Star Valley Wyoming

Star Valley Regional Ski Touring Centers
groomed cross country ski trail Teton Creek ski trail Driggs ID

 

Regional Back Country Ski Tours

Rendezvous Ski and Snowboard Tours • Established in 1986, Rendezvous Ski and Snowboard Tours operates three backcountry ski yurts high on the western slope of the Tetons near Jackson Hole and Grand Targhee Ski Resort. Our huts provide access to the Jedediah Smith Wilderness Area and Grand Teton National Park, where over 500 inches of legendary light, dry powder snow falls each winter. A variety of terrain from high mountain ridges and broad, low-angled powder bowls, to the steep and deep combine to make some of the best backcountry ski terrain in the lower 48.

Exum Mountain Guides • Exum offers group and private avalanche training, alpine and nordic ski tours, and ski and snowboard descents of the remarkable mountains of the Teton area. You will gain basic avalanche awareness, improve your skiing and snowboarding technique, and practice the use of avalanche rescue transceivers. Technical skills, such as steep skiing, rock and ice climbing, and rappelling are practiced during ski and snowboard mountaineering trips.

Adventure Stories
 

Trans Teton Ski Tour
By Matt Hart • Today was the final day of my AMGA Ski Guiding course. The last two days we spent crossing the Teton mountain range. This trip was amazing. Sunday morning we started the tour at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Our group of eight students and two instructors were on our way up the tram a half hour before it opens at 9am. It had snowed three inches the night before and it was extremely windy. I could feel the cumulative concern in the tram that morning. I think we all felt a bit worried as we heard the gusts at the top of the tram were reaching 50 mph and blowing the tram all over the place. It felt like an elevator to the arctic as we got off the tram at the top of Rendezvous... ding. We headed South West out of the ski area boundary above Cody bowl. After a short traverse we had to climb the top of Cody Mountain, it was a rocky and snowy face so we threw our skis on our packs and scrambled up.

From here Hans was our lead guide and he did a great job of getting us some pretty amazing knee deep powder turns in a lightly gladed area (here is a video of me skiing it). The weather was such that we were the only ones in the backcountry and on my own I would not have chosen a two day trans Teton trip in a snow storm and 50 mph winds. Our trip had started out pretty well. We all sort of helped navigate to our traverse. We traveled North West across the Middle and South Fork of Granite Creek and up a little ridge just before the climb to Housetop Mountain.

We had planned on camping around Housetop at 10,537 feet but that with the low visibility and high winds we decided to stop short. We camped below the ridge in a safe batch of trees. Here we ---------------------------->More

Winter in the Snow; Tenting and Telemarking in the Tetons
By David Noland • LEANING wearily on our ski poles, the three of us stood at the crest of Beard Mountain, a smooth, rolling, 10,500-foot summit in Wyoming's Jedediah Smith Wilderness. My friend Ted Buhl, an accomplished back-country skier, grinned like a madman in anticipation of a dream run: vast expanses of feathery, untracked, knee-deep powder and a brilliant blue sky with the jagged peaks of the Grand Teton Range as a backdrop. Best of all, there was not another human being within miles -- a just reward for the grueling four-hour climb on skis from our camp in the valley below.

I, on the other hand, could manage only a tentative smile. A novice back-country skier, I was a long way from the gentle, packed cross-country ski trails I'd happily shuffled along for years near my Hudson Valley home. I suspected that my usual technique to avoid oncoming trees -- fall down as quickly as possible -- might not suffice here. "Just stay crouched and bounce up and down a little to get a feel for the powder," said our guide, Glenn Vitucci. "You'll be fine."

Perhaps he was right. An expert skier, naturalist and an 11-year veteran of the Teton back country, Glenn had inspired confidence from our first meeting three days earlier----------------------------------> more

A Sawtooth Scene
by Jonah Cantor • There was this one picture that kept appearing on the tabletop throughout the months that I lived at Johnny’s place. A mountain with two summits dominated the 8x10. An impressive hatchet-split feature tore the saw-toothed summit towers in two. To this, Johnny would point and proclaim with reverence, “The Heyburn Couloir.”

It was his dream hatched during an internship two years before hauling sleds, stocking huts and skiing on the clock for Sun Valley Trekking (SVT), a backcountry hut and yurt operation in the Sawtooths and neighboring ranges of Idaho’s Sun Valley. The previous season, while recovering from a serious climbing accident, skiing the Heyburn had become an obsession.------------------------> More

Cowboy Corn - old boys and outlaws take on the Tetons
By Adam Howard • Piloting the land ship at a comfortable 60 miles per hour up the Wilson, Wyoming side of Teton Pass, Peter belts out a few lines of the Ian Tyson country track playing in the tape deck, while his hired man Patrick Gilroy points out some of his winter's skiing exploits on folds of earth south of the road. It's the first week of June and ample late season snow still lays in the shadows and wherever cornices grew big in winter. Both men are just back from a three-week hold up in a tent by extreme cold on Alaska's Denali, and I sense they're ready to cut loose.

  "What's cool about skiing in June," Peter says as he reaches to turn down the volume, "is when you're not skiing you're hanging out in your shorts."   He mashes his sneakered foot on the accelerator to get around a slow moving camper with Missouri plates and with that we crest over the pass and are now plunging toward Idaho.   "Plus," he adds. "With a fast horse you're pretty close to the bar if you need to re-supply." -----------------------------------> More

Chronology of North American Ski Mountaineering and Backcountry Skiing
By Louis Dawson • This chronology is always being improved and updated. Note that the focus here is ski mountaineering and backcountry skiing that involves climbing mountains and skiing down them. While less emphasis is placed on ski traverses, these are considered as well, provided such traverses cover mountain terrain and involve climbs and descents as an integral part of the route (other than ski traverses included for context). One of the most important milestones in this list of events is the first time a particular mountain is skied down from the exact summit or near. While many mountains in North America were explored by people on skis in the early 1900s, the actual event of a person climbing to the top and skiing back down may have occurred at a date later than the first ski exploration. I've attempted to note both events when possible. My picks for the most important ski mountaineering events in North America are marked with a yellow background. -------------------> More

Avalanche - Highland Bowl, Colorado
By Louis Dawson • Aspen, Colorado. For myself and John "Izo" Isaacs, the morning of February 19, 1982 dawned clear, calm and filled with excitement. At 3:30 AM we strapped climbing skins to our skis, and began the long climb via the Highlands Ski Area to the summit of Highlands Peak. We intended to ski Highland Bowl, the stupendous amphitheater formed by the north and south ridges of the peak. Hundreds of avalanches fall here each winter. Most of these grind to a halt on the low angled "flats" midway between the summit and valley. But during heavy winters, monster slides roar almost a vertical mile to the valley floor.
Back in 1982, Highlands Bowl was closed by law to most skiers (it is now part of the ski area's "extreme" terrain). The ski-patrol would take the occasional guided tour, but neither Izo nor I cared to deal with red tape, nor have someone tell us where to ski. ------------------------------------> More

Safety on steep snow - Ice ax, crampons, and self arrest technique
By Lou Dawson • Climbers and skiers die every year from sliding falls on snow. Thus, no discussion of safe snow climbing and steep skiing would be complete without a review of the self arrest -- the time honored method for stopping such falls.
For snow climbers and mountain skiers the self arrest has four forms. These depend on gear. While climbing, you'll need to know how to self arrest with your ice ax. While skiing, you can use specialized self arrest grips on your ski poles. These are less effective than an ice axe, yet skiing while holding an ice ax is dangerous and awkward, so arrest grips can be useful. If you have ski poles, but no arrest grips or ice ax, you can perform a self arrest with your pole tips. This is awkward and ineffective. Lastly, if you have nothing, you can try to arrest with your hands and boot toes. This is bogus -- but good to practice so you know why you need a tool for an effective arrest.------------------------------> More

Greater Yellowstone Mountaineering
Woman Mountain Climber negotatiing tough section of rock wall

Mountaineering is the sport of walking, hiking, backpacking, skiing and climbing mountains and it is a great way to see the mountains of the Greater Yellowstone Region if you are fit and adventurous enough to do so. Greater Yellowstone’s Grand Teton Mountain Range has been a world-renowned mountaineering destination for mountaineers for a century.

While mountaineering began as attempts to reach the highest point of unclimbed mountains, it has branched into specializations that address different aspects of the mountain and consists of three areas: rock-craft, snow-craft and skiing, depending on whether the route chosen is over rock, snow or ice. All require experience, athletic ability, and technical knowledge to maintain safety.

Rock climbing another part of mountaineering is a sport in which climbers climb up or across natural rock formations. The goal is to reach the summit of a formation or the endpoint of a pre-defined route. Rock climbing is a physically and mentally demanding sport, one that often tests a climber's strength, endurance, agility, and balance along with his or her mental control. It can be a dangerous sport and knowledge of proper climbing techniques and usage of specialized climbing equipment is crucial for the safe completion of routes. Because of the wide range and variety of rock formations around the world rock climbing has been separated into several different styles and sub-disciplines that are described below. Climbing communities have developed rating systems for routes. Ratings (or "grades") record and communicate consensus appraisals of difficulty. The ratings take into account multiple factors affecting a route, such as the slope of the ascent, the quantity and quality of available handholds, the distance between holds, and whether advanced technical maneuvers are required.

Compacted snow conditions allow mountaineers to progress on foot. Frequently crampons are required to travel efficiently over snow and ice. They are used on hard snow and ice to provide additional traction and allow very steep ascents and descents. Snowshoes can be used to walk through deep snow. Skis can be used everywhere snowshoes can and also in steeper, more alpine landscapes, although it takes considerable practice to develop strong skills for difficult terrain.

Ascending and descending a snow slope safely requires the use of an ice axe and many different footwork techniques that have been developed over the past century.

Combining the techniques of alpine skiing and mountaineering to ascend and descend a mountain is a form of the sport by itself, called Ski Mountaineering which has seen amazing popularity with our adrenalin junkies of Bozeman MT, Jackson Hole, Cody and Lander WY and Teton Valley Idaho. Ski mountaineering is a sport that combines the techniques of skiing (often ski touring) with those of mountaineering. The goal of the ski mountaineer may be to climb a beautiful mountain by a worthy route and then ski the mountain down an elegant line, preferably from the summit. But ski mountaineering is really distinguished from ski touring by a willingness and desire to travel over any part of the mountain, not just those areas with sheltered powder snowfields or other nice descending conditions. This may include significant rock, ice or broken glacier sections, as well as traverses and enchainements rather than just single peak ascents.

While using skiing techniques for much of the time, ski mountaineers climb otherwise inaccessible or dangerous slopes on foot using a range of mountaineering equipment - typically crampons, ice axes and ropes - while skis are carried strapped to their backpack. This either permits access to extreme slopes, or more often allows transit through otherwise impassable terrain in order to continue beyond on skis, where normal ski touring equipment such as skins and harscheisen (ski crampons - also called couteau or cortelli) are used.

Ice climbers test their skiils on the ice in the South Fork of the Shoshone Valley outside Cody WY.

Ice climbing, as the term indicates, is the activity of ascending inclined ice formations. Usually, ice climbing refers to roped and protected climbing of features such as icefalls, frozen waterfalls, and cliffs and rock slabs covered with ice refrozen from flows of water.

For the purposes of climbing, ice can be broadly divided into two spheres, alpine ice and water ice. Alpine ice is found in a mountain environment, usually requires an approach to reach, and is often climbed in an attempt to summit a mountain. Water ice is usually found on a cliff or other outcropping beneath water flows. Alpine ice is frozen precipitation whereas water ice is a frozen liquid flow of water. Most alpine ice is generally component of longer routes and often less technical, have more in common with standard glacier travel, while water ice is selected largely for its technical challenge.

Ice is weird stuff, though climbing it might just be weirder. Ice-climbing is also potentially painful: half the equipment has sharp metal points (like tools, crampons, and ice-screws) that mix well with neither the other half of the equipment (like clothes, pack, and rope), nor with the soft flesh of a climber. And then there’s the objective danger. Ice-climbs are temporary features of winter, and are in a perpetual state of falling down during their short life-spans. That’s the part of ice-climbing that’s potentially lethal. The paradox of ice-climbs is that they can provide the easiest and safest means of ascent of a cliff, or a mountain. The trick is to determine when an ice-climb is safe, and to do that requires knowing all about ice.

Some important techniques and practices common in rock climbing that are employed in ice climbing include knowledge of rope systems, tying in, belaying, leading, abseiling, and lowering. Beginners should learn these techniques before attempting to ice climb. It is highly recommended that one acquire knowledge from experts and experienced ice climbers.

The Greater Yellowstone Region being the ice box it is in winter provides many frozen waterfalls in winter that provide great Ice climbing but two places have ice climbing destinations, Cody Wyoming’s South Fork of the Shoshone River Valley in the Absaroka Mountains and Bozeman Montana’s Hyalite Canyon in the Gallatin Range. Both areas have Ice Climbing Festivals, the Bozeman Ice Festival and the Water Fall Ice Festival in Cody.

Mountaineering & Ski Guides
 
Rock Climber, Blacktail Butte, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Rendezvous Ski and Snowboard Tours • (Teton Valley) Established in 1986, Rendezvous Ski and Snowboard Tours operates three backcountry ski yurts high on the western slope of the Tetons near Jackson Hole and Grand Targhee Ski Resort. Our huts provide access to the Jedediah Smith Wilderness Area and Grand Teton National Park, where over 500 inches of legendary light, dry powder snow falls each winter. A variety of terrain from high mountain ridges and broad, low-angled powder bowls, to the steep and deep combine to make some of the best backcountry ski terrain in the lower 48.

Exum Mountain Guides • (Jackson Hole) Exum offers group and private avalanche training, alpine and nordic ski tours, and ski and snowboard descents of the remarkable mountains of the Teton area. You will gain basic avalanche awareness, improve your skiing and snowboarding technique, and practice the use of avalanche rescue transceivers. Technical skills, such as steep skiing, rock and ice climbing, and rappelling are practiced during ski and snowboard mountaineering trips.

Yellowstone Expedetion • (Yellowstone) Let us show you the finest way to experience a true Yellowstone winter, at a cross-country skier's pace from the Yellowstone Yurt Camp. Join our certified backcountry ski guides to explore the Yellowstone backcountry. Our multiday cross-country skiing excursions are based from the comfortable Canyon Skier's "Yurt Camp" located only one half mile from the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

Montana Alpine Guides • (Bozeman Montana) Montana Alpine Guides is Montana's premier rock climbing and mountaineering guide service. Montana Alpine Guides has been serving Bozeman, Big Sky, Yellowstone National Park, and southwest Montana for over ten years. Montana Alpine Guides offers personalized professional instruction in the arts of rock climbing ice climbing, mountaineering, hiking and backpacking. Specializing in guiding novice and intermediate climbers Montana Alpine Guides promotes climbing as a safe and exciting activity that can be enjoyed by the entire family. Our instructors are highly skilled professional guides who are dedicated to teaching the art of climbing and who provide the skills and confidence necessary for you to safely enjoy your alpine adventures.

Mountaineering & XC-Ski Stores
 
Rock Climber Bart Young climbing a face on Blacktail Butte, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Skinny Skis • (Jackson Hole) Finding the right gear and clothing for cross country skiing begins with a visit to Skinny Skis. Since 1974 Skinny Skis has been Jackson Hole's leading shop. In addition to featuring the finest line-up of cross country ski equipment, Skinny Skis carries summer and winter outdoor gear and clothing from many of the world's leading manufacturers: Patagonia, Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, Arcteryx, Salomon, Cloudveil, Rossignol, Fischer and Black Diamond, to name but a few.

Teton Mountaineering • (Jackson Hole) Teton Mountaineering is the oldest outdoor specialty shop in the United States. This year we are celebrating our twenty-ninth anniversary, and actually, our business dates back even farther, having originated as the "Outhaus" in the nineteen-fifties. Our commitment to both excellence in retailing and to our unique mountain heritage remains strong.

Yöstmark Mountain Equipment • (Teton Valley) Yöstmark Mountain Equipment is a backcountry skiing and outdoor equipment shop located in Driggs, Idaho.  We are avid outdoors men and women who are out "testing" the equipment whenever we can and we'll be happy to share with you how it works for us.

Wild Iris Mountain Sports • (Lander WY) At the base of the Wind River Mountains. Wild Iris Mountain Sports the climbing store for information on climbing and back packing the Wind River range, as well as rock climbing in Sinks Canyon, Wild Iris, Sweetwater Rocks, Baldwin Creek. Our helpful staff can answer any of your questions about the Cirque of the Towers, Gannett Peak, Dickinson Park, Stough Creek Basin, Popo Agie Falls and more Wind River Mountains destinations. We carry many climbing books and guide books, as well as outdoor gear brands like Mountain Hardware, Patagonia, Marmot and Prana.

Core Mountain Sports • (Cody Wyoming) Welcome to the new Core Mountain Sports! The new CMS will serve as your one stop shop for Wyoming adventure, by combining Rock, Ice, Water and a helpful community you will feel right at home knowing your passion is ours!

Barrel Mountaineering: • (Bozeman Montana) A full-service outdoor store specializing in functional outdoor apparel, back- packing, climbing equipment, backcountry ski gear, maps and books.We pride ourselves in providing the best outdoor gear complete with honest, knowledgeable customer service.

The Grand Tetons


The Grand Tetons are a magnet for mountaineers from all over the world. The jagged snow-crusted peaks epitomize the ruggedness of the West, All the elements of alpine climbing, rock, ice, snow, and altitude, are represented in the Tetons. Glaciers, striking arêtes, fist-size cracks, steep rocky ridges and ice couloirs abound providing climbers a true alpine experience. This variety makes them especially appealing to experienced mountaineers who use the Tetons to apply their technical rock climbing skills in alpine settings and to train for Alaskan or Himalayan expeditions.

Grand Teton Lake SolitudeAt first glance the Tetons are daunting to novice, the massifs known as Grand Teton, Middle Teton, South Teton, Moran and Teewinot are surprisingly accessible once you’ve mastered a few essential moves, learn how to read rock, how to knot a rope, how to belay a companion, and to leverage your arm and leg muscles and you’ll be capable of climbing the Tetons.

Grand Teton From Huricane PassAscents of Grand Teton typically involve two days. The first day climbers leave Lupine Meadows Trailhead by 10 a.m., and hike up hike up Garnet Canyon trail, the main approach to the Grand. Along the way you are treated to views of stunning alpine terrain. To the north, periodic clearings of the conifer forest reveal Mt.Teewinot, Middle Teton and the Grand, that appear as distinct razor edges and chiseled stone. Your arrive at the Lower Saddle between the Grand and Middle Teton by late afternoon where you camp for the night. After a night spent at the 11,650-foot saddle you push on in the early morning darkness for the summit. The main approach to the summit is the Owen-Spaulding route, graded 5.4, a relatively easy technical climb even for the novice.

The accessibility and comparatively modest heights of the Tetons lead some to underestimate their dangers. Altitude sickness, avalanche and wildlife, all pose hazards, lightning is a serious threat and it can snow any month of the year and does.

Mountain guides are available for hire, two well-regarded companies offer a variety of classes and private mountain guide services depending on skill level and experience: Jackson Hole Mountain Guides (www.jhmg.com; 800-239-7642) and Exum Mountain Guides (www.exumguides.com; 307-733-2297). offer classes and guided trips throughout the year to introduce climbers of all skills and ages to the Tetons.

There are many worthy peaks in the range offering a spectrum of climbing opportunities, Guide's Wall on Storm Point, is a moderate climb (5.7 to 5.9) on quality, or solid, golden rock is one of the more popular one-day routes in the range. Other interesting day climbs include Baxter's Pinnacle, the southwest ridge of Symmetry Spire and the of Mount Owen’s steep couloirs.

 

Local Guide Books
Teton Skiing: A History and Guide to the Teton Range, Wyoming
by Thomas Turiano
Teton Skiing is a phenomenal book written eloquently and comically from the perspective of a mountaineer (Tom Turiano) who has climbed and skiied nearly every peak in the range. The book is perfect for someone thinking about a trip to the Tetons in order to gain more insight into the history that made it the touring site it is today, as well as, a guide to help in planning your trip. It is also a great book for anyone interested in history and/or the outdoors in general. Although it is partly a guidebook, it was more intersting to me for its well researched and colorful history of this mythical wonder called the Tetons. If you haven't been to Wyoming's Tetons, this book will make you want to go. If you have been, it will drive you to return and discover things unseen. A book I treasure!
Was
Climbing in the Wind River Range
 
Wind River Mounains

A mountaineer's introduction to the Wind River Range is usually a trip to climb the Cirque of Towers or a peak-bagging attempt of Gannett or Fremont. One trip to these common areas usually leads to a second and third trips to the Winds. This is because it takes one trip to realize the general quality of climbing in the range as a whole and to fully ascertain the vastness of the multitude of cirques, basins and valleys. While Gannett and "the Cirque" are certainly worthy goals, the rest of the Wind Rivers is equally spectacular and nearly empty of mountaineers. There are entire valleys that see only a few parties per year.In the Northern part of the Wind River Range, the glaciers and high peaks and 27 of Wyoming's 32 thirteeners are in this section. Crowned by Wyoming’s tallest, Gannett and Fremont Peaks. Plan two-day approaches to these alpine, ice, rock and scrambling routes.

Mountaineering Destinations
 

McCarthy, AlaskaSt. Elias Alpine Guides • Explore Alaska's largest national park with the local experts, based in Wrangell-St. Elias since 1978. Half and full-day glacier hikes, ice-climbing, trekking, backpacking, rafting, skiing and mountaineering courses & expeditions. Our professional, personable guides love to share their in-depth knowledge of this magnificent wilderness!

Copper Oar • Copper Oar offers wilderness rafting and multi-sport adventures in Alaska’s largest national park, Wrangell-St. Elias, and throughout the state. Their adventures are 1-15 days in length and suitable for everyone from children and novice adventurers to veteran river travelers looking for the next great journey. Copper Oar specializes in professional, personable guides, an in-depth knowledge of the local human and natural history, great food, and creating adventures of a lifetime!

SWS Mountain Guides * Welcome to SWS Mountain Guides courses and climbs are conducted year around whether a first time backpackers or a skilled mountaineer, we have a course to get you started or improve your techniques. We have been teaching & guiding, mountaineering, backpacking, winter mountaineering, rock & ice climbing for over 29 years on the best mountains in California. As well as conducting small personalized expeditions, treks & adventure travel throughout the world for over 20 years. We have an excellent safety record and our climbs and courses are kept small for maximum safety and the best experience! So whether you want to backpack in Yosemite or Climb some of the worlds biggest mountains, come explore our website and "EXPERIENCE THE ADVENTURE" with SWS Mountain Guides. We look forward to having you join us in 2010!

Mountaineering Products
 

Life-Link • (Jackson Hole) When you live in Jackson Hole as we do you have the Tetons as your backyard. Our backyard provides some of the best skiing and boarding on the planet. This is where the inspiration for many of our products comes from. These ideas don’t just come from us they come from our pro staff, our friends, local guides, patrollers and even folks who are just passing through but have a passion for the backcountry and want the very best equipment they can find.

R.U. Outside - (Teton Valley) Outdoor clothing and gear for snowmobiling, skiing, horseback riding, atv riding, hiking and water sports, including neoprene supports, EC2 boxer briefs, merino wool socks, winter boots, gloves, shorts, altimeter watches, hydration packs, fleecewear and raingear.

Articles
 

10 Essentials for Multi-Day Backpacking
By Kevin Jackson • I have been involved in several backpacking trips all over the world and the one constant is the importance of adequate gear for the environment — regardless if we are leading a group through the Wind River Range in Wyoming or hiking the Overland Track in Tasmania, Australia..........................................For example, I recently led a five-day adventure through the Maroon Bells, and Snowmass Wilderness outside Aspen, Colorado, and we experienced conditions that were both unexpected and hazardous. It was our essential gear that enabled us to enjoy the trip and cope with the freezing weather and heavy snowfall. ..............................As a rule of thumb, you want to pack lightly and take only what you need. However, when confronted with a difficult situation there are certain items that should always be carried on any multi-day backpacking trip. Here is my list of the 10 essentials. (Of course, if you take regular backpacking trips, you should make your own list and share it with the rest of your party. A little planning means less worries and a better overall experience for everyone.)----------------> More

Ice Climbing the walls in Teton Valley • by Mike Polhamus
A local mountain guide is gearing up this week for ice climbing this winter, but his preparations are much more extensive than most climbing expeditions require. That’s because Christian Santelices, owner of Aerial Boundaries in Victor, is actually installing the ice climbs themselves, up on the Parking Lot Cliffs area of Grand Targhee...........................The climbs will consist of 35 to 40 foot sections of vertical climbing, with another approximately 60 feet of lower-angle, broken terrain below that..........................................All 100 feet or so of the route will be covered in thick ice, provided by a system of low-flow shower heads installed above the cliffs and a 3,000-gallon water truck parked above the cliffs on cold nights.----------------------------> More

 

Annual Events
 
Carbiner Climbing Rope

Cody WYAnnual Water Fall Ice Festival - Presidents Weekend. The South Fork ice climbing is like NO other ice in the Northern Rockies. The Valley has literally hundreds of frozen waterfalls each year. Many climbers visit the Valley season after season and still haven't climbed many of the waterfalls here.

Lander WYThe International Climbers’ Festival - The International Climbers’ Festival is an annual event with the mission of promoting and celebrating the sport of rock climbing. The festival runs in conjunction with three local Lander scholarships and programs, the Jim Ratz Memorial Scholarship, the Todd Skinner Foundation and BARF, the local Bolt and Anchor Replacement Fund. Proceeds from the festival support some of these programs. - First or second weeking in July - check first

City of Rocks • Idaho Mountain Festival • the Idaho Mountain Festival, a four-day outdoor event at City of Rock National Reserve and Castle Rocks State Park in Idaho held the last weekent of . These two parks are home of some of the best granite domes for sport, trad, and bouldering. At the festival, outdoor enthusiasts will have the chance to enjoy the classic granite rock climbing and peaceful trail runs while socializing with new and old friends................. check website for dates

A new book by Montana photographer Tom Murphy reveals a side of Yellowstone National Park that few people have seen, much less understood and appreciated.
Winter, the park’s longest and hardest season, is celebrated—“respected” may be a better word—in Murphy’s large format, hardcover book, Silence & Solitude: Yellowstone’s Winter Wilderness ($29.95, Riverbend Publishing). The book’s 130 photographs range from sweeping panoramas of backcountry landscapes to details of delicate ice crystals. Many of the photographs show wildlife trying to survive in near-arctic conditions: bison stoically standing in a geyser’s warm steam, hundreds of elk following one another single file through belly-deep snow, and a red fox leaping high in the air to come down hard on crusty snow and pin a mouse to the ground.

In his foreword to the book, popular author and Outside magazine editor-at-large Tim Cahill writes, "These are photos that mirror a man’s passion, and I know of nothing like them anywhere. Tom Murphy is an artist of major distinction. More often that not, the image itself tells a story. This is because Tom, who has been a guide in the park for two decades, knows the flora and fauna and the natural rhythms of the place in the way that he knows the beating of his own heart. Consequently, his photographs are not simply stunning or striking: they are also knowledgeable and even wise.”
Murphy, 51, was the first person licensed by the National Park Service to conduct photography workshops in Yellowstone. He spends 80 to 100 days within the park each year, and once he skied solo for 125 miles across the park. That trip, made during one of the worst winter storms of the decade, took 14 days.
“I seek out the winter here because I find things that are difficult or impossible to find anywhere else,” Murphy writes in the book’s introduction. “I make these photographs because I love the quiet beauty of this wilderness. I hope others feel, through my photographs, the wondrous elegance, symmetry, surprise and power of the place.”
Murphy also provided the film for a new video by Montana Public Television on winter in Yellowstone. The video and a CD of the video’s music are companion items to the book and share the same title, Silence & Solitude: Yellowstone’s Winter Wilderness.

TWO EXCERPTS FROM THE FOREWORD BY TIM CAHILL,
Outside Magazine editor-at-large

“Don’t you think this idea is,” I asked gently, “oh, vaguely suicidal.” My thrifty photographer friend, Tom Murphy, wanted to ski across Yellowstone National Park: a two-week backcountry ski expedition where there would be little or no possibility of rescue in case of an accident or an unforeseen emergency. He wanted to slog through a country noted for 50 degree below zero temperatures and blinding blizzards and snow twenty feet deep in order to take pictures. Tom is not a high tech guy and owns none of the latest warmest gear. It seemed to me that his cameras would freeze up, along with his fingers, and hands and perhaps his entire body, and that it was possible he might very well die in the name of photography, which sounds noble enough from a distance, but moronic when the potential victim is a friend. It was an impossible trip. In order to navigate the country, for instance, one would be obliged to cross rivers fed by hot springs, rivers that consequently did not freeze and ran waist deep in the shallow sections so that it is necessary for a traveler to strip from the waist down, shoulder pack and skis, then ford the river, half naked, in the freezing cold, through the near-frozen water. Tom had just asked if I wanted to come with him—this was in back in 1985—I said, “uh, no.”
###
For the record, I need to say that Tom is also the world’s most “frugal” outdoorsman: his pack is 20 years old, as are his skis, and he wears thin red dress socks under his old leather boots, socks that, he is proud to say, cost him 50 cents a pair. But his gear does the job. He gets across the park in the winter, something few of us could accomplish. In the same way, his cameras are simple: he is concerned with composition and light and information that tell a story. That’s all. And that’s more than enough. Tom Murphy goes out in the winter in his silly red dress socks and he brings back these wondrous, these stupendous images. This book is the closest most of us will get to a backcountry ski trip through Yellowstone. It is a fine thing to have Tom Murphy as our guide. He a passionate naturalist, an artist of major distinction…and, as it turns out—red dress socks not withstanding—a man not nearly as suicidal as I once imagined. Sartorially challenged maybe, but not suicidal.

 

Teton Region Cross Country Ski Trails
  Here, you can submit information on temperature, humidity and snow granulation, and our system will make recommendations for the best Swix wax for the conditions. These recommendations are based on our published guides, along with the many years of World Cup race experience from our Swix wax technicians.
Grand Teton National Park
  • Flag Ranch Area
• Colter Bay Area
• Taggart Lake Area
• Moose Wilson Road Area
• Signal Mountain Area
Teton Valley
 

• Teton Canyon - Drive up Ski Hill Road out of Driggs. The road will change names a few times but I don't think it is noticeable, (I never did) just stay on the main drag until about a mile after you go through Alta there is a turn right on Teton Canyon Road. drive down this road until you get to the parking area. This is a beautiful ski at The Grand Teton towers over you the whole way.

• Darby Canyon - This is an ungroomed multiple use trail. Between Victor and driggs on hwy 33 you will turned east on Darby Road it dead ends at Stateline road then turn right it will then turn left on Darby Canyon Rd and soon the road will end where the trail starts.

• Fox Canyon - This is an un-groomed multiple use trail. Between Victor and Driggs on hwy 33 you will turn east on and take it till it ends.

• Moose Canyon - This is an un-groomed multiple use trail. About a 2 miles east of Victor torn lift on Old Jackson Hwy go about a half mile then turn right on to e. Moose Creek Road and go to the end.

• Cabin Creek - is at the bottom of the west side of Teton Pass. park at the parking area on the north side of the road. At the bottom and on the south side of the road you will find the Cabin Creek Trail.

Jackson Hole
 

• Cache Creek - located on the southeast corner of the town of Jackson east of Snow King Ski Resort. This is a busy trail but it does provide a quick access out of the town of Jackson.

• Game Creek - travel south from Jackson on Hwy 89/191 approx. 7 miles, and turn left onto road #30455 9Game Cr. R.) toward Game Creek. Parking is on left less than a mile up this road

• Granite Creek Hot Springs - Go 12 miles south of Jackson and head south on Hwy 191 through the beautiful Hoback Canyon. About fifteen miles up turn on Granite Creek Road and right away you are at the trail head. It is a ten mile ski to the Granite Hot Spring but even if you make it a shorter trip you will still enjoy it. This is a popular groomed snowmobile and dog-sledding trail.

• Gros Ventre Road - go about 7 miles north of Jackson to the Kelly turn off and after go through the town of Kelly go about another 2 miles then turn right on Gros Ventre River Road, follow it until it ends at the parking area above Slide Lake. The exposed red cliffs juxtaposed against the snow is a beautiful site. This is Rocky mountain Bighorn Sheep wintering grounds and the chances of seeing some are about 90%. This is a popular groomed snowmobile trail.

• Shadow Mountain - is about 15 miles north of Jackson, look for Antelope Flats Road then turn left when the road ends and follow it till it ends. This Trail is about an 8 mile loop with about a thousand foot elevation gain that provides great views of the Tetons

Island Park/Ashton
 

• Harriman State Park is located 20 miles north of Ashton on Highway 20. There is a total of 21 miles of trails, and 10 of those are groomed, providing opportunities for all levels of skiing. Harriman is a wintering ground for the majestic trumpeter swan and is home to many other animals. A warming shelter and restrooms are provided at the trail head. The $3 entrance fee is waived if you have a Park N' Ski permit on your vehicle.

• The Fall River Ridge Park N' Ski area is located 10 miles east of Ashton on the Cave Falls Road. The various loops are suitable for beginner and intermediate use. The terrain consists of rolling hills dotted with meadows, and stands of lodgepole pine and aspen trees. A small plowed parking area is provided and is shared by snowmobilers and skiers. They also share one mile of trail. Nearly seven miles of trails make up this area, which is groomed periodically when funding and weather conditions permit.

• Bear Gulch/Mesa Falls - This ski area is located seven miles northeast of Ashton on Mesa Falls Forest Highway 47. The trail parallels the snowmobile trail out to the spectacular Lower and Upper Mesa Falls. The trail then branches away from the snowmobile trail and travels along the canyon rim, then returns to the trail head. This trail is recommended for intermediate and advanced skiers because of the steep climb in the first mile. The trail is nearly nine miles long and is groomed periodically when funding and weather conditions permit.

•The Brimstone Trail is located one-quarter mile north of the Island Park Ranger Station on Highway 20 near Ponds Lodge Resort. The terrain varies from gentle grades to downhill runs through tree groves. The nine miles of trail offer scenic views of the Island Park Reservoir, Box Canyon, and Buffalo River. The trail provides opportunities for all levels of skiing ability.

• The Buffalo River Trail - is 2.6 miles long, starting at the Island Park Ranger Station and winding along the Buffalo River through forests of lodgepole pine. The trail's gentle grade provides an excellent opportunity for beginners to polish their skills. Both trails are groomed periodically when funding and weather conditions permit.

Swan Valley
 

• Palisades Creek - just east of Irwin turn left on Palisades Creek Road and drive till it ends at the trail head. This is a beautiful narrow canyon for the first mile and you will want to watch for big rocks in the trail early in the winter, a mile up after there first bridge the canyon opens up some for some beautiful views. There is a lake up about 4 miles.

• Indian Creek Trail - is about 15 miles south of Swan Valley Hwy26 drops into the indian Creek bottom there is parking on the west side for the road the trail starts on the east side of the Hwy. This is a also a snowmobile route

• Fall Creek Campground - is About 5 miles north of Swan Valley you cross the Snake River there you turn left on River Road and go up about 2 miles to the parking area on the left side of the road. Ski along the river to get to Creek Campground this parking is the same one for Fall Creek trail which is also a groomed snowmobile trail as is all of River Road. Bonneville county grooms Fall Creek Campground for cross country skiing.

• Bear Creek Trail - is about 4 miles south of Irwin. Go till you get to Palisades Dam an park in the parking lot at the top then ski south on the Groomed snowmobile trail. for the ambitious the forest service rents a cabin 12 miles up and makes a nice little destination.

• Fall Creek - About 5 miles north of Swan Valley you cross the Snake River there you turn left and go up about 2 miles to the parking area on the left side of the road. Ski up the Fall Creek Canyon groomed snowmobile trail as far as you like. This is a great wildlife viewing area.

 

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