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Grand Targhee as a destination for advanced skiers?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I am planning a ski trip for a group of 6-8 guys in early January and was hoping I could get some feedback on Grand Targhee Resort. The first thing that got me looking at GT was obviously the snow, but I also like that it has small crowds and its relatively cheap compared to the bigger destination resorts.  We are advanced to expert skiers, we like a challenge, but we don't need truly extreme terrain to have a good trip (like whats available at Jackson for example).  As a reference last year we went to Big Sky and although we enjoyed Lone Peak, we could have stayed plenty busy without it.  My question is whether GT offers enough lift accessible terrain to keep us busy for 3-4 days?  If we did GT we would most likely ski 3 days and either do the Snowcat skiing one day or drive to Jackson for a day.

 

My concerns are the relatively small acreage, the lack of advanced terrain and the overall steepness of the mountain.  I've seen some people describe GT as mostly an intermediate mountain with blue run type slopes. Some people go as far as to say there really isn't enough slope to keep speed on deep day unless your willing to hike.

 

We have done Steamboat before and even though it is not a super steep mountain it kept us engaged with the few steep areas it did have, its expansive trees and its big acreage.  I will say we did get a little bored at Northstar by the third day, but the fourth day we got a couple feet of snow and then it was a blast in the trees.   We have gone to some of the smaller Tahoe area places (homewood, Sugar Bowl, Alpine) but never spent a whole trip at one of those places, and never one with just 4 lifts!

 

Any comparisons would be really helpful, I've skied Breckenridge, Big Sky, Tahoe area, Alta/Snowbird, and Steamboat.

 

Thanks in advance for any advice!

post #2 of 9

I really enjoy skiing at The Ghee.  If I skied there a lot, I would be bored.  I have skied several times at the Ghee with over 24" of new snow and it is hard to keep moving because the mountain is generally flat.  I would advise you guys to come to JH and ski and do one day at Targhee or even a day on Teton Pass if the conditions are stable.  Personally, I would have a blast Cat Skiing at The Ghee if someone else was paying.  I would never spend my own money on it as the cat skiing terrain is not that exciting.  The mountain is very nice, the snow can be great, and the vibe is friendly, but I wouldn't want to ski four days in row there.

 

Come to JH during a slow time like mid January and you will have a giant mountain with no lift lines and plenty of OB powder.  You can still pop over to the Ghee for a day.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post
 

I really enjoy skiing at The Ghee.  If I skied there a lot, I would be bored.  I have skied several times at the Ghee with over 24" of new snow and it is hard to keep moving because the mountain is generally flat.  I would advise you guys to come to JH and ski and do one day at Targhee or even a day on Teton Pass if the conditions are stable.  Personally, I would have a blast Cat Skiing at The Ghee if someone else was paying.  I would never spend my own money on it as the cat skiing terrain is not that exciting.  The mountain is very nice, the snow can be great, and the vibe is friendly, but I wouldn't want to ski four days in row there.

 

Come to JH during a slow time like mid January and you will have a giant mountain with no lift lines and plenty of OB powder.  You can still pop over to the Ghee for a day.

Thanks, this is just the kind of information I was looking for.  I have to say deep down I thought this would be the case but one of the things that made me think otherwise was GTs rating on PowderHounds.com.  

 

http://www.powderhounds.com/USA/Ski-Resorts-Ratings.aspx

 

They gave Grand Targhee 5/5 for advanced terrain, 4/5 for expert, 3/5 for extreme, 4/5 for off piste, 3/5 for trees and 5/5 for slackcountry, which are good numbers.  Are they giving GT higher number because of there snow?  (it is powderhounds after all) 

post #4 of 9

Targhee is not flat in the sense of the front side of Northstar.  In a typical 6-12 inch storm I think there's more than adequate pitch for lots of powder skiing.  I would not do the cat there because cat acreage is very limited.

 

Even at the most snow blessed places in North America, only 20-25% of days will have 6+ inches new snow.  Since January is when Jackson's snow preserves best, I'd be inclined to spend more of the time there.  There certainly are times when Targhee will have better powder skiing than Jackson, but of course those days can't be predicted in advance.  But the areas are close enough to drive on a last minute decision if the powder is a priority.  With 4 days and equal conditions I'd give 3 to Jackson and 1 to Targhee.

 

Jackson has far more  tourism in summer than winter.  If you have a car you can get decent lodging for a fair price in Jackson.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

I guess I should add that some of our group can ski free at Grand Targhee (We have season passes to an affiliated resort in Michigan).  For about the price of one half day cat skiing we could ski 2 days at the Ghee and two at Jackson.  Could we justify two days at Targhee considering its a $100+ difference per day?

 

Does anyone have any advice on where to stay if we wanted to ski both?  It looks like the town of Victor is kind of in the middle?  Would it be better to stay at one resort or the other though (at least more fun)?

post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickwin View Post
 

I guess I should add that some of our group can ski free at Grand Targhee (We have season passes to an affiliated resort in Michigan).  For about the price of one half day cat skiing we could ski 2 days at the Ghee and two at Jackson.  Could we justify two days at Targhee considering its a $100+ difference per day?

 

Does anyone have any advice on where to stay if we wanted to ski both?  It looks like the town of Victor is kind of in the middle?  Would it be better to stay at one resort or the other though (at least more fun)?

 

Sounds like a winner!  You could stay at either place.  There is a Targhee shuttle that runs between Jackson and Targhee, so you wouldn't have to drive if you didn't want to.  Unless there is a huge price difference, I would stay on the Jackson side.  There is a lot more going on over here for Apre and dining.

post #7 of 9

Yes, 2 and 2 is reasonable.  You will be able to find reasonably priced lodging in the town of Jackson.  Again, I would not pay the price for Targhee's very restricted acreage of cat skiing unless that's part of your discount arrangement.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

What do you guys think about staying in Driggs or Victor instead of Jackson?  It looks like I could rent a beautiful house in those areas for less than a condo in Jackson.  They are also more in the middle whereas Jackson seems a little out of the way in terms of Grand Targhee (or does it just look that way on the map?).  Is it really worth the extra $ to stay in Jackson?

 

We plan on skiing every day we are there and we generally ski hard, eat dinner, have a few drinks and go to bed so we don't utilize the nightlife as much as other might.  That said we like to have SOME good dinning and bar options.  

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickwin View Post
 

What do you guys think about staying in Driggs or Victor instead of Jackson?  It looks like I could rent a beautiful house in those areas for less than a condo in Jackson.  They are also more in the middle whereas Jackson seems a little out of the way in terms of Grand Targhee (or does it just look that way on the map?).  Is it really worth the extra $ to stay in Jackson?

 

We plan on skiing every day we are there and we generally ski hard, eat dinner, have a few drinks and go to bed so we don't utilize the nightlife as much as other might.  That said we like to have SOME good dinning and bar options.  

 

If you plan on skiing hard and crashing in the Condo, Victor could be great.  There is very little to do there except ski.

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