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Jackson Tram--Suicidal?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
My wife is a rapidly improving advanced intermeidate. We've skiied black runs back east at places like Sugarloaf, and she's done fine. Will she be able to ski off the Tram at Jackson? I haven't skiied there in over a decade, so my memory of it is pretty fuzzy. I'm trying to convince her to go to Jackson this year, but she's worried she's going to die. I don't think she will, but also don't want to invest the time and money involved in getting a new wife. : Advice?
post #2 of 8
Not at all. There is some tough terrain off of the Tram, but you/she can work your way down. It is one of the only lifts where you can get a true 4000 ft. top to bottom run. Do it.
post #3 of 8
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
Not at all. There is some tough terrain off of the Tram, but you/she can work your way down. It is one of the only lifts where you can get a true 4000 ft. top to bottom run. Do it.
Do it before it's gone. Last winter... :
post #4 of 8
She should be able to do it, if you are correctly assessing her ability - and she WANTS to do it. I was there a few years ago, but as I recall, there is even a blue trail that winds around to let you avoid directly dropping into Rendezvous Bowl (not that most people want to go down that way, but it's an option!). However, I also seem to recall that they actually also mark the easiest way down the Bowl.

What was most intimidating for me, though, was the tram ride up where the operator kept stressing how difficult the terrain is - that was almost enough to unnecessarily freak me out. If your wife DOES get too freaked out - as the tram operator kept reminding us, you CAN ride the tram back down. And there are lots of other great runs at Jackson Hole that don't require the tram - plus the whole town is a great winter vacation experience. You should go.

post #5 of 8
Question: Can your wife ski ungroomed snow?

Rendezvous Bowl (essentially the only way off the tram) is not groomed. It is not too steep, not too bumped up, generally has soft snow surfaces -- but it is ungroomed for maybe 800-1000 ft. After that, there are about 2-3 major groomed paths for the remaining 3000 ft. that any high intermediate can handle.

A lot of people cannot ski ungroomed snow and bitch about it. However, I do not think the tram at Jackson is any harder than an ungroomed run in Vail's B original Back Bowls.

Just ski off the tram in a sunny day.

It generally can be pretty windy up there -- the exposure and the ungroomed snow (think mini-soft moguls) can scare some tourists.

What type of trail at Sugarloaf can she handle? The SuperQuad terrain is pretty groomed -- Jackson is tougher. However, other stuff at Sugarloaf is at Jackson level -- Gondy Line and all the trails near there.

There are a few high intermediate/low expert ways off the tram:
post #6 of 8
For New Englanders, like myself, IMHO it's the exposure not the steepness that gives us that empty feeling in the stomach when you try a challenging trail or slope. After you do it a couple of times it's a piece of cake...well...sort of.

They have markers set up to lead people to the part of Rendezvous Bowl with the least steepness. Again, I think it's the exposure that takes some getting used to.

Personally, I found heading down on the left size, where there are trees, reduces the exposure and really is pretty easy. I usually took first timers down this way then when your about halfway you cut right so you have enough speed to get to the start of the Rendezvous Trail.

Plus, there is so much great terrain without having to use the tram. You should go, bet you have a great time.
post #7 of 8
You should definitely go. I suggest she start skiing on the other parts of the mountain first before taking the tram. How comfortable the tram runs are is dependent on wind and ice. If it is windy and icy, she won't like it. A little sun, no wind, soft snow, and she will be fine.
post #8 of 8
Rendezvous (a black run) is no steeper than the black runs at Sugarloaf. As someone else pointed out, it's just a matter if she can handle ungroomed slopes and variable conditions at that steepness.
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