Jackson Hole, WY March 3-5, 2019

Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding in the western US and Canada, including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.

Jackson Hole, WY March 3-5, 2019

Postby tseeb » Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:47 pm

Not sure if I never posted this or if I posted it and it got lost somehow, but I couldn't find it. Since I wrote it and it was 97 where I was this afternoon about 15 miles S of my house, I'm posting it (again?).

Summary:
Sunday 3/3 Only 1 tram and I got lucky to only have a two tram wait. I was about 10 people back and was not going to make it, but they needed two singles and I was the second and last one on. 26K

Monday 3/4 Only one tram and it was a three tram wait on mostly sunny day. 24K

Tuesday 3/5 Three trams with a one tram wait before lunch, then hustle on for no wait after lunch and just missed one about 40 minutes later 20.6K

The long version. My wife and I left the Pugski Big Sky Gathering about 5 PM on Friday after stopping for a quick beer at Montana Jack where we went for Apres every day after skiing. We snowmobiled into Yellowstone on Saturday from West Yellowstone, which is about an hour South from Big Sky turnoff and had an amazing amount of activity for being such a cold place. We stayed at Stagecoach Inn, designed by same person and built at about the same time as the Wort in Jackson and recommended in winter. I’ve heard it's over $300/night in summer (and that RV campsites are $120 in the area in summer). We paid about $60 including breakfast.

The snowmobile tour from there to Old Faithful was highly recommended by Tony Crocker and now by me. We snowmobiled 64 miles.
6847ParkSignCR.JPG
The coldest I saw on my phone was -3 before sunrise, but the official low that day was -13. My wife used their suit, boots, gloves and helmet with visor while I made do with what I brought including DOT approved full face helmet and goggles from dirt bike. Temps were in the 20s in the afternoon. Park in winter is beautiful and much less crowded than summer. There were a lot of bison including one that walked by about 10 feet away while we were stopped.
6852BisonCloseCR.JPG
We also saw a coyote feasting on a swan
2228CoyoteEatingSwan.JPG
and another coyote motionless on a log that extended about 30 feet into the Madison, hoping a duck floated by.

After snowmobiling, we drove to Driggs, ID where we had great view of the sunset on the Tetons on the way
7034TetonsACR.JPG
and spent night after excellent dinner at Teton Thai. During my ride up to lunch at super-busy lodge at top of Bridger gondola on our first day skiing Jackson, I realized that there was too much to do in area including Bill Brigg's band playing at Stagecoach Inn. He is on banjo at right and was first to ski the Grand Teton, and bought Snow King in 1966 and started the Great American Ski School there, and has been playing at Stagecoach (where they also have great food) on Sunday for over 50 years.
7042StagecoachBand1.JPG
See https://www.jhnewsandguide.com/mult...c ... 732ec.html a lot more pictures from 50th anniversary. For $5 from Rendezvous Lodge, I was able to delay our night in Evanston, WY and get a second night at the Antler, mostly using a hotels.com rewards, so we didn't have to re-locate after one night. We pushed our skiing at Deer Valley back a day to have three days skiing Jackson, plus two nights in the same place in Jackson.

We rode a bus to ski area every day. Our first and last day, we parked at Stilson lot and used free (from there to resort) public bus. The middle day we rode 8 AM shuttle (60 passenger bus with luggage bays underneath for skis) provided by our motel that made one stop before ours and one stop after. All the buses were SRO although we had a seat on all rides except for return to Stilson the first day. Our driver said that on Saturday, there was stop-and-go traffic all the way from town of Jackson to the ski area. See https://www.jhnewsandguide.com/opinion/ ... d7aac.html for some details on Jackson crowds that set a record at 750K this season.

We began our skiing every day by riding the Bridger gondola to 9,000’ and skied over to Caspar chair for a warm up run or two. Groomer was excellent the first two days, but had a lot of little ice balls on top of the groom the last day unless you stayed on skiers right where it was more shaded during the day. We would move to the Teton chair for a groomer lap or two. By the last day, my wife was skiing the groomed blacked runs such as Kemmerer, although I had to warn her to stay off ungroomed blacks. All three days she stayed on those two lifts or would move to Apres Vous. I only rode and skied Apres Vous once, on my first day and found the ungroomed too variable. Snow was OK at start of Big Horn, then had too many re-frozen ruts so I traversed over to short Secret Slope which was better.
7039LuciaJHMRSign.JPG
My wife in front of sign at top of Bridger gondola
2258LuciaCheyenneBowl.JPG
My wife skiing Cheyenne Bowl. I never was able to talk her into riding tram although I think she could handle it as long as visibility was good.
2260LuciaSkiingJH.JPG


From my one Sunday tram, I skied to Corbet’s and took a look and decided not to do it as it looked like a good way to ruin my trip. Half of the usual entrance was a rock wall so there was about a 30’ long x 10’ wide near vertical chute to get in. I skied into Tensleep Bowl and found a good long line on skiers left of the Expert Chute, next a rock wall. Both runs up high had excellent winter snow. I rode up Thunder which had 5 minute singles line and skied Tower 3 which snow was very good, but light got very bad even though it was mid-day. It was like skiing into a chimney and I crashed falling backwards going off a big drop that I had not fully seen.

Monday was clear and cold with -2 reported at base and -1 at top early. We skied to Thunder about 11. My wife took groomed Lupine Way while I skied a S-facing chute above the Amphitheatre that had softened. We rode up Thunder and skied Laramie Bowl to Sublette chair which had a 6-minute doubles line. We skied across Laramie traverse which was confusingly marked black on a least one sign and my wife repeated Laramie Bowl while I cut in earlier and skied a more N-facing and steep chute, then continue to right of Flip Point. We rode up Sublette again and skied Hanging Rock, Rendezvous Trail, South Pass Traverse and Lower Tram Line to bottom. We quit early to catch 3 PM shuttle as I had some business to take care of back at motel that I had scheduled for 3 PM PST.

At some point in the day, I had a three tram wait (couple I was in line with said it’s at least three trams if line starts on snow) and skied Rendezvous Bowl, which was in great shape, smooth to small to medium bumps depending on where you came down with winter snow even though it was getting a lot of sun and had also had sun on Saturday. I also skied Bivouac which had been groomed, then cut right across Rendezvous Trail and took a very difficult traverse to North Hoback which skied well at the top, OK in the middle as long as I stayed on left side that had received less sun although it got a little crunchy from below 7500’ to 6600’ catchline. Also at some point in the day, I skied Alta 1 where snow and line I took were great, but I was not paying enough attention to looking for rocks and hit two in a row. I left my skis at shop at base where they patched a core shot in each new to me ski that only had 10 ten days on them (one was probably from Liberty Bowl at Big Sky), and waxed my skis for $20 cash.

On Tuesday, even though my SUV had trouble starting after being parked in shade of motel at Jackson for two nights and needed a jump, we perfectly caught 8:45 shuttle from Stilson lot. It was overcast and less crowded than previous two days. I had one tram lap before lunch where I led a skier from Turkey who said he didn’t want to ski the groomed runs down Rendezvous Bowl and top of Rendezvous Trail and Hobacks. I thought I was on South and cut across to Middle, but was already on Middle and cut over to North. Snow was still OK on left side although cutover crossed some very firm snow. I met my wife and was heading to Village Cafe, which was rated as best place on/near mountain for reasonable lunch. It’s a good thing my wife stalled crossing dip before the Hostel as guy walking by told us it was closed and recommended Moose Belly which has good menu and food and was reasonable and uncrowded.

I think my wife was done after lunch so I took two quick tram laps. The first lap took some hustle to make tram and I skied Middle Hoback, then gully between it and North at bottom. A tram was leaving when I arrived so I had a less than 10 minute wait for the next one which made my lap just over 40 minutes (including short, but slow Union Pass chair). At the top, I look into Corbet’s as it was my last chance, but it was closed so I skied sunny side of Sublette Ridge (probably some of Dog Face and Pepi’s), then Lower Sublette Ridge. I cut over high enough to avoid repeating South Pass lift and quit in time to catch 2:30 shuttle from Village back to Stilson lot.
User avatar
tseeb
 
Posts: 773
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:16 pm
Location: Northern California

Re: Jackson Hole, WY March 3-5, 2019

Postby jamesdeluxe » Tue Jul 23, 2019 4:45 am

Can you corroborate Tony's oft-mentioned warning not to plan a destination trip to JH later than the second week of February?
User avatar
jamesdeluxe
 
Posts: 3494
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: South Orange, NJ

Re: Jackson Hole, WY March 3-5, 2019

Postby tseeb » Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:27 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:Can you corroborate Tony's oft-mentioned warning not to plan a destination trip to JH later than the second week of February?
Are you trying to start something? Not sure if Mark Twain really said "Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get", but it is often attributed to him.

The three days in early March we skied the highs at JHMR were 26, 21 and 21 and the lows were 3, 0 and 1. Jackson received record snowfall in February 2019 (2nd highest month ever) and https://opensnow.com/dailysnow/jacksonhole/post/14262 on March 1 reported 86" in the last 6 days. So conditions were very good for early March. It was not the first time, I've beaten the odds skiing Jackson after mid-Feb as I was also there 3/4-6/2015 (See www.firsttracksonline.com/boards/viewto ... =3&t=11745 ) and even though it was a low snow year, we had a few inches that refreshed surface before I got there (and made for a good powder day at Targhee.
User avatar
tseeb
 
Posts: 773
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:16 pm
Location: Northern California

Re: Jackson Hole, WY March 3-5, 2019

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:18 am

Jackson is generally problematic once you get a serious warmup. The chronic inversions do a good job of preventing that most of the time to mid-February. After President's Week the sun is generally strong enough to break up inversions, just as it is in the Salt Lake Valley.
"Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get"

and we all know weather is volatile. This is not the first time Jackson has had a nearly continuously stormy February. So sometimes that first widespread melt/freeze doesn't happen until a week or more into March.

I also note that tseeb had to watch his step in the Hobacks, as the sunnier side of the ridgelines and lowest 900 vertical were already crunchy. And he said ungroomed terrain on direct south facing Apres Vous was unappetizing. But overall a significant proportion of Jackson had good snow this time. That was not true in 2015 according to several of the skiers there the same time as tseeb. It was definitely crappy before tseeb arrived at the same time as the refresher storm. Even with the new snow Targhee was so much better that 20 of them skied an extra day there rather than return to Jackson as the group had scheduled.

Once you get that first big melt/freeze, it will take at least a foot of snow and more likely 18 inches to resurface steep terrain. It would take less new snow if the snow were higher water content. We all know this from more favorably exposed areas in mid-April and later. This process starts on average about six weeks earlier at Jackson. Snowbird is the clear demonstration of this. Mineral Basin's exposure is similar to Jackson's. Compare it to the front side of Snowbird after just one sunny day in March.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10150
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Jackson Hole, WY March 3-5, 2019

Postby Sbooker » Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:24 pm

Nice report.
I will be at both Big Sky and Jackson in a similar time frame next winter. We happen to be doing a tour of Yellowstone too. I'll be sure to stay at the Stage Coach Inn.
Hopefully we'll get lucky with weather too. We are travelling with friends (two couples). The female in the first couple has never seen snow and her beau had 3 days on a snowboard about 20 years ago. The second couple have about 10 days skiing under their belt - here in Oz and a couple of days in NZ. Their first days on snow will be at Jackson Hole. Hopefully the weather turns it on so they get a great first big mountain experience.
Sbooker
 
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:29 pm
Location: Brisbane Australia
Location: Brisbane Australia

Re: Jackson Hole, WY March 3-5, 2019

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:38 pm

I really really recommend that sbooker and friends go to Aspen/Snowmass to start. Jackson in that time frame is manageable for experts like tseeb, marginal for intermediates and almost as bad as Snowbird for beginners. ALL of the groomed runs have at least partial south exposure.

Big Sky and Yellowstone I think sbooker’s friends would enjoy. There’s a ton of low intermediate terrain at Big Sky and almost none at Jackson.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10150
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Jackson Hole, WY March 3-5, 2019

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:21 pm

As both tseeb and I have done, the Yellowstone tour is best done from the Montana side not the Wyoming side.

If you want the newbie couple to take an instant dislike to skiing, making Jackson in March your first stop is a good way to accomplish that. Buttermilk at Aspen would be the ideal start but Big Sky is pretty good terrain wise. I’ll also mention that Big Sky can be as cold as -15C in early March as it was when Liz and were there then in 2013. I’m guessing that would be a new experience for your friends so they should be prepared.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10150
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Jackson Hole, WY March 3-5, 2019

Postby Sbooker » Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:45 am

^^^^^^^^^
Thanks for the tips Tony. I agree with your thoughts. This has been difficult planning believe me.
I'm just one of 6 involved in this trek. I have made suggestions but I'm working around visiting aunts in SLC at a particular time frame and a birthday in Vegas for one of the party (also at a particular time frame). Only one couple will be going to Vegas. The others have some preconceived ideas regarding skiing. You would appreciate the statement from one of the fellows - "Mate it's snow. Snow is snow. Are you taking us somewhere they have different types of snow".
The never evers are unlikely to be long term skiers. For a start they will be boarding due to the few days twenty years ago that one of them had. They are relatively tight with their money and have already announced they won't be spending money on lessons on the mountain. (They are convinced they can do a couple of one hour sessions at a gimmicky 'mechanical' ski slope here in Brisbane before they go). I will be gifting them a couple of half day lessons to get them started. I really think the location for the beginners may not be the big issue. I envisage time on snow until lunch and an afternoon sampling local brews in the Mangy Moose for them. They are lovely people and I know they love the atmosphere - all will be good.

To correct my previous statement the intermediates will get a couple of days under their belt at Alta to get them started before we head north. (The never ever couple are meeting us a few days after we get into SLC). They will have to be content with sub par conditions on the groomers at Jackson if the weather is not favourable. I'm sure the novelty of checking out an iconic mountain will make up for sticky snow. *If I remember correctly there is some nice north(ish) facing terrain on the far lookers left side of the mountain? You're the expert but I distinctly remember my family touring around most parts of the mountain when we were there. I remember the whole lookers right of the mountain being pretty perfect for intermediates?? We were there in January though I suppose.

I hope it is cold in Big Sky. Some fresh snow would be a bonus too.
We head back to SLC via West Yellowstone and catch a quick flight to Aspen for a few days skiing. The never evers won't be coming to Aspen (they're the ones Vegas bound). It would have been easier to just stay around Salt Lake but the intermediate couple really want to check out Aspen as it along with Whistler are the only North American ski hills they've heard of. Also I have good memories of Aspen/Snowmass and my wife and I intend to take the opportunity to hike the bowl if conditions are ok.
Myself and Kylie only will then head back to SLC for a few days and fly out of there. the intermediates are heading to NYC.

I know it's moving around a bit but we've done it before and it doesn't bother us. The driving is part of the fun in my view.
A better order would have been Aspen, Alta, Big Sky and then back to more time at Altabird but......................it didn't work out that way.
Sbooker
 
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:29 pm
Location: Brisbane Australia
Location: Brisbane Australia

Re: Jackson Hole, WY March 3-5, 2019

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:10 pm

sbooker wrote: "Mate it's snow. Snow is snow. Are you taking us somewhere they have different types of snow".

The answer to that question is yes, lots of different kinds of snow. People at the tseeb/Patrick ability level can more easily adjust to more difficult snow conditions. Other people can adjust to conditions with which we have much experience, which in my case includes spring transitional conditions due to all the time I spend at Mammoth in April and later months. Intermediates and particularly beginners are much more sensitive to less than ideal snow.

sbooker wrote:If I remember correctly there is some nice north(ish) facing terrain on the far lookers left side of the mountain?

That's the Rendezvous Mountain side. None of the north facing is groomed and at least half of it is true expert, beyond you and family and out of the question for your intermediate friends. The advanced/upper intermediate terrain on Rendezvous that you liked is mostly east facing, usually winter snow in January but not in March unless you get a sustained run of favorable weather as in tseeb's TR.

sbooker wrote:I remember the whole lookers right of the mountain being pretty perfect for intermediates??

For advanced/aspiring intermediates like you, that's true. For low intermediates and beginners not so much. Jackson's blues on Casper/Apres Vous would be rated black on every mountain in Colorado. The first timers aren't getting farther up that mountain than the 500 vertical of Teewinot IMHO, unless it's to ride the Bridger gondola up for lunch and then back down.

Apres Vous faces directly south. Depending upon temperatures there should be a window of 2-3 hours of good corn snow, sort of like Mammoth in May/June. If tseeb said ungroomed skiing was unappetizing on Apres Vous, that should tell you something.

sbooker wrote: I'm sure the novelty of checking out an iconic mountain will make up for sticky snow.

That will most likely be icy snow in the early morning. I can't imagine a worse scenario for first time snowboarding. It's much more difficult to learn on one edge than two on hard snow. While progression at the intermediate level on a snowboard has a good reputation of being continuous, the first day on a snowboard with body slam falls is often rough. In hard snow there will be more of those falls and they will be more painful. My younger son Andrew was very lucky when he first snowboarded as it was during a raging blizzard at Mammoth with very soft snow. His next time out at Big Bear on old manmade snow was less pleasant.

You should probably go to Big Sky before Jackson. I realize this only makes the likelihood of spring/variable conditions at Jackson even higher, but it's more important IMHO to get your beginner/intermediate friends off to a good start. The intermediate couple will greatly benefit from a few days on Big Sky's mellow blues before dealing with the greater challenge at Jackson.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10150
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Jackson Hole, WY March 3-5, 2019

Postby Sbooker » Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:34 am

Tony Crocker wrote:
sbooker wrote: "Mate it's snow. Snow is snow. Are you taking us somewhere they have different types of snow".

The answer to that question is yes, lots of different kinds of snow. People at the tseeb/Patrick ability level can more easily adjust to more difficult snow conditions. Other people can adjust to conditions with which we have much experience, which in my case includes spring transitional conditions due to all the time I spend at Mammoth in April and later months. Intermediates and particularly beginners are much more sensitive to less than ideal snow.

sbooker wrote:If I remember correctly there is some nice north(ish) facing terrain on the far lookers left side of the mountain?

That's the Rendezvous Mountain side. None of the north facing is groomed and at least half of it is true expert, beyond you and family and out of the question for your intermediate friends. The advanced/upper intermediate terrain on Rendezvous that you liked is mostly east facing, usually winter snow in January but not in March unless you get a sustained run of favorable weather as in tseeb's TR.

sbooker wrote:I remember the whole lookers right of the mountain being pretty perfect for intermediates??

For advanced/aspiring intermediates like you, that's true. For low intermediates and beginners not so much. Jackson's blues on Casper/Apres Vous would be rated black on every mountain in Colorado. The first timers aren't getting farther up that mountain than the 500 vertical of Teewinot IMHO, unless it's to ride the Bridger gondola up for lunch and then back down.

Apres Vous faces directly south. Depending upon temperatures there should be a window of 2-3 hours of good corn snow, sort of like Mammoth in May/June. If tseeb said ungroomed skiing was unappetizing on Apres Vous, that should tell you something.

sbooker wrote: I'm sure the novelty of checking out an iconic mountain will make up for sticky snow.

That will most likely be icy snow in the early morning. I can't imagine a worse scenario for first time snowboarding. It's much more difficult to learn on one edge than two on hard snow. While progression at the intermediate level on a snowboard has a good reputation of being continuous, the first day on a snowboard with body slam falls is often rough. In hard snow there will be more of those falls and they will be more painful. My younger son Andrew was very lucky when he first snowboarded as it was during a raging blizzard at Mammoth with very soft snow. His next time out at Big Bear on old manmade snow was less pleasant.

You should probably go to Big Sky before Jackson. I realize this only makes the likelihood of spring/variable conditions at Jackson even higher, but it's more important IMHO to get your beginner/intermediate friends off to a good start. The intermediate couple will greatly benefit from a few days on Big Sky's mellow blues before dealing with the greater challenge at Jackson.


This is going to be entertaining by the looks of things.
To be honest I made the call of Jackson before Big Sky because it would be that bit earlier - I didn't think of your argument that Big Sky would be a better warm up.
In our favour will be the intermediates experience of skiing rock hard runs. They have skied here and Coronet Peak and Remarkables in NZ. They have been baptized on ice skiing. Alta should be a very pleasant surprise for them.
I'm absolutely positive they will all be absolutely awe struck by the scenery at Jackson and if they're not enjoying the skiing a ride up on the tram to check out the mountain will be a thing to remember for them. The town will also be an experience for them too.
Is there any way you can arrange fresh snow and overcast skies on for late Feb 2020 please?
Sbooker
 
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:29 pm
Location: Brisbane Australia
Location: Brisbane Australia

Re: Jackson Hole, WY March 3-5, 2019

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:19 pm

I'm guessing that you have booked lodging already and can't swap Jackson and Big Sky. For future reference this is way early to be booking lodging, particularly at Jackson. Jackson is primarily a summer resort, so winter lodging can nearly always be booked last minute at a reasonable price. That's important info for road trippers during that late February/early March transitional timeframe. You can wait on Jackson until the last minute and be confident of finding reasonable lodging if conditions are good. If not, you can blow it off and go somewhere else. You should be prepared to spend some of that ski time at Targhee rather than Jackson.

Your intermediate friends may indeed find Jackson's snow no worse than they have experienced in Oz and NZ. Terrain will be steeper though.

As for the first timers, I'm a bit less sympathetic given the snow comments and resistance to lessons. Some people have to learn the hard way, and they are certainly set up for a rude experience in that regard. I'd still recommend warning them now and perhaps arranging to swap Big Sky and Jackson. If you have already arranged Jackson/Big Sky lodging, it's hard for me to believe they won't let you swap dates this far in advance.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10150
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Jackson Hole, WY March 3-5, 2019

Postby Sbooker » Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:57 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:I'm guessing that you have booked lodging already and can't swap Jackson and Big Sky. For future reference this is way early to be booking lodging, particularly at Jackson. Jackson is primarily a summer resort, so winter lodging can nearly always be booked last minute at a reasonable price. That's important info for road trippers during that late February/early March transitional timeframe. You can wait on Jackson until the last minute and be confident of finding reasonable lodging if conditions are good. If not, you can blow it off and go somewhere else. You should be prepared to spend some of that ski time at Targhee rather than Jackson.

Your intermediate friends may indeed found Jackson's snow no worse than they have experienced in Oz and NZ. Terrain will be steeper though.

As for the first timers, I'm a bit less sympathetic given the snow comments and resistance to lessons. Some people have to learn the hard way, and they are certainly set up for a rude experience in that regard. I'd still recommend warning them now and perhaps arranging to swap Big Sky and Jackson. If you have already arranged Jackson/Big Sky lodging, it's hard for me to believe they won't let you swap dates this far in advance.


We can swap the lodging around I think. I’ll look at that.
I honestly don’t remember Jackson being overly pitchy. I know my relatively inexperienced wife and kids didn’t comment on it being steep - particularly on the lookers right side. They (and I) were surprised at the ease of getting down from the top of the tram after hearing all the ‘expert only’ stuff over the load speaker upon boarding the tram. I guess they have to over do it to protect enthusiastic beginners.
Sbooker
 
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:29 pm
Location: Brisbane Australia
Location: Brisbane Australia

Re: Jackson Hole, WY March 3-5, 2019

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:34 pm

Rendezvous Bowl at the top of Jackson is never groomed and is pitched about like the easier ways down the top of Mammoth (Cornice and Scotty's, which are groomed). Rendezvous Bowl is high but still exposed to morning sun. In 2007 Liz sustained a bone bruise and sprained ligaments in partially refrozen snow there. Below Rendezvous Bowl from top of Sublette chair there are catwalks connecting intermediate trails to get down the rest of that side.

Considering where sbooker and family was skiing with us off the top of Mammoth, he should not be making assumptions that the intermediate couple with 10 days experience can ski similar terrain.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10150
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Jackson Hole, WY March 3-5, 2019

Postby Sbooker » Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:57 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Rendezvous Bowl at the top of Jackson is never groomed and is pitched about like the easier ways down the top of Mammoth (Cornice and Scotty's, which are groomed). Rendezvous Bowl is high but still exposed to morning sun. In 2007 Liz sustained a bone bruise and sprained ligaments in partially refrozen snow there. Below Rendezvous Bowl from top of Sublette chair there are catwalks connecting intermediate trails to get down the rest of that side.

Considering where sbooker and family was skiing with us off the top of Mammoth, he should not be making assumptions that the intermediate couple with 10 days experience can ski similar terrain.


I won’t make that assumption.
And Rendevous bowl didn’t ‘feel’ as steep as the top of Mammoth. Of course when we skied Jackson the top half of the hill had relatively soft ‘packed powder’ type snow which I certainly appreciate is easier to ski than refrozen snow.
We had a bad experience at the end of March a few years ago when we naively attempted to ski a refrozen Mineral Basin one morning. We were wondering why the place was almost deserted. :lol:
Sbooker
 
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:29 pm
Location: Brisbane Australia
Location: Brisbane Australia

Re: Jackson Hole, WY March 3-5, 2019

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:15 pm

sbooker wrote:We had a bad experience at the end of March a few years ago when we naively attempted to ski a refrozen Mineral Basin one morning. We were wondering why the place was almost deserted.

Mineral Basin is a very close analogy to Jackson Hole in terms of sun exposure. Overall Utah is warmer than Jackson, but OTOH Mineral Basin is 2,000 feet higher and gets much more snow.

In late March the conditions you saw in Mineral Basin would prevail both there and at Jackson at least half the time. In early March the odds are much lower but not insignificant. Targhee's west exposure is not ideal either, but the average ski altitude is higher and the more mellow pitch is not as sensitive to melt/freeze. So you should be ready to go there if Jackson conditions are unpleasant.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10150
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California


Return to Western North America

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests


All content herein copyright © 1999-2017 First Tracks!! Online Media

Forums Terms & Conditions of Use

cron