or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Jackson Hole / Grand Targhee in mid January: How's it looking?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Jackson Hole / Grand Targhee in mid January: How's it looking?

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 

Since I spend hours each day obsessing over weather and condition reports, I figured I'd start soliciting feedback.

 

After JH got 20" over New Year's with some more snow forecasted a few days later (which never materialized), I finalized my booking to JH by reserving a non-refundable hotel room. So, I'm locked in. Jan 17-22.

 

Should I be kicking myself for not waiting another week and having the opportunity to divert to Whistler?

 

It's been high-pressure heaven since the new year and nothing significant is forecasted till at least the 14th. I keep reading about icy/cruddy conditions.

 

It'll be my first time at JH and GT. Should I have buyer's remorse, or am I just driving myself crazy?

post #2 of 49
Thread Starter 

Now seeing many folks with CO and UT trips canceling. Starting to really worry. I know JH is in better shape than UT and CO, but from the numbers only somewhat better shape. 

 

Curse non-refundable hotels. 

post #3 of 49
Thread Starter 

Starting to go crazy a bit.

 

Repeated replies to my own post a sure sign.

 

Forecast looks virtually dry out till the 15th. 

 

Latest JH visitor reports on onthesnow.com: "horrible skiing!"  and  "41 inch base? more like 20 inch rocks everywhere".

 

So just how much in charges should I be willing to eat to cancel?

post #4 of 49

If your lodging reservations are non-refundable, I would go.  Let's put a different spin on your scenario...what if you decide to cancel and it dumps for the whole week you were supposed to be there?...it could happen, after all, it is the Tetons in late January.  Furthermore, except for

BC, where is the skiing better?  Targhee is 100 percent open JH maybe 75 to 80 percent open.

 

I would plan on skiing Targhee for a day or two at the beginning of your trip if it looks as if things are not improving. If you are worried about hitting rocks, rent a pair of skis for the week and take the damage waiver.

 

Even if you are forced to ski the groomers (which I don't think will be the case), on every run you'll be treated to specatacular views of the Tetons. Later you can kick back with some beers at the Mangey Moose....don't worry, it could be worse, you could have a non-refundable room at Vail or Squaw Valley.

post #5 of 49
Thread Starter 

Perspective helps, sjcoll, thanks. smile.gif

 

I'm in full panic mode at this point, knowing that it might be overreaction.

 

It's not that I expect JH to be horrific, but when you're investing thousands of dollars you start mico-managing. Doesn't help that I'm dying to ski my new skis for the first time. 

 

Good news is, I've got one hotel having agreed to refund. Won't know till tomorrow about the other (booked 2 days at 2 different places). 

 

I suppose if they both agree to refund, the $200-300 in change costs associated with switching flights to Vancouver would be worth eating.

 

God, I'm irritating myself. 

post #6 of 49

Go for it...and hope it doesn't rain! Lol! ;)

post #7 of 49

 

Quote:
Should I be kicking myself for not waiting another week and having the opportunity to divert to Whistler?

I think so.  If that call was made only one week ago it was not a great one.

 

Quote:
 Furthermore, except for BC, where is the skiing better?  Targhee is 100 percent open JH maybe 75 to 80 percent open.

Actually, everywhere in western Canada except maybe a couple of areas near the US border.  Banff, normally a low snow region, is at 150% of normal.

 

Given the nature of JH terrain, I'd take that 75-80% open with a large grain of salt especially in view of the TR comments above. Same is true for Snowbird by the way.

 

The good news is that Targhee is the most consistent and reliable area in North America. So if you stick with the trip the worst case scenario is that you're commuting to Targhee for most of your skiing.  

 

Quote:
Let's put a different spin on your scenario...what if you decide to cancel and it dumps for the whole week you were supposed to be there?...it could happen, after all, it is the Tetons in late January.

True.  There is some base, so if it starts dumping it could improve rapidly.  This is not a Tahoe/I-70 Colorado situation where you would be starting almost from scratch in getting steep terrain covered.

 

So this is not as cut and dried as people scheduled into Tahoe/I-70 Colorado during January who absolutely should bail out even with cancellation penalties.  If you can't get out of the other hotel, why not move the lodging base for the 2 nights you did get out over to Targhee?

post #8 of 49
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
I think so.  If that call was made only one week ago it was not a great one.

 

Well, I made the reservation a couple of days after the 22" that fell right around New Years. And there was a good outlook for the next 10 days at that time (which all dried up). I guess I got worried things were going to fill up. Obviously that was a stupid manifestation.

 

 

 

Quote:
The good news is that Targhee is the most consistent and reliable area in North America. So if you stick with the trip the worst case scenario is that you're commuting to Targhee for most of your skiing.  
 

 

Are the conditions at Targhee expected to be all that different? From the numbers, it looks like GT has only gotten around 20" or so more than JH. 

 

And to think, that when it came time to book flights the options were JH, Banff and Whistler. Would've been fine with the other two choices.

 

Quote:
Go for it...and hope it doesn't rain! Lol! ;)

 

Oh don't think I haven't thought of that. :)   Watch both hotels agree to cancel, I re-book and then it rains the whole week I'm in Whistler. 

 

gg weather.

 

 

post #9 of 49

classic panic mode. I feel for you. We also were going to trade one of our usual road trips into a pre-booked flight/hotel package to SLC area just for something different. Very glad we didn't. Skiing so far in B.C.and Alberta is good and I am very surprised by lack of crowds up to this point. With all the doom and gloom at the US resorts I would have though we would be packed by this point. If you can get your money back skip pre booking hotels and committing to an area. Get a flight, get a car, and go to where its best that week. Lots of good areas its easy to get local accommodation. 

        

post #10 of 49

NCC, all those Canadians were down in Whitefish....   I'm not sure there was a chair ride that someone wasn't from Canada.

post #11 of 49

Greenlander - calm down and just go ski it.  Sure, you can cancel the film crew that was going to document your awesomeness in bottomless pow, but truely, its not that bad of skiing there.

post #12 of 49

I love whitefish.(or big mountain or whatever they might call it this year)  Are the conditions improving? We ski there on a least one road trip a season. Plan on again this year. Since the Canadian dollar is finally worth something it is also a bargain. Suspect you might have to endure more cheeseheads in the future.  

post #13 of 49

Hmmm, well, they are "improving", but unless you're desperate, I'd wait.  

 

Pontonmcconks, another Epic member, got pretty injured attempting to ski NBC.  He feels he is done for the season.

 

This gal here has stuck to groomed runs and still has significant dinging in formerly pristine skis.  (Not taking them into repair until we have coverage, I'd be into the shop daily...)

post #14 of 49

 

Quote:
I guess I got worried things were going to fill up.

Jackson does much more summer than winter tourism, so few worries there.  I'm scheduled to be there Feb. 8-13, but I'm not putting up any $ for lodging in advance.  I'm driving so can be flexible where to go after leaving Schweitzer Feb. 3 after skiing the last half of January in interior B.C..

 

Quote:
Are the conditions at Targhee expected to be all that different? From the numbers, it looks like GT has only gotten around 20" or so more than JH.

No,  The upper number at Jackson at a site near the top of Bridger gondola is unrepresentative of overall conditions.  The mid-mountain location in use for 40+ years has had season snowfall of 99 inches and is the appropriate measure.  Jackson has nearly 3x as much skiable terrain below that mid-mountain elevation as above it.  The reported base depth of 35-41 inches is also a useful measure.  At steep places like Jackson, Taos, Squaw, Snowbird you want to see a 6+ foot base.  Targhee is just fine with 4 feet.

post #15 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpikeDog View Post

Greenlander - calm down and just go ski it.  Sure, you can cancel the film crew that was going to document your awesomeness in bottomless pow, but truely, its not that bad of skiing there.

 

Thankfully, I don't have to worry about canceling on the film crew. They canceled on me last week when word got out that I'm just feeble old lady trapped in a 35 year old man's body.

 

As far as "its not that bad of skiing there goes". I can buy that. But won't another 10-12 days of no snow downgrade conditions significantly?

 

And please, bear in mind, I have no idea what I'm talking about. If I'm implied otherwise, please accept my apologies. :-)

post #16 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

No,  The upper number at Jackson at a site near the top of Bridger gondola is unrepresentative of overall conditions.  The mid-mountain location in use for 40+ years has had season snowfall of 99 inches and is the appropriate measure.  Jackson has nearly 3x as much skiable terrain below that mid-mountain elevation as above it.  The reported base depth of 35-41 inches is also a useful measure.  At steep places like Jackson, Taos, Squaw, Snowbird you want to see a 6+ foot base.  Targhee is just fine with 4 feet.



So you'd divert to BC if you got out of the hotels, I take it?

post #17 of 49

nbc is one of my favorites but skiing it with poor snow cover is unwise. And I see Hellroaring is not even open yet. Think we will stay north until things improve, they will.

Not at all desperate.    

post #18 of 49

NCC, Hellroaring is "open"...but only to the traverse.  I'll post stats in a separate thread.

post #19 of 49

 

Quote:
But won't another 10-12 days of no snow downgrade conditions significantly?

If it also gets warm with the sunny exposure, yes.  But your odds are more favorable there than in February/March.

Quote:
So you'd divert to BC if you got out of the hotels, I take it?

 

That would be the safest choice.  But moving the 2 days you got free from the one hotel to Targhee is a reasonable alternative.

post #20 of 49
Thread Starter 

Curse Southwest for not flying to more skiing destinations. :)

 

I cannot fathom how every other airline continues to get away with change fees.

 

$760 to change 2 flights from JH to YVR. Ugh. Took 1 hr 25 minutes to even get that information, since Continental and United are so messed up from this ongoing merger. Continental's website was trying to tell me the change would be $2,320.

 

Anyway, looking at an easy extra $1k to change to Whistler. Was hoping a little more than half that.

 

Regarding Targhee ....

Quote:
That would be the safest choice.  But moving the 2 days you got free from the one hotel to Targhee is a reasonable alternative.

 

We had planned to ski Targhee 1 or 2 days while staying in Teton Village and/or downtown Jackson. The commute looked reasonable (~1 hr). Is it otherwise?

post #21 of 49

Yep, about one hour, maybe a little more.

post #22 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

 

Jackson does much more summer than winter tourism, so few worries there.  I'm scheduled to be there Feb. 8-13, but I'm not putting up any $ for lodging in advance. 

 



I'll be there Feb 12-17; mebbe we could make some turns.  I'll be with a bunch of fellow geezers.

post #23 of 49
Thread Starter 

I'm assuming that the slight upgrade for tomorrow's snow in JH to a possible 3-6" (still 1-3" at GT) isn't enough to factor into any decision, correct?

 

The models seem to be in considerable disagreement about what's going to happen out there after Sunday, although it doesn't look like either is calling for major precip.

 

Well, except for AccuWeather.com, which is now calling for 29" of snow coinciding exactly with my planned ski days (18th-21st) ... and we all know how reliable forecasts 10-14 days out are. smile.gif


Edited by greenlander - 1/9/12 at 7:04am
post #24 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenlander View Post

I'm assuming that the slight upgrade for tomorrow's snow in JH to a possible 3-6" (still 1-3" at GT) isn't enough to factor into any decision, correct?

 

The models seem to be in considerable disagreement about what's going to happen out there after Sunday, although it doesn't look like either is calling for major precip.



I just got back from JH yesterday, after changing plans (was supposed to be in Squaw). My plane ticket was Southwest, so I banked it, and drove. I looked hard at Whistler, but I didn't really have the time to travel in the days I had available.

 

JH was great. Not epic, and there was some pretty scary snow here and there, but there was some really nice snow, too. Rocks? Yeah, it's Jackson Hole. There are always rocks there. Go around them.  I would go back tomorrow, gladly.  

 

I would highly suggest finding someone to help show you around, whether through ski school or friendly locals or however you can do it. THis is one place where it is worth it, especially in uneven snow. 

post #25 of 49

For what it is worth...from Snowforecast.com

 

"Long range forecast / discussion for Jackson Hole...January 15 to 18

--Toward the 15th (late weekend) we are still watching for stronger and colder low pressure systems to push in. Around/ after the 15th, we could see a arctic blast of air, with some sub-zero readings possible across the entire area. We will have to watch and see what else is going on weather-wise as this air moves in, since these are the situations where our potential snowfall is greatest. Following this initial blast or arctic air (modified arctic), we could see some frequent snow storms for the whole area. More detail will be added in the next update.

We are experiencing a moderate La Nina SST pattern that is expected to peak in strength by January, then weaken afterward and into summer 2012. This is combined with some other important factors, like a cold PDO. The winter weather pattern is still expected to deliver above average snowfall across the region despite our late November/ December dry spell. CM"


 

post #26 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post

 

JH was great. Not epic, and there was some pretty scary snow here and there, but there was some really nice snow, too. Rocks? Yeah, it's Jackson Hole. There are always rocks there. Go around them.  I would go back tomorrow, gladly.  


Well, that's a bit of relief if the change doesn't work out or I end up electing not to spend $1,000+ to do it. I've also got the fact that I'll be in Whistler on Feb 1 hanging over my head. So I'm less motivated to get there than I would be if I wasn't already headed there this year.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sjcoll View Post

For what it is worth...from Snowforecast.com

 

"Long range forecast / discussion for Jackson Hole...January 15 to 18

--Toward the 15th (late weekend) we are still watching for stronger and colder low pressure systems to push in. Around/ after the 15th, we could see a arctic blast of air, with some sub-zero readings possible across the entire area. We will have to watch and see what else is going on weather-wise as this air moves in, since these are the situations where our potential snowfall is greatest. Following this initial blast or arctic air (modified arctic), we could see some frequent snow storms for the whole area. More detail will be added in the next update.

 

Yeah, they've been saying this for a week now. No new analysis. So, like you said, FWIW. They also, strangely, aren't providing any totals predictions for tomorrow (where the NWS is predicting 3-6" mid-mountain and up). While I normally really like snowforecast.com's forecasts, I'm not sure what's going on with their Wyoming coverage. At the beginning of the season they weren't even updating WY forecasts (still had last Spring's forecast up) because they didn't have anyone covering it. They seem to be making due now, but without a dedicated meteorologist for that region.
 

 

post #27 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenlander View Post

 

 

Yeah, they've been saying this for a week A MONTH now. No new analysis. So, like you said, FWIW.
 

 



 

post #28 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by segbrown View Post

Originally Posted by greenlander View Post

 

Yeah, they've been saying this for a week A MONTH now. No new analysis. So, like you said, FWIW.

 

Yeah, I guess you're right. ;) I can't figure why they don't just have the guy that covers SW Montana cover western WY. It can't be that much of a stretch.
 

 

post #29 of 49

 

Quote:
Anyway, looking at an easy extra $1k to change to Whistler. Was hoping a little more than half that.

If it were Tahoe or I-70 Colorado I'd still say bail out.   But not for Jackson/Targhee at that price, since like AltaBird there is at least something to work with in terms of natural snow and terrain.   I think it's still likely you'll be doing half or more of your skiing at Targhee, so your call on which is more convenient, relocating the lodging base or multiple daytrip commutes.

 

Quote:
I would highly suggest finding someone to help show you around

+1  I had a day in March 2001 when probably 80% of the mountain sucked.  But we had a guide who took us out Rock Springs and kept us skiing the bits and pieces that were good the rest of the day.

post #30 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

 

+1  I had a day in March 2001 when probably 80% of the mountain sucked.  But we had a guide who took us out Rock Springs and kept us skiing the bits and pieces that were good the rest of the day.



I'm not sure that the skiing ability matches the whole guide concept. Maybe by worrying about conditions I've given the impression that I'm diving through powder stashes in tight trees and looking for cliffs to jump off. I'm not.

 

My wife can ski the gnarly stuff, as she's been a skier her whole life, but I'm fairly new to the sport and am an advanced intermediate (at least that's my guess). Steeps aren't a problem but steep runs with big nasty bumps/etc (and stuff like it) are still a challenge.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Resorts, Conditions & Travel
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Jackson Hole / Grand Targhee in mid January: How's it looking?