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Grand Targhee/Jackson Hole in beginning of February

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hello fellow skiers,

 

We are travelling from the East Coast to Wyoming to ski at Grand Targhee and/or Jackson Hole end of January - beginning of February, 4 skiing days. Since we are from the East Coast there are trip-related questions that I am hoping you could help answer.

 

1. Any chance of catching some fresh snow on either mountain at this time of the season?

2. Our group does not have much experience skiing powder so, to make our trip easier, would you recommend skiing mostly at the Targhee or Jackson?

3. I heard good things about catskiing at the Ghee, is it worth doing?

4. Living on the east coast, the fattest/widest ski I have is Gotamas 2010 194cm. WIll this ski be sufficient for both mountains or I should rent fatter skis locally? If latter, where should I rent as far as skis selection/cheaper price is concerned? I don't want to spend more than 40 a day for ski rental. I also assume we can rent some demo powder skis, not regular rental skis.

5. How is the visibility on both mountains? Any advice on the goggle lenses?

 

Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcer View Post
 

Hello fellow skiers,

 

We are travelling from the East Coast to Wyoming to ski at Grand Targhee and/or Jackson Hole end of January - beginning of February, 4 skiing days. Since we are from the East Coast there are trip-related questions that I am hoping you could help answer.

 

1. Any chance of catching some fresh snow on either mountain at this time of the season?

2. Our group does not have much experience skiing powder so, to make our trip easier, would you recommend skiing mostly at the Targhee or Jackson?

3. I heard good things about catskiing at the Ghee, is it worth doing?

4. Living on the east coast, the fattest/widest ski I have is Gotamas 2010 194cm. WIll this ski be sufficient for both mountains or I should rent fatter skis locally? If latter, where should I rent as far as skis selection/cheaper price is concerned? I don't want to spend more than 40 a day for ski rental. I also assume we can rent some demo powder skis, not regular rental skis.

5. How is the visibility on both mountains? Any advice on the goggle lenses?

 

Thanks in advance.

Welcome to EpicSki!  Would help to know where you like to ski usually.  Has your group skied in the Rockies before?  If so, where?

 

Weather predictions are impossible for a given week.  You either get lucky, or you have a good time with whatever conditions you get.  I'll be at JH with a couple friends a few weeks before you.  Hoping for powder, but looking forward to exploring JH regardless.  We had a good time at Big Sky the last couple seasons so will be fun to compare.

 

If your group is five or less, note that JH private lessons are the same price for 1-5 students.  @tetonpwdrjunkie can tell you more.

 

As for GT, the cat skiing area looks like fun.  But if there is lots of powder, better see how you do elsewhere first.  GT is a good place to learn what it takes to really enjoy powder, especially if you are willing to have a lesson.  Lots of open space, some within easy reach of a groomer if getting to be too much work to stay in the ungroomed.  No crowds to deal with for the most part, so powder to be found for a day or two after a storm.

post #3 of 4
dcer,

My answers for going to GT...

1. No one knows what the weather will be.

2. Targhee

3. If you are an "Upper Intermediate/Lower Advance", "PSIA Level 7" skier you will be ok. If not, then you will have spent $350 very unwisely. Don't take your Gotama's - too skinny. Rent some powder boards. Also, realize that you will only ski as fast as the slowest rider on the cat. Slow skiers/boaders/riders are painfully obvious and are first asked if they want to sit the next run out and ride in the cab. Then if they still can't stay with the group, they're usually sent back to the resort (and get some sort of refund). You end up skiing/ riding what is there, be it 7% pow or sastrugi. Some days, the cats don't run at all. The guides do try to keep everyone there, but riders do significantly over-estimate their ability. Of course, GT is not going to turn away anyone who states they're an "Intermediate" skier and is willing to plunk down 3+ bills. My suggestion, if your trip specifically revolves around powder skiing, to go GT, get your legs, go to to Teton Village for a day, then go cat skiing (if conditions are good). BTW, you will only get 8-12 runs on the cat in a typical day. On a typical powder day at GT, I can get 40,000'+.

4. Gotama's are OK for GT. My everyday ski is a Volkl Katana - 112 underfoot. Bring the widest ski you have. Leave anything under 88 at home.

5. Use what ever goggle you're used to. My everyday google is a Cat. S3 lens with 12% light transmission.

Also, somewhere here on Epic, there's a very good (and long) thread about where to learn to ski powder. GT is mentioned quite a bit in that thread.

HB
post #4 of 4

HarkinBanks kind of knows what he's talking about.... ;)

 

I especially agree about the cat thing. For my .02, it is a lot of money and is a bit hit or miss at GT. You can often get double the vert riding lifts on a big powder day (and it will often refill on those days). Not that I am anti-cat, but it can have its issues in that specific context.... Bang for your buck - hire an instructor/guide for your group who can show you the inbounds stashes.

 

As to skis... IMO fatter skis just make first powder experiences night and day better. If you have not skied powder and want to have fun from the start, get on much fatter appropriate skis. I suspect HarkinBanks can point you toward someone who has skis like Volkl Twos (or maybe Ones) to rent. Otherwise look for true fat powder skis - and by that I mean tip & tail rocker, "five pointy", etc... Instead of pitch poling your way down the mountain, you'll be smiling and lapping the place. And speaking of that, for early powder experiences (should you get a lucky week), you could do a lot worse than taking a few laps to skiers right of theBlackfoot lift....

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