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Big Sky or Grand Targhee

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I'm 22 year old recent college grad who has been planning to moving to ski for the winter. I've applied for and gotten bell boy jobs at both Big Sky and Grand Targhee, now I have to figure out where I want to go. I've heard the snow is great at Targhee but other people tell me it is too small an area and a community to stay a whole season. What do you guys think?
post #2 of 19

BS vs GT

From my perspective (remember I am from Minnesota but have skiied BS a number of times).

Big Sky - Lots of Mountain, not much nightlife on the mt, close to Bozeman a college town, has some awesome steeps -- off the tram and some in climbing range, not as much snow, lack of crowds. I am not sure of skibum lodging thou.

Grand T. -- Less of a mt, slow nightlife, much more snow, lack of crowds. not real steep (but remember you are close to JH and the pass between them for steeps and BC skiing) Not sure about lodging.

I am sure more bears will chime in with their opinion. Good Luck.
post #3 of 19
Originally Posted by bmordski View Post
but other people tell me it is too small an area and a community to stay a whole season. What do you guys think?
they're right.

great snow though.

and congratulations on your graduation and upcoming epic winter.
post #4 of 19
yeah, but if you're at GT, you'll probably live in Victor or Driggs. JH is a short drive over Teton Pass, and the pass rips for bc runs, 3000 ft vertical from parking lot to parking lot.

Victor and Driggs are where lots of the workers for JH live. at targhee, you get reciprocal lift tickets for JH, Snow King, Big Sky, Moonlight and Bridger. As I recall, Bozeman's about 3 - 4 hours from Jackson, so, probly 1 hr less from Idaho side. I can't find anything on Big Sky's site about lift tickets to employees to other resorts. Also, Big Sky requires a $250 deposit for an employee pass, it's free at targhee.

Hope this helps.

[edit]Disclaimer: I have never worked for either resort, but I have worked for Jackson Hole.
post #5 of 19
great info!

i wonder if GT employees can get discounts (or a free ride) on that jackson/targhee shuttle.
post #6 of 19
My vote is for Targhee, but I'm a little biased.

Targhee employees do get recipricol passes at Teton Village, Snow King, Big Sky and (I think) Moonlight Basin. They do not get the Targhee Shuttle.

Yes you would end up living in Driggs/Victor, or if you're lucky enough, Alta.

Targhee does have the steeps, you just have to hike for them. And from down town Driggs to the Village, it's only 1 hour.

To stay the whole season (mid-November to mid-April) you have got to want to ski 500" of snow (measured at the parking lot). Big Sky is at the 375" range I believe.

PM me if you want more Beta.

Good Luck on your decision.


Oh yeah, one more thing. Your pants won't fit toward the end of the season because your thighs will have gained about 2". Not that there's anything wrong with that!
post #7 of 19
I'd think it would be real hard to go wrong with Big Sky and Moonlight Basin now. Bridger Bowl isn't too far away, and I've heard it has one of the highest percentage of ripping skiers per capita.

Grand T. does have a huckable 200+ foot cliff if you are into that though.
post #8 of 19
big sky is huge with that gondola. Plus bridger is cheap for a second pass for variety. (then again, jackson has pretty good variety- just an expensive second pass)
Go Big Sky. The valley is growing for more opportunity too.

That famous 200 footer (as small as 20) in all the TGR films at Targee is great. Bridger has sick technical terrain and you will find few resorts with a sicker core-ship of locals. Bigsky has loads of acres. And the groomers are long and sweet when it hasn't snowed for three weeks. The backcountry is rad too. 1 dayers to camping trips.
post #9 of 19
I haven't skied Targhee, but I made it out to Big Sky last spring. Big Sky has some very steep terrain, some very good snow at times, and mad acreage. It can be a truely awesome mountain, but also has a lot of razor sharp rocks that never get entirely covered, so skis will get ripped if one is at all adventurous.

A close friend of mine lived there with her boyfriend last season, so I got a bit of the inside scoop on living there. The local social scene will be largely other employees of the various businesses on the mountain. Some of the businesses pay well and some do not. Some provide employees with a pass and some don't. Living on the mountain is expensive, and part of the expense is travel to buy groceries (or pay through the nose to buy a limited variety). If you don't have a reliable vehicle it will be difficult.
post #10 of 19
^^^ thanks for the rock comment VA. I meant to also mention those. like loose shingles everywhere. Invest in JB weld. many locals ski on repaired edges out there
post #11 of 19
At Big Sky would you be Bellman for a Boyne hotel?

If so, its a good skiing gig, decent money in tips. The company leaves a bit to be desired, but this is a one season and move on deal.

Big Sky has a slow paced nite life, same with Victor/Driggs. If you want great mellow deep powder skiing, GT. If you want big terrain and steeps, Big Sky.

The whole "oooh the rocks are soooo sharp" things is true but overblown. Skis are a disposable item. They are making more in a factory even as we speak.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 


thanks for all the info guys. I'm getting so stoket for this winter I can barely contain myself. I've found a place to live in Victor and I would be bell hopping at Targhee if thats where I choose to go. At big sky I got accepted to do confrence services, it sounds like a cool gig but I'm worried it might cut into my ski time more than bellhopping would. Decisions...Decisions...Decisions...

Thanks again guys, I just found this forum and am already hooked!
post #13 of 19
Don't do conference services at Big Sky, it will cut into your ski time.
post #14 of 19
Its hard to go wrong with the snow at Targhee, and I think Victor/Driggs are underrated towns to be a local in. I've got a bunch of friends living in the area and they love it. Aspen or Telluride they are not, but not much is is it? Way cheaper than those places though and more snow! I don't know much about Big Sky, only that it gets less snow and is near Bozeman. My personal vote would be for GT, but I'm more of the wide open powder type, not the steep chutes/hucking cliffs type. Plus you've got Teton Pass for BC if so desired and Jackson is only about 35 mins-1hr depending on weather. This probably goes without saying but bring a car, preferably AWD or 4x4, definitely not a place you can get around easily with public trans only.
post #15 of 19
bmordski, you have an excellent choice ahead of you: you can't go wrong either way you go, and you are an easy drive to check out the road you didn't travel.

Driggs is in Southern Idaho, which is a Mormon stronghold, whereas Big Sky is a magnet for people with serious money. Have you considered applying at Yellowstone Club--my friends who work there are very happy with the wages and benefits.
post #16 of 19
Also consider Moonlight Basin. They appear to be making a serious effort to be more competitive with pay than Big Sky. Employee moral is much higher there, also.
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 

Yellowstone Club

I actually sent off an application to the yellowstone club but haven't heard back yet. It does look like an amazing place
post #18 of 19
If you can get into the club and still ski, you're stoked.
post #19 of 19
This is crazy, I actually worked at a Boyne resort in Convention set up (conference services) at a michigan resort. Not a bad deal, conferences are somewhat spread out and times will be very slow occasionally. Also, if Big Sky works like the other 2 Boynes in Michigan convention services also entails driving the resort shuttle which would be a great short term job with major tips. However, if you work for Boyne be prepared for some frustration dealing with management and the kercher family ideals, which can be somewhat rediculous (especially with personal appearance).
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