Jackson Hole opens its gates to the backcountry.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming has taken a bold step, by North American standards, and created an “open” boundary policy. Though policies such as this are commonplace at resorts across Europe, Jackson Hole is writing a new page for American resorts.

The new policy allows ticket and pass holders to use the resort's lifts to access terrain beyond the boundary gates. In the past, Jackson Hole Ski Patrol defined when conditions were safe enough to allow entrance to these areas. The new regulations, however, will allow the gates to remain open at all times with signage indicating avalanche danger, safety precautions, and the hazards of out-of-bounds riding.

The only remaining detail to be ironed out is the responsibility of rescue operations. The Jackson Hole Ski Patrol and the Teton County Search and Rescue crew are still deliberating as to who will be committed to respond to emergencies in the additional terrain.

This change in policy will effectively double Jackson Hole's already massive ripable acreage, and open the resort to even more incredible terrain. The resort is, now more than ever, a place every serious snowboarder must check out.