Yellowstone National Park is in the midst of back-country ski heaven. World Famous Teton Pass is just an hour to the south but that isn't the only place around to get a wealth of back-country powder. This semi arid region retards the growth of forests on it's southern slopes which provides a multitude of open bowl skiing opportunities throughout the region. powder skiing Jackson Hole Wyoming
Ski Mountaineering

backcountry skiing, deep powderBackcountry skiing means off the beaten track, so how do you get to the backcountry? If you're an extremist, then you'll set off under your own power from Greater Yellowstone's many hundreds of trailheads toward a snow-covered crag. However, this is not a decision to be taken lightly – the terrain can be dangerous if you are inexperienced or ill-prepared.

Gearing Up • Some skiers shove their feet into regular ski boots, strap their alpine skis to their pack, and slog uphill to grab a shot of snow. But that gets old fast. Modern backcountry skiing gear, which is otherwise known as randonee (pronounced "ron-doe-nay") or alpine touring gear (known as AT), lends itself to hiking. It's very lightperforms some quick math to calculate that, depending on the brand, randonee gear weighs 30 to 50 percent less than resort skis, boots and bindings. If you're going uphil lthat all translates to more energy saved.Randonee or AT gear is designed to for skiers to climb steep hills and ski rugged terrain. Contrary to telemark gear, alpine ski turns transfer to the backcountry on these skis and bindings with no new techniques to learn. You will, however, shell out around $2,000 for skis, bindings, boots, beacon, probe, shovel and skins. While any ski works with a touring binding, most backcountry skiers go for boards that are fat for flotation and lightweight to save energy climbing.

Backcountry Ski Spots
 

Teton Pass • (Jackson Hole) Interested in maximum vertical with minimum approach? Try Teton Pass. Teton Pass is a popular backcountry skiing destination outside of Jackson Hole Wyoming and Teton Valley Idaho. You can easily access this area by driving west on hwy 22 from Jackson Hole or west on hwy 33 from Victor Idaho.

Towgotee Pass • (Dubois WY) Towgotee is a region more than just a pass and the whole region provides many skiing opportunities, many touring and some backcountry downhill. Towgotee Pass receives over 600 inches of snow annually and there are many around the touring areas I include where you can bushwhack some good downhill turns.

Beehive Basin • (Big Sky, MT) Beehive Basin Ski Trail is a moderate 5 km single-track loop near Big Sky. The trail begins with a few switchbacks, which are a bit steep. The route then flattens out for about 1 mile before turning steeply uphill. Near the end is a very steep hill. The view is spectacular. Near the end of the trail you will find a shallow lake surrounded by vertical cliffs. Avalanche hazard areas are common. Ski route goes into Lee Metcalf Wilderness. In the fall and winter Beehive Basin and nearby Middle Basin are THE spots to get some early season powder turns in Big Sky. Skinning and snowshoeing are viable ways to travel through the snow, but often the trail is already boot packed most of the way. As a word to the wise, anybody who plans to hike Beehive in the snow should go only with others who have knowledge of the area. It's agreed that certain places shouldn't be hiked without avalanche gear. Avalanches are a reality at Beehive. According to the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center, on Jan. 20, 2008, a skier was buried and killed there by a slide. This trail is not groomed. map

Hyalite Canyon • (Bozeman Montana) Hyalite Recreation Ares is quickly becoming a very good backcountry skiing resource around Bozeman. The Blackmore and Grotto Falls trailheads will lead you to great skiing. Another option is the History Rock trailhead. The short approach and smallish open meadows means it may get tracked out faster but it's great for a few quick runs. This is a busy back country destination so it is best to arrive early. Also, it's a long way to Blackmore Peak so consider arriving as early as possible and doing a few laps on the actual face.

Bridger Bowl Backcountry • (Bozeman Montana) Bridger Bowl is world-renowned for its fantastic terrain and great powder. Bridger is unique in that it offers vast amounts of steep, backcountry terrain accessible to those with a beacon, but within the ski area boundaries. Skiing the Bridger Ridge is more accessible, especially since the addition of Bridger's newest amenity: Schlasman's lift, which carries skiers to just below the Bridger ridge.

Bell Lake Yurt • (Pony Montana) The yurt will be equipped with a full kitchen including a gas stove top with BBQ grill, wood burning stove and sleeping accommodations for up to eight people. Guests will find a wide variety of terrain for the knowledgeable backcountry skier, snowboarder or winter traveler adjacent to the yurt for multi-day adventures........................More Info

Articles
 


Beyond the Grand -- The life of America's Most Influential Ski Mountaineer - Bill Briggs Biography By Louis Dawson • Bill Briggs gulped from his water bottle, laced his boots, and clicked his ski bindings. Standing at the apex of Wyoming's precipitous 13,770-foot Grand Teton, he caught his breath and took in the view. To his east, the Gros Ventre mountains rose from the haze like a Tolkien fantasy, while the plains of Idaho faded two hundred miles west. Below his feet, snow like a steeple roof dropped thousands of feet to the chasm. Briggs plan was to slice turns on that snow -- to be the first to ski down Grand Teton. On that day of June 15, 1971, as his skis carved arcs down to Garnet Canyon, his goal became reality.

Skiing the Grand Teton - Yes they do

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

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

 

Avalanche Information
 

backcountry skiing Jackson Hole Wyoming

Montana Avalanche Information • Gallatin National Forest

Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center • Official home page for the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center. Avalanche advisories are updated daily around 7am from early November to late April.

www.csac.org - The Avalanche Center • The CSAC Snow and Avalanche Center provides global snow avalanche information. It is a comprehensive source for current conditions, education, incident reports, and more.

Jackson Hole Snow Observations • This site is meant to be a public forum in which backcountry users can share observations of avalanche activity and snow-pack conditions. By recording snow and avalanche Information , we hope to create a database that will allow users to track weak layers and avalanche cycles throughout the year. In addition, the Weather Summary can help you track changes to the snow-pack as they occur. If you find value in viewing these observations, please help perpetuate the site by contributing notes from your next tour. There is no technical standard required for submitting observations, however, we do ask that users adhere to our site guidelines when scoring stability tests.

 

Teton Region Back Country Ski Tours
 

avalanche snow pit Teton Pass Jackson Hole WyomingRendezvous 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.

Yellowstone Expedition • 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 back country ski guides to explore the Yellowstone backcountry. Our multi-day 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.

Hellroaring Ski Adventures • Hellroaring Ski Adventures will help you create the adventure of a lifetime. Touring, Powder Skiing / Riding, Ski Mountaineering, the Extreme. Let us know what your dreams are and we'll make it happen.

Backcountry Organizations
 

Montana Backcountry AllianceMontana Backcountry Alliance was formed in 2005 to build an organized community advocating for traditional, human-powered winter recreation. We have commented as a group and individually on forest service management plans, held ski movie premiers, and helped conduct citizen monitoring projects. We intend to build on our success and further strengthen the traditional winter recreation community by advocating for specific non-motorized areas with reasonable access for human-powered recreationists. The motorized lobby is powerful, organized, and well-funded. But we are motivated and dedicated to establishing a strong voice in this important debate. We are also hopelessly addicted to skiing and riding, and will be busy enjoying the wonderful opportunities Montana offers in the winter. Get out and enjoy them too!

Montana Mountaineering AssociationMontana Mountaineering Association promotes the values of rock climbing, mountaineering, ice climbing and backcountry skiing by offering a variety of instructional programs. These diverse programs are taught by an incredibly qualified instructors and guides. We offer individual and group instruction in our local mountains around Bozeman Montana with one of our programs extending to the Andes of South America. Our goal is to give prospective alpinists the tools they need venture out on their own, whether it be mountaineering, backcountry skiing, ice climbing, or rock climbing.

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

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jumping trout