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crested butte vs jackson hole

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hoping someone could enlighten me as to some of the pros and cons of either place. Both are high on my list 'like to know what the rest of you think.
post #2 of 17
I can't think of any cons if you are an experienced skier. Both areas offer a challenge for skiers of any ability. I guess if you were a novice, either mountain would be a waste because you would not be able to truly ski all the area has to offer. Good towns, too. Twist my arm, I'll pick JH...
post #3 of 17
Rustey: I've been to Crested Butte many times, and Jackson Hole once. In my view, there's no comparison between the two.

Crested Butte is a quality, smaller "destination" ski resort, with excellent extreme terrain, and a good assortment of black and blue runs. Prices are reasonable

The downsides: sketchy snow cover (they've had a run of short seasons), not a lot of powder, not easy to get to, and sometimes very c-c-c-cold in winter. Gunnison county is one of the coldest winter spots in the US.

Also some of their major blue runs (Silver Queen lift area) don't have the best fall-line orientation.

Jackson Hole, on the other hand, is a massive, magnificent resort with some of the most thrilling terrain on earth, abundant snow, superb powder, and the highest level of skiers I've seen.

Runs from the Tram offer miles of thigh-burning splendor down perfect fall-line terrain. On powder days, it's ecstacy (the real kind - not the drug).

I also found relatively few snowboarders there. I don't dislike boarders - but I feel safer around skiers.

The downsides: not easy to get to, and expensive (for fun, check-out real estate prices - but sit down first).

If choosing between the two, it's no choice at all. Crested Butte is a pleasant, moderate-sized resort with some exciting steep terrain and a charming town area.

Jackson Hole is THE ultimate ski area - the best I've ever seen (and I used to live at Whistler).

CB doesn't begin to compare to the awe-inspiring stature of Jackson Hole.
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato
Jackson Hole is THE ultimate ski area - the best I've ever seen (and I used to live at Whistler).
I agree with the Capt. JH is the "ultimate" mountain playground. Steeps, powder, trees, chutes, spectacular scenery...you name it, Jackson has it in "spades".

Not even a choice IMO...all good outlaws go to Jackson!

powsniffr
post #5 of 17
I can't compare the skiing because I've never skied at Crested Butte. I've been there in the summer, however, and it's one extremely cool little town.

There's a restaurant (and microbrew?) on the south side of the main drag in the middle of town that has the best barbecued ribs my *highly* qualified wife has ever tasted. We were there about eight years ago and she often talks about going back.

Bob
post #6 of 17
One thing that is important. The backside of Crested Butte is extrememememememely steep, and extremely long for a face that is so damned steep. It also faces north, so it rarely sees the sun, and conditions can be fabulous long, long after a snowfall.

I love JH, but inbounds I don't think that it has an area quite on par with CB's double blacks. CB is an extremely impressive experts paradise if they have snow. At JH xxs runs like Tower 3, expert chutes, etc, are not sustained the way CB's xx runs are imo. JH has far more single blacks, that are excellent - the best inbounds anywhere in the US. CB cannot offer that, but it does have some nice blacks like Banana Peel that rises above the Village.

That said, JH is in a different league, and is a better overall area, resort, better snowfall totals, on and on. Remember, JH has tons of scary steep stuff just outside the gates.

If all I wanted to do was look ski straight down all week inbounds, I'd prolly go to CB.

nate
post #7 of 17
And both worth visiting more than once in my opinion. I would chose JH if I could only make it to one or the other though. Plus, if you've got any lower level skiers in your group I think CB offers more in the way of a complete resort for all types of skiers and boarders.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank
if you've got any lower level skiers in your group I think CB offers more in the way of a complete resort for all types of skiers and boarders.
It's true that CB has a good assortment of lower level runs, and some extremely steep runs, as pointed out above.

However, in addition to having the world's ultimate adventure terrain, Jackson Hole has excellent blue areas and some lengthy green runs. My friend's wives loved this part of the mountain..

The lifts on the right side of JH (facing the mountain) get progressively more tame further to the right. Those JH green and blue areas easily comprise more surface area than all of CB combined. In addition, they have excellent fall-line orientation.

I agree that both CB and JH are worth a visit. CB is a totally cool resort with a unique vibe. But don't rule out JH due to a need for good greens and blues.
post #9 of 17
JH > CB, IMO.

JH's steeps are readily accessed from the sublette and thunder chairs, the banana chute at CB needs to be hiked in order to ski it from what I remember.

CB does have it's own character but it's in the middle of nowhere, JH seemed to me to have a little more of a developed town atmosphere.
post #10 of 17
The key is snow, though. In sketchy winters like this one, I'd trust the likelihood of good snow at JH more than CB.
post #11 of 17
I am going to agree with Uglymoney here. For a person like me that does not care that the coverage is really great of the snow really fluffy or the Ski Apere is full of glitz I will take CB hands down over JH.

A couple of things to keep in mind. If you are prone to altitude sickness definitely go with JH. CB's base elevation is 9,200 ft. JH top elevation is 10,500 with a base elevation a comfortable 6,500.

If you are going with low level or medium intermediates CB has some fabulous territory for those folks where JH does not. Yes JH has a lot of green and blue territory but the greens at JH are really whimpy greens and the blues are eye popping blues. There is not gentle territory in between. I liked the kids program at CB better than JH. CB also has great restraunts slope side that are affordable. I would consider CB better for families.

JH gives me the impression of even unrelenting steeps. CB is a hodge podge of jumbled up steeps full of eye popping suprises. The only thing at JH that really compares to CB is Pepi's Run/ Mushroom chutes and Upper Casper bowl ledges. If you don't like suprises and just prefer even steeps, your best bet is JH.

As far as I am concerned, CB is the best ski resort in the North America. Keep in mind that a few people on this forum will tell you that if CB is my favorite in all of North America, steer clear and go to JH.

Epicski gathering Crested Butte?
post #12 of 17
First and foremost is probably the comment ssh made - if you absolutely must plan a trip you might want to bet on JH having snow. Personally, I prefer the wait-until-a-big-storm-and-jump-in-the-car approach to ski trip planning.

Some other random thoughts..

While both resorts offer great inbounds and hiking terrain, JH has harder terrain that's easier to access. Heck, you can literally hop off the tram and jump into Corbett's. Then you can ski some ridiculous amount of vert (4,000'?) and do laps on the tram. Much of the best terrain at CB requires hiking to get to, a long traverse to get back out of, and multiple lift rides to get back to.

Everyone has their preferences regarding towns, but my favorite is CB. It seems like there's more grungy hippies in CB and less of the trust-fund crowd that seems to hang out in Jackson these days.

Hostel X is probably the cheapest and most accessible acommodations found at any resort. Almost makes me not mind buying a lift ticket.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre
...

I liked the kids program at CB better than JH. CB also has great restraunts slope side that are affordable...
Pierre, when were you last at JH?

Our Kids Ranch program has won a bunch of awards in the last few years. Parents that I talk to just rave about the program and kids seem to clamor to spend more days there.

I'm not trying to say there's anything wrong with CB's program, but an awful lot of people seem to think ours is very, very good.

Also, I have some questions about the hike-to terrain for those of you who have skied CB: How long a hike (in minutes at an "average" pace) and how much vertical climb to get to it? How often is it open? Does the patrol do avalanche control regularly? Has anybody put an inclinometer to some of it?

Bob
post #14 of 17
Bob my info on the kids program at JH is dated. My daughter is 17. Indeed they could easily have changed the programs since.

I have not been to Jackson since much of the BC was opened through gates.

Many of the hikes at CB have been eliminated in recent years by lifts. There are still some climbs that may encompass 300 vert but the bulk of the BC terrain is on lengthy traverses. Some of the traveses are worse than the skiing with names like "No Fat Chicks Traverse" .

The really knarly stuff like 55 to 60 degrees needs driving snow to be open. Most of the terrain is open by March in average years. Late March is a good time to go. The really knarly stuff is not well advertised, the entrances sketchy and is therefore missed by 97% of all double black diamond skiers at CB. Find someone to give you a real tour. Make sure they know who you are and your background. There are some very fun people around there to ski with. Many of them are excentric and don't open up easily. That is why they are at CB.

The views from the top of CB beat JH by a wide margin. Even looking off into parts of Hell's canyon.
post #15 of 17
Two great mountains. CB is a little more demanding because of the altitude, the traversing/hiking and also the technical aspects of some of the north face runs(i.e. rocks/cliffs). CB seems a little steeper, especially inbounds. CB reminds me of Taos a little bit.
Although I don't particularly like trams, laps on the tram is certainly more efficient than a couple of lifts and a platter.
Both areas have enough groomers, bumps and steeps to suit most everyone. Both are great ski towns and very scenic. What a tough call between two favorites.
I'll go with JH for the seemingly more consistent snow, have had some great powder days there.
post #16 of 17

I feel like bumping this oldie since I'm headed to Crested Butte the first week of March.  Sounds like CB is having a good snow year, so that means everything is open and filled in, right?  I hope that rib joint is still open too.

 

CB's base is 9,200 ft?  Urk, that could be an issue.

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpikeDog View Post

I feel like bumping this oldie since I'm headed to Crested Butte the first week of March.  Sounds like CB is having a good snow year, so that means everything is open and filled in, right?  I hope that rib joint is still open too.

 

CB's base is 9,200 ft?  Urk, that could be an issue.

 

The area is open wall to wall and top to bottom.  As of a couple of days ago the seasons snow fall was over 210"s.  That's a good snow year.  I'd bet the first week of March will be just fine.  Will the base elevation be a problem?  A restaurant at the base is called 9380 and it refers to the altitude.  Be careful with alcohol but keep the other fluids going.
 

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