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Jackson Hole Opening Day (SUMMER, that is) 5-28-2011

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Yesterday was the official "Opening Day" at Jackson Hole.  For the summer, that is.


The Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend is when the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort opens the tram for summer sightseeing trips.  They will also allow skiers and boarders to ride the tram.  The only restriction is that you're not allowed to ski/ride inside the ski area boundaries.  


So, after something like 715" of total snowfall between October 1 and May 27, we headed for Teton Village to catch the first tram of the summer.  Here's the scene at 8:50am yesterday as we waited for the tram to load.  The tram was full...




And here we are at the top of the tram.  There have "opening days" in the last dozen years or so that I've been doing this that there was no snow at the top of Rendezvous Bowl and we had to go find north-facing remnant snowfields to ski.  As you can see, that is definitely NOT the case right now:




Our first destination for the day was Cardiac Bowl.  Cardiac is a big, open bowl that eventually feeds north into Granite Canyon.  Our plan was to ski the main part of the bowl, skin back up, and then hike over to Cody Bowl.  The avalanche forecasting guys have really been spooked about the snow stability lately, so I nibbled along the skier's right edge of Cardiac rather than getting out in the more exposed part of the main bowl.  


The snow was really nice - kind of an inch or two of blown-in new snow over a firm, smooth base.The first few members of our party followed me...








And then Laurie and her friend got the money shot right down the center of Cardiac:




The rest of the day was fun, too.





post #2 of 16

FKNA dude. The no inbounds rule is odd, but I guess its not to hard to get back to the resort.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

FKNA dude. The no inbounds rule is odd, but I guess its not to hard to get back to the resort.

It's really easy right now.  We skied all the way down Rock Springs Bowl to the road at the bottom of South Hoback.  There's just a ridiculous amount of snow here.


post #4 of 16

Don't think I saw any "sightseer" shoes in that first pic biggrin.gif.


That Bowl looks all-time!



post #5 of 16

Very nice Bob!  With all that snow you'll probably be able to make decent turns close to home all the way till opening day next seasonicon14.gif

post #6 of 16

Looks like some great turns! Jealous

post #7 of 16
Originally Posted by jjnorm View Post

Looks like some great turns! Jealous

+1.  Simply amazing.

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

Just to continue the saga, here are a few photos from yesterday (Memorial Day).  


It was a totally different day.  The temp at the top of the tram was 25 degrees, the wind was blowing from the north at about 30mph, and it was snowing fairly hard.  It was full-on winter and we were wearing pretty much everything we had in our packs.  Visibility was extremely poor.  All of that may have had a little to do with the fact that on Saturday we had 12 people and yesterday there were THREE.


There was about 4-6 inches of new snow up high, but some of it was breakable crust so it was a little hard to trust the snow and just ski with no visibility.  Nevertheless, we had a great time and once we got down out of the wind and new snow it was really fun skiing.


In particular, check out this first photo of Corbet's Couloir.  I took the photo through the rime-covered windows of the tram, so the quality is pretty crappy, but that cornice is unbelievable.  There's nothing in the photo to give it any scale, but I'm guessing that cornice on the looker's right side of Corbet's (which is where you usually would drop into the couloir) might be more than 25 feet high right now.


Corbet's Couloir. May 30, 2011:




Top of the tram (might as well be a research station in Antarctica):




Trying to figure out if we have any more clothes we can wear:




Karen skiing along the edge of the Rock Springs Buttress:




Dave and Karen standing at the base of the Rock Springs Buttress.  There are a bunch of climbing routes on that wall above them.  That cliff goes up nearly 300 vertical feet:




I like this shot because you can see where Karen started in the shadows of the buttress and is now skiing out in the sunshine.




Lower down, it's getting pretty mushy.




This next shot is of the very bottom of South Hoback where you come back inbounds from Rock Springs.  Karen is taking off her skis on the Union Pass Traverse, which is the collector road from skiers coming down of the Hobacks and the Lower Faces.  We were able to ski down to the traverse on that little strip of snow that Dave is standing on.  That snow will probably be gone by this weekend, but for right now it means you can essentially ski top to bottom.  



post #9 of 16

simply unbeleivable....... is this March?  crazy!

post #10 of 16

Kinda like SoFLA this weekend. Friday we had 100' visibility, 80* water temps and plenty of fish for the grill. Monday the hard easterly wind upwelled COLD 60* water and the viz sucked, glad I got the report and stayed on the beach. 


Global warming? First tram in summer, I would have never guessed it could ever be that fantastic.


Thx Bob for another mind-blowing report and pics.



post #11 of 16

As usual my mouth is left watering after viewing a Bob Peters trip report.

post #12 of 16

I am wondering how they charge for the tram.  Can you take more than one run?  Conditions look incredible!  I want to be there!

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post

I am wondering how they charge for the tram.  Can you take more than one run?  Conditions look incredible!  I want to be there!

Here's the summer tram pricing:



Tram Pricing
One Tram Ride Early Season Peak & Late Season
Adult (18 - 64)    $23 $29
Senior (65 & Over)  $19 $23
Young Adult (13 -17)  $16 $20
Junior (6 - 12)  $10 $12
5 & Under  Free  Free


There is a coupon for $4 off those prices in our daily newspaper every day.  


One VERY nice thing that JHMR does is they honor season ski passes for the tram during the summer.  That means we can ride the tram unlimited times for "free" during the summer.  


If you're buying your tram ticket(s), then you'd have to buy a single ticket each time you wanted to take a lap.  From a practical standpoint, that's not such a big deal.  This is the first time in ten years that we've been able to actually do "laps" and ski all the way to the bottom of the mountain.  Most years, we ride the tram up, head out of bounds and ski something up high for awhile, and then hike back to the top of the tram to ride down.


post #14 of 16

I think IK saw on the website that a local ID gets free rides until 6/17 and then again in Sept.  1/2 price during peak season.

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 

A few more photos of skiing the tram.  This was on June 2.


The entrance to Corbet's Cabin at the top of the tram.  The building is practically buried:




Here we are skiing down the top of Rendezvous Bowl toward the out of bounds gate.  They were working on bulldozing the snow off the access road to the top.  There have been years when we would be walking on bare ground down this entire stretch:




One of the snowcat drivers.  He looked like he was having fun:




Cody Peak from the top of Rendezvous Mountain:




Booting up Paranoia Ridge:




The payoff:




Fun in the sun:




Not enjoying herself at all:




Getting a bit gloopy:




The price we had to pay at the bottom for enjoying 4,000 vertical feel of beautiful spring skiing.  Totally acceptable price to pay:




Just to top off the day, in the backyard I found the first morel mushrooms of the year:




Springtime in Jackson Hole. icon14.gif

post #16 of 16
Man, you know how to rub it in! There's years ive been at Jackson in february and Cody didn't have that much snow.

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