un­tamed life­style where ev­ery­thing is pos­si­ble and any­one who lives in Jack­son is prob­a­bly ca­pa­ble of any­thing. Jack­son nur­tures a spe­cial com­bi­na­tion of tal­ented and mo­ti­vated in­di­vid­u­als, as well as an end­less op­por­tu­nity to try some­thing new and live out­side the prover­bial box. Not to men­tion the geography of the place, lo­cated amongst the Te­tons in Wy­oming, Jack­son finds it­self in the least pop­u­lated state of Amer­ica, and amongst some of the most mind-bend­ing ter­rain you will ever come across.

How­ever, what makes Jack­son so rad in my eyes is the peo­ple that gal­li­vant around this revered cor­ri­dor of moun­tains. Drawn by the un­ruly cul­ture and ex­tra­or­di­nary land­scape, the kind of crowd that finds it­self in Jack­son – whether it be on hol­i­day, or sucked into the vor­tex for a more long term com­mit­ment – share the same unique en­joy­ment for ad­ven­ture. Maybe it’s the love of the freak­ish week-long storms that drown the place on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, or the ac­ces­si­ble ter­rain and ver­ti­cal drop, or the back­drop that keeps your jaw drop­ping the en­tire time your within view of the Te­ton range. This shared take on life cre­ates a cul­ture un­like any I’ve vis­ited be­fore, col­lec­tive in na­ture and ex­tremely con­tent with the world on a daily ba­sis. Kind of like a friend with an in­fec­tious smile that you can’t help but grin with ev­ery time you lay eyes on it, Jack­son Hole is in­fected with happiness, smiles, and an en­joy­ment of life in gen­eral. It’s hard not to catch the vibe.

From a skier’s point of view, Jack­son Hole has al­ways been the Mecca at the top of the list (it was at the top of mine for ten years be­fore I man­aged to make my way here for the first time, just last year), with the

Jack­son Hole is renowned for some of the best ter­rain in North Amer­ica. Co­hen drop­ping into an­other bowl and an­other face shot.

OP­PO­SITE: Hook­ing into cold, dry snow at speed. Epic

best amal­ga­ma­tion of reg­u­lar deep snow, dev­il­ishly steep ter­rain, and un­bounded op­tions as to where and what a day of shred­ding can en­tail ev­ery time you click in. The re­sort it­self throws up an as­sort­ment of chal­lenges on its own, whether hik­ing the Head­wall to take on some of the heav­i­est lines you could ever imag­ine, or drop­ping into the fa­mous Corbet’s Couloir, or just feel­ing the burn from div­ing your way down 4,139 feet of ver­ti­cal rise all off of the one aerial tram ride with a 100 peo­ple stand­ing ca­pac­ity. But it’s what lays both north and south of the big red box that should ex­cite you the most. With an open gate pol­icy, the back­coun­try here is never end­ing and rarely do you ski a day out of bounds that doesn’t take you to at least one new zone you have never seen or even thought about send­ing it to. In ad­di­tion to that, all within a hop, skip, and jump from town, you can find your­self your own slice of ski tour­ing heaven in both the Grand Te­ton Na­tional Park (GTNP) and up on Te­ton Pass, de­pend­ing on how much time you can af­ford get­ting af­ter that stoke. I have put my­self in Jack­son Hole the last two win­ters to chase the dream and sur­round my­self with like-minded in­di­vid­u­als in pur­suit of mak­ing this life­style a sus­tain­able one for the fore­see­able fu­ture. Why not do more of what makes you happy in life?

Not only is it one of the best big moun­tain train­ing grounds in the world, but it is also de­void of your clas­sic be­gin­ner and in­ter­me­di­ate ski re­sort crowd. The vast

ma­jor­ity of its ter­rain is ren­dered “ex­treme” by the na­ture of the Te­ton Range, ris­ing al­most di­rectly ver­ti­cal out of the prairie land below the clouds.

This past sea­son stands in stark con­trast to the pre­vi­ous, with end­less storms drop­ping four, five, and six feet of snow in one cy­cle. Last year, a rar­ity for Jack­son, no snow­fall was seen be­tween Fe­bru­ary 6 and the end of March. How­ever, the stoke lev­els were still the same, en­hanc­ing the view that it is more than just the snow that keeps the vibe around this cor­ner of the globe.

I ski and live in Jack­son with some of the most de­ter­mined and mo­ti­vated folk I have ever met, and it seems to be a theme about town, an over­whelm­ing push to get af­ter it day in and day out.

With reg­u­lar storms, this sea­son brought a new ad­ven­ture to just about ev­ery day, and the deep­est snow I have ever skied. Wak­ing up to 12 inches plus overnight with a fur­ther seven or eight fall­ing by the time lifts stop load­ing at the end of the day al­most be­comes ex­pected when Jack­son Hole de­cides to turn it on for a win­ter. When that hap­pens, the set lim­its of what is pos­si­ble seem to blow away with each storm and you can’t help but get a glimpse of the feel­ing that all the ef­fort to put your­self in that place, at that time, was com­pletely worth it.

“This sea­son brought a new

ad­ven­ture to just about ev­ery day, and the deep­est

snow I’ve ever skied.”

Matt Rear­don, one of the many Squaw lo­cals who hit KT22 on the good days. OP­PO­SITE: KT 22, ac­cesses some of the best in-bounds

ter­rain in North Amer­ica. This is only the front side.

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