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jackson hole, end march early april

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Need some help with ski trip for spring break. Taking 3 teenagers that are intermediate skiers but athletic.  My husband and I are black and double black diamond skiers, like moguls and trees and steep (not rocks though). We have skied primarily in Summit county in past. I really want ski Jackson Hole. Our trip will be @ 28march to 4April. I am worried about a few things:

1. will the snow hold up or will it be slushy city?

2. if it is really slushy at the bottom, will be teens be able to handle the upper runs?

thanks

post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by skishrout View Post
 

Need some help with ski trip for spring break. Taking 3 teenagers that are intermediate skiers but athletic.  My husband and I are black and double black diamond skiers, like moguls and trees and steep (not rocks though). We have skied primarily in Summit county in past. I really want ski Jackson Hole. Our trip will be @ 28march to 4April. I am worried about a few things:

1. will the snow hold up or will it be slushy city?

2. if it is really slushy at the bottom, will be teens be able to handle the upper runs?

thanks


Welcome to EpicSki!  Can't speak to late season conditions at JH, but with the temp inversions that can happen it's not necessarily going to be warmer lower down than at the top.  Have you read the EpicSki Unofficial Guide for JH?

 

Might help to know some examples of the trails that the teens enjoy in Colorado.

post #3 of 5

I can't tell you what it will be like.  We often have great spring skiing, powder skiing, and melt freeze in the same week or even the same day!  It sounds as if the teens should have blast here.  We have lots of terrain for aggressive intermediates.  If you are worried about it, you could get them in a double blue type lesson on their first day.  The instructor will find the right terrain for them and give them skiing tips to maximize the experience.

post #4 of 5

The bottom can get a little slushy, but there is enough terrain for intermediate and above up top to keep you busy. I was there this past christmas and the end of the season in '14. Even in the last week of the season last year Jackson was still getting some really good snow. The powder won't be as light and dry late season but they can still get some pretty good storm systems.

post #5 of 5

I note the OP is a first time poster. Thus I feel the need to summarize what's been discussed on this topic many times before.

 

Jackson is almost unique among steep ski areas in having more south than north exposure. Snow preserves better on steep north slopes than on flatter north slopes while deteriorating faster on steep south slopes than flatter ones.  The primary exposure in Jackson is east, which takes direct sun all morning in March while only taking weaker sun mostly from the south midwinter.

 

The effects above increase steadily week-by-week from mid-February onwards.  Late Feb/early March is not ideal but can work out OK.  Late March/early April the odds are stacked heavily against you.

 

Quote:
with the temp inversions that can happen it's not necessarily going to be warmer lower down than at the top.

This is absolutely true and is exactly what we experienced during our 4 excellent days at Jackson last week.

http://www.firsttracksonline.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=11689

 

Unfortunately the stronger sun breaks up the inversions so they are relatively rare by late February and almost nonexistent by late March.

 

The powder may be light when it falls but will turn into sludge with just an hour or two of sun in late March.  And there needs to be a lot of it because the underlying surface will be a coral reef of refrozen snow from whenever the prior sunny day was.

 

The best powder skiing terrain at Jackson is the Lower Faces/Hobacks etc.  This part of the mountain is the most sensitive to the sun effects in spring.  Last year there was quite a bit of snow in late March, yet a trip report indicated that the Lower Faces still weren't very good and the poster needed to stay high on the mountain for good powder.

 

Jackson has arguably the best advanced/expert terrain in the US.  But an advance booked trip should be preferred in January/first half of February. 

 

Nearly all of the other steep western destinations have a high proportion of north facing terrain and are safer choices for late March.  Alta/Snowbird, Aspen Highlands, Whistler/Blackcomb, Taos, Crested Butte, Telluride come to mind.  Squaw Valley  and Mammoth also fit that bill, but given the horrendous start to the Sierra season I certainly would not book those until they get much more snow.

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