The Greater Yellowstone Cycle Trail: A New Local Adventure

A new fat biking and Nordic adventure exists just a stone’s throw away from us! The Great Yellowstone Cycle Trail is racing towards completion and that means great things for local fat bike and Nordic enthusiasts!
Imagine if you will, 180 miles of trail stretching from West Yellowstone, MT, all the way to Jackson, WY. This invaluable pathway is a local resource of recreational opportunities and ways to explore the area through connections with other trails for biking and hiking. As it is, you can already ride from West Yellowstone to Victor, ID and what remains is the last section that connects the top of Teton Pass to Victor.
If you’re looking for some side trip variations, there is an extensive network of groomed snowmobile trails that do well for a fat bike, and depending on conditions, could also do well for Nordic skiing.

There are several highlights of this trail that we have already experienced, hence the excitement over this trail being completed! To name a few, consider the Ashton-Tetonia section, the Felt to Bitch Creek Bridge and the West Yellowstone to Reas Pass. In fact, the trail section of the old Yellowstone railroad through Tetonia and Ashton make for an excellent summer mountain biking tour and a superb winter fat-biking experience. The views are breathtaking from this 30-mile section.

If you are looking for a quiet, non-motorized section, we would recommend the West Yellowstone to Reas Pass 11 mile stretch. And the Felt to Bitch Creek Bridge makes for a nice relaxing XC ski tour that is a short drive away. Fat biking is already popular in the Island Park sections!There is a mix of options up in that region, with Harriman State Park area being best for skiing.

 

Wyoming Pathways is helping to encourage regional planning and coordination of this 180-mile tour and has already received some funding thus far from the Rails to Trails organization. New donations would be welcome to support the continued collaboration with the communities along the trail and of course, Wyoming Pathways is a non-profit organization.

The Greater Yellowstone Cycle Trail is a great way to see this area, both in the winter and in the summer. To learn more about this expansive trail, visit the Wyoming Pathways website for more information.

New Gear Review – Madshus Intelligrip Classic Skis (Winter 2017-18)

Reviewed by Scott O’Brien, Co-Owner of Skinny Skis

Madshus Intelligrip Classic skis

In the past few years almost every XC ski manufacturer has introduced a new kind of waxless classic ski to their line ups that provides remarkably good kick & glide without relying on “fischscales.”

An underfoot insert of nylon mohair takes the place of a typical mechanical waxless base or the need for kick wax. Similar to climbing skins used by backcountry skier the plush of the insert is directional with the hairs of the plush lift or grip when you kick and lay flat while gliding. An added benefit of the mohair is that unlike fischscale bases it’s quiet while skiing. Fishscales often create chatter especially on icy snow whereas the the soft mohair is silent.

. Madshus, the worlds oldest cross country ski company, created an affordable performance skis with the new mohair technology – the Madshus Terrasonic IGS. This is the perfect quiver ski for tricky wax conditions or a one-and-only ski for skiers that would rather not bother with kick wax but still want a lively performance ski to use at Teton Pines or on any of the groomed pathways.

When sized correctly with the appropriate flex and Terrasonic IGS feels remarkably like a well waxed skis. The most important factor is determining the right ski is skier weight with height as a secondary factor

The Madshus Terrasonic IGS classic skis can be purchased at Skinny Skis ($359.95) and will also be available to demo this winter. Please feel to call Skinny Skis with any questions. 307-733-6094

Nordic Ski Season Kickoff – Best Trails For Early Season

It’s getting to be that time of year, the snow has arrived in Jackson Hole and it’s time to brush the dust off of your nordic gear and hit some early season trails. Luckily for you JH Nordic has some great insight on the best trails to ski and fat bike while the winter is still young.

Without further ado, here, in no particular order, are our favorite trails to take advantage of this time of year:

 

Teton Pass – South to Mt. Elly – 3.3mi

This scenic trail is easily accessible right off of the top of the Teton pass on WY Highway 22 just west of Wilson.  With a starting elevation of 8500 ft this intermediate trail is an early season treasure as it receives and holds the early snow much better than most lower elevation trails.  Boasting views of Mt. Glory and central Jackson Hole in the valley below to the east, the snow and skiing are not the only attraction of this “out and back” trail.  The trail leads you to the summit of Mt. Elly where 360 degree views of the Snake River Range, Black Canyon and Mt. Glory can be soaked in.

 

Grand Targhee Nordic Trails – 8.8mi

“The Ghee” as some call it, has an extensive set of nordic trails that are made up of four separate loops and are accessible pre-season but they likely will not be groomed yet. These trails are perfect for nordic skiers of any skill level and are well kempt, with clearly marked trail junctions.  These trails tend to build up a decent base much earlier than the valley floor in Jackson.

 

Togwotee Pass

Togwotee Pass has plenty of trails that due to their higher elevation can make for great early season skiing.  These trails are tracked out by snowmobilers which make them easy to follow for the most part and a great one to take is the trail to Brooks Lake, where you can stop in at the lodge for a drink and a bite to eat before turning back.

Now that you have all you need to know about the places to be for nordic skiing this time of year, get out there and ski! WINTER IS HERE!

 

Yellowstone Ski Festival & West Yellowstone Rendezvous Trails

Aside from just these awesome local trails to hit with our first snows of the year, the Annual Yellowstone Ski festival kicks off on November 21st with the West Yellowstone Rendezvous Trails opening up to the public. The festival draws thousands of skiers from all over the US and Canada and is a great place to start off the season and brush up on your technique or attend a waxing clinic. Find out more about the festival on the official event page here.

Ski Swap 2017

Living in Jackson Hole can be tough on the wallet as is.  Add in the cost of new ski or snowboard gear and it can be even worse.  Luckily for those that stick around for the fall off-season there is hope! Thanks to the great people of the Jackson Hole Ski & Snowboard Club who put on the annual Ski & Gear Swap, low price, quality gear is available to all.

Jackson Hole Ski & Snowboard Club’s Ski & Gear Swap 2017

On Saturday, October 21st, the Jackson Hole Ski & Snowboard Club’s Annual Ski & Gear Swap will have thousands of great deals on new and used gear for all ages, abilities and budgets so be sure to swing by the Heritage Arena (305 W. Snow King Ave).

Starting at 6:30 am there will be coffee from Elevated Grounds and burritos from Pica’s Mexican Taqueria for those who got in line early.  Don’t sleep in because the line can gets a few blocks long…  So remember to bundle up and huddle up with your neighbor!

The Early Bird Gets the Gear

To get your paws on the first pickings of the good stuff get in line early for the 7:30 am early bird opening ($10 or $5 with your green Club Membership Card). Memberships are $40 available online or at the Swap entrance and come with hundreds of dollars in savings around Jackson Hole.

Doors open at 8:15 am to the general public ($1 or free with your green Club Membership Card).  Admission fee for children under 12 attending with their parents is half off.

Shopping ends at 1pm sharp.

Gear Collecting Dust?

The Ski & Gear Swap is a great time to clean out your gear and make room for the new stuff. You can drop-off your alpine, Nordic, freeski and snowboard equipment and clothing on Friday, October 20, 2017 at the Heritage Arena from 12-7PM.

On October 21st, check to see if your gear sold at jhskiclub.org.  If it does not sell, you can choose to donate it to the Jackson Hole Ski & Snowboard Club or pick it up between 2 and 4 on the day of the event at Heritage Arena. IMPORTANT: Items not picked up will be donated to other ski swaps and school programs as decided by the Club.  If you don’t pick up your unsold gear… it could be gone forever.