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Best time to ski Snowbird and Jackson Hole?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I live in Minnesota and am going on a ski trip for about a month this spring. I'm an instructor at Afton Alps which was recently purchased by Vail meaning I get free skiing at all Vail resorts, and I have relatives in Denver so I can stay free, so most of my trip will be in Colorado. However, I am also going to go to Snowbird/Alta for a few days, and if conditions are good enough to justify the price, Jackson Hole for 1-2 days. I'm trying to decide whether I should go to Snowbird and JHole at the beginning or end of my trip and have heard some conflicting information. I'll be leaving early March and staying through late March/early April. I want to hit Snowbird and JHole at their best, it doesn't matter to me when Colorado is at its best. I'm mainly interested in steep off-piste terrain, chutes, cliffs, etc, and am hoping to hit JHole when Corbet's and S&S are skiable. It doesn't make much difference to me when the groomers are at their best. I know it varies a lot from year to year but I'd just like a rough idea from some people who ski these areas regularly.

 

Summed up: Is it better to ski the off-piste/double black terrain at Snowbird and Jackson Hole in early March or late March/early April?

 

A suggestion on which highway to take between Denver and SLC would be appreciated as well, to my understanding there are three routes and  I don't know if any of them can be bad driving during winter.

 

Thanks.


Edited by VeganFreeskier - 2/16/13 at 5:36pm
post #2 of 13

Snowbird is the most flexible. It often dumps in late-March and April and occasionally in May. I know Jackson doesn't have as late of a season. 

post #3 of 13

From what I hear, I would hit jackson earlier rather than later. Like Joe UT said, Snowbird can go late. 

post #4 of 13
Early March is a better bet for Jackson for sure due to a fair amount of southerly and a lot of eastern facing terrain as well as a lower base elevation.

For driving, I prefer the 1-15 to Idaho Falls and then east over Teton Pass but each route has its fans. That route would also take you quite close to Grand Targhee and Pebble Creek if you are interested. It would be nice to have a navigation app on your cell phone, GPS or good old fashioned paper map since each route takes a number of turns on different roads/highways.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies. 15 to Idaho Falls/Teton Pass for going to Jhole, but what about going between Denver and SLC? There's I70, I80, and some highways (not interstate) between 70 and 80.

 

And another question for the JH regulars. If I do SB/JH at the end of my trip my dad might be able to ski with me in Utah a few days because he'll be in Idaho for business in late March, so if I were to do it at the end, how likely/unlikely would it be that Corbet's and S&S will still be skiable that late?

post #6 of 13
Denver to Salt Lake-if you are going to ski along the way, or if you would like to take the more scenic route I 70 for sure (consider a side trip to Moab and Arches National Park). If you are primarily focused on the quickest trip, north to Cheyanne and I 80 to Salt Lake will likely be a little quicker.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

I doubt I'll be doing any skiing (or other stops) along the way, I just want to get between the two as fast as I can in one day and be ready to ski again the following day. Basically my trip will be Minneapolis->Denver->SLC->Minneapolis or Minneapolis->SLC->Denver->Minneapolis, with a potential JHole stop on one side of SLC, and my objective is to get in as much skiing as possible (meaning almost every day for a month).

 

Thanks.

post #8 of 13

Might want to tone down the expectations a little.   Even when it's open and skiing the best it's ever been. S&S is not to be trifled with.  I think you've been watching Aspen Extreme too much.  TJ didn't  really just show up and become the best skier in town.  Everyone has to pay their dues and even then only a very few have what it takes.

 

Go to Jackson first, just so you don't run out of money first.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

Might want to tone down the expectations a little.   Even when it's open and skiing the best it's ever been. S&S is not to be trifled with.  I think you've been watching Aspen Extreme too much.  TJ didn't  really just show up and become the best skier in town.  Everyone has to pay their dues and even then only a very few have what it takes.

 

Go to Jackson first, just so you don't run out of money first.

I know S&S is pretty hard, I'm not saying I will ski it, just that I'd like to go when it's skiable so I can decide when I get there. All I've seen of it so far is some YouTube videos, never seen Aspen Extreme; pretty sure I first heard about S&S here. But I would like to at least ski Corbet's when I go. I've done drops of similar heights elsewhere so I know I'll be able to do Corbet's if it's in good condition.

 

If I'm not concerned about money, when would be the best time for Corbet's?

 

And one more questions on routes--you guys told me how to do SLC-JH and SLC-Denver, but what's the best route for JH-Denver?


Edited by VeganFreeskier - 2/17/13 at 11:29am
post #10 of 13

Den-Jac  I25,287, I-80 to Rock Springs. Was my route from Ft. Collins in the 70's.  287 might not be worth it now.

 

 

 Go when it's snowing.

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks. I'll definitely hope to hit it when it's snowing but I will have to plan it in advance to some extent. At least I'm driving so I have some level of flexibility.

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by VeganFreeskier View Post

I doubt I'll be doing any skiing (or other stops) along the way, I just want to get between the two as fast as I can in one day and be ready to ski again the following day. Basically my trip will be Minneapolis->Denver->SLC->Minneapolis or Minneapolis->SLC->Denver->Minneapolis, with a potential JHole stop on one side of SLC, and my objective is to get in as much skiing as possible (meaning almost every day for a month).

 

Thanks.

In that case, definitely do I-25 to I-80; it's more direct and all interstate, which could mean much better driving conditions. In addition to a couple of mountain passes in CO, I-70 will mean taking 6 in UT, a slower state route that goes over another mountain pass. Or you could take a couple extra hours and connect with I-15. I-80, on the other hand, is a straight shot through the plains with no mountains, if memory serves. You could side trip Jackson while driving through WY. 

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 

Okay, thanks. You guys have answered pretty much everything, but if anyone else wants to offer their input on the best time to hit Corbet's/JH that would be awesome too. Thanks.

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