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Salt Lake vs JH

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Head to head, what would be a better trip for an advanced skier (factoring in apres ski). A week's vacation at Salt Lake City (Alta, Brighton, Solitude, Snowbird + Park City, The Canyons, Powder Mountain, Deer Valley) to choose from... OR a week at JH. Any pros and cons from people who've been to both ski areas???, Thanks.
post #2 of 15
Tough choices (but some great ones to choose from). Jackson Hole is an amazing mountain and town. I really can't say enough about it. You will find plenty of terrain to challenge yourself at JH, Snowbird, or Alta. Even Solitude has some challenging terrain (not bad mouthing any other SLC resorts - those are just the three I have been to). You will not find the sustained pitch high vertical of JH anywhere else. The Hobacks are probably between 35-45 degrees and (guessing here) 3,000+ vertical feet.

Travelling to Jackson Hole is generally more difficult. SLC is a direct flight from a lot of places. Apres ski is better at JH if you are planning on staying in LCC or SLC. I have heard that the Park City area can also be great.

Lift ticket prices at Alta/Snowbird/Solitude are substantially cheaper than JH.

Snow conditions are riskier at JH than LCC (but you could say that about almost any other resort in the country as well). If you are worried about snow conditions you will probably be safer in SLC. You may want to especially consider this if you are planning on going early/late season.

I'm sure others who know the resorts better than I do will chime in, but I really don't think you can make a wrong decision. Both choices are great.
post #3 of 15
And don't forget about Targhee, on the western side of the Teton's
Weekdays theres hardly anyone there.
post #4 of 15
For a whole week, no doubt SLC. Jackson Hole is a great mountain for advanced skiers, I have taken two trips there, but it is just one mountain. You will find yourself skiing the same runs after about 2 days. I haven't skied Targhee but with a weeks stay in Jackson that would be a day trip for sure, good snowfall stats and good for the day, but supposedly not steep. I think Jackson is a great place for 3-5 day trip and it should be on the list of any skier. It does have a nice pitch from top to bottom and the Hobacks can be awesome, but for me me Hobacks was mostly slop or death cookies(try 2000ft of crud with no easy way out!) because Hobacks really face south, more than most of mountain.

If you like the variety of skiing different resorts each day you can't go wrong with SLC, but you won't have the Western atmosphere of Jackson. SLC is surrounded by beautiful mountains but is a flat, drabbish big city. Staying in Park City doesn't do much for me either,(I like Jackson's atmosphere much much more for touristing), lots of traffic and congestion, no real western atmosphere. But I have no problem staying in SLC suburbs(near LCottonwoodC), I'm there for the skiing and it is just fine for me.

The advanced skiing in Utah is incredible! Snowbird is #1, and there is Alta next door. Together they are undoubtably #1 when you combine snowfall and advanced skiing terrain. Then you have another 6 resorts to check out, and they are all fine, very fine for a day! The weather in Utah is much better than Jackson Hole. It generally doesn't get as cold, (can be bitter in Jackson, real bitter!) and Snowbird/Alta face directly North which make for generally better snow than Jackson. But of course, JH gets good snowfall and your odds are good to have a good trip. I would put both on your list of "to do's", just pick where you are going first.
post #5 of 15
^^^^
I'm not buying that anyone would get tired of a mountain like JH in one week. I've probably skied upwards of 400 days at the same mountain and I find new stuff all the time. You can't even scratch the surface of JH in a week.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowbirdDevotee View Post
...You will find yourself skiing the same runs after about 2 days...
I spent a season there, and seldom skied the same run twice. Unless you're a lower intermediate, then, you probably would ski the same runs over and over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zion zig zag View Post
^^^^
I'm not buying that anyone would get tired of a mountain like JH in one week. I've probably skied upwards of 400 days at the same mountain and I find new stuff all the time. You can't even scratch the surface of JH in a week.
post #7 of 15
Jackson hole is better, if u factor in terrain + backcountry you have as much if not more thn whistler, coupled with a good probablilty of major snowstorms this year because of central to northern storm track and your set.... accomadation on mountain at snowbird and alta is expensive.

nuff' said
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowbirdDevotee View Post

I think Jackson is a great place for 3-5 day trip and it should be on the list of any skier. It does have a nice pitch from top to bottom and the Hobacks can be awesome, but for me me Hobacks was mostly slop or death cookies(try 2000ft of crud with no easy way out!) because Hobacks really face south, more than most of mountain.
I have found that as people's abilities to ski different and more variable snow conditions improve, their appreciation of Jackson Hole improves as well.

Back to papasmurf's original question:

The Wasatch wins on snow quality and quantity.

JH wins on terrain quality and quantity.

Apres-ski is a tie - but only if you stay in Park City.

Flip a coin. Either side will result in a great trip.
post #9 of 15
I think you would vote for SLC. Jackson is an awesome mountain with some very hard stuff, but you will be able to ski lots of different stuff at SLC, while still enjoying the apres. Jackson may be the hardest place to ski in North America, but Alta and Snowbird are a close behind 2nd and 4th.
post #10 of 15
I tried to say what Bob said, but just couldn't get it out so succinctly!!

FWIW, last year I went to SLC and this year I am heading to JH. Whatever choice you make you won't regret it.

As for getting bored with the terrian at JH, I must be easily amused because I think I could spend a lifetime there and not be bored!!
post #11 of 15
Papasmurf forgot to mention we have a snowboarder in our group so we will not be able to go to alta Me and my firend want to go to JH while papasmurf and his family want to go to SLC... we want to all go together...tough decision... BTW middle of febuary so i don't think snow is one of the factors as it is excelent at both in the MIDDLE OF WINTER.
post #12 of 15
Why not both? A few days in The wasatch and a quick evening drive to Jackson fora day or two up there.
post #13 of 15
Wowser! If we are comparing amount of expert/advanced terrain at one loley resort, Jackson Hole versus the whole of SLC's 9 resorts, how can you possible even compare, it doesn't.

JH claims 2500 and I guess backcountry is now open, so we can add something to add. Look at the JH trail map
http://www.jacksonhole.com/info/mtn.maps.asp
Understand that the entire left side is the Hobacks. Both times I was there in February it was hard, very hard death cookie crud in the am, and turning to slop in the afternoon sun. i am sure it is a powderhounds dream, !when it is snowing! Hobacks represents a good chuck of terrain.
Now it is quite good fun to ski down 4000 ft of fairly steep verticle and I recall the tree skiing is just right. But you will find youself skiing alof of the same stuff if you plan on skiing there 5 days(+1 Targhee). I remember skiing many of the same chutes again and again. Something I never do at Snowbird, never.

compare that Snowbird
http://www.snowbird.com/ski_board/trailmaps.html
which I think is equal head to head for amt of expert/advanced terrain as J-Hole. Then you have Alta right next door, plus 7 other resorts, all of which are big and bad! And each of them has plenty to keep anyone busy for a good day.

For a week(6 days) though, a dream trip would be to ski 4 utah resorts, drive up to Jackson, ski there for 2 days and back down to the airport to catch your flight back out.

I do give Jackson all the scenery points and apres skiing though(except top of the bird beats all), it is a very nice part of the country, even if it has been taken over the last 10 years, (by the rich and outsiders), yellowstone is right up the road, you can/will see elk right outside of town, there are real cowboys around, and the town square has elk racks forming an archway. and of course there is that what is it? mangey moose bar or something? and a "real" steak is quite easy to come by.

don't even think about comparing the whole of SLC for a week! to J-hole regarding the skiing.
post #14 of 15
Both are great.

SLC has MUCH better snow.
SLC is easier to get to.
Alta and Snowbird each have a unique "feel" but are seperated by a 5 minute lift ride.

I think Terrain is darn near a draw. The best skiers I have ever seen have been at JH, Snowbird, and Squaw. There is apparently enough terrain for the pros at JH and the Utah resorts. For sure more than I can handle.

Alta/Snowbird has more terrain for Advanced/low expert skiers. JH might have more terrain for the legitimate ski anything in any conditions ready for video EXPERT.

JH was my favorite place to ski... Until I skied Snowbird/Alta. The snow is just unbelievable in Utah. I say Utah. But if you go to JH be sure to ski Targhee. It has better snow and views than JH.
post #15 of 15
If there wasn't for Jackson Hole i would spend my every February vacation in LCC and BCC. Only thing left to do is alternate...
This year it's JH's turn.

Have fun wherever you go!
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