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Jackson Hole or Grand Targhee

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I plan on driving from SLC to WY for a day of skiing (stay in Jackson one night then head back to SLC the next day). I never skied WY before so I have no idea how the resorts stack up against each other.



I'm torn between JH and Grand Targhee. From what I hear JH is a real killer for steepness and wild skiing. I can tackle pretty much any western black diamond trail and even a few bumps on a good day (my knees can’t really take it) but I hear that JH is no joke. I don’t do chutes, jumping off cliffs etc. I’d like to live to ski another season On the other hand Grand Targhee is a gentler mountain with far better and more plentiful snow.



Where to go? Any ideas?
post #2 of 25
I'm usually a Utah skier too (aka I usually go there on my trips) but we went to Wyoming last year and had a great time. Skied 3 or 4 days at GT and one day at JH. We timed it just right as while we were there we got 85" of snow.

45" one night at GT. It's a great mountain. The pitch is very nice. It's steep enough that you can definately get moving real fast and it's not 'too easy' but it's not 'steep'.

I gotta admit the lower sublet ridge and the hobacks are uncomparable. Just constant pitch and great snow. Loved it.

If I had to pick one or the other I'd go GT without much thought. Not to take anything away from JH thogh.

Oh, if you wanna see pics...www.skistrike.com
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Wow, great pics my man! Very nice! I only wish this season will be as good as last year's!
post #4 of 25
I live 5 hours away, and usually go to GT. Cheaper, slower, and better snow. However, if you are a world class skier, JH is the place for you.
post #5 of 25
Last years Gathering did both. I love JH!!! Its pitch and ability to challenge you at every turn was to my liking. However, for as big as it is, after a storm it can get skied out quick. You really have to search for good snow days after a storm.

However, on one day JH got like 4 inches but over in GT we were skiing knee to thigh deep all day. The show is lighter and more consistent. The pitch at GT is shorter and the elevation is higher but no crowds at all even on a powder day, one of the best in my years of skiing.

I love JH and had my best powder day ever skiing with Spindrift and Terry. Blue skies and wide open places. It got skied out by 1:00pm and we had to go searching.

But if I had one day GT would be my call. With the smaller crowds and higher snow fall totals you will get more skiing in with a greater chance of getting good snow.

Enjoy and post pics.

Ed
post #6 of 25
Ditto to what has been said. JH is big, wild, and challenging. GT is smaller, less crowded, usually better snow. You need two days, one at each.
post #7 of 25
One more vote for Grand Targhee! Love the snow and the lack of crowds and, yes, the terrain - challenging, open, but mostly without being horribly scary.

But, oh, to have to make such a choice! Two bad you can't do a day at each. They are both fantastic places, and you'll love whichever one you choose.

Kristine
post #8 of 25
On my trip to JH - I have the option of skiing GT on the day I catch a return flight at 630pm

Q1) How is the road from JH to GT on a powder day. is there a possibility of closure?

Q2) how long of a drive is it from GT to the airport at around 3pm on a sunday - under normal conditions.

thx
post #9 of 25
Wait what the heck am I doing, trying to get crowds to show at GT?

GO TO JACKSON HOLE. It is the real skiers mountain!
post #10 of 25
Here's my take;

JH gets this rap that unless you can stick 60 foot cliff drops and ski 5 foot wide 50 degree chutes, you'd better stay home. Nothing could be further from the truth.

While you can find some truly hair raising stuff at JHMR, there's terrain there for everyone. And plenty of it. If I were making a long drive and choosing between the 2, JH gets the visit.

Targhee. Awesome hill, but so are all of the BCC/LCC hills, and most of them have more vert to boot. Why leave UT for that? The only way I would is if you're going to do the Cat thing, that would totally be worth it. That, or if you have skied all the BCC/LCC resorts to the point of boredom (not likely!)

My .02
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
Nice replies... Thank you all!

The reason I want to go skiing in WY is because I never went there. I'm curious and love something new. I'm not bored of Utah's resorts; I love them all but skied them all over the years. I keep going back because of its great snow and the beauty of its mountains. I'm not bored, my God... I wish I had a hill like that in my backyard.

I think I'm going to hit GT and if I can sqeeze another day, which is all probable, I'll do JH as well. Someone here mentioned "world class skier"; can't say that I am though Like I said, I don't do chutes and cliffs so maybe JH it's not for me; reading all your posts this mountain looks like a real killer. I'll see when I get therel...

Thanks again. This really helped.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by xdog1
Here's my take;

JH gets this rap that unless you can stick 60 foot cliff drops and ski 5 foot wide 50 degree chutes, you'd better stay home. Nothing could be further from the truth.

While you can find some truly hair raising stuff at JHMR, there's terrain there for everyone.
Thank you, xdog1.

My God. I look out of our office at the JH ski hill every day and I'm *trying* to figure out where in the world this rap comes from. There are runs all over the hill that any solid intermediate can ski with ease.

Sure, there's plenty of cliffs and chutes and steeps, but there is so much more to this hill. There are literally dozens of lower-intermediate to upper-intermediate runs that are groomed to corduroy perfection every night.

Grand Targhee is a wonderful ski resort. They get great snow and the place is well worth a visit. Jackson is too, for many of the same reasons.

Bob
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Euclide
I think I'm going to hit GT and if I can sqeeze another day, which is all probable, I'll do JH as well. Someone here mentioned "world class skier"; can't say that I am though Like I said, I don't do chutes and cliffs so maybe JH it's not for me; reading all your posts this mountain looks like a real killer. I'll see when I get therel...

Thanks again. This really helped.
So did you not read my post, or did you just ignore it?

Just curious.
post #14 of 25
Oh, I forgot to mention, if you catch a thermal inversion at JH, it is really neat.

You should be happy at either mountain.
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
XD, I think Bob's post meant to be sort of an add-on to your intersting post. Thank you for it!
post #16 of 25
For me the choice would be simple. JH is right up there as a world class skiers mountain. To see it and explore it is just something you ought to do. Whether you're skiing the chutes or the big wide runs they spill out onto, the mountain is unique and is something to be experienced. Everyone gets to share in the rock and steeps of the place whether you ski through them, around them, or below them just gaping.

If I were there for one day I would try to either hire a guide (if I could afford it or had a big enough group) or try to get a connection with someone local. With the right tour guide, a first day at Jackson Hole could be one of the best ski days you've ever experienced.

BTW, I've skied GT a number of occasions and really like it. It's just a mellower and gentler kind of place. The view out back are spectacular but the mountain just can't speak to you like JH.
post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
I got the idea... I'm spending 2 days there. I'm skiing JH, get a good night sleep, then ski GT before heading back to SLC. It's final...
post #18 of 25
Euclide,

Good call. With being that close you can't pass up JH.

ED
post #19 of 25
Euclide good luck. I hope the weather gods are nice to you. Be careful, skiing Wyoming is addicting.

I would recommend skiing both JH and GT. If you have time to ski one mountain I would definitely recommend JH.

For JH, take the TRAM early in the morning when the lines are short. Yes they tell you its for experts only at the top before you exit the TRAM but they also tell you can ride down as well. Check out Corbet’s cabin have some hot chocolate, take some deep breaths at 10,000 feet, enjoy the view of Cody Bowl. If the weather is nice and its not a sheet of ice I am sure you can handle Rendezvous bowl. You can always traverse across Rendezvous if needed. After Rendezvous bowl stay to the right on the Rendezvous Trail which should be an easy groomer. Take a look at Bivouac on the way down. The Hobacks are another must try if your up for it later in the day. Watch out for Bullwinkle in the Hobacks.

Now you want to check out the Sublette and Thunder Chair lifts the rest of the morning.

Rendezvous trail takes you right to the Sublette chair where from the top of Sbulette you can take Hanging Rock to Rendezvous trail again or you can try my favorites Dog Face and Bird in The Hand. Another nice run is Laramine Traverse and Laramie Bowl. Tennsleep traverse can be difficult with all the dips but you can get a look up Corbet’s Couloir (the cooler) from the bottom. The easiest Chute is Central Chute at the bottom of Rendezvous bowl. Central Chute is not that hard. If it’s a nice day you may want to give it a try.

The Thunder chair also leads you to groomers like Grand and Amphitheater. Later in the day you may want to take the Bridger Gondola.

The group I ski with like to take a late run off the top and take an easy last run down. Ski stop, talk for 5 minutes, ski, stop talk for 5 minutes and enjoy the views. If ski patrol is behind you on sweep waiting for you I would be nice and ski off the mountain.

I enourage you to take the TRAM first in the morning especially if the weather is nice. The weather may not be so good in the afternoon. Also note very often its warmer on top then on bottom.

Enjoy!
post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 
Catskills, THAT was simply beautiful... Thank YOU! I printed your post and I'm taking it with me
post #21 of 25
post #22 of 25
Thanks for dredging those up, Si.

One quick comment; the trail map links have been changed since I posted those summaries last winter. Here's the new link to the trail maps:

http://www.jacksonhole.com/info/mtn.maps.asp

Bob
post #23 of 25
Yes! Thank you so much for posting these again and Bob, thanks for putting the guides together. Going to hit JH at the end of January and am hoping for plenty of coverage. Based on the first guide I do believe I can have way more fun than people are giving me credit for based on it being the third season of skiing this year. Awesome stuff. Maybe I'll run into some bears at the Moose!
post #24 of 25
Euclide I am glad you liked the post. I would also print off Bob Peters posts. Bob has a lot more detail and did an excellent job. Bob lives at JH and unfortunately I don't .

I will also say this there are 3 skiers that I have skied with at JH that do not ski moguls back east but do ski single diamond east coast trails. They are not what I would call real strong expert skiers. That said they did enjoy skiing Rendezvous Bowl (on a good weather day), Rendezvous trail, Hanging Rock, Cheyenne Bowl, Laramie Traverse, and Laramie Bowl, Grand, Rag Run, Amphitheater, and Gros Vetre. They spent hours skiing using the Sublette and Thunder chairs. If things get tougher weather wise they went over to the easier Casper Bowl Triple Chair. They have never skied Dog Face and Bird in the Hand which have lots of moguls. They have never skied Hobacks which tends to have Moguls. I might try to get them down the Hobacks this year on a good weather day.

Like most high alpine western mountains JH conditions can get real nasty weather wise. Note I said Rendezvous Bowl on a good day. If you get hurt up on Rendezvous Bowl on a very cold windy day it is serious (very serious). Be prepared to cover all skin if needed before you get on the TRAM. How windy does it get. Well one day I was at JH and they closed the TRAM with 154 MPH winds on top. That said if my friends can make it down Rendezvous bowl on a good day I am sure you can and I encourage you to give it a try first thing if the weather is good. If not walk back over to the TRAM and take it back down the mountain.

I have not mentioned Bridger Gondola because first timers at JH have a tendency not to leave this lift. I am sure you will take this lift at some point.

So point them boards down hill, smile and let em run.
post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I would also print off Bob Peters posts
Oh, you bet I did! Bob is a mentor for many of us here
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