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Easterner first trip out West - Jackson Hole? Tahoe?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hey all - new to the forums, great community!

 

Northeasterner here - Kicking around the idea of a mid-March trip out West for some good riding.  I've wanted to go out for years, this will be the first time.

 

With so many options, it's been tough to narrow down a place!  I know it's impossible to predict, but I'm looking for some opinions on who might have the best snow around the mid-March timeframe.  Been looking at Tahoe, and JH, but am open to other spots.  Is fresh powder less likely at any of these places than another?

 

Thanks for any input!

post #2 of 17

You need to provide a bit more information about your skiing ability and preferences.  Steeps, bumps, groomers, extreme terrain, etc.

 

Mike

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

You need to provide a bit more information about your skiing ability and preferences.  Steeps, bumps, groomers, extreme terrain, etc.

 

Mike


You're right - sorry!  Not really looking to go out and do anything extreme on this trip.  No steeps, probably no backcountry.  Will probably stay on piste.  Riding ability is probably a little better than intermediate.  Can ride the black diamonds in Vermont, but I realize that black trails in the East probably do not equal those in the West.

 

Honestly - looking for powder so that we can get in the trees a bit.  If I can get powdery conditions to freeride on piste than I will be happy (what skiier/rider wouldn't, right?).  If I spend all this money on a trip out that way just to find icy hardpack, I will be bummed as I could have gotten that staying right here!  Should I beware of finding ice and hardpack at that time of year? (mid March)

 

Thanks!

 

post #4 of 17

This site can help you figure out where the snow SHOULD be good in mid-March:

http://bestsnow.net/

 

But this year, who knows. You could hold off and see how conditions and book accordingly last minute, though it can be hard to find reasonable airfare that way (and even booking just a week out doesn't guarantee powder). When I book a trip I often make sure it's somewhere that I want to be even if conditions aren't great, whether than means a great ski town, or a place that I know they take great care of the groomers in case off piste is a no go.

post #5 of 17

getting a bit late to make decisions for March, if you;re doing it on some budget.

Iff'n I was wanting to do a 'first trip', I;d prolly pick SLC - easy flight in. A lot of considerations for skiing.

Park City is a great mountain for the first time skier, The Bird and Alta are a step up, and a great challenhe for the advancing skier - plenty of other places within a short drive.

 

Colorado - I say Vail might be the #1 place for the decent and improving skier. Plus the back bowls can easily consume a bunch of days - easy to all lifts, but a little expensive to stay. Steamboat also great, but a little harder to get to.

You really can't go wrong in Colorado.

 

Where is the snow ??? wait a few hours and it'll change...  by March we all could get some major dumpage or we could again be scratchin our way downhill on 10 yr (or more) old rock skis...

 

Me, I'm goin north of the border this year. Most everything we've missed so far in the States, has hit the Canadian Rockies on a regular basis...

 

I luv California, but right now we're really THIN on snow, it  would take another 8 - 10 ft to make it really up to snuff - that may or may not happen ...

post #6 of 17

If you are not looking for steeps and expert terrain, I'd leave Jackson Hole alone.  It's pretty remote for a first trip out West.

 

I have mixed feelings about Tahoe.  Frankly, I think Utah makes a much better and convenient trip.  Salt Lake City is a breeze to fly into.  You can lodge downtown and pick a new mountain every day.  Most resorts are under 30 minutes from downtown (really!)  The furthest like Sundance are under an hour.  It is extremely unlikely that you would have bad condition in Utah by mid-March.  It's hard to say if you'll get powder days, but it's unlikely you'll have typical mid-March New England conditions in Utah.

 

Enjoy!

post #7 of 17

There's some inconsistency in your preferences:  you say you will primarily ski on-piste, yet you want powder and trees.  Powder tree skiing is not intermediate skiing.

 

That being said, it sounds like Steamboat might be a good match.  They've got lots of intermediate terrain and some pretty open tree skiing.  They also tend to get a bit more snow, particularly in springtime, than the Park City or Colorado resorts.

 

Mike

post #8 of 17

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheryl302 View Post

If I spend all this money on a trip out that way just to find icy hardpack, I will be bummed as I could have gotten that staying right here!  Should I beware of finding ice and hardpack at that time of year? (mid March)

 

 

Unless you book a last minute trip to somewhere that you know it's currently snowing, this is *always* a possibility with any trip.  Just one of those things you have to be prepared for and be okay with.  Or, be ready to cancel your trip last minute if it doesn't look promising.

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

There's some inconsistency in your preferences:  you say you will primarily ski on-piste, yet you want powder and trees.  Powder tree skiing is not intermediate skiing.

 

That being said, it sounds like Steamboat might be a good match.  They've got lots of intermediate terrain and some pretty open tree skiing.  They also tend to get a bit more snow, particularly in springtime, than the Park City or Colorado resorts.

 

Mike


Sorry Mike - you're right.  When I said "piste" I just meant that we will be staying in-bounds of whatever resort we're at.  But I would like to get into some gentle and open tree riding.  Glades here in the Northeast tend to be pretty densely packed with trees.  I'd like to be able to ride a bit more freely down the hill, but still darting around trees here and there.

 

My knowledge about the differences between the east and the west is so little....  what I am describing might be found all over the mtn at western resorts!?

 

Thanks everyone for your responses!

 

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheryl302 View Post

 


Sorry Mike - you're right.  When I said "piste" I just meant that we will be staying in-bounds of whatever resort we're at.  But I would like to get into some gentle and open tree riding.  Glades here in the Northeast tend to be pretty densely packed with trees.  I'd like to be able to ride a bit more freely down the hill, but still darting around trees here and there.

 

My knowledge about the differences between the east and the west is so little....  what I am describing might be found all over the mtn at western resorts!?

 

Thanks everyone for your responses!

 

So you are snowboarding, right?
 

 

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

So you are snowboarding, right?
 

 



Yes...

post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

So you are snowboarding, right?
 

 


Yes...

post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheryl302 View Post

 


Sorry Mike - you're right.  When I said "piste" I just meant that we will be staying in-bounds of whatever resort we're at.  But I would like to get into some gentle and open tree riding.  Glades here in the Northeast tend to be pretty densely packed with trees.  I'd like to be able to ride a bit more freely down the hill, but still darting around trees here and there.

 

My knowledge about the differences between the east and the west is so little....  what I am describing might be found all over the mtn at western resorts!?

 

Thanks everyone for your responses!

 

Steamboat really sounds ideal, then.  Lots of open glades, many of them aspen (even wider openings), and prone to get more snow in a dump than most other Colorado resorts.
 

 

post #14 of 17

Jackson is a bit steeper than most resorts, but it is far from being impossible for a rider like yourself who likes the blacks in New England.  We have very nice cruising terrain and some very nice blue and double blue runs you can enjoy.  Jackson is also about the prettiest place I've ever been.  Most western resorts are very beautiful, but Jackson beats them all.  I am primarily a skier.  I work for the mountain as a ski instructor and teach full time.  I recently spent some time focusing on my snowboarding and passed the level 1 SB test with flying colors.  I knew that we had a great SB staff, but was blown away by how many level 3 and DECL level riders we have on our staff.  If you are at all interested in taking a lesson, JHMR would be about as good a place as you could find.  You might be amazed at the terrain you could ride with some coaching and a knowledgeable guide to put you in the right places.  All of the SB staff really stepped up to help me with my riding and I couldn't have been more impressed with the level of coaching that was available to me and how much I was accepted into the fold.  Don't listen to a soulless actuary like Tony Crocker.  We generally have great conditions at the end of our season.  We have had some of the best skiing in the country this season and right now the entire mountain is open with good coverage and nice conditions.  I can't predict the weather...  If I could, I wouldn't be posting here.  IMO the snow will keep coming and we will get a lot later in the season and it will continue through the spring even after the mountain closes.  Jackson isn't your only choice and it may not be "your" best choice, only you can make that call.  It is a bit harder to get here than SLC, but I think it's worth it.

post #15 of 17

SLC is great; I'd second everything that Kelly001 said in post #6.  As a boarder, you're not going to be able to hit Deer Valley or Alta (just in case you didn't know).  The Canyons and Brighton sound right for your wish list.

 

But Jackson Hole is getting the most snow so far, and March is prime time for them.  There are plenty of intermediate trails and open tree skiing, no crowds.  And if you're wanting to get away from an 'urban' setting, Salt Lake City isn't the place to do it.  Some ugly bad air inversions this winter that have lasted for weeks.  And if you want to brag a bit when you get home, Jackson Hole is it (it's that impressive)! 

post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 

Great responses - thanks everyone! 

 

tetonpwdrjunkie - thank you for your insight!  sounds great.

and SpikeDog - I'm all about bragging when I get home, haha...  wink.gif

 

I'll probably be booking very shortly.  I'd say that JH is still my first choice.  Will probably go March 1-8, or 8-15.  If I can't get that to work out, gonna look to Steamboat, or another CO resort.  (flights to Denver are really cheap right now!)

post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 

Alright!  We are booked!  March 7-14 at Jackson Hole.  Now, let it snow!  smile.gif

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