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Jackson Hole, United States

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Thanks to its spectacular scenery, “wild west” ambience, abundant wildlife and challenging skiing, this spectacular resort at Teton Village in the remote and breathtaking Teton chain is perhaps the finest ski area in the US. The jagged Teton peaks, which resemble giant shark’s teeth, dominate the spectacular valley, or ‘hole’ in the mountains where trappers like Davey Jackson, after whom the area is named, used to trade with local Indian tribes. The town of Jackson, some 10 miles or so from the ski area, is a genuine “old West” community, with wooden sidewalks and bustling cowboy bars. Wildlife includes moose, elk, coyote and eagles, and you can visit what is probably the world's biggest elk sanctuary on the outskirts of town. The slopes are centred on Rendezvous Peak and the more mellow Après Vous mountain. As well as these, the Bridger-Teton National Forest offers 5,000 acres of legendary backcountry terrain with a European-style guiding service. The Bridger Gondola provides links with both peaks. Jackson Hole’s biggest icon, its red cable car, or ‘tram’ was recently retired, but a replacement is due to be unveiled in the winter of 2008-09. The resort’s most infamous challenge is Corbet's Couloir, a rather terrifying gash in the rocks near the top of Rendezvous, which lures only the bravest and best skiers into its jaws. But there are many rather less fearsome ‘chutes’, gullies and cirques to be found all over the mountain, including Alta, Expert and Tower Three Chutes.

Written by  Arnie Wilson.

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