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Jackson Hole/Targhee 27-30 Jan

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
How to begin???

This trip began with a 5:15AM departure from Dillon, CO on Sat and after a snow packed drive over Loveland pass down to Idaho Springs it was smooth sailing down to Denver to meet up with Dookey67.

Dookey and I met up on I-25 and had a uneventful drive up(separate cars) to Laramie, WY where we stopped at a greasy spoon truck stop for food and fuel.

Now it gets interesting: I-80 between Laramie and Rawlins, WY had wind warnings for 50mph and while generally clear there was black ice beginning to form with drifting snow at various points along the route.

About 20 miles from our exit at Rawlins we're cruising along and next thing I know I look in my rear view mirror and there's Dookey sliding sideways off the road and into a snowbank. His truck finally came to a stop in a snowbank after nearly tipping over(I'll let him fill in the details). I pull over and go back to his truck where he's fine, but the truck is definitely stuck. We start heading for my car to get a tow truck to pull him out when a FINE gentleman from the WY highway assistance dept comes along and pulls him out. We go to the exit and pull into a gas station to assess any potential damage with nothing obvious found:

We proceed to our Rawlins exit and begin heading north on WY 287 where the black ice and drifting snow is even more prevalent and now we're in the middle of nowhere. After a few hours of WHITE NUCKLE driving to Lander, WY the roads clear and it's smooth sailing to Dubois, WY. We then take snow covered Togwotee pass into Moran and down into Jackson when we arrive at 5:00PM. Almost 12 hours of HIGH stress driving but we arrive safe:

We're scheduled to meet Epics own Harkinbanks at Targhee on Sunday and given the previous days drive decide to take the bus over Teton pass to Targhee. The ride over is slow(due to snowpacked roads) but uneventful and we arrive at 9:15AM.

We meet up with Harkin and son and they proceed to give us a mountain tour that only someone with 19+ years skiing there can

Targhee from boundary to boundary is quite large and while the snow was firm/crusty in spots, there was many lightly tracked and wind blown in shots of powder to be had if you had a guide like Harkin showing you around:

I must say that my skiing was brutally BAD as my legs were shot from the previous 6 days skiing, no breakfast, high stress drive the day before and general LACK of ABILITY. Harkin, Dookey and Harkin IV were very patient as I skipped a run to get some fuel(pizza and a Harkin donated candy bar).

The storm moved in around noon as we stopped for lunch as a group and the WIND picked up MIGHTILY:

We caught Dreamcatcher following lunch and it briefly stopped twice for wind during the ride and CLOSED for wind shortly after we got off.

Harkin knew immediately where to go and we hit some short tree shots where vis was good and made our way to Sacajewa lift. Rode up Sacajewa and traversed skiers right to an open bowl that while short, had great snow and a compression at the bottom that would have you eating your knees without a HIGHLY knowledgeable guide like Harkin. We did one more run on SAC before it also closed due to wind

This last run on SAC demonstrates the knowledge, generosity and commitment of Harkin: We sidestepped up a small ridge to a moderately steep pitch and Harkin said to make as many turns as you like, but not to go below him. We all followed instructions and made wonderful soft snow turns down to his general vicinity and then traversed out per Harkins guidance. Had we made turns below where Harkin stopped we would have soon fallen over a cliff band:

We tried to head to the double chair, but it was also closed. One more tree shot off the beginner lift(only one open) and we called it a day at around 2:30PM

Here's a few stationary pics and hopefully Harkin can post the few action shots that were taken
post #2 of 25
Thread Starter 
Also want to give a big to Targhee as although the 1st lift to close wasn't until 1:30PM, they gave out FREE 1/2 day vouchers to anyone that wanted them and they could be upgraded to full day at minimal cost.

Well done:
post #3 of 25
Jgiddyup pretty much got everything right.

The only things I'll add are:

Today @ JH while standing in line to get a wind shut down refund the 3 gents behind me were talking about nasty driving. When I told them about my almost-flip they laughed and exclaimed "Bloody 80, that's some sick ishit." Apparantly that stretch of highway is infamous beyond infamous.

Oh yeah, the fine, upstanding gent that lugged my Taco Mama outta the snow was a Wyoming Ranger. I believe he was with BLM or Fish/Game. I shoulda got his name to drop him a fruit basket, but he swept in, wrenched my truck from the embankment, told me that it wasn't my fault since it was a bad stretch of road, and promptly jumped back in his truck and headed back out on the highway to help some other poor soul.

I contemplated taking a picture of the truck lodged in the snow, but thought it 1. bad form and 2. highly dangerous to be taking a picture in the middle of a major highway.

Consequently I now have 200lbs of salt sitting in the back of my bed to prevent any future wind gusts from knocking me off the roadways from here to SLT.
post #4 of 25

There's no place like home......

HB Jr. and I hosted jgiddyup and dookey67 for a day of hide and seek with what was left of a powder day the day before.

No snow overnight, but a storm was forecast to come in at 11 am, so we were hoping to have a powder afternoon.

Knowing that the strom was coming in, we headed straight up DC (Dreamcatcher) to the Summit and off to take the obligitory "Grand" picture.

Notice the clouds moving in.....It was mostly clear when we arrived.

Next, it was off to find what ever leftovers we could, while giving jgiddyup and dookey67 the feel just how big Targhee is (2500 acres, the same as Teton Village).

So we skied, the Headwall

(jgiddyup on the Headwall - notice the light getting worse and the spindrift off the ridgeline)

While jgiddyup was refueling, HB Jr led dookey67 down Fallen Timber.

After stopping for lunch and watching it snow 2" in less than an hour, we headed back up DC. The winds were really picking up and right at the top, just before we got off, one gust was over 60 mph. They shut DC down right after that. Sooooooo.... Off to Sac we went.

Skied Sac until it was blown down (around 2 pm) and decided to head back over to Blackfoot. Along the way, we found out that Blackfoot was now blown down.

Our second-to-the-last resort - Shoshone. The dreaded fixed quad beginner chair.

Up Shoshone we went. It was running slow due to the wind also. But at 2:45 pm, our last run was "6-pack". Notice the lack of tracks.

dookey67 cutting it up with jgiddyup and HB Jr waiting their turn.

dookey67 getting closer...

jgiddyup gettin' some...

And finally, 13 yr old HB Jr tering it up.

After this, Shoshone was blown down and we were off to the only lift that wasn't on wind hold.


dookey67 and HB Jr

Everything was down by 3:20.

As jgiddyup said, Targhee offered half day vouchers after we skied until almost 3 pm. Kudos to GT. They know how to win and keep customers.

All in all a great day of skiing - despite the wind.

jgiddyup and dookey67, thanks for stopping by.

HB Jr & HB

P.S. Gratuitous pic of HB Jr and HB at the end of the day.

post #5 of 25
Now, this is one hell of a TR…what a journey. HB; thankful that you we’re there to guide the boys…who knows what would have happened if they further ventured unaided :
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Please note that the "Little Ripper" sign in the background of the last pic posted by Harkin blew down a minute later do to the wind and Harkin handed it over to a shop employee.

What a day:
post #7 of 25
Love Targhee - can't wait to get back! Good to see you guys at the end of the day not deterred by silly wind closures.
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
Day two was yesterday at Jackson and we arrived to heavy snowfall and moderate winds at the BASE and a reported 12 inches of fresh::

Following the renowned Bob Peters advice we headed up the beginner chair and then over to Apres Vous(the line at the gondola was huge). I had read a portion of Bobs Jackson guide and we skied down Werner to a traverse that would take us over to the Casper lift. We had ridden the beginner chair with a patroller who confirmed Bobs guidance and said that Casper would stay lightly tracked for several hours

The snow on the short run down to the traverse was about 8-10 inches deep and fabulous although Dookey was not liking his reverse camber Spatulas on the traverse, he was loving them on the actual runs.

We rode up Casper and the wind started howling and the visibility was going down fast. Dookey took off first heading down the side of the lift line near trees on skiers left while I started that way, I found the lift towers helped my bearings more as vis went down.

Dookey had a fantastic non stop run back to the base of Casper while I had to stop twice to figure out where I was going, but still most excellent:

Upon arriving back at Casper the lift was closed due to wind and we got word of most others being closed as well

We took a traverse back towards Apre Vous and skied in excellent boot top deep snow down lower werner to the base to get the scoop.

Arriving at the base, all lifts were closed except the beginner lift and management was making a decision on refunds/vouchers etc...

They finally made the decision around 10:30 to offer $55 vouchers if your ticket had been used and full credit if not used.

Given that tickets are $77, we paid $22 for ONE run

Targhee took much better care of its customers the day prior and I think Jackson management must have taken their greed pill yesterday morning:

After struggling to find our car in the whiteout conditions, it took us a HAIR RAISING hour to drive the 12 miles back to town on basically flat roads:

While I understand that the weather is out of anyones control, I was dissapointed in the ski area managements "money grab" with the $55 vouchers.

The rest of the day was spent strolling around town picking up souvenirs, having a couple of beers and nachos at the Cowboy Bar and an excellent inexpensive dinner at the Cadillac Grille

The only pics I was able to get!
post #9 of 25
Originally Posted by DonDenver View Post
Now, this is one hell of a TR…what a journey. HB; thankful that you we’re there to guide the boys…who knows what would have happened if they further ventured unaided :
Journey is the word. Good to see everyone is safe and having fun. You must be exhausted after all that driving and skiing. Quads of steel after this trip.
post #10 of 25
Today we hit Snow King. This is the little mountain that could. I'll let Jgiddyup do the write up, but I worked the Spats all day and it was a blast. No lift lines, fairly long runs (I'd say 95% of the mountain is classified as Black to Double Black, according to the trail map), not a lotta fresh, but even the tracked out runs were still soft and supple. I did the requisite hike to the top of the ridge and hit the S Chute for a bit of almost-knee deep (was still hella tracked out, but nice and empty).

This is a great little no frills hill was some decent runs and totally worth the $39 lift ticket!!! (Tues-Sat the ticket is good from 10 am until 8pm!).

Kudos to Tetonpowderjunkie for the hook-up, too!
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
Today we looked at the forecast and the winds looked substantial again at Jackson so we made the call to just go to Snowking here in town.

tetonpwdrjunkie called shortly after we decided on Snowking and advised that Jackson was probably going to be good with closures unlikely(turns out he was right), but we stuck with Snowking.

tetonpwdrjunkie advised to let the ticket people know we were guest of his(he patrols there) and we scored a substantial discount on tickets and all this coming from someone who has never met us(and will probably regret meeting us. What a fantastic forum and mucho thanks to tetonpwdrjunkie:

Snowking while small has pretty good vert and some fun skiing. The snow was soft and they didn't groom much, so soft chop was the order of the day. I didn't ski very well, but had a blast nonetheless

Dookey in a chute

Dookey in the trees

Me in the crud
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
Town of Jackson from near the top of Snowking
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Souvenir for the wife:
post #14 of 25
Night laps @ Snow King are hella cool.

'Nuff said.
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by jgiddyup View Post
Arriving at the base, all lifts were closed except the beginner lift and management was making a decision on refunds/vouchers etc...

They finally made the decision around 10:30 to offer $55 vouchers if your ticket had been used and full credit if not used.

Given that tickets are $77, we paid $22 for ONE run

Targhee took much better care of its customers the day prior and I think Jackson management must have taken their greed pill yesterday morning:
Wanted to make a SIGNIFICANT correction to this.

The ticket person was mis-informed and the voucher issued was for a FREE lift ticket good for 4 YEARS or a $55 dollar credit good at shops/watering holes in Teton Village

Well done Jackson Hole:

Had a GREAT day with master guide Bob Peters at Jackson today(30 Jan) and will post pics/details later this evening
post #16 of 25
Jim, what a TR! Glad you and Dookey are tearing it up (in spite of the EXCITING weather conditions!) and having a blast.

I'll live vicariously through you as I paint on here at Let's Go Kentucky 0.01...whatever it is! So far only The Wonder Dog has shown up for moral support, but I'm optimistic the crowds will emerge on Friday! :
post #17 of 25
why is it when you ski solo you feel like a king, but sometimes when you ski in a group you feel like a gaper?

that was the question running through my grey matter this morning as Bob Peters graciously showed us around his home mountain for a few hours.

After a spectacular day ripping up Snow King (which included a hike to the peak and dropping into the "S Chutes" as well as a serious spate of night skiing) I felt I could do no wrong at JH. Sadly I felt off all day and spent the bulk of the morning enjoying the fragrant waft of Mr. Peters' vapor trails.

Bob actually managed to catch me in somewhat solid form (I always perform for the camera) here: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...086#post851086

The picture he didn't post, however, was the one where I gaper slide down a chute. I more or less didn't leave enough room between me and the two skiers in front of me, cut a turn short with a power smear and caused a mini-'lanche that pulled my skis out and plopped me on my deriere (at least that's my version of the story).

I call this one:

"Surfing The Chute West Coast Slacker Style":
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
Arrived at Jackson at the appointed time today and there was one Bob Peters waiting for us in the gondola line as promised. We were joined by Socaltransplant and a couple of friends.

Rode the lift up and immediately headed toward the Thunder chair. Nice soft fresh snow on the cruise down and my legs felt good for the first time on the WY leg of the trip.

Skied from there down to the Sublette chair via Laramie Bowl and some nice trees along the way. Top of Sublette down to East Ridge and back up to the top of Rendezvous Bowl. Great snow in Rendezvous and then back up to the Cirque.

Bob peters excellent guide work and pics from the Cirque can be found here

After the Cirque it was back down to Sublette(I think) and off to wonderful snow(like everywhere else) in Cheyenne Bowl.

At the bottom of Cheyenne Bowl we made a traverse through some tight trees to the top of the Hobacks. Glorious snow and some fun widely spaced trees through the Hobacks and back to the base.

Bob had to depart at this point(it was noon) and I can't thank him enough for his skill at guiding us slackers around and do yourself a HUGE favor if at Jackson and look him up:

Forgot to mention that Dookey and I got to share a chair ride with Bobs lovely wife Ruthie

After lunch at the top of the gondola, Dookey and I headed back to the base and spent the remainder of the day skiing Saratoga Bowl and St Johns off the Apre Vous chair where the snow was sweet and the crowds were none:

Mr Peters(grey and white jacket with big smile) and the rest of the group

Passing below Corbetts on the way to the Cirque

Bob starting down Cheyenne Bowl with the valley in the background
post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
Partway down a Hoback with Teton Village in the background
post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 
Dookey coming out of Ranger(I think) onto Gros Ventre
post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
Me on St Johns
post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
Dookey in Saratoga Bowl
post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 
A Mangy Moose:

And lastly some great Apres fun with tetonpwdrjunkie
post #24 of 25
It was really nice to meet you guys. I'm glad that you had such a great time in JH and I'm sorry that my schedule didn't allow time to ski with you and Bob Peters. Please come visit again. When the travel isn't extreme, the trip from CO can actually be very nice. Thanks for talking up The King. It truely is a "little mountain that rips". If it were anywhere else but here it would be skied a lot more. Drive safe and enjoy UT.
post #25 of 25
Sorry to hijack but the photos look amazing I now only have 3 days till I get my plane to Jackson and am so so excited so thanks for sharing your experiences

I cant wait just save some snow for me please x
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