Jack­son Hole

SKI - - WEST - —Gordy Me­groz

Last sea­son in the Te­tons, the snow gods gave like Oprah. When the win­ter ended, 593 inches of fluff had fallen on Jack­son Hole Moun­tain Re­sort, the most in the ski area’s 51-year his­tory. That caused read­ers to gush about the con­di­tions, say­ing things like, “Kick­ass Western steep and deep!” and “What a win­ter for snow, and more snow, and more snow.” It helped the re­sort to a No. 7 rank­ing in that cat­e­gory. And it made for near-daily pow­der ski­ing on the re­sort’s fa­mous steeps, in­clud­ing the couloirs and glades, huck­able cliffs and cor­nices, and thou­sands of acres of easy-to-ac­cess back­coun­try. “Best ter­rain” was the com­mon re­frain among read­ers, gar­ner­ing Jack­son Hole a No. 2 in Chal­lenge. Of course those at­tributes brought the masses (558,390 skier vis­its marks the third high­est in re­sort his­tory), and read­ers com­plained that the ski area felt “too crowded.” It wasn’t the big­gest gripe. Many read­ers crit­i­cized Jack­son for “not be­ing kid friendly” (No. 30). The ski area’s brass is at­tempt­ing to fix that, adding Soli­tude Sta­tion, a 12,000-square-foot lodge lo­cated at the Sweet­wa­ter Gon­dola’s mid-sta­tion that will cater to “fam­ily après events” and house a ski school. That, how­ever, won’t open un­til next sea­son. Un­til then, pa­trons will have to make due with the No. 9-ranked din­ing (“on-moun­tain food is best at the top of the gon­dola, but all op­tions are good,” notes one reader), the speedy, No. 8-ranked lifts (“great net­work!”), the town’s charm­ing Western vibe (No. 7)— sev­eral read­ers com­mented that the area has “lots of char­ac­ter”. And, yeah, all that snow.

OFF-THE-MAP TRAIL Hike up the near-ver­ti­cal White Spi­der and ski any of the lines in Casper Bowl. The cliffy bowl is lightly skied and typ­i­cally good for a few pow­der stashes.

DIN­NER PICK The Snake River Grill is pricey but worth a splurge. And you can find a de­li­cious bar­gain: the wild game Korean Hot Bowl, a spicy, $28 mouth­gasm of de­li­cious­ness.

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