Discover Jackson Hole with one of the Ski Club's knowledgeable Leaders

Jackson Hole has a reputation for deep snow and varied big mountain terrain, a combination which lures skiers from around the globe every season. But what is it that keeps skiers coming back to the iconic resort year after year?

To find out more, the team quizzed Ski Club Leader Kim Easdale, who has been Leading in Jackson Hole for 10 years. With such a bank of experience Kim is practically a local, so we can’t think of anyone better to tell us a little more about how members can enjoy Jackson Hole.

Find out more about the Ski Club’s Leader service which has run in Jackson Hole since the turn of the century here.

What has kept you coming back to Jackson Hole for over a decade?

In short; the people, the western friendliness and the ski terrain.

The locals are so genuine, community-minded and ready to host all comers. At the Town Square Inn complex, the Ski Club’s Jackson base, Clarene Law has been welcoming new guests personally to her local business since opening her family opened it in 1962. The staff are generous with their time and their local knowledge is second to none. You receive the authentic western hospitality across the all the Town Square Inn properties Cowboy Village, 49er and Elk Country, all providing affordable family and pet-friendly accommodation.

Exploring the town's boardwalks, you will come across the Wort Hotel and the Million Dollar Cowboy bar which is one of the true experiences of the Wild West historic wilderness of the trapping and ranching communities of old. For those looking for more modern entertainment, there is tubing and ice hockey to entertain après skiing on offer!

It’s easy to see why the terrain is so popular. From Corbet’s Couloir for the truly adventurous, to the steep chutes of Alta and Tower 3, to the open Rendezvous Bowl and glades of tree runs seldom found in Europe, there is something for everyone here. The vast mountain with 1261 vertical metres of powder has kept me grinning year on year, who wouldn’t want to experience that every season?

What is your favourite area on exploring on a powder day?

With so much terrain on offer, it’s difficult to pick one. The Big Red queue can be long on a powder day so to make sure we get fresh tracks I will often head to the Sleeping Indian and Moran faces for first runs then off to Teton lift and the glades. By mid-morning, the queues have normalised and if it is a true storm cycle for which Jackson Hole is renowned, I will stick the trees and gullies for improved visibility. If the skies are clearing a run-up Big Red to Rendezvous bowl is a delight. Gannet is also a favourite for wide open intermediate powder heaven. And for the more adventurous, if the Headwall has opened, a short hike unlocks less accessible terrain in Casper Bowl, a definite highlight.

Discover this incredible area on one of our Freshtracks holidays.

After skiing where do you hang out?

The Mangy Moose is synonymous with Jackson Hole. A hanging life-size moose is the centrepiece of the establishment, with the live music, wings, beers and tales of the days skiing circulating throughout the bar. The Alpenhof, where we meet, offers Swiss fondues and raclettes with oom-pah music for those missing the Alps. The old Nick Wilson café has been given a facelift and RPK3 offers a stylish relaxed atmosphere with an open fireside and great après offers on food and drinks. The Spur in Teton Mountain Lodge and the Handle Bar in the Four Seasons are a couple more local hot spots. As you can tell, you are spoilt for choice in Jackson Hole!

Then of course when you manage to get back to your accommodation there is the hot tub to luxuriate and marinade those stiff legs before a great meal to fuel the next day’s adventures!

Is the resort for advanced skiers only?

Absolutely not! Jack offers so much to intermediate and family ski groups as well as the advanced skiers but more surprisingly to the non-skier as well. The Sweetwater Gondola with immediate access to the Casper high-speed quad chair and the new Teton lift has opened up confidence inspiring terrain enabling even novice and adventurous intermediate skiers to find comfortable terrain to progress at their own pace. The Après Vous high-speed quad allows the intermediate skier to explore further afield and even to dip their toe into advance terrain in Saratoga bowl. Off the Bridger gondola, Thunder and Sublette lifts there is a blue run to the base enabling the adventurous to explore the whole mountain.

The recent opening of the 2019 Solitude station houses a luxury day lodge for the ski school. The upgraded facility means the ski school experience is much enhanced, with dedicated restaurants, heated magic carpets and separation from the busy base.

For non-skiers or days away from the lifts and pistes, there is no shortage of activities on offer. Sightseeing in Yellowstone National Park is a must by snowmobile or snow coach and warming up at the hot springs via dog sled is highly recommended, with Elk sleigh rides offering a novel and alternative mode of local transport. The art gallery scene is booming with numerous galleries of exquisite art and the Museum of Natural Art to explore.

Foodies will also find heaven in Jackson with an abundance of restaurants to choose from. The humble American burger is ever-present but so too is high-end degustation and quality affordable wholesome food. Live music is almost nightly in numerous locations with swing dancing at the Wort hotel and Million Dollar Cowboy bar and salsa at the Pin Garter to burn up any energy you still have left after skiing! Oh, and did I mention the spa experiences to die for- you will have to come to enjoy the wellness.

What are the advantages of skiing with a Leader in Jackson Hole?

Knowledge of the local area will always make a visitor experience more enjoyable and that is what a Ski Club of Great Britain leader provides, not just here but in all resorts. The piste map of Jackson Hole is generally very good but there are so many secret stashes that we have found with knowledge passed on from Leader to Leader. The aspects of the slopes and the inviting tree runs will entice skiers away from prepared runs but avoiding the cliff bands that are present across the mountain is much easier with the guidance of a Leader.

Off the slopes the Leader has local knowledge of local amenities and restaurants, helping Members find authentic Jackson experiences like swing dancing at the Wort, performances at the Arts Centre, salsa at the Pink Garter. Finally, many of the Leaders have enjoyed the activities mentioned above and are happy to share unbiassed independent recommendations to maximise your time in Jackson.

It is a long flight to Jackson Hole. What are your top tips for beating jet lag?

Without a doubt the best tip is to stay hydrated both on the flight and when you arrive. If possible, arrive a day early for a Freshtracks holiday to get kit ready, familiarise yourself with your accommodation and into the American swing. Once you arrive in the resort, get up the hill with a Leader as soon as possible so at the end of a great day skiing or boarding sleep will not be a problem!