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Jackson Hole Cat skiing?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Is there cat skiing service at Jackson Hole?
I've never tried it before. How does it work?

I'm a low end step 8 skier, with limited powder experience. Will it be too hard for me?
post #2 of 15
I wouldn't do it if I were you.
From what I've seen, powder skiing really only has 2 modes:
1. people that have seen the light and figured out its the easiest, best skiing in the world.
2. people that fight it and struggle.
If you know you're type 1, do it. It'll be worth every cent.
If you don't, which i suspect from asking if it's "too hard", I think its potentially a waste of money, plus if you're falling and holding everyone else up, losing your skis, etc., it'd be a drag.
Spend your time learning to ski big mountain snow, catskiing is for when you've got that under your belt and are looking for more. That's just my opinion.
post #3 of 15
if you have lots of spare change then it is probably worth the diversion, if you are on a budget, why not get your experience in bounds and save the $$$ to put towards an extra trip. if it hasn't snowed for a week, then likely the snow wont' be good or will be affected by the weather and difficult for you to ski. try learning to ski all the edges in bounds, ski the powder you find in the trees or out of the way.
post #4 of 15
This is the JH snowcat operation:

http://www.togwoteelodge.com/snowcat_skiing.shtml

And this is the Grand Targhee snowcat operation:

http://www.grandtarghee.com/winter/snowcat/

Personally, I think that with fat skis and good snow conditions, a level 8 skier could have a blast. Why not call one or both of these operations and ask them? Give an honest evaluation of your abilities and experience and see what they say.

I've skied with the Targhee operation and had a wonderful time. I've skinned up and skied the JH terrain and had a wonderful time.
post #5 of 15
Headed to JH next week, is it worth spending a day cat skiing if there have not been any recent storms to get in a powder day or will the cat terrain be all skied out.
post #6 of 15
if its like other cat skiing operations i've used, they'll only do it if they can take you to some pretty good snow. give them a call and ask if they're offering it and what the conditions would be.
they definitely won't take you to anything skiied out.
post #7 of 15
I disagree with alkupe. It's much easier to learn powder in untracked on a cat than in the feeding frenzy, quickly chopped up snow at a resort. That said, you want an operation that gets a lot of first timers so you won't slow down other skiers. Targhee was my first cat experience and I think it''s ideal terrain wise for a first timer. But you should call ahead and be honest; hopefully they can arrange to accomodate you.

Most day operations, both cat and heli, deal with this situation all the time. I understand alkupe's frustration. When you go for a multiday cat trip in Canada and the terrain is typically tree skiing, sometimes steep and or tight spacing, you really don't want newbies.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
I disagree with alkupe. It's much easier to learn powder in untracked on a cat than in the feeding frenzy, quickly chopped up snow at a resort. That said, you want an operation that gets a lot of first timers so you won't slow down other skiers. Targhee was my first cat experience and I think it''s ideal terrain wise for a first timer. But you should call ahead and be honest; hopefully they can arrange to accomodate you.

Most day operations, both cat and heli, deal with this situation all the time. I understand alkupe's frustration. When you go for a multiday cat trip in Canada and the terrain is typically tree skiing, sometimes steep and or tight spacing, you really don't want newbies.
I am not a newbie looking to learn pow i am looking to ski some untracked in the absence of any at JHMR.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by powderhound24 View Post
I am not a newbie looking to learn pow i am looking to ski some untracked in the absence of any at JHMR.
Targhee got maybe 6-8" last weekend while JHMR got 3". Other than that, it hasn't snowed at either resort for over two weeks.

I would call both operations and ask them for an honest assessment of their skiing. I don't know whether they would provide them or not, but maybe even ask for a referral or two of clients from the last couple of days.

I can't imagine how the Targhee operation could have much in the way of untracked terrain left to ski, but maybe that's not fair to them. The JH operation "probably" has a little more terrain to choose from, but I don't know that for sure.

Good luck.
post #10 of 15
in my experience - timing is everything with catskiing/heliskiing.

the day of storm - they are typically down - because of weather or avalanche. the next day or two - you can hardly get a seat on them as there is a feeding frenzy - resorts being all tracked out.

in this case - considering there hasn't been any fresh snow in a week or so and i don't see in the horizon - even if they are running the - i would say it is a waste of time.

especially at Targhee - becos they run it over a small defined area (peaked mountain??). that's probably all tracked out by now.

your best bet is to just go BC - either from JH (using their guides) or in Teton Pass. I would highly recommend Rendezvous guide service.

(BTW - just cancelled by JH trip)
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty View Post

(BTW - just cancelled by JH trip)
That's too bad. Our in-resort skiing is excellent top to bottom and side to side.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Heading to JH tomorrow. Still not sure about the cat skiing. I'm not really concerned about the pow, its more the trees. I've "embraced" a number of trees in the past couple years. Maybe I should try Nordic, where treehuggers are more commonplace!

There's about 35 of us coming. Maybe we'll see you around, Bob!
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
That's too bad. Our in-resort skiing is excellent top to bottom and side to side.
Bob: I just returned from a 10 day JH trip and I say good call on Marty's part.

I skied almost everything inbounds and by the end of the trip the conditions resembled Vermont on a bad day more than anything I have ever skied in the West. The sun and inversions last week really did a number on the snow that was left, and JH only has ~70% of the normal snow.

By the end, I was skiing only icy bumps. The best snow I could find was on Lower Sublette Ridge and the north facing slopes in the Hobacks.

I would caution anyone thinking of a JH trip to pay close attention to the snowfall from here on out. They need snow really bad and 3" isn't going to do it.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by TerpSKI View Post
Bob: I just returned from a 10 day JH trip and I say good call on Marty's part.

I skied almost everything inbounds and by the end of the trip the conditions resembled Vermont on a bad day more than anything I have ever skied in the West. The sun and inversions last week really did a number on the snow that was left, and JH only has ~70% of the normal snow.

By the end, I was skiing only icy bumps. The best snow I could find was on Lower Sublette Ridge and the north facing slopes in the Hobacks.

I would caution anyone thinking of a JH trip to pay close attention to the snowfall from here on out. They need snow really bad and 3" isn't going to do it.
While not totally agreeing on how *little* of the mountain is skiing well (we seem to be finding pretty good snow in quite a few more places than you've mentioned), I will certainly agree that we need snow. I would also agree that the couple of days of warm weather right as you were arriving really hurt a lot of our sunnier aspects.

I've also been told, however, that we're skiing *better* than most of the places in Utah, Idaho, California, and Montana right now. I just spent all of yesterday riding lifts with shop representatives from all over the country. Most of them are saying we're pretty darn good on a comparative basis.

Everybody would feel a lot better if it would just start snowing again.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
While not totally agreeing on how *little* of the mountain is skiing well (we seem to be finding pretty good snow in quite a few more places than you've mentioned), I will certainly agree that we need snow. I would also agree that the couple of days of warm weather right as you were arriving really hurt a lot of our sunnier aspects.

I've also been told, however, that we're skiing *better* than most of the places in Utah, Idaho, California, and Montana right now. I just spent all of yesterday riding lifts with shop representatives from all over the country. Most of them are saying we're pretty darn good on a comparative basis.

Everybody would feel a lot better if it would just start snowing again.
Hey Bob, maybe you can fill me in on what I missed. I will add that Buffalo Bowl, Paint Brush and the trail under Thunder lift (bumps) skied ok, but by the end of my stay were all pretty icy esp. in the am. We made friends with some locals and they showed us North Woods & Lower Sublette. Among the locals we met it was pretty unanimous that there wasn't much worth skiing (inbounds).

The good thing about JH though is that when the skiing is sub par, there is a WEALTH of other things to do. You have Yellowstone & the Tetons as well as snowmobiling, dogsledding snowshoeing etc. We did a dogsledding tour out of Togwotee Lodge which was really cool.

As far as how JH is stacking up to the competition, for people paying a boatload of cash for a week's trip Colorado and Canada seem like the best bets right now. This could all change with a big dump.
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