1. Be Aware of Operational Hours
If skinning when the mountain is open, you’ll need an uphill pass and follow the cat tracks. However, after hours you can take the direct route straight up the Cougar Lift to avoid those pesky low angle cat tracks at the bottom of the mountain. See the routes for off and on hours below:
2. Bring a Headlamp
A headlamp is necessary to see where you’re going, especially on the way down. I like the Petzl Tikka RXP headlamp. It's reactive lighting actively changes light output based on the reflected light it senses. When you're watching your feet it keeps the light low so it doesn't blind you. When you look up and out, it powers up so you can see where you're headed.
3. Avoid the Groomers
Headlamps are also important to alert your presence to groomers. That being said, it’s important to be on the safe side and avoid the slopes the groomers are on completely.
4. Bring a Friend
Friends don't let friends skin the king alone! In case you run into any difficulties (or a moose) it's always nice to have a booting buddy.
5. Enjoy the View
One of the best things about going after hours is the view. You can see all of town, across the elk refuge and over to the Tetons where you can even see the groomers over at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. What's even better is you're likely to have the view all to yourself.