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Jackson advice 3/17 - 3/24

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I'll be visiting Jackson for the first time (during the winter, at least) in a week or so.  I'm arriving two days before my wife and daughter.  I plan on skiing Snow King for a few hours the day I arrive and at Jackson Hole Monday and Tuesday with a friend who is a local.  I will have five plus ski days, my wife and daughter three.  


My questions mainly concern what would be best for the rest of the family.  I know March snow at Jackson may not be ideal, but will wait to see what the weather is.  Wife is a step above a never-ever (can stiffly make wedge turns on green slopes), but is not terribly enamored with the whole skiing thing.  My daughter has skied for years but is very cautious by nature and still mainly wedges, particularly when the trail gets steep.   She's starting to parallel, but reverts when it gets steeper.  Steep is relative, but I'm talking eastern blue trail steep, not Jackson Hole steep.  She's not a gung-ho, "OMG let's do the double diamond" kind of kid.  She doesn't use poles yet (claims she had a bad experience the one time she tried them).


We haven't confirmed lodging plans, but have the opportunity to get a reasonably-priced condo in Mountain Village.  


So, my actual questions:


(1) Do people think we should stick with Jackson, come what may with the weather, or would we have better odds on the snow staying and skiing at Targhee?  


(2) Would the snow quality likely be so much better at Tarhgee that I would have a better experience skiing there too?  I like challenging, steep trails (albeit skied cautiously), but I haven't skied Jackson yet.  I'm an easterner with relatively limited western experience (Crystal and Winter Park), so most Western skiing to me would be fantastic in comparison to what I normally get to do.  The opportunity for powder obviously would be great.


(3) Is there a preference between the ski schools at both mountains?


(4) Does anyone have suggestions for getting my daughter and wife into appropriate lessons, perhaps with the same instructor day-to-day?  Sometimes I find that with the kids' ski school, they just end up skiing in a line, without a ton of actual improvement.  


(5) And if anyone is around there that week and would like to partner up for a bit, let me know.  



post #2 of 3

I was at JH the last week of Feb for the first time. It is AMAZING. I did not leave the Village except to go into town one night. Our group (5 guys 38-50yrs, 1 intermediate, 4 experts) toyed with going to Targhee for a day but we did not get a lot of snow, so saw no point. Jackson Hole has everything you will need and then some. I am guessing you guys are familiar with Poconos or VT skiing. The Apres Vous Mtn area at JH will be great for your family. Teewinot chair has mostly green off of it and then head over to the Casper area for blue trails. These 2 lifts alone will probably give your wife and daughter all they need. It is about as much skiing as you would get at say Elk Mtn in PA. Except way cooler, you're in freaking Wyoming! Casper area has a great lodge and tons of fun skiing. When I was there I kept thinking that my family would really enjoy this place. The snow is great, the trails are uncrowded, and virtually no lift lines, entire place is beautiful. Before our trip I booked a lesson for our group with TetonPowderJunkie. He is a great instructor, was super helpful with local info and everything JH. Shoot him a PM. I would think you could book him for morning lessons for your whole family each day. By the end of your stay I would be shocked if your wife and daughter were not asking to ski from the tram, or at least the gondola.

There is also plenty of great restaurants and shopping for when the girls call it quits and you still have a few runs left in you. The base area is fun and easy to figure out. At night we had a good time taking the shuttle from the Village to town. Its cheap and it only takes about 20 minutes. Also make sure you read Bob Peters' unofficial guide to Jackson Hole. Great trail descriptions and pics.  Have fun! 

post #3 of 3

It sounds to me like skiing is your thing and the rest of the family kinda goes along. That's fine, but you might think of some other activities to keep them engaged in winter vacations to places you want to ski.  Jackson is a fine place for that.


here's a few suggestions:


1.  Arrange a sled ride to the elk refuge. You used to pick up tickets at the wildlife art museum across from the refuge. Something not to be missed. 


2.  See if you can arrange a snowmobile trip into Yellowstone. I think you will be there too late for the snow coach and a stay at the snow lodge, but snowmobile tours from Flagg ranch may still be going. Not to be missed. 


3.  How about a dog sled ride?  My wife went on one in Hoback Canyonand loved it.


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