My dad turned 55 in December 2012. I called my best friend (who is like my dad’s third son) and asked if he was down to take the trip of a lifetime. After 30 seconds of explaining that I wanted to go ride the new tram at Jackson Hole and tear up the mountain, he was definitely in for the ride.
My entire family grew up skiing, but my dad hasn’t been west of Ohio for a number of years. So now that I’ve reached the age where I’m starting to pay him back for being an awesome dad, I figured Jackson Hole was the perfect treat to celebrate a milestone like 55. We set the date, made the reservations, and prayed to the snow gods that in February we’d be knee-deep in the good stuff.
Photo: Patrick Nelson
The Jackson Hole area was named after a mountain man, David Edward Jackson, who based his trapping operation there in the early 19th century. As visitors would enter the valley from the mountains on all sides, it felt like they were descending into a hole: hence, Davey Jackson’s Hole, then Jackson’s Hole, and now Jackson Hole.
Today, Jackson Hole is part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and 97 percent of the land is protected and publicly owned. Local residents claim that the area hasn’t changed much from the way it was 30 years ago, and the people who live there care about its sustainability.
As part of the sustainability movement, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort achieved the most widely known and recognized environmental stamp of approval – the ISO 14001 certification for its registration of environmental programs. The resort is one of only two resorts in the United States to receive this recognition.