Frequently Asked Questions

What should my skiing and riding ability be?

Skiing and riding in the backcountry presents different challenges such as variable snow surfaces and skiing terrain that ranges from open slopes to tree skiing.  A typical backcountry tour will have slopes comparable to a range of blue square to black diamond terrain. If you're looking for consistently steeper slopes or a more adventurous ski, we have many options for terrain across Grand Teton National Park.

Do I tip my guide?

At our company, we often receive inquiries about tipping our guides. We take pride in delivering outstanding experiences, and our guides are committed to providing you with exceptional customer service during your mountain adventures. We want you to know that mountain guiding is a service industry, and if you had a great time with us, we suggest considering a gratuity of 15-20% of the total cost of your trip. Tipping is a way to acknowledge the effort and dedication our guides put into ensuring your trip is memorable and enjoyable. It's an excellent way to show your appreciation and is always welcomed.

Where do I meet my guide? 

48 hours prior to the trip your guide will reach to discuss conditions and make the best plan for the day before your tour. This is a great chance to share your goals for the day and establish a plan.  Your guide will then meet you at the established trailhead the morning of your tour. A typical day backcountry skiing starts at approximately 8:30  and ends at 3:00, this timing is subject to change based on the conditions, needs of the group or objective. If you have questions before the tour please give the office a call at  307.733.4979 Or send us an email at

How do I get to the trailhead?

You will be responsible for your own transportation to and from our office or the trailhead.  Transportation options : Rentals, Uber, Lyft or a taxi service.  There are a couple trailheads we use in GTNP such as Taggart lake Trailhead or Death Canyon Trailhead which are 30 minutes from downtown Jackson.  The town of Jackson has public bus system the START bus that does not go to the park or pass but can assist in traveling around town or near our office. 

What should I expect for both uphill and downhill experiences?

Plan to be moving uphill for a large portion of the day. Backcountry skiing is an amazing way to explore the mountains while earning each of your turns. 

What food and liquids should I bring for a day of touring?

Food for backcountry touring: variety of snacks, salty, sweet and high in calories. For example a sandwich, bars, candy, chocolate, cheese, salami, pastries etc  Think of easy to eat snacks for a on the go day. There will not be a specific lunch time, we believe lunch starts after breakfast!  Liquids:  About 1.5 to 2 liters of liquid  Consider hot drinks like decaffeinated teas, electrolytes etc in addition to your liter of water.  On cold days a nice trick is to fill your water bottle with warm water so it won’t freeze throughout the day.  Hydration packs are not recommended as the tube can freeze or the hydration bladder can burst.  A  lightweight thermos and and water bottle are a great combo

What rentals are available?

DPS Pagoda Tour skis with ATK bindings  Pagoa tours range 153 - 189 in length with  100 and 112 underfoot options  Pomoca skins  Scarpa maestrale boots  DPS adjustable poles  Mammut  Beacon  Shovel  Probe  Touring specific Pack

Difference between a basic tour and advanced tour?

Basic ski tours  2500 ft - 4,000 ft of vertical gain with a range of blue square to black diamond terrain some of our classic backcountry  tours include 25 Short, Mavericks, Wimpy’s and Shadow peak Advanced tours 3,000- 6,000ft of elevation gain  An objective that may include skiing as well as boot packing to reach your objective. With a descent that ranges from black diamond to double black diamond terrain. The use of ropes, ice axes, crampons may be needed to complete a technical object.  A few of these classic ski/plit mountaineering tours are the Sliver, South Teton, East face Teewinot, Apocalypse couloir 

How is ski touring in GTNP different from other venues ?

Exploring Grand Teton National Park via a skis or splitboard is an incredible experience. Part of what makes Grand Teton national Park so special is the remote nature. A typical day may include 5 to 8 miles round trip and 2,500-6,000 ft in elevation gain. Of course this all varies by how far you choose to tour on your day out.

What is backcountry touring, skiing and riding?

Backcountry touring is a human powered activity that can include the use of skis or a splitboard. You will use climbing skins and bindings with a free-heel feature to skin uphill and then ski back down. Backcountry skiing takes place outside of ski resorts, where you can get away from the crowds and enjoy untracked snow.  During a backcountry tour you will be moving uphill for approximately 60% of your day and moving down hill about 40% of the day. 

Do you have a minimum age to climb the Grand Teton?

We get this question a lot.  The answer is no.  But our goal at JHMG is to give every climber a positive mountain experience.  In order to do so, we need to make sure we are setting our young one's up to succeed.  The Grand Teton is a big mountain and we usually see folks over the age of 15 have the physical and mental fortitude to succeed in reaching the summit.  We would also recommend the 4-Day climb.  Anyone under the age of 18 needs to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

What are the benefits of booking a private trip as opposed to group trip?

Depending on conditions,  Jackson Hole Mountain Guides  will usually guide 3 clients with one guide.  If you have 3 friends that want to climb the Grand Teton,  Then you are in luck, you will have your own guide.  If you are a solo climber or a group of  two and you join a group trip, we will pair you with another climber or a group.  The good part about this, that you get to make new friends!  The possible downside is that if one of your new friends has to turn around, your summit attempt will be impacted.  That is where having a private guide can come in handy.  With a private guide, it is you and your guide, you are your own independent part party.  We do see increased success on privately guided tips.

If I book a class for my kids, can I go along and watch and take photos?

This depends on the location. Some of the spots are easily accessible, and would not require a long approach. In the event that it is a possibility, we would have you sign an additional release form. Please inquire with our office for more information specific to each location and climbing objective.

Will I need any special clothing or shoes for the Red Rock?

Typically, any comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and a pair of tennis shoes will be all you need. Weather conditions can vary wildly within a few days and your clothing selection should reflect the weather forecasted for your day of climbing. Multiple light layers are the best option and lightweight (low-top) hiking or tennis shoes are fine. Open-toed footwear (flip-flops, Tevas, etc) are not recommended.

Is it always hot and sunny in Red Rock?

Definitely not. Red Rock is in the Spring Mountain Range and most of the climbing is located between 4000’-6000’ above sea level (Vegas = 2000’). Temperatures can vary from well below freezing in winter to well above 100(f) degrees in summer. During winter months, it is not uncommon for Red Rock to be covered in a fresh blanket of snow (2”- 8”). Fortunately, most of the snow melts within a few days.

Does JHMG provide transportation and will you pick us up and drop us off back down on the Strip?

JHMG does not provide transportation. However, for a party of one or two, it is possible to take a cab out to our office (or other west side rendezvous venue) and guide can drive from office out to Red Rock and back to office. Depending on location of your hotel, cab fare could run $30-$50 each way. If you have more than one day to escape the Strip, we highly recommend a rental car.

How far is Red Rock from the Strip?

The entrance/fee booth to the Red Rock 13 Mile Scenic Drive and Visitor Center is a quick 20-30 minute drive from the Neon Jungle.

Do I have to pay a fee to get into Red Rock?

To date, there is only one fee area, the 13 Mile Scenic Drive / Visitor Center. On the days you climb with JHMG, you do not have to pay an entrance fee. Most climbing is accessed via the one-way 13 Mile Scenic Drive.  When you return to Red Rock on your own, a day pass is $7, annual pass is $30 and they honor the America the Beautiful Pass ($80).

Is Red Rock a State Park or a National Park?

It's neither.  It is a National Conservation Area that is operated and administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The BLM is the largest administrator of public lands in the western U.S. The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is almost 200,000 acres of your public lands.

Why Should I go with JHMG?

We always say that there are times to be budget conscious and times when you want the best.  Things like surgery, sky diving lessons and mountain/rock climbing are times when you really don't want to be looking for a bargain.  But if you are looking for an adventure of a lifetime, with a well trained, certified and experienced guide service, you found one in JHMG.  But these are just words.  What sets us apart and what should you be looking for in a guide service? Good question, I am glad you asked.  First off.  JHMG is the second oldest guiding service in the US.  We have 48 Years of experience, which means that we have had time to refine our client processes, risk management procedures and have emerged a well-oiled machine, that knows how to provide a high level of service and do it safely. Second, JHMG is a National Park Service concessioner.  Our National Park Service is unscrupulous at vetting it's concessioners.  Not only do they pay close attention to our operations, but require visibility into our finances, insurance, hiring practices, environmental management practices, risk management practices and our customer satisfaction. In short.  We are required to run a very tight ship and we go under review EVERY YEAR!!!!  We welcome this scrutiny as an opportunity to make us better, and we apply this same high level of operation to every location we operate in. So you don't just have to take our word for it, the National Park Service stands behind our integrity as a company. In the end however, we are a company of passionate people who live and breath adventure.  We understand that to be the best, we need to seek out the best people and offer them a home and a professional opportunity.  All JHMG guides are employees,  not subcontractors.  They have retirement accounts, workers comp and are paid as professionals.  JHMG is also accredited by the American Mountain Guides Association.  Which means that our guides are not only vetted by an AMGA certified guide, but many undergo rigorous certification by a this third party organization in the discipline that they guide. But risk is a part of what we do.  So it is important that in the event of an incident, that our guides are capable of delivering a high level of care.  This is why all certified guides at JHMG are required to have at least Wilderness First Responder Medical training and many of our guides have gone on to get higher levels of medical training like Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC). I hope that the picture that is being painted is one of a professional, experienced and well trained guiding company.  But what about customer service?  We know that your time is precious, and we appreciate that you have a choice in how you spend that time.  That is why we take customer service very seriously.  From the moment you contact us, you will be treated with respect and professionalism.  Not just by our guides, but by the number of people who work behind the scenes to make sure that your adventure goes off without a hitch.  We can't control the weather, but we endeavor to make your experience everything you want it to be. So, if you are looking for a inexpensive guiding service for a one off adventure, we are probably not a great fit.  But if you want a professional, experienced team of people who will work hard to give you the experience of a lifetime, then look no further than Jackson Hole Mountain Guides.

What is the advantage to the four day Grand Teton program?

There are several. The training is conducted at 11,000’ on the type and aspect of rock that you will experience on the upper mountain. There are two opportunities to summit. The pace is far more relaxed than a rushed overnight climb from the valley wherein you must descend all the way o the parking lot after summiting. Ohh yeah! and instead of staying in a hotel room for your training days, you get to spend 3 night in one of the most beautiful places on earth, Corbet High Camp

What route on the Grand Teton am I likely to be climbing?

JHMG utilizes primarily the upper Exum ridge and the Pownal/Gilkey routes for summiting the peak. The Exum is a little longer and comes in to the morning sun early. The Pownall/Gilkey is a better bet for a questionable forecast as we can see the weather to the west and it is faster to retreat in the event of a storm.

How fit do I need to be to climb the Grand Teton?

The short answer is,”I’m glad you asked.” The longer answer is that the better shape you are in the more you will enjoy it. You are comitting some time and resources to be here. What a great motivator to get moving! All that said, good cardio, a long attention span and sense of humor will almost always carry the day.

What are the sleeping accommodations at Corbett high camp?

We have a Weatherport quanset hut for cooking and gathering, but we our guests sleep in new Mountain Hardware dome tents spread around the moraine for some privacy and greatly enhanced sleeping arrangements.

What is a sticky rubber approach shoe? It sounds disgusting.

It is a hybrid lightweight boot or shoe with features of a light hiker and a rock climbing shoe. The lacing is focused down to the toe and the shoe is randed and soled with the high performance rubber used in technical rock shoes. The idea is to utilize one shoe for the entire trip on the Grand Teton.

How fit do I need to be to climb the Grand Teton?

It is an undeniable fact that those who are in good shape are more likely to enjoy the view from the summit! Those who engage in regular exercise before coming to climb the Grand Teton (or any of the other climbs we offer) typically do fine on the ascent. Give yourself adequate time—at least a couple of months--to prepare, particularly if this form and intensity of exercise is new. Training for a Teton climb needs to be specific, and should include cardiovascular activities and weight training. For three days a week, focus on an hour or more of aerobic exercise such as running, cycling, swimming, etc. Gym equipment such as stairmasters, rowing machines, etc. can supplement cardiovascular training. On weekends a full day hike or other longer endeavor will help prepare you for the endurance required in the Tetons. Carrying a 20-30 pound pack uphill on trails or stadium steps will simulate the real climb better than anything. Lifting moderate weights to increase core body, leg, and arm strength is also a good idea. Focus on quads and hamstrings—legs need strength and endurance. Being generally fit and having some solid stamina for long days is the overall goal. *If you are not already in decent shape, or are not as young as you used to be(!), it would be prudent to consult with a doctor or certified physical trainer before undertaking a physical fitness training program.

Request a Guide

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Contact Us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.