Our “Backcountry Basics Tour” is a one day backcountry touring program that takes people to either Grand Teton National Park or Teton Pass with the emphasis on refreshing general backcountry and avalanche safety skills. Many people ask us what they should do after they take a Level I or Level II Avalanche Course and this program fits the exact need for filling in the gaps and having the ability to practice a set skill while completing a classic backcountry tour. This tour is built to meet the needs of those that have a background in the backcountry as well as some avalanche safety and want to get out with friends and practice and polish a specific set of skills. The program is designed for the intermediate to advanced skier or rider looking to expand their mountain knowledge and continue their avalanche safety education. We look to have a minimum of 3 people for these programs as to provide a diverse learning environment. So if you and you’re backcountry friends are looking to get into the mountains, gain some new skills as well as ski or ride the scenic terrain of the Tetons then this is the program for you!
The day starts early at the JHMG office and from there the guests will go through a quick gear check as well as a quick avalanche beacon refresher. From there the group will head out to Grand Teton National Park or Teton Pass, where we will quickly get into the skills and refreshing of avalanche safety and general mountain travel. The groups will spend the entire day out backcountry touring with a heavy emphasis on education and practice. We can cover a variety of topics depending on what people are looking to refresh like avalanche safety, beacon practice, general touring and overall winter mountain safety. Unlike a typical Avalanche Course, we will review while backcountry touring and seeking out some of the fresh snow and uncrowded terrain of the Tetons. Poeple can expect the day to take from 5-7 hours and complete 4000-6000 vertical feet of gain putting the groups back at the trailhead by late afternoon.
Grand Teton National Park is located roughly 30 minutes from our Jackson, WY headquarters. Our Jackson office is located in the south part of Jackson at 1325 S. Highway 89, Suite 104 and shares a parking area with Smith’s. Our phone number is (800) 239-7642 or (307) 733-4979. Most trips and classes will meet at this office for gear checks, preparation, and classes. The Jackson Hole airport is the closest, but Idaho Falls (a 2 – 2.5 hour drive) is a cheaper option and Salt Lake City (4 – 5 hour drive) are also air travel options. It is helpful to arrive a couple of days prior to your trip/class in order to acclimatize. Otherwise, you should arrive the day before and stop by our office for an equipment check. Do not plan on traveling the day after a significant climb – you will be tired and there are no guaranteed times when we will return to the trailhead. Plan on having accommodations for the night prior to and the night you return from a significant climb. There are a plethora of hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts in Jackson and the surrounding area. Accommodations near our office make your transitions convenient. It is highly advisable to make reservations as early as possible. Lodging recommendations and many more details can be found in the downloadable document below.
Sitting on the eastern edge of the Great Basin, the north-south-trending Tetons rise dramatically from the floor of Jackson Hole without any foothills along an active fault-block mountain front system. Because it forms one of the first tall barriers to moisture sweeping eastward from the Pacific Ocean, much of the range’s precipitation falls as snow during winter and spring, but summers and fall are generally dry and pleasant, with the always-present possibility of thunderstorms.
The local climate is semi-arid with a yearly extreme high of 93 °F and extreme low of -46 °F. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Grand Teton National Park was -63 °F, and snow often blankets the landscape from early November to late April. Jackson Hole has long, cold winters. The first heavy snows fall by the beginning of November and continue through March. Snow and frost are possible during any month. By May and June, mild days and cool nights alternate with rain and occasional snow. Valley trails are snow covered until late May. Warm days and cool nights prevail during July and August, with afternoon thundershowers common. In autumn, sunny days and cold nights alternate with rain and occasional snow storms.
- Top Long Sleeve Synthetic or Wool: medium to expedition weight long underwear
- Puffy Jacket: synthetic light weight down
- Soft Shell or Fleece Jacket
- Shell Jacket with hood. Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Alchemy Jacket
- Insulated Jacket– Hood Recommended. Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Super Compressor Hooded
- Bottom Synthetic or Wool Long Underwear Bottoms
- Shell Pant: full side zips and built-in gaiters
- Socks: (1 to 2 pairs) synthetic or wool. Sized for your boots and blister protection. Liners recommended.
HEAD AND HANDS
- Gloves 2 to 3 pair: 1 medium, 1 heavy pair
- Hat: medium weight ski hat
- Hat: baseball or visor for sun
- Balacava/neck gaiter
- Back Pack: 30 to 40 Liter ski pack, Guide Pick: Mammut Pro Short Removable Airbag System Backpack
- Water & Food: Thermos or insulated water bottles are best. Lot’s of snacks.
- Sunglasses/ Sunglass Case
- Ski Goggles
- Extra Prescription Glasses/Contact Lens
- Sunscreen/Lip balm
- Headlamp-Extra batteries
- First Aid: minimal-blister kit
SKI/SNOWBOARD EQUIPMENT FOR THE BACKCOUNTRY (Packages available for rent at JHMG)
- Boots: Alpine Touring, Telemark, or Snowboarding Boots
- Skis or Splitboard with compatible binding for boots
- Climbing Skins (fit to skis)
- Ski Poles
- Helmet (optional)
SNOW SAFETY EQUIPMENT (REQUIRED and available for rent at JHMG)
- Transceiver Guide Pick:Mammut Element Barryvox
- Shovel Guide Pick: Mammut Alugator Twist shove
- Probe Guide Pick: Mammut Fastlock Probe 240
Talk To Us
Here you’ll find online tools and information about joining us for a trip of a lifetime! To sign up for a trip, or if you have any questions, please call us. Listed on the left side of these pages are links that you may find useful, including printable forms and policies concerning a trip with JHMG. We encourage ALL prospective climbers to read our Preparation advice. Our office can help place you with others who are looking to climb.