|Originally posted by bigbadwulf1:
Thanks again Bob for clearing up some questions. I definatly see what you are talking about. Just take other lifts to get over to the hobacks. Instead of waiting in lift lines you will still be skiing....the only down side will be not getting first tracks in the hobacks. Hopefully we will miss the HS spring breakers since its the 2nd week in march. Most HS spring breaks are end of march/beginning of april. Sorry for all the questions the trail map online is just not very good and i'm trying to get a feel for the mountain before we arrive (you seem to enjoy talking about JH) Moran Face/Moron woods and Saratoga bowl?? They look like good bets for gladed skiing and not many crowds. Any good info about this part of the mountain. Also, i've heard lots about Targhee....it looks kind of small...is it worth a day trip? We were also looking into a yellowstone snowmobile trip....I really love to ski and normally ski 6 days since we will be there sat to sat....is it worth skipping a day of skiing to do this trip?? (i'm assuming you've done it since you've been to JH so many times.
I appologize for the long post and thanks for all your help.
The whole first-tracks on the Hobacks thing is pretty nebulous. The Hobacks are so huge that you can usually find pretty sustained untracked lines for several hours after they open in the morning. It's just a matter of poking around a little bit after you ski the first 20-30 turns at the very top of the Hobacks. The "problem" with skiing the Hobacks (or Sublette Ridge, South Colter Ridge, Buffalo Bowl, and North Colter Ridge - all collectively known as "The Lower Faces"), is that once you do you're back down at the base of the mountain and you have to either get in the tram line or start the gondola/chair/chair process again.
Personally, I love the openness, length, and variable snow of the Hobacks/Lower Faces, so I don't mind putting up with the whole lift process. Many other skiers, however, are happier staying up in the Thunder/Sublette chair areas and just doing laps. You'll figure out which you prefer once you get there.
Moran Face/Woods is good. You can yo-yo the Casper chair and play around in those glades for awhile. They're a little less pitch (with the exception of a couple of notable spots) than some of the other stuff on the mountain, but often get skipped in the mornings on powder days. If you promise not to tell *anyone* else
, here's another suggestion... When most people ski Moran Face/Woods, they ski down to the cat track running from Apres Vous, turn right, and head back to the base of the Casper chair. If you go straight *across* that cat track, you'll wander around in a little glade (fairly flat but fun) that often has a lot of leftover snow. Eventually, that glade narrows down sort of to skier's left and spills out onto the cat track running left over to the top of Lower Werner.
Another spot that gets skipped a lot is Jackson Face. This is a little sub-ridge that drops straight down from the base of the Casper chair. There are a couple of entrances (skier's left and below base of the Casper Chair and skier's right below the base of the chair). It's not on the way from anywhere to anywhere, so it doesn't get skied a huge amount. Might be worth a try.
Saratoga Bowl is a little different. It has a good pitch and is a natural terrain park with lots of little gullies and sidehills. It's "technically" out of bounds (you enter through a gate to the right (as you're riding up) of the top of the Apres Vous chair. Because it's out of bounds, it does not get snow control. I'd be very nervous about going there right after a big, windy storm in high avalanche danger as there have historically been a couple of major ripper slides on Saratoga. It gets skied so much now, however, that avy danger is typically very low. You just need to be aware of the fact that eventually you have to traverse skier's right to get back in-bounds and hook back up to the bottom of the Apres Vous chair. Most people make that cut too high and skip quite a bit of the skiing in Saratoga. If you go too low, however, you'll find yourself bushwhacking through brush and trees through somebody's back yard.