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Grand Targhee v. Jackson Hole - Page 2

post #31 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post


then why limit yourself to just the US? Or why not storm chase?


I did a slightly restricted version of storm chasing last year and didn't really care for it.  It was just such a hastle to be constantly checking forecasts and webcams and sleeping in my car.  This year I want to pick one great mountain and ski there and not go through all that again. 

post #32 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Conklin View Post

...This year I want to pick one great mountain and ski there and not go through all that again. 

 

If by "great" you mean snow, and only lots of snow then Targhee is your place.  /thread

 

Many people also factor in terrain and even weight it very, very heavily, which is why people are reacting the way they are.  

post #33 of 48

If you want one great mountain, Jackson Hole is it.

post #34 of 48

I dunno my friend broke his leg there in 2002.

post #35 of 48
Quote:
there is 5500 acres vs. 2500 acres at JH,

JH still skis bigger IMHO:

1) the 2500 doesn't count Rock Springs

2) The lower half of Big Sky/Moonlight's vertical is very flat.  JH is nearly continuous fall line at a minimum advanced intermediate pitch.

3) While JH has more than its fair share of cliffs, a very substantial proportion of the Lone Peak steeps are unskiable.  And the face that is most skiable faces south. 

 

The OP has still not said where in Montana he lives.  But for someone considering a Jackson or Targhee pass, it's somewhat hard to envision that he's not within daytrip distance of Big Sky/Bridger.

 

Quote:
If you don't think there is a big difference between 258" and 472".....

I do, and as noted above I also favor Jackson Hole over Big Sky quite a bit in terms of terrain.

 

BUT if you don't think there's a big difference between an area 1 hour away from one 5 hours away........

Quote:
....sleeping in my car.  This year I want to pick one great mountain and ski there and not go through all that again.

You'll be sleeping at home if your pass is 1 hour's drive.  Where will you be sleeping if it's 5 hours?

 

With regard to powder, the ability to make last minute flexible decisions outweighs large differences in snowfall, as long as the lower snowfall area meets an appropriate threshold, which Big Sky/Bridger do.  With regard to terrain JH is viewed by some as #1 in North America and is on nearly every expert's short list.  But Big Sky is not chopped liver, probably makes many people's top 10.  Given these levels of differences most skiers in your situation would say the convenience factor would override.

 

I will also point out that the terrain and powder attributes can offset each other sometimes.  Elite expert areas like Jackson are very competitive on powder days.


Edited by Tony Crocker - 9/25/12 at 6:36pm
post #36 of 48

I skied 7 to 10 days a year at JH for 9 consecutive years . 

 

During those 9 years I skied GT twice.  Yawn. 

 

Why have chuck steak when you can have filet mignon. 
 

Besides JH has Bob Peters.   Bob can find powder when it hasn't snowed in many days. 

post #37 of 48

Big sky or Jackson. 

post #38 of 48

The convenience and competition factors should not be overlooked.  Targhee and Big Sky will likely have far less competition for powder.  BS gets a lot less snow than Targhee but the difference to JH is not as substantial considering the different levels of competition for powder.

 

I know that I will often choose Copper over Breckenridge for a powder day even on some days where Breck gets more snow because there is less competition and fewer crowds at Copper.

post #39 of 48

If I lived near Big Sky or Bridger, I'd sure as hell ski there. It's a no-brainer, dude.

 

post #40 of 48

JH is my absolute favorite ski area in North America.  But I'd also put Big Sky in the top echelon of ski areas, and it has some advantages over JH.  The first is that there is so little skier traffic at Big Sky that you can still find powder to ski a few days after a storm.  JH is so covered up with skiers these days that the pow is skied out in hours, even out of bounds in Rock Springs and Green River bowls.  And while JH still edges BS for terrain, it isn't by much.  The dictator chutes may not have some of the "features" of JH (like trees and rocks that make it crux skiing), but they are pretty much the same gradient as Tower 2, Toilet Bowl, Alta Chutes, etc.  And they have more vert.  And without any features around them to give perspective, they can also be quite intimidating. If you want real gnar, then go for the Little Couloir, Apple Core, the A-Z chutes, or the lines off of the Headwaters hikes into Moonlight.

 

All in all, it's a toss up for me between the two, although for the past several seasons I've tilted toward Big Sky.

 

Mike

post #41 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
Quote:
....sleeping in my car.  This year I want to pick one great mountain and ski there and not go through all that again.

You'll be sleeping at home if your pass is 1 hour's drive.  Where will you be sleeping if it's 5 hours?

 

 

Which could translate into bucks, significant bucks.  Plus right now the Big Sky only pass is $999 per adult (Moonlight included is $1628) and the JH is $1655.  Gas differential per trip is about $75.  I suppose one could overlook those differences if one had a free house at Jackson to stay in...  Or a trailer home.  Seems nuts to me and I don't even LIKE Big Sky.  

post #42 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

JH is my absolute favorite ski area in North America.  But I'd also put Big Sky in the top echelon of ski areas, and it has some advantages over JH.  The first is that there is so little skier traffic at Big Sky that you can still find powder to ski a few days after a storm.  JH is so covered up with skiers these days that the pow is skied out in hours, even out of bounds in Rock Springs and Green River bowls.  And while JH still edges BS for terrain, it isn't by much.  The dictator chutes may not have some of the "features" of JH (like trees and rocks that make it crux skiing), but they are pretty much the same gradient as Tower 2, Toilet Bowl, Alta Chutes, etc.  And they have more vert.  And without any features around them to give perspective, they can also be quite intimidating. If you want real gnar, then go for the Little Couloir, Apple Core, the A-Z chutes, or the lines off of the Headwaters hikes into Moonlight.

 

All in all, it's a toss up for me between the two, although for the past several seasons I've tilted toward Big Sky.

 

Mike

 

This what the OP's one-dimensional attitude overlooks. An extra 150 inches is only good if you get to enjoy it. In UT, Alta-Bird may be THE place for pow quantity/frequency, but after any given powder morning rush, you'll find far more fresh lines elsewhere. Given the lower BS crowds that you report, plus the shorter drive (i.e. you'll be able to go there more often and earlier), it seems that Big Sky could very well offer a better season experience than JH/Targhee, regardless of annual totals. That's particularly true since OP doesn't have complete control over when he skis (one week on/one week off, if I remember correctly), so he can't just take off for WY every powder day.

 

Season snowfall is but one factor to consider. Or just go with Targhee, since it gives you some of the most snow you'll find anywhere.

post #43 of 48
Quote:
Plus right now the Big Sky only pass is $999 per adult (Moonlight included is $1628)

For a season passholder I would definitely want the combined.  Advanced skiers will often want to go back and forth between Challenger and Headwaters within the same day.  Moonlight is nearly all north facing; there will be days when conditions are much better than on predominantly east and south facing Big Sky.

 Quote:

there is so little skier traffic at Big Sky that you can still find powder to ski a few days after a storm.

Part of that is because you'll be waiting in half hour lift lines on powder days for the 15 passenger tram, the only way up to the top of Lone Peak.  I thought a future lift was proposed up Liberty Bowl, but I can't find any info about that now.   Moonlight Basin is very empty, so if non-competitive powder is important that's another reason to get the combined pass.

 

Since the combined pass is the same price as Jackson's I'd choose Jackson if other factors were equal.  But they're not, unless...

Quote:
 one had a free house at Jackson to stay in...  Or a trailer home.

And to clarify.... 

Quote:
a big difference between 258" and 472".....

The 472 is Targhee.  Mid-mountain Jackson is 370 inches.

post #44 of 48

Targhee "Rocks"! If you work it 40,000 vertical is possible in a day. No crowds, long season, good snow!

post #45 of 48

weird thread

 

 

jackson is zion.  targhee is a fun hill.

 

driving three extra hours on a pow day seems to defeat the purpose.

 

there will be plenty deep pow days at big sky.  buy a pass there and with the money you save (apparently no problem, who cares) drive to targhee the days jackson or it get hit and big sky doesn't.

 

the caveat regarding hiking/traversing is strange.  I always love to hike so I guess I don't get the 3 hour drive in a storm being more appealing then a 20 minute slackcountry hike...

post #46 of 48

There's also something more subtle about proximity in terms of "getting the goods." You live, say, an hour from one hill but five from the other. The guy who lives an hour away becomes a pseudo local. Maybe hangs around for a beer after the lifts close, maybe shows up on a marginal day. Over the course of a full season those things add up. You get known, pick up skiing companions, people start inviting you on short OB hops, showing you their stashes. Capisce?  

post #47 of 48

Need to be careful when comparing snow 'average' totals for given resorts. JH publishes the snow total from the summit of the mountain, not mid-mountain as most other resorts do. If you look at their snow report, they have both totals, but the summit numbers are in larger font and that is what they put on the front page and publish to other websites.

 

Their average is around 350 inches midmountain (supported by Tony Crocker's data), not the 475 they routinely list.

 

Don't get me wrong, 350 inches is plenty and JH is a great place, but if snow totals and powder days are a prime consideration for choosing where you ski, make sure you are comparing apples to apples.

post #48 of 48
Quote:
Their average is around 350 inches midmountain (supported by Tony Crocker's data), not the 475 they routinely list.

The 370 inch mid-mountain average is one of the most comprehensive data sets in the Northern Rockies and goes back to 1971.  The upper data set only dates to the opening of the Bridger gondola, which was after Jackson's record high season in 1996-97.  On the Jackson snow report page

 http://www.jacksonhole.com/weather.snow.report.asp both totals are shown, the mid in smaller print next to the upper.

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