If you are lucky enough to book an adventure with Mike Janssen, you already know he takes his clients to some of the best nooks and crannies in Jackson Hole. A head taller than most of his counterparts, he is a ski instructor and a backcountry guide for the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in the winter and a fishing guide in the summer. He has won the Top Fly Guide award as a fishing guide for World Cast Anglers. He was born in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort ski guide Mike Janssen loves to ski with his daughter and sons on his days off and has some great tips for “going against the grain” and making the most out of your day on “the hill.”
First and foremost, stay hydrated. Drink lots of water before bed, he says. “If your pee is yellow, you are dehydrated,” he says. “Water can alleviate headaches and increase longevity.”
Second, stretch when you wake up. Core strength is most important. But you want to make sure to get the blood flowing to your calves, hamstrings, and quads before you hit the slopes.
Where to Stay in Jackson Hole?
The Four Seasons Resort has some of the warmest, comfiest beds in town, according to Janssen. A ski valet and slope-side fire pits offer amenities that are unparalleled for the ski-in ski-out vacationer.
Where to Eat in Jackson Hole?
Mike usually eats cereal and waffles with his kids, but he likes his eggs sunny side up at his two favorite breakfast spots: He orders the Working Folk with cheese and onions in the hashbrowns at Bubba’s.
After taking the pulse of the mountain to see how the snow set up the night before, Mike maps out the day to find fresh lines in the snow and leave the long lift lines in the dust. His senior status at ski school helps him cut the lines while he’s on the clock. But when he’s out of uniform, he often skips the early tram line and heads up Teewinot to Après Vous for the first few runs. For lunch he stops at the cafeteria on top of the gondola. He shares some chili and fries with his boys. But it has to be early or late to avoid the rush.
Best Place to Après Ski
After a low-impact water activity, it’s time for dinner. Osteria, an Italian restaurant within Hotel Terra is his first choice for an adult meal. With kids in tow, he would go to the Mangy Moose and set them free to play outside at the playground between the two Teton Village restaurants. For a special dinner, like a birthday or anniversary, he he heads back up the gondola to Couloir.
If his family or his guests need a day off, Mike recommends a snowmobile trip to Granite Hot Springs south of Jackson. “It’s an easy day trip and it’s gorgeous.”
Local Skier Tips
- Bring your own boots and rent demo skis! “Boots are the most important part of your equipment.”
- Wear progressive layers so that your lightest layer is closest to your body.
- Avoid cotton.
- If you are coming to the ski resort from town, take an early bus to arrive before 8:30 and avoid the crowds.
- Storm skiing is the best.
- Do your biggest skiing or hiking in the morning before lactic acid builds up in your legs.
About our Author: Julie Kling is a freelance writer who lives in one of the most beautiful places on earth, Jackson Hole, WY. She teaches skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, practices yoga almost every day and is the mother of two children who love to go fast and take chances.