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Why So Few Boarders at Jackson Hole?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Last year I had one of the greatest ski vacations of my life at Jackson Hole. This mountain was absolutely amazing, the best I've ever skied (I used to live at Whistler).

However, I noticed a surprising lack of snowboarders. Why?
Please note: I'm NOT complaining.

Where I live, over 50% of Mt. Baker is populated by snowboarders. Possibly due to the wet, heavy, ungroomed snow - great for snowboards - harder for skiers.

At Jackson Hole, I estimated less than 20% rode snowboards.

I also noticed the highest overall skier skill level I've seen. Many of these people (presumably locals) were technically outstanding. REAL experts.

Why do boarders barely exist at Jackson Hole?
post #2 of 19
I spent a season there in 88-89, and there was a high level of boarders (mostly surfers from Santa Cruz).

Maybe they were just on Teton Pass until there is enough snow to huck some cliffs and chutes.
post #3 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato

I also noticed the highest overall skier skill level I've seen. Many of these people (presumably locals) were technically outstanding. REAL experts.

Why do boarders barely exist at Jackson Hole?
I skied there last year with a Colorado local. My friend has lived at or near Summit County in Colorado for 15 years now. He is a rock star, and stays in Colorado because he has a wonderful girl there. Anyway, I was fortunate to ski with him at JH, the pass, and Targhee last year, and everywhere we went he ran into old friends from Summit County. We had guides all week, for free, on virtually every chair, friends at every shop, bar, and eatery. They had all migrated through Summit Country, and ended up at JH.

Long story short: Eventually, the best skiers in the US always end up at JH, because its the best.

When you include the backcountry-pass-gates, Targhee, its hard to find a region that isn't a step down from JH.

Too bad the Village isn't cranked about 60 degrees to the north, and on the West side of the Teton range. Then JH would be the indisputable king in my book.

nate
post #4 of 19
[quote=Captain_Strato]

At Jackson Hole, I estimated less than 20% rode snowboards.

QUOTE]

Captain Strato:

If you were here right now, you'd probably change your tune. There's some huge group of California college kids here for the holidays and they MUST be ninety-five-to-one boarders to skiers. :

I skied down Upper Gros Ventre this afternoon and came across the mandatory group of doods all sitting on the slope. This is a WIDE run, and they nearly had it closed off - must have been about 35 of them sitting on the hill. I guess I'll never understand that particular part of the boarder culture.

To try to give you a bit more serious answer, I do think you're right about a lower boarder to skier ratio here. This mountain consists of a lot of steeper terrain with traverses all over everywhere. Getting to some of the better sliding spots requires being able to go sideways (or even slightly uphill) a lot. Add in the backcountry, where hiking or uphill traversing is really important, and you end up with a resort that just isn't all that boarder-friendly.

So, while I think it's likely that you just sort of missed a lot of the boarders, I do also think that I see a lower boarder percentage of the overall slider population here than I did when I skied at Snowbird regularly.

Bob
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by uglymoney
They had all migrated through Summit Country, and ended up at JH.

Long story short: Eventually, the best skiers in the US always end up at JH, because its the best.


nate
Uglymoney: I hear you. I used to go to Summit County every year until I tired of the crowds, the crassness and the frenzy.

JH isn't cheap (on the contrary). But, it has class.

It's the ultimate mountain with a genuine atmosphere. Fewer posers and more heart. Even at the price - it's okay with me.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Bob Peters: Perhaps you're right and we were just lucky. I don't personally dislike boarders, but I find it much easier to ski without them. We use the hill in a different way from them.

Your explanation regarding the traverses and backcountry makes sense. Not many patrolers use snowboards for that reason - they have fewer options off-piste.

I also wonder if the generally high skill level I saw in JH attracts kids who aren't afraid of the longer learning curve involved in skiing. The young locals I saw skiing were excellent athletes.
post #7 of 19
I dislike boarders a lot! With a very few exceptions, they all sport just about the same funky attitudes. I don't care what people have to say about that... I especially have a peeve with them camping smack right in the middle of each freaking trail! One day I will, out of total curiosity, stop and inquire about the logic in all of this? Is it culture or plainly utter disregard to common sense and curtsey to others using the same snow?
post #8 of 19
Why are there fewer boarders at Jackson Hole? Same reason as around here.......long traverses and hiking sucks on a board.
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Euclide
I dislike boarders a lot! With a very few exceptions, they all sport just about the same funky attitudes. I don't care what people have to say about that...
I find this attitide puzzling. There are inept and obnoxious boarders. There are inept and obnoxious skiers. I don't know that the percentages vary that much. I do know that there are plenty of very civil boarders. I also know there are many boarders who can carve a line clean enough that 99% of the skiers out there should be envious - myself included.

Yeah, I get anoyed when a goofball boarder slides down a steep narrow run and peels all the snow off. And I admit that the "let's all sit down" trick can be a minor irritation (although I suspect they do it because they can ). No shortage of stupid skier tricks too though.

So, other than the fact that lots of people seem to want someone to throw stones at, what's the issue with boarders than makes them any more problematic than skiers?
post #10 of 19
Does JH have any halfpipes or terrain parks?
post #11 of 19
Quote:
And I admit that the "let's all sit down" trick can be a minor irritation (although I suspect they do it because they can

Yes, It is an attitude issue. They want to be irritating...just because they can
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by PVnRT
Yes, It is an attitude issue. They want to be irritating...just because they can
You're right, it's all about ignorance, both YOURS as well as theirs.

I skied exclusively for 13 years, then did both for 2 years. I've snowboarded exclusively for 10 years and just started doing both again this year for some variety. I think I'm qualified to say that it's more or less and age group thing. That being said, I'll agree there are more "problem" people who snowboard than there are that ski. However, I'd say the ratio is closer to 60-40...there are plenty of "problem" skiers out there as well....
post #13 of 19
Re sitting down...

I recommend you look at it the same as stationary skiers who've stopped to catch their breath or wait for their child. There are only a few differences.

When a skier stops, obviously their skis will be across the fall line. So they don't line up across, they line up up-and-down. Otherwise, with three or more they'd be staring at each others' butts. Now do a test: take off your skis and sit on the slope. For sure, you will want your feet below you -- that's why stationary snowboarders face 90 degrees different than stationary skiers.

At a place like Jackson Hole, the runs are wide enough except in the case of the huge congregation mentioned above. Some runs don't even have an edge or middle. The real issue is that people just don't like to see lazy teenagers sitting on their butts!

Snowboarders should learn to stand stationary, and this is where all of you can help. A sitting snowboarder is fair game to be sprayed. Them's the rules.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Euclide
I dislike boarders a lot! With a very few exceptions, they all sport just about the same funky attitudes. I don't care what people have to say about that... I especially have a peeve with them camping smack right in the middle of each freaking trail! One day I will, out of total curiosity, stop and inquire about the logic in all of this? Is it culture or plainly utter disregard to common sense and curtsey to others using the same snow?
Come to Alta, and let your cares drift away....
post #15 of 19
I've noticed a definite trend to skiing over the last few years. I really started to notice it 3 seasons ago at Whistler and I must say I keep meeting more and more snowboarders that have switched (or switched back) to skiing. I've asked a number of people riding the chair lifts why they think it might be and the two best answers I've heard:

1) Skiing is where all the technology improvements have been happening the last few years. Fatter Skiis and twin tips are the two biggies. Ski companies also seem to be embracing the younger "freeride" and "pipe and park" crowds with the clothing and ski graphics. Look at the Rossi Scratch line, K2 Seth Pistol, etc. Sun Peaks even has a "Freeride" ski shop now (they do sell Snowboards too) that is geared towards the younger crowd.

2) A Burton rep told me that in trying to increase their market share, Burton had started advertising to the 30+ crowd, figuring they had saturated the younger crowd and thus were trying to expand their market. But you know, there is no better way to get a 22 year old to abandon your product then to make it look hip for a 32 year old to be using it.

3) People are finally coming to their sense (sorry, I just had to say it ;-)

I have lots of friends that still snowboard though, and they are all very nice, considerate people
post #16 of 19

mt Baker boarders ratio

I think Baker has something like 70-80% boarders on usual day? I relate that to not so steep terrain - long green/blue runs with small 'like hero' jumps. For example, at Alpental where the terrain is more exciting, the ratio is just opposite.
post #17 of 19
The reason people move back to skis is the fact that skis are more ifficient. It's
simply easier to move around in the enviroment. Having said that, the new city slicker
hip-hop, cool, what you must do to be accepted is telemark skiing.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by igorig
I think Baker has something like 70-80% boarders on usual day?
You're right. The percentage of boarders at Mt. Baker is staggering. It's also true that most don't attempt the narrow chutes and double black runs. For most boarders, it's difficult to negotiate tight, narrow, steep lines, especially on hardpack.

However, in wet powder, crud and backcountry (where no traversing is required), boarders have the advantage. There's lots of the above at Mt. Baker which is one reason I believe the mountain is boarder laden.

A final reason: 3 colleges in Bellingham with about 20,000 total students in a community of about 70,000. Those college kids, plus high-schoolers, translates into a lot of shredders. Snowboarding has a flatter learning curve than skiing and many of these kids want to hang with their buds on the snow.
post #19 of 19
Maybe snowboarders are more often daytrippers and weekenders. Jackson Hole visitors tend to stay for the whole week
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