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Jackson Hole Question? How to follow the mountain in Spring Conditions..?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Someone may have posted this question before and if so...my bad, but can you help me with the link to it? I tried searching and came up with nil except for some EXCELLENT advice from Bob Peters about the mountain and runs in general.
What I need is this: where to start and end on a Spring conditions day when the weather is warmer and the snow starts out icy and then warms up to soft and then refreezes again in the late afternoon for intermediate to advanced skiers. We are heading out there for a week on Mar. 18. Any and all help is much appreciated! Danke!
post #2 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdskis2 View Post
Someone may have posted this question before and if so...my bad, but can you help me with the link to it? I tried searching and came up with nil except for some EXCELLENT advice from Bob Peters about the mountain and runs in general.
What I need is this: where to start and end on a Spring conditions day when the weather is warmer and the snow starts out icy and then warms up to soft and then refreezes again in the late afternoon for intermediate to advanced skiers. We are heading out there for a week on Mar. 18. Any and all help is much appreciated! Danke!
Hi, kd.

This is a really hard question to answer because it depends so much of how the day progresses.

I'll tell you how I would normally work the mountain, but this supposes a perfectly clear morning with temps in the 20's-rising-to-30's and very little wind. High clouds and wind can drastically affect how much warming occurs, as do - obviously - air temperatures.

I often like to start out on the far eastern/northern side of the mountain from the Apres Vous chair. St. John's run and Saratoga Bowl get the sun earliest in the morning and would normally soften the quickest. They would be followed quickly by Werner run and maybe upper Teewinot Gully.

After about an hour there, I might work over to the Casper chair and hit Sleeping Indian and the Moran Woods/Moran Face area.

By 10:30 or 11:00 on a very sunny day, things will be heating up quickly. At this point, you're going to have a lot of options but many of them will have short windows of opportunity. Riverton Bowl next to the Thunder Chair can get really nice, as can the sunny portions of the Lower Faces like North Colter, South Colter, and Sublette Ridge.

Also about this time, Grand and Gannett (between the Thunder and Sublette chairs) will start to get good, as will the skier's middle-right side of the upper part of Laramie Bowl. Higher up on the mountain, Bernie's Bowl, Sherry's Slide, and upper Cheyenne Bowl will be softening, as will Rendezvous Bowl. Rendezvous Bowl is the most difficult to predict because it has the highest elevation and it's the most susceptible to having wind hold down the temperatures. You just have to go up there and see. The same thing applies to the Cirque. The Cirque and Expert Chutes can be glorious on a sunny day, but you just have to go try it in order to hit it at the right time.

By noon to 1:00pm, it's probably time to try a Hoback. The nice thing about the Hobacks is that there's a wide variety of aspect, so you can often find some snow that's softening. The bad thing about the Hobacks is that if the snow is bad everywhere (which it certainly can be), you've got a long trip down before you can go somewhere else.

By mid-afternoon, you'll probably want to start looking for north-facing stuff that's sheltered from the sun. Places like Indian Paintbrush/Toilet Bowl, the extreme skier's right side of Laramie Bowl, Bivouac and Bivouac Woods, and some fun little things right underneath the upper half of the Gondola.

As the day starts to end, you *might* want to head back over to Apres Vous. I've had some really great late-afternoon spring skiing on the ridge spine between St. John's and Saratoga Bowl, but that's totally dependent on how the day progresses.

Just some general things to keep in mind:

* The mountain generally faces northeast. That means that sunny areas on the skier's right side of most runs will warm earliest. The middle of most runs will soften next, and then the left sides will be the last to soften. Just reverse the process to figure out which places will start to re-freeze first.

* Don't be afraid to move. If you start down a particular line and it sucks, traverse sideways one direction or the other to see if you can find better snow. On many of these runs, as little as 40 or 50 feet sideways can make the difference between heavenly corn and frozen crap or slush.

* The same applies to elevation. There are times when the Lower Faces can be spectacular (and nobody's on them) while the upper mountain is so-so. The reverse can obviously be true as well.

You just have to ski around, be aware of where the sun is, and see what you can find.

Now, you realize of course that all this is wasted typing because I'm personally guaranteeing that it's going to snow 6-12" every single day you're here.
post #3 of 17
The difficulty I have had is that with my lousy sense of direction I have trouble telling which are North and which are south facing. I guy I was talking to on a lift pointed out that there are two helpful references. (Unfortunately, I've forgotten the key, so you'll have to look at a map yourself to make this tip useful). The tram cables run almost exactly one way (N/S, maybe?) and there is a prominent straight road on the valley floor that runs the other.
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post
The difficulty I have had is that with my lousy sense of direction I have trouble telling which are North and which are south facing. I guy I was talking to on a lift pointed out that there are two helpful references. (Unfortunately, I've forgotten the key, so you'll have to look at a map yourself to make this tip useful). The tram cables run almost exactly one way (N/S, maybe?) and there is a prominent straight road on the valley floor that runs the other.
Good one. :

Tram cables run east and west, the highway runs north and south.

The valley is roughly east of the mountain, so usually as you're skiing down your right side is south and your left side is north.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Bob. I knew you would have some advice for me. I also knew, which I failed to mention in the post, that it would all depend on the temps and conditions. I guess I should have said that in the worst case scenario, when the temps get in the hi 30's and lo 40's during the day and there has been no new snow for awhile. Oh well....glad you can read minds.
I will look at my map again too. I hope you are right. Maybe you are truly clairvoyant if we get that 6-12" of fresh every day. Will definitely post when we return and maybe, just maybe you can ski a run with us while we are there??

P.SA.Can you recommend a ski shop that demos women's nordicas and Volkl's??
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdskis2 View Post
Thanks, Bob. I knew you would have some advice for me. I also knew, which I failed to mention in the post, that it would all depend on the temps and conditions. I guess I should have said that in the worst case scenario, when the temps get in the hi 30's and lo 40's during the day and there has been no new snow for awhile. Oh well....glad you can read minds.
I will look at my map again too. I hope you are right. Maybe you are truly clairvoyant if we get that 6-12" of fresh every day. Will definitely post when we return and maybe, just maybe you can ski a run with us while we are there??

P.SA.Can you recommend a ski shop that demos women's nordicas and Volkl's??
It's doing that 6" to 12" every day right now. The skiing was just outstanding today.

PM me as you get close to arrival and we'll see if we can work out a rendezvous. I'll give you my cell phone number.

Shops in Teton Village:

Teton Village Sports has Volkls (tell Abbie or Ryan that I sent you). And *please* ask to try the Head Sweet Fat Thang while you're trying out skis at TVS. The SFT is a really good women's wide ski for here in JH.

Pepi Stiegler Sports has Nordicas, although I'm not certain that they have women-specific models. Tell Guv or Sean that I sent you.

Things are looking good.
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
It's doing that 6" to 12" every day right now. The skiing was just outstanding today.

PM me as you get close to arrival and we'll see if we can work out a rendezvous. I'll give you my cell phone number.

Shops in Teton Village:

Teton Village Sports has Volkls (tell Abbie or Ryan that I sent you). And *please* ask to try the Head Sweet Fat Thang while you're trying out skis at TVS. The SFT is a really good women's wide ski for here in JH.

Pepi Stiegler Sports has Nordicas, although I'm not certain that they have women-specific models. Tell Guv or Sean that I sent you.

Things are looking good.

Will definitely do that(pm) and try the Head SFT and thanks bunches!
post #8 of 17
I don't know if I would trust Bob Peters.
I think he has an AGENDA!
I suspect he is trying to keep the sweet stuff
for himself. (note, see the paranoids who
rent a room over at realskiers.com)
Oh, he is so subtle.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
I TRUST Bob. I don't know him, but I trust him. Lots of good stuff coming from him on this forum...btw. Bob, where would you go for a good meal in JH (that has game)?
post #10 of 17
Question for Bob Peters: I have some friends who are thinking of going out to JH for next year probably mid-late March. They are all strong skiers lev 3 instructors who want challenging stuff (no groomers)but they are not going to be jumping cliffs. When would JH historically be skiing at its best? I thought I read on other threads and I'm not sure if you wrote that JH was "better" in Jan or Feb than March due to its exposure. I'm thinking of when the mountain would have great consistent snow and everything has really good coverage. I know their is no ideal time for everybody's type of skiing. Thanks for any info. Great write up for March conditons and how to work the mountain.
post #11 of 17
FYI,

Bob is @ Alta for the next few days. You might not get an answer until he gets back.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
FYI,

Bob is @ Alta for the next few days. You might not get an answer until he gets back.
Can you spell "Interlodge"?

I'm sitting here in the lobby of the Peruvian, watching snow pound down outside, waiting PATIENTLY (ha!) for them to open the mountain.

Snowbowler, I'll answer the queston when I get a chance.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
Can you spell "Interlodge"?

I'm sitting here in the lobby of the Peruvian, watching snow pound down outside, waiting PATIENTLY (ha!) for them to open the mountain.

Snowbowler, I'll answer the queston when I get a chance.
Bob I hope you have better luck skiing today than I did. Went to Killington and lifts were on wind hold, turned around and went to work instead. Hope you got some turns in that pwoder they are getting out there. Look forward to reading your reply. thanks
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowbowler View Post
Question for Bob Peters: I have some friends who are thinking of going out to JH for next year probably mid-late March. They are all strong skiers lev 3 instructors who want challenging stuff (no groomers)but they are not going to be jumping cliffs. When would JH historically be skiing at its best? I thought I read on other threads and I'm not sure if you wrote that JH was "better" in Jan or Feb than March due to its exposure. I'm thinking of when the mountain would have great consistent snow and everything has really good coverage. I know their is no ideal time for everybody's type of skiing. Thanks for any info. Great write up for March conditons and how to work the mountain.
SB:

Finally getting around to answering.

Yes, I have said that late January and early February are historically the best times to ski here if you want powder and minimal crowds.

That said, I just love March on this mountain. You can get great storms and then the skiing is fantastic, but you can also have sunny days and warm temps. On those days, I would do the kind of skiing in that earlier post.

To me, that's the best of both worlds; it could be snowing and I'm skiing powder or it could be sunny and warm and I'm doing spring skiing. It's not for everybody, but I sure love it.

I don't know if that helps, but it's the best I can do.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
And it still looks like more snow is coming...
Bob, it looks like you had a fantastic time in UT.
Would you mind me asking about restaurants?? Particularly those that serve game? I have some suggestions on another post...but want you honest opinion..since I trust you and all.
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdskis2 View Post
And it still looks like more snow is coming...
Bob, it looks like you had a fantastic time in UT.
Would you mind me asking about restaurants?? Particularly those that serve game? I have some suggestions on another post...but want you honest opinion..since I trust you and all.
Hi, kd.

Just to keep it consistent for other readers, I'll reply in that thread.

I started to the other day and got distracted. My attention span has entered an inverse relationship with my age.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
SB:

Finally getting around to answering.

Yes, I have said that late January and early February are historically the best times to ski here if you want powder and minimal crowds.

That said, I just love March on this mountain. You can get great storms and then the skiing is fantastic, but you can also have sunny days and warm temps. On those days, I would do the kind of skiing in that earlier post.

To me, that's the best of both worlds; it could be snowing and I'm skiing powder or it could be sunny and warm and I'm doing spring skiing. It's not for everybody, but I sure love it.

I don't know if that helps, but it's the best I can do.
Thanks Bob for the info I'll pass that along. I look forward to reading your other post on JH about the steeps when I have more time .
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