The Serious Skiers' and Snowboarders' Resort
Jackson, Wyo. (1941)
There's a line in The Art of Flight, last winter's hit, big-budget snowboarding film, when pro snowboarder Travis Rice and his team are showing their helicopter pilot, on a big map, where they want to be dropped – at the top of a remote peak in the wildest Patagonian backcountry, to ride some of the world's steepest, most isolated, and most terrifying mountain terrain.
At the start of last season, at the time of release of the game-changing film, which took two years, 2,600 hours of footage (much of it shot with a groundbreaking 1,050-frames-per-second high-definition camera), and an estimated $2m, to make, I interviewed Travis, to get some ideas for the trip to Jackson I had planned.
"Jackson has the best free-riding in North America," he told me. "It's amazing and beautiful. But it's not just the mountains: it has a unique location and weather, and there's a really amazing community here."
And then there's The Wort, still the best, most historic, hotel in town. It was a once a gambling den, and has cowgirl-themed suites, mooseheads on the wall and live bluegrass on Tuesdays. The Wort family who created it in the 1940s are considered local heroes.