Words by Eric Henderson; as seen in the Volume 14, October issue of FREESKIER Magazine.
SKIERS EVERYWHERE LOVE A CLASSIC COMBO meal in the mountains. It’s often a challenge to find a package that includes the whole shebang: main course, side dish, dessert and maybe even a toy. In the sidecountry of Jackson Hole, the Once Is Enough couloir finished with the No-Name face creates that perfect combo—a delicate blend of fall line, airtime, and powder—enough to satisfy any skier’s appetite.
Jackson Hole’s backcountry is littered with heart stopping, adrenaline-filled lines, and Once Is Enough is a perfect example. Best of all, it’s easily accessed by the drive-through aerial tram that drops you off at the top of Rendezvous Peak (10,450 feet), followed by a sporty scramble to the summit of Cody Peak (10,750 feet). As you near the top of Cody, stay south across a low-angle scree field while keeping your eyes peeled for the renowned cornice drop into Once Is Enough. The couloir has a clean, low exposure entrance, requiring a solid drop turn technique for that first turn on some of the steepest terrain at Jackson. You might want to bring a rope in early season or to make a belayed cut to test stability. The skiing in the couloir is classic A-plus steep shredding with a mellow choke point like a tasty side of fries to get your heart pumping. After devouring Once Is Enough, turn your head to the baked apple pie of descents, the No-Name face.
The No-Name face is one of the most classic sustained powder runs in the area. Although it’s not necessary to reach No-Name from Once Is Enough, the best turns on the face are difficult to reach any other way. After exiting the rocky choke of Once Is Enough, make a hard right turn and traverse around the No-Name cirque, aka the Pinedale Canyon headwall. You can’t miss the enormous powder keg of dessert waiting for you after your Once Is Enough Big Mac.
LOCATION: JACKSON HOLE, WYOMING
SKIABLE VERT: 4,500 feet
TOP ELEVATION: 10,750 feet
GNAR METER: It’s easy to find Once Is Enough from the summit of Cody Peak after a moderately aggressive tour. The slope angle averages around 45 degrees but Once Is Enough can be skied in firm conditions without fearing for your life. For an extra challenge, check out Twice Is Nice next door.
WHEN TO SKI IT: Spring melt freeze is predictably the safest. If you’re going for a pow run, you’d better know whether or not the snow is stable. Watch out for soft slabs and weak cornice structure.
ROUND TRIP TIME: Three hours if you’re in shape, six hours if you just landed from NYC.
ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT: Typical backcountry safety gear (plus a 30-meter rope, webbing and two carabineers if you’re going to rapel the entrance) and a brain.