“The most demanding race in the region, with stunning views all the way to the top of the JHMR Tram!
— doug cook
Race - Aug 4, 2018
River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Please leave your dogs at home.
This annual race is run in honor of our friend and longtime JHMR Aerial Tram mechanic Chris Onufer (Captain "X"), who passed away far too early in an avalanche on March 7th 2012. Starting in 2015, the Teton Trail Runners and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort reinvigorated the Rendezvous Mountain
Hillclimb with a new and improved course. It's a pretty "X" course as Onufer would say!
95% singletrack on the Wildflower and Cirque trails to the top of the famous JHMR Aerial Tram; no more summer service road to the top! And to keep the spirit of running alive for future generations, the Teton Trail Runners will use 100% of the proceeds to support the Jackson High School cross-country team, all in the name of Chris Onufer.
After the race, there will be an awards ceremony "party", with the biggest raffle in the region. Tons of raffle prizes, custom visors, custom "cooler" schwag bags stuffed with goodies.
Course updates/latest photos will be published on our Facebook page
Please visit the FAQ page
for lots more info.
Need to Know
Two aid stations are provided along the course (near Casper Restaurant and top Bridger Gondola). However, due to the backcountry location and rugged nature of this race, racers are encouraged not to depend on these stations as their sole supply of water. You may want to bring your own water bottle or CamelBak to be sure! It is an incredibly difficult course!
The race will go on rain or shine (or snow!) Please dress and be ready for all kinds of weather! Rendezvous Mountain
and the top of the Aerial Tram are known for variable weather. In early August, the weather is generally clear/cool in the morning (50's), and warm/sunny by midday (mid 70's). Thunderstorms are not uncommon in the afternoons.
East Ridge section on the Cirque Trail
- some scrambling required here; please use caution through this exposed area! The route/rocks are marked with red paint indicating the easiest path through this short section.
In 2015, the new route (approximately 6.1 miles and 4250' vertical gain) will start at the base of the Bridger Gondola, just outside of Jackson Hole Sports. For the sake of early racer separation, the route will start up the gravel summer Trail Access
road to the top of the Union Pass chairlift (roughly 0.6 miles), before heading north on the Wildflower Trail
for several miles. Once on the Wildflower Trail
, you'll be on singletrack until to the top of the Aerial Tram! After many switchbacks, a few overlooks and a rustic "swing," you'll arrive near the Casper Restaurant and Aid Station #1.
Head up more switchbacks bringing you into the beautiful Casper Bowl overlooks, before traversing "Mr Toads Wild Ride" to the top of the Bridger Gondola and Aid Station #2. From there, look for the Cirque Trail
on the south side of the Bridger Restaurants, and venture up the rocky and wildflower-covered Headwall before merging into the Cirque/Tensleep Bowl areas.
Once into the Tensleep area, you'll be among sub-alpine forest and huge boulders. Looking up, you'll also be just below the famous Corbet's Couloir ski run. Continue past, until you gain the East Ridge**, to just above the Sublette chairlift. Scramble up this craggy, knife-edged trail, until you arrive at the top of Corbet's Couloir! A few hundred feet more brings you to the top of the Tram...
**East Ridge - some scrambling required here; please use caution through this exposed area! The route/rocks are marked with red paint indicating the easiest path through this short section.
Flora & Fauna
Tons of wildflowers along the trail in throughout July and August. Common wildlife is deer, moose, marmot, red tail hawk, pika, and sometimes bear.
History & Background
The race was first run in 1988. For past results click here
The old course on the mountain service road was frequently altered due to on-mountain construction at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Some years, this construction led to outright cancellation of the race. This new route up the Wildflower Trail
and Cirque Trail
will ensure a consistent race venue for years to come.