Jackson Hole History
Winter 2010/11 -- Two Gazex exploders are installed on the Headwall, alleviating avalanche danger in time for the winter season. Brush-cutting measures are increased in preparation for winter grooming.
December 23, 2010 -- The Jackson Hole Airport receives the Record of Decision confirming two ten-year lease extensions with the National Park Service. The extensions will run until 2053 and include numerous mitigation measures negotiated with NPS.
2011 -- Teton County is awarded a grant from the Wyoming Business Council to fund trail development in Jackson Hole. Our scope of the project includes contracting with Gravity Logic from Whistler, BC to design and oversee construction of 5 biking trails accessed from the Teewinot lift, and expanding our hiking trail system from the top of the Tram to the Gondola.
January 1, 2011 -- A 2% Lodging Tax fee begins collection and is estimated to yield $3.5 million annually for promotional purposes.
May 6, 2011 -- JHMR receives the NSAA Golden Eagle, the highest recognition of environmental achievement in the ski industry, for the second time.
Summer 2011 -- The new Downhill Bike Park, serviced by the Teewinot High Speed Quad, celebrates a partial opening with plans for a full opening in summer 2012. The Tin Can Cantina truck opens alongside the park on the Gondola hardscape, serving delicious tacos and margaritas. A two-year snowmaking expansion project is also completed, with total coverage increasing from 160 to 210 acres and from 2,700 to 3,800 gallons per minute.
Fall 2011-- The Kids Ranch completes a $1 million remodel and extension that better equips the facility to cater to the needs of families with young children.
October 2011 -- The Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act (S. 382/H.R. 765) is passed, paving the way for more robust summer operations - zip lines, mountain biking, ropes courses, disc golf courses - at the nation's 121 ski areas that operate on public lands, including JHMR.
Winter 2011/12 -- The addition of Marmot chair provides critical connectivity across the mountain, a boon for intermediate skiers in particular. A $25 million project at the Jackson Hole Airport completes a 37,000 square foot expansion, paving the way for future non-stop flights. Wool & Whiskey opens in the Village Commons, bringing a unique men's mercantile shopping experience to the Village.
Spring 2012 -- Construction begins on the Casper replacement chair, a high speed quad that will reduce the journey uphill from approximately 10 minutes to 3.5 minutes. All terrain in the Downhill Bike Park is completed, with 6 lift-serviced trails open for use.
May 8, 2012 -- Jackson/Teton County elected officials formally adopt the Comprehensive Plan, concerning land development in the Jackson Hole area, after five years of laborious debate. According to the Plan, at least 60% of all future development will be absorbed in areas that are already developed (development nodes) and at least 65% of housing for county workers will be accommodated locally.
July 4, 2012 -- The new Jackson Hole General Store opens between the Tram and the Bridger Center, serving coffee, ice cream, milkshakes, root beer floats, and a host of other goodies.
July 17, 2012 -- JHMR announces the addition of three new non-stop flights in partnership with United Airlines and Delta Airlines. Guests can now fly non-stop into Jackson Hole from Newark or San Francisco on United, and from Minneapolis on Delta.
2002 -- The Teton Mountain Lodge, a condo-hotel property, opened in Teton Village.
2003 -- The Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole opened. This property is the first Four Seasons Resort ski destination.
2004 -- The "Crags," a permanently closed inbounds area, is opened to the public, providing an additional 200 acres of expert terrain to the resort. The Jackson Hole Airport completed a significant expansion to meet the needs of growing jet airline services into the airport. The expansion includes a larger security hold room and check point, a second baggage claim area, new check-in areas, a more spacious restaurant and additional parking.
2005 -- The Sweetwater Lift was installed directly linking beginner terrain to low intermediate terrain at mid-mountain. Cafe 6,311 opened in the Bridger Center at the Base of the Bridger Gondola.
2006 -- After 40 years of service, the famed Aerial Tram was shut down to the public in order to build a newer, bigger and faster version. JHMR achieves ISO 14001 recognition for environmental management, making it one of the smallest companies and only the second ski area in the country to meet this standard. A new $10 million on-mountain facility opens at the top of the gondola complete with Headwall Deli and Rendezvous Restaurant.
2007 -- The terminal design for the new tram is revealed sporting a new version of lower terminal clock tower to remain as a landmark in Teton Village. JHMR commits to purchasing renewable energy credits to offset 100% of its energy usage. Couloir Restaurant opens at the top of the gondola by award winning chef, Wes Hamilton, as a fine dining option for resort guests.
2008 -- During Summer 2008, the towers for the new tram are erected, and the cables are tracked, hauled into place and spliced. Garaventa delivers the new tram cars in November. The New Aerial Tram opens on December 20 after 2 years of construction. The new Tram cabins ensure 360-degree views and a spacious experience for guests. This $32 million dollar investment by resort ownership carries 100 passengers 4,139 vertical feet in 9 minutes, boasting the longest continual vertical rise of any lift in the U.S.
2008 -- Hotel Terra, the first LEED hotel in Teton Village, celebrates its grand opening.
Summer 2009 -- The new Aerial Tram begins summer service for sightseeing, hiking, and paragliding, securing JHMR as a summer destination and gateway to the National Parks. The Deck opens as a summertime restaurant, offering causal al fresco dining and drinks with unmatched views of the valley from the 9,050 foot-high perch. Construction of the Ranch Lot also begins, offering convenient parking and shuttle service for guests.
1994 -- Tommy Moe, Olympic gold and silver medal winner in the 1994 Winter Olympic Games, was signed as the Ambassador of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
1995 -- John Resor resigned as president. Jerry Blann, formerly of Aspen, Bear Mountain, and Lake Catamount ski resorts, replaced him as president of the resort.
1996 -- The Mountain Master Plan was approved by the US Forest Service, leading to dramatic mountain improvements. This plan was a vast downsizing from the 1981 Development Plan, which represented the existing operating conditions at that time. Previously approved for a capacity of 11,500 skiers per day, the new approved MMP called for 7,690 skiers per day, a much more comfortable capacity for the resort.
1997 -- The Teewinot High Speed Quad was opened, dramatically improving the mountain experience for beginners and intermediates.
Winter 1996-1997 -- JHMR took the lead in submitting the Teton Village Master Plan, which unlocked the development of Teton Village. This was the culmination of 4 years hard work by Teton Village commercial owners and JHMR.
Winter 1997-1998 -- The Bridger Center and the Bridger Gondola opened. The Bridger Gondola is 8,730 feet long and rises 2,700 vertical feet in 7 1/2 minutes. The Bridger Center complex is a 37K sq ft multi-purpose facility which set the standard for new village architecture.
1998 -- Teton County approved the Teton Village Master Plan.
Winter 1999-2000 -- The backcountry gate system was employed, effectively opening up thousands of acres of backcountry to all.
1989 -- New tram car cabins installed in December 1989. In June, President George H.W. Bush chose to deliver his first major speech on the importance of the environment and clean air in an open meadow in front of the Tetons in Grand Teton National Park.
1989 -- In September, U.S. Secretary of State James Baker and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze held an historic meeting on the shores of Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park. Baker chose Jackson Hole to showcase the spectacular scenery and preserved heritage of America's west.
1971 -- Bill Briggs is the first to ski down the Grand Teton - a landmark event in big mountain skiing in the United States.
1973 -- Blackfoot Lift was added to Grand Targhee.
1977 -- The U.S. Voyager II spacecraft, launched in 1977 to explore unknown reaches of the solar system, containing an Ansel Adams photograph of the Tetons and Snake River as part of its cargo.
1978 -- Melissa Malm moved to Jackson from New York to become the first woman on the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Ski Patrol.
1960s - Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Opens
1964 -- Construction of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort commenced in the spring, including the original aerial tram.
1965 -- Jackson Hole Ski Corporation opened Apres Vous Mountain to the public.
1965 -- Lienz, Austria is dedicated as Jackson Hole's sister city.
1966 -- The Jackson Hole Aerial Tram started taking people to the top of Rendezvous Mountain for skiing. The original Tram held 52 people and took 10.5 minutes to reach the summit at 10,450 feet.
1966 -- McCollister wanted a world-class skier to head the ski school and signed Pepi Stiegler, 1964 slalom gold medal winner, as ski school director of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Pepi carved out his own run on the edge of Cheyenne Bowl, called Pepi's Run.
1966 -- Patrolman Dick Porter survived a 55-minute burial from and avalanche in the steep gully that would later be named Dick's Ditch.
1967 -- Jackson Hole hosted the final international race of the season, dubbed the Wild West Classic. The series of races ended the inaugural World Cup season by crowning Jean-Claude Killy of France and Nancy Greene of Canada as that year's world champions. Sports Illustrated magazine quoted Jean-Claude saying, "If there is a better ski mountain in United States, I haven't skied it." Jackson Hole continued to host international events in '69 and '75. It also hosted many national championships.
1968 -- Jackson Hole Ski Corp. hosted its first downhill race.
1969 -- Grand Targhee, on the western side of the Teton Range in Alta, Wyoming, opened to the public.
Mid 1950/60s - Jackson Hole Ski Corporation
1957 -- The McCollisters bought a 390 acre cattle ranch at the base of Shadow Mountain, where Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis is now located. This is where he later retired at age 41.
1959 -- Paul McCollister, the president of the Jackson Hole Ski Club, became chairman of the Jackson Hole Corporation, a local group that was researching ski area development.
1960 -- Barry Corbet accompanied Paul McCollister on his first decent from the summit of Rendezvous Mountain. On their way up, Berry looking into what is now known as the infamous Corbet's Couloir and stated, "someday, someone will ski that -- it will be a run." While Barry was not the first person to ski the couloir, he is credited with its name. Ski Patrolman Lonnie Ball is accredited with the first plunge into Corbet's Couloir after he was left dangling when a cornice broke off at the top. Barry did ski his namesake, from the top, a year or two later. Premier American racer Buddy Werner accompanied Paul in mapping new runs. The long and wide run on Apres Vous Mountain is named after Buddy Werner, who McCollister considered for head of the new ski school until an avalanche claimed Buddy's life.
1961 -- McCollister began to purchase land at the bottom of Rendezvous Mountain. He paid roughly $1,355 an acre.
1962 -- McCollister hired Colorado ski area consultant Willy Schaeffler to asses the potential avalanche dangers of Rendezvous Mountain.
1963 -- McCollister formed the Jackson Hole Ski Corporation after a detailed study confirms Rendezvous Mountain as a prime location for a ski area. His partners included Alex Morley, a successful general contractor from Cheyenne, and Gordon Graham, a former business associate from California.
Mid 1900s - Early Skiing in Jackson Hole
1930s -- Teton Ski Club built lifts and cleared runs in Moose Creek, north of Victor, Idaho. Later, rope tows were installed on Signal Mountain, Leek's Canyon, Two Ocean Mountain, Angle Mountain, a hill near Catholic Bay on Jackson Lake, and Huckelburry Ridge on the Moose-Wilson Road.
1931 or 1932 -- Fred Brown (16) and the chief park ranger, Allen Hanks, were the first to ski into Grand Teton National Park.
1932 -- John Wayne's first speaking part was in "The Big Trail," filmed in Jackson Hole. It also is presumed to be the first time he rode a horse! Over 15 feature films have been made on location in Jackson Hole including: "Shane", "Spencer's Mountain", "Any Which Way You Can", and "Rocky IV".
1935 -- Paul Petzoldt, his brother Curly, and Fred Brown enjoyed the first known decent of Rendezvous Mountain which would later become Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
1936 -- Betty Woolsy, Olympic ski team member, came to Jackson Hole to train.
1937 -- Fritz Brown wrote a weekly column in the Jackson Hole Courier which addressed skiing technique and equipment.
1937 -- Fred Brown, president of the Ski Club, helped form Jackson Hole Ski Association.
1937 -- The first race was held on Snow King where skiers raced down a hiking trail that was cut by the Forest Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps.
1937 -- The Dartmouth Ski Team stopped at Fred Brown's ranch on their way to a race at Sun Valley. They demonstrated the latest ski techniques, the use of two poles, and fixed heel binding to more than 200 spectators on Telemark Bowl near Teton Pass.
1939 -- Snow King opened as a ski area with a rope tow, called the Old Man Flat Rope Tow.
1939 -- Jackson Hole Ski Club hosted the first Tri-State ski meet including skiers from Alta, Utah and Sun Valley, Idaho.
1942 -- Paul McCollister, a 27 year-old radio advertising salesman, set out on a fortuitous elk hunting trip to Jackson Hole.
1945 -- The Jackson Hole Winter Sports Association was formed in response to post WWII ski popularity explosion due to the 10th Mountain Division.
1946 -- The first chair lift in Wyoming was installed on Snow King by Neil Rafferty. The wheels of an Army pick up truck drove the ropes. Paul Petzoldt wanted to create a rival ski area on his cherished Rendezvous Mountain, but was unable to purchase the Crystal Springs Ranch at the base of the mountain.
1947 -- McCollister could not stay away from Jackson Hole, returning to fish on the Snake River and in Yellowstone National Park.
1950 -- John D. Rockefeller purchased and then donated a great deal of land to expand Grand Teton National Park.
1952 -- McCollister purchased 21 acres above Antelope Flats and began spending his summers in the valley.
1952 -- McCollister started skiing at a little ski resort in the foothills of the Sierras, which boasted a 500 foot vertical rise. He became hooked on skiing.
1953 -- The Ski Club built the "ski cabin," which is still standing northeast of Jackson Peak. The cabin was designed to support extended journeys into the backcountry.
1955 -- The world's longest running theatrical "Shoot-Out" began. It is held six nights a week from May-September on the Jackson Town Square.
1925 -- Mike O'Neil was among the first skiers in the valley to use two poles and make turns. At the time, people were only using one pole and placing it between their legs to slow down.
1927 -- Mount Owen was named after the surveyor/mountain climber that was credited as the first to ascend the Grand Teton.
1929 -- Grand Teton National Park was established.
1806 -- John Hoback, also with Lewis & Clark, toured the area alone in the winter of 1806.
1811 - Wilson Price Hunt named the Hoback River after his guide, John Hoback, who led him down this tributary to the Snake River into Jackson Hole. There is also a popular section of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort named after John Hoback.
1820s - French-Canadian fur trappers entered the region around 1920 and named the soaring mountain peaks "Let Trois Tetons" (The Three Breasts). Today, these peaks are called Grand Teton (13,770 feet), Middle Teton, and South Teton. For three decades between 1810 and 1840, this area was a crossroads for the six main trapper trails that converged in Jackson Hole.
1829 -- Jackson Hole, originally called Jackson's Hole, was named after David E. Jackson, a beaver trapper, by his partner Bill Sublette. Jackson Hole was Jackson's favorite trapping ground.
1832 -- Milton Sublette, Bill Sublette's brother, led a party of trappers out of the Pierre's Hole, located on the western side of the Tetons. On July 18, they were attacked by the Gros Ventre Indians leading to many casualties on both sides and forcing Sublette's party to retreat. There is a quad chair at JHMR named after Bill and Milton Sublette.
1840 - The fur trade era ended with the last trade rendezvous held on the Green River. The beaver supply was exhausted by the two major fur companies, The American Fur Company and The Rocky Mountain Fur Company and beaver felt top hats were replaced by silk hats.
1860 -- Jim Bridger, a well known explorer, guided Captain William F. Raynolds, of the Army's Topographical Engineers, into Jackson Hole. Raynolds' expedition crossed the Wind River Range via Union Pass (named by Raynolds) and followed the Gros Ventre River into Jackson Hole. The national forest that Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is located on is named after Jim Bridger, as well as the JHMR gondola and base lodge near the gondola.
1869 -- Wyoming's government became the first in world history to allow women to vote (51 years before the U.S. Constitutional amendment).
1871 - 1878 -- Ferdinand Vandiver Hayden led numerous U.S. Geological Survey expeditions into the Rocky Mountain West, known as the famous Hayden Expeditions.
1872 -- Hayden and his geologist, Frank H. Bradley, were guided into Jackson Hole from Yellowstone by hunter and trapper, Beaver Dick Leigh. Two members of this group claimed that they reached the summit of the Grand Teton but left no evidence there. The 1872 expedition recorded many names of Jackson Hole's land features. Two glacial lakes were named for Bradley and his assistant, Rush Taggart, Leigh Lake for the guide, and Jenny Lake for his Shoshoni wife. Coulter Creek was named after the expedition's botanist, Mount Leidy after the paleontologist, and Mount Moran for the artist, whose landscape paintings - along with William Henry Jackson's photographs - were influential in making Yellowstone the world's first national park. Bradley tried to name The Grand after Dr. Hayden, but he would not accept this honor and insisted that it be called the Grand Teton. There are also a few sections of JHMR named after the artist - a run named Moran, Moran Face, and Moran Woods.
1872 -- Yellowstone was declared a National Park by president Ulysses Grant, 18 years before Wyoming became a state.
1879 -- A forest fire turned Snow King into a prime skiing spot for locals.
1880s -- Settlers started to arrive and settle in Jackson, Kelly, Wilson, Moran and other towns surrounding Jackson Hole.
1880s -- International Federation of Skiing (FIS) started in Sweden.
1883 -- William "Buffalo Bill" Cody organized "Buffalo Bill's Wild West", a circus-like show that toured annually, celebrating the western lifestyle. He later became famous for putting these shows on all over the country as well as in Europe for the next 30 years. Cody was influential in helping settle Wyoming. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort's Cody Bowl and Cody Peak are named after William Cody. There is also a building named in his honor, the Cody House.
1890 -- Wyoming became a state and was dubbed "The Cowboy State."
1897 -- The town-site of Jackson was laid out in a location central to many of the ranches in the valley. Some of the buildings surrounding the Town Square were the first stores here, and the streets to the south contain houses that have been here since the early days.
1898 -- William O. Owen was credited with the first ascent of the Grand Teton.
1899 -- First standard topographical map of the Tetons was published.
John Simms of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Ski Patrol invented Life-Link's avalanche probe. He also invented other avalanche forecasting equipment that he sold to Life-Link. John and fellow patroller, Charlie Sands, who started Sands Wild Water River Trips, were the first people to drop in to the couloir adjacent to Corbet's Couloir. Thus its name, S&S Couloir.
Simms was not the only inventive patroller at JHMR. Bobbie Fuller invented a strap to keep his sunglasses on that led to his early retirement. The straps are knows as Croakies and are found all over the world.
Why is it called _____?
We already mentioned how the famous Corbet's Couloir, Pepi's Run, and Dick's Ditch got their names, but how about the other runs? Most of the runs were named after the geographic features of the valley. The ridges are named for the early mountain men that explored the area, and the bowls are named for cities and towns in Wyoming. Throughout time, almost every mountain feature has picked up a nickname, mostly for navigational purposes and for ski patrol to locate lost or injured skiers.
Cook's Knob -- Former mountain manager Ray Cook wanted to put a lift on the crest at the bottom of the headwall, even after patrols warned him many time about the severe avalanche danger in that area. A week after completion of the mighty might surface lift, and avalanche took out the lift and left remains on the knob now labeled as Cook's Knob.
Bean's Beanery -- Halfway down Grand rests an 8-foot rock called Bean's Beanery. Former trail crew member Pat Bean accidentally ski off this unmarked rock and immediately reported it to ski patrol. In the process of skiing down to show the patrol where the rock was, Bean flew off the rock again.
Veto's Tree -- Near the fourth tram tower stands a lone tree that stopped a Chicago skier from tumbling over the edge of the cliffs during an avalanche.
Femur Ridge -- Named after a teenage skier who jumped a ridge on the Lower Sublette Ridge and broke his femur.
Crabtree Rock -- The huge rock near tower nine on the Apres Vous chair lift. Jeff Crabtree, co-owner of Skinny-Skis, a local ski shop, tucked the section of Werner above the jump and hit it with too much speed. He broke both his legs just above the ankles on the flat landing.
Horn's Hole -- At the bottom of the Cirque there is a hot spring that melts the snow, causing a four-foot depression. Patroller Rick Horn skied into the hole and broke both skis, yet still managed to ski the rest of the way down the mountain.
Indicator Rocks -- The rocks on the far side of Rendezvous Bowl are used as a tool to predict avalanche danger. If the rocks are showing, there is little danger of an avalanche in the bowl.
Dope Cave and Mushroom Chute -- No Explanation needed!
Credibility Gap -- Now known as Gannett, the run was named during the Lyndon B. Johnson administration.
Goldmine Chute -- This permanently closed area on the north side of Laramie Bowl was said to be the area of heavy gold prospecting by former manager, George Flemming's uncle.
Flip Point -- This is the section of the Gros Ventre Traverse at the rim of Laramie Bowl where people used to practice flips in the old days. The area is now generally hard-packed but used to host a plethora of deep powder landings.
Radiation Woods -- This area surrounded a National Forest Service study plot located above the Avalanche run. In order to keep skiers out of the study location, the Forest Service posted signs reading, "Danger! Radiation." The study has since ceased, but the name stuck.
Harry' Slide -- Named after Harry Fisherman
Jeff's Slide -- Named after Jeff Roberts
Kirby's Slide -- Named after ski partoller Kirby Williams.
Silky's Slide -- Named after patrol former director Bob "Silky" Sealander.
Manns, William. Flood, Elizabeth Clair. Cowboys: The Trapping of the Old West. Zon International Publishing Company, 1997.
Nielsen, Cynthia, ed. Origins: A Guide to the Names of Grand Teton National Park and the Surrounding Area. The Grand Teton Natural History Association. Moose, Wyoming, 1988.
Sellett, Michael. "The Founder." Jackson Hole Magizine: The Magazine of the Tetons. Sun Litho. Salt Lake City, Winter 1991-92. Pgs. 12-17, & 46.
Simmons, Drew. "The Name Game." Jackson Hole Magizine: The Magazine of the Tetons. Sun Litho. Salt Lake City, Winter 1991-92. Pgs. 42-45.
Thuermer, Angus M. Jr. "The Bomb Squad." Jackson Hole Magizine: The Magazine of the Tetons. Sun Litho. Salt Lake City, Winter 1991-92. Pgs. 22-27, & 47.
Turiano, Thomas. Teton Skiing: A History & Guide to the Teton Range. Moose, WY: Homestead Publishing,1995.
Viola, Bob, and Thomas Turiano. The Jackson Hole Ski Guide. Conifer, Colorado: Chockstone Press, Inc., 1998.