Originally Posted by vinn
UNDERRATED: JACKSON HOLE. JHMR has some fantastic beginner and intermediate terrain and I don't think it ever gets the credit it deserves for that...
With the start of another season, time to revive this horse previously thought dead just so that I can offer my dissenting opinion to some thoughts expressed years ago...
Jackson Hole is a wonderful ski mountain, but I will argue anyone who wants to claim that it has "fantastic beginner terrain." It doesn't. I'm trying to think of a western mountain that has less available to true beginner skiers than Jackson Hole (Snowbird is close). It has one lift with about 400 feet of vertical servicing a few identical runs, all of them extremely easy (too easy, imo). That's it. There is no other place on that huge mountain for a beginner to go. The jump up to the Casper lift terrain is huge and not one I would recommend for a beginner.
While we are talking about Wyoming, I am stunned that people would consider Grand Targhee overrated. Where is it rated so highly that it could ever be overrated? @COBillsFan very accurately pointed out that Grand Targhee is known for snow, no crowds and nice intermediate/advanced terrain. It certainly delivers those very nicely (and at a reasonable cost too, I might add).
Since my primary ski news comes from this website, I am going to base my opinions on what I see as prevailing opinions here (as opposed to those in the popular ski mags).
Deer Valley: while there is some very nice terrain to enjoy, the mountain as a whole is too disjointed and with all those high-speed lifts spitting people out on the tops of each hill, it can feel a lot more crowded than it should.
Keystone: I've had some of my best ski days enjoying the North Peak and Outback terrain. I realize the frontside can get a little congested (along with Mozart), but stay away from those spots and there is fun to be had.
Snowbasin: I love the unique terrain, the fast lifts, and no crowds. The bathrooms are okay, I guess.
Grand Targhee: Better than I expected! Great for families with mixed abilities and relatively nice on the wallet. Has a bit of a throwback feel which I love.
EXACTLY AS ADVERTISED:
Brighton: I had heard that there would be plenty of snow and that I might get run over by a snowboarder. That was exactly my experience. Plenty of powder to enjoy, but almost got taken out by snowboarders on three separate occasions in the same day. I hate to perpetuate that stereotype, but it was absolutely true for me.