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First trip to Jackson Hole, I need help!!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
During the first week of February I have an opportunity to take my family to JH. I am an advanced rec skier. My wife is a bunny slope queen. My two daughters are intermediates who can handle steeps OK. All of our skiing to date is done in Northern Michigan on groomed and slightly bumped (some ice) slopes. I am not worried about me, in fact I can't wait to go. My Kids 9 and 11, are not used to powder or very long steep runs, but they can handle every slope Searchmont, OT. has to offer, so I''m not to worried about them. My wife, well, she will freak out on anything over a 20% incline. She can't take bunps and forget about any curd or ice!

Should we consider going someplace else? I checked out the trail map and they do have beginners slopes....but? Even the blue slopes what are they really like? A long time ago I was in Breckenridge and remember the very, very long green runs. very flat and groomed. This is what my wife will love.

Please help!!
post #2 of 18
Jackson Hole sure doesn't sound like the mountain you need. The blues are harder the most blacks in Colorado, and the green area at the bottom of the mountain feels like it is about the size of a large K-Mart parking lot. Don't get me wrong, this is a real fine place to ski, but it isn't anything close to a family mountain. I don't think your wife will enjoy a week in the beginner area, and there are no other areas on the mountain where one can feel comfortable with a beginner. ---You could try letting her and the girls go to Grand Targhee; where the cruiser terrain is hard to beat. --I have only skiied 'the hole' once, and as a solid advanced-intermediate, I can honestly say that it beat the He!! out of me. The kind of complexes you seem to be inferring would likely be Aspen, Banff, Vail, or the Salt Lake Area. All of these have the diversity to provide loads of terrain for ALL tastes and abilities, along with a relatively light powder snow the west is famous for.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ October 23, 2001 01:42 PM: Message edited 2 times, by feallen ]</font>
post #3 of 18
Jackson is not for the family, hell it is not for 80% of the skiers in america. Do yourself a favor, do not go there for a week with the family. A day or two and you will have more than you share of sking and your family will still talk to you.
post #4 of 18
It's true. Jackson has a very limited area for a "bunny slope queen". So try somewhere else for her, and you go to Jackson. And if the kids are adventurous, take them! It is Mecca, and believers make the pilgrimage for Runemdown.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I have heard from others who sing a similar song. That said, what about the other areas close by? Our trip leader said there is beginner and intermediate slopes at JH but not much.
post #6 of 18
Sun Valley's relatively friendly. Not exactly a bunny hill but I think you would manage.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ October 23, 2001 10:04 PM: Message edited 1 time, by snojock ]</font>
post #7 of 18
Grand Targhee is an hour away when it is not snowing and has some good beginner and intermediate terrain. If the pass is snowed in you are stuck on the Jackson side. One other concern with Grand Targhee is that its nickname 'Grand Foggee' is often accurate. The mountain gets loads of snow and often it will be in a snowcloud for a day or two while it is clearing elsewhere. i.e.- You probably shouldn't depend on Targhee for an alternative for your family. ... Snow King in Jackson is not a real novice mountain either, and is quite small compared to the two other mountains. ---Please give Snowmass a look! I think you will like it, and your lift ticket lets you ski 4 terrific ski areas all on the same day. The terrain mix there is so much more acceptable than the 'attitude' terrain you would have to deal with at Jackson Hole.
post #8 of 18
The Hole is my favorite place to ski in N.Amer., bar none, but what every post has said is accurate. I would say any of the Colorado resorts, except Arapahoe and Berthoud perhaps, would be much more user friendly to your needs, Copper comes to mind as a possibility for you, terrain of every variety and a healthy chunk of green/blue groomers for your wife to enjoy. Steamboat could be good as well. I'm also a fellow Michigander, good luck on your resort quest.

p.s. there are no slopes of expert difficulty at Searchmont that would be rated even as a standard blue run at Jackson, if that helps the comparison.
post #9 of 18
I think you would be OK with a week in Jackson. I would not ski there every day with your family, but you will have no problem making the week fly by. Targhee is only an hour away depending on the weather, and has some easier terain. Snow king is also in the town of Jackson and is not bad either. Remember, if you family finds the mountain too challenging there is plenty of other things to do includeing Yellowstone and some other Snowmobile tours. Jackson also has a very good ski school, and after a lesson or two your wife should have no problem with most of the groomed terrain on the Apres Vous chair.
post #10 of 18
Can anyone guess where i am going to recommend? That's right Utah! And more to the piont Park City.
#1 It is so easy to get here.Land at Salt Lake City Airport and be in Park city in less then an hour.
#2 You have 3 resorts all with in 10 mins of each other.Each has it's own flavor as well as good and bad points.
#3 terrain runs from the most mellow greens to some great tree sking to some big bowls and chutes.A lot of the lifts serve Green, Blue and black dimond runs so pick your trail and meet the gang at the bottem of the run.
#4 Park City is an old westren mining town.Most of the buildings on Main St date back to the 1880's
#5 Great places to eat and some fun Bars for after skiing.
#6 free public transportation that covers all 3 ski resorts.
#7 The Southwest trukey chilly at Deer Valley.
#8 Did I say 8100 acers of skiiing all with in 10 mins of your front door?
#9 If you get bore skiing here Alta,Snowbird,Brighton,Solitude and Snowbasin are about a one hour drive away.
#10 This is a vary family friendly town.We don't have the glitz of Vail or Aspen (ok we do have Deer Valley),but for the most part Park City is a real town,that just happens to have some pretty good skiing and a great place to bring the family on a ski vacation.
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
OK, this is the actual trip. Leave on a Wednesday, get there and go Dog sledding. thursday hit the JH slopes, lesson in the a.m. what ever we can handle in the p.m. Friday we do to Yellowstone and do the snowmobile thing. Saturday, it's either more JH or GT. Sunday we come home. Now based upon my original statement of our abilities do you think we will survive?
post #12 of 18
JH is my home mountain. It looks like you are talking about skiing only two days with a lesson as part of one day. I think that might be the best way for your varied group to do JH. I have not done the dog sledding but have heard great reports. I have done the Yellowstone snowmobiling and it is wonderfull. It could be the last year or so for that! Don't miss it. Keep in mind that you will be tired from the snowmobiling.

Although JH is a tough mt., there is some ok interm. runs that are usually well groomed. The only problem is they have some relatively steep sections on them. If you, or others in your party can get past the short steeper sections you will be ok. Apres Vous lift has some easy stuff (for JH) and it is a high speed guad. The Gondo has some ok cruiser stuff but it has a couple of narrow cat tracks to get through. Casper lift also has some relatively less steep well groomed runs. My girlfriend is a timid mid level skier, and she skis JH most weekends, but never the tram, Thunder, or Sublette.

What you are planning is a great way for the better skiers in your group to get to ski JH and for the not as advanced skiers to have a good time in Wyoming. Jackson has so much to do other than skiing, varied groups of ability level should not hesitate to try and do JH the way you are proposing.

Grand Targhee can be a great idea depending upon conditions. If it snows locals love it but generally non experienced powder skiers have a difficult time. Regardless of the area you ski, JH or Targhee, if it snows a big dump, rent some powder or all mt wide boards. It is generally a little less steep over all than JH.

Do not consider sking Snow King. It is steep (relatively), gets less snow (mostly) and faces north so it is colder. It is not really a modern area.

Any other specifics I can help with ie resturants, bars, etc. email me.
post #13 of 18
Yes Batman, I think Jackson Hole will work on the schedule you have tentatively set out. With half a day of open skiing you probably won't get to cover much of the mountain, but your wife won't get bored to tears either. I hope you enjoy Wyoming!! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #14 of 18
Get your girls in lessons, if your trip is not on a holiday, then they could end up taking a group lesson that is essentially a private, with fewer folks around. This happened to our older guy, he ended up boarding with the same guy for three days. I think he wore him out.
As another has said, the Apre Vous side is "easier", with Casper being another area one would find the girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, husband .... of others who are hitting the rest of the mountains. So those might be spots for your wife if she wants to increase her kingdom beyond the bunny slope.
post #15 of 18

I think for the number of days you're actually skiing, you'd get along just fine. As has already been mentioned, there are groomed runs off the Apres Vous, Casper, Bridger, and even Thunder chairs that most intermediates can negotiate very well. I think that the easier stuff *is* limited enough that it might feel a little stale after five or six days straight, but for a couple of days it should provide both variation and challenge.

As has been said many times, there are so many non-skiing things to do there that it can be a great vacation even without the skiing.

Also, while all of Utah49's points about Park City are right on for family skiing, I don't think I'd plan a trip there for the first week of this coming February. You'd find yourself smack dab in the middle of the Olympics.


I think you should go to Jackson and have a great time.

It's a spectacular mountain and there is lots of other stuff
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks Bob, I think we should do all right. A good ski friend of my wife talked to her and said there is a bouble and quad chair t the right of the tram that she said my wife will be fine with. Yes your also correct there is so much else to do out there besides ski I think it's worth the trip. Thanks all.
post #17 of 18
Dude, I hate to kill your buzz, but if all you've been skiing on is some bump in Michigan (sorry, but it is what it is) and you think your intermediate kids can handle steeps "OK", you're in for a rude awakening at JH. I'm not trying to be snide here. But why roll the dice that everyone's going to be miserable? Why not go to a mountain out West you KNOW you and your family can handle - a mountain where you and the family can ski at least 2/3 of the terrain instead of 1/5? Your wife and kids (if not you) are going to be pretty limited in your options and they are NOT going to have a good time. Again, I'm not trying to be a jerk, but I think in all frankness you should reconsider. Go to Vail. Go to Park City. Go to Steamboat (in fact that would be the perfect place for you all). It's like you're taking people who have learned to drive in a Ford Escort and then handing them the controls to a race car.
post #18 of 18
Hang out over on the gondie - casper and AV - teewonit. --- Take the girls over to Snow King and hit the tube park - total blast. And on friday or saturday night go to a hockey game.
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