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Jackson Hole for Beginner transitioning to Intermediate

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
My wife and I skied JH 2 years ago and she mastered the bottom of the resort (Teewinot and Eagles). Last year we visited Alta and Snowbird and she skied all Greens at Alta and Big Emma at Snowbird... We are going back to JH this winter (Christmas) and was wondering what blue I should take her up on? I skied Werner and Moran as well as Easy Does it and Sundance two years ago but it was in low vis and powder. Does anybody have any advice on how to get her from greens to blue at JH? Thanks for the help. 

I looked at the JH guide but it seemed to start off with being a solid intermediate and didnt cover the transition specifically. My wife is slowly building up her steepness tolorance and I dont want to freak her out right off the bat!

Thanks again.
post #2 of 21
Try this, Bob Peters guide to skiing Jackson Hole.

Welcome to EpicSki
post #3 of 21
None of these places are that good for someone in the ability range you describe.  You should be looking for a more balanced resort that has also some of the presumably steep terrain you want.  Aspen and Mammoth come to mind, but there are certainly others.
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
I know JH is not great for what I describe... Most of my family (Brother and Parents) are solid blue skiers and we all love the JH area. I personally had the pleasure of learning at Snowbird which had a bunny hill (very easy) and only one other green (big emma) which had a pretty tough top drop off the cat track. It was not the best way to learn but was possible. My wife became successful with big emma after a few tries.

So if you were teaching your wife to ski and lived in Jackson Hole how would you proceed? Thanks for the help, I know from Skiing JH that it is a pretty darn tough resort (Harder than Snowbird IMHO) but its hard to beat the scenery and town vibe.

I found Bob Peters guide great reading for my own adventures but just wanted some option on going from greens to blues at JH.
Edited by jms02k - 8/30/09 at 5:56am
post #5 of 21
 It's a hard jump from the green to the blue at JH.  There are a few easy routes and test slopes that you can use though.  After the warm up runs on Teewinot...  Go up Eagles rest and traverse to the skiers right out of the beginners area.  You will cross a small ditch through a gate and be on the lower part of Sundance Gully AKA Dilly Dally Alley.  Traverse across this slope to the far right and ski the short remaining pitch.  It is reasonably similiar to the easier blues on AV.  You can also go up the Sweetwater lift and ski S. Pass traverse down to Tewinot gully.  There is a drop off on your right that freaks some people out, but the traverse itself is pretty flat with just a short fast bit and a turn to the right just before crossing Werner.  You could also do Sweetwater and then Casper lift and take the traverse all the way over to Ampitheater by Thunder lift.  Ski the easy bottom part of Ampitheater on the left side and return to Casper on S. Pass Traverse.  You can work the traverses on the mid part of the mountain and get eyes on a lot of terrain and feel it out before getting committed.  For something more like real skiing...  Ride the AV lift to the top.  Traverse to the skiers right from the top past the bathrooms.  Ski the relatively flat right side of upper Werner.  Then cut left and stay on Werner and keep trending left towards the lift towers.  You can go left of the timbered islands if it has been groomed over there.  This will avoid the steeper section on the right side.  After you are down by the trees below the roller cut right above the slow sign and cross over to Moran.  Ski the flat part of Moran and watch for a cut off to your left just before the steep pitch.  Take the cut off back towards Werner.  Keep moving left above the roller and ski the flatter left side down towards the small shack you will see below you in The large flat area called Deer Flats.  Ski to the right of the timbered island, left side of Werner, down to S. Pass traverse.  Take S. Pass Traverse to Tewinot Gully and ski down.  This is the absolute easiest way down and will give you a chance to see a bunch of terrain.  If this terrain looks good to you then start mixing it up and have fun.  You could also put her in a level 4 or 5 group lesson.  The snow is almost always good, so if she can handle the visual part and learn a few tactics, she should have a blast and maybe even a break through.  We have great blue terrain here, it's the jump from the green to the blue that some people can find scary.  I hope this helps.  If you have an Iphone, download the JHTapped app for free.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks TPJ. The information provided was great. I followed you pretty will until you took us up AV =). If you have some free time and are bored, could you draw the path on the JH trail map? I think it would help me out and others going to JH. We will have to look into a half day class too. After reading the Different levels I think my wife is a 4/5 and I am a 6/7.

I can ski blue and double blue at JH its just my form needs some help, I am slightly wedged when I start my turns I think. It seems hard to fix when I only ski 3 days per year. Have any advice? Hopefully someday I hope to live near some slopes.
post #7 of 21
Welcome to Epic, jms02k.

I was going to chime in that TPJ outlined EXACTLY the easiest way to take a developing skier down from the top of Apres Vous.  That route follows natural contours in the Apres Vous mountain and results in a very gentle route all the way down Apres Vous.  All of us ski-schoolers at Jackson Hole know that route by heart.  It also has the advantage of being close enough to trees most of the way down that it even offers relatively good visibility if you happen to be up there in fog or flat light conditions.

The key is to maneuver almost to the extreme side of the trail in each of the areas TPJ describes.  Far skier's right for the first pitch, far skier's left for the second, and so on.  You would want to ski it yourself before you take her up there, but the proper line becomes fairly obvious if you're looking for it.

Here's an attempt at highlighting the route on a JH Mountain Resort trail map, with the desired route marked in purple:



Bring her to Jackson.  She'll love it.
post #8 of 21
 I might do some garlands, or some patience/railroad track type drills on a green or very easy blue slope to get you used to tipping both feet together to initiate you turn.  I'm guessing that you do match your skis at the middle or end of the turn, and that the wedge initiation is a bit of a defensive move.  A little speed check maybe?  Once you grab the two footed thing skiing becomes even more fun! 
post #9 of 21
 I was also going to say that you learn the easy route down AV early on and you learn a bit of respect for it, at least you should.  I have had people do great on it and I have had a few total meltdowns.  I have become very cautious about when I move a level 4 up there.  The supervisors try and drill it in... "Over train, not Over Terrain".  I have also had at least 1 level 1 student who was skiing AV on their first day.  It sounds like you guys would have a great time here and you shouldn't be too worried about it.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thank you guys so much! This information is great and is much more than I was expecting with my newbie status =)
We might do the AV run the second day we are there as I am sure she will want to practice her turns and knock off some of the rust. We loved Jackson Hole back in Feb 2008 and I am sure we will love it during christmas time. You all are lucky to live in such a beautiful location... Florida is getting old! If only JH had some high tech jobs!

I will have to look up garlands and patience/railroad track drills. I learned the wedge first and for what ever reason can ski pretty well (for a FL boy) but my form could be much better. Last year when we went to alta/snowbird I felt like it was getting better by making sure that my uphill ski was part of my turn instead of ignoring it and putting all focus in my downhill. I also think I must be too back seat and need to focus on keeping my torso over my heels. JH was a blast back in 08, we had about 6-8 inches new each day and werner was a hoot (some nice spills but how else to you learn to ski powder!). Thanks again guys.
post #11 of 21
Since I'm also in Jackson I should probably chime in....and echo what TPJ and Bob P have already said.  We do have some great Intermediate terrain....it's just about getting to it.  But I think that because of how hard Jackson is it forces anyone to raise their game up a level.  Sort of like how a goldfish will only grow as big as the bowl. 

Excellent advice from those two about terrain and tactics.  But as with both (terrain and tactics) it is easy to lose track of what you are doing and end up some where you don't want to be, especially at Jackson. 

It sounds like you and your wife are keen to take some lessons, please do that.  Better to take a refresher and (re)learn the hill on the first day than to have a negative experience and then come to us.  Either of the three of us will be more than happy to take you out and show you a great time, just ask for us by name (see Instructor Listing.)  Understand that private lessons are more flexible and group lessons may not always be able to go everywhere you want.  Other than that have a great trip and I hope the conditions are fantastic when you get here.

-nerd
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot guys. I would be interested in a private lesson but they sure are pricey! Of course I am sure you guys are worth it however!

Much of my family lives in SLC and my uncle works up at Snowbird. He gave us free lessons (Mine were about 10 years ago when I first started), my wifes were 4 years ago. I have skied some Blacks at Snowbird such as Regulator off the Tram but thats about the extent of my abilities. My wifes issues so far is only her fear of height and her fear of speed. Her eyes got pretty big at the Top of Big Emma at Snowbird where you drop in off of the cat track. I think it will get better as she just does it more.

My mother on the other hand needs lessons like you wouldnt believe! She got group lessons 2 years ago at JH and did better but for what ever reason she has issues getting off the ski lift!


Are there any ski rental places that are better than others in JH? It does not have to be at the resort either (We are actually staying in town not in village.)

post #13 of 21
 I agree that private lessons are really expensive.  I could never afford it!  I always try extra hard to make the experience "worthwhile".  What may not be clear about that pricing is that a private lesson can be for up to 4 people with no additional up charge.  This makes it a little better.  There are groups of locals who hire a private instructor on powder days to cut lines.  The early tram option is of course an up charge.  For 4 people splitting the tab, the cost is only a little higher than the group option with a lot more flexibility.  I would usually take at least one run with any bear that contacted me if I have the time.
post #14 of 21
Corbett's? I am joking though.

Why not go to a place like Vail and teach your wife to ski on wide open and pretty solid runs like the Back Bowls?
After that she'll be able to improve her tight skiing technique. 
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jms02k View Post

My wife and I skied JH 2 years ago and she mastered the bottom of the resort (Teewinot and Eagles). Last year we visited Alta and Snowbird and she skied all Greens at Alta and Big Emma at Snowbird... We are going back to JH this winter (Christmas) and was wondering what blue I should take her up on? I skied Werner and Moran as well as Easy Does it and Sundance two years ago but it was in low vis and powder. Does anybody have any advice on how to get her from greens to blue at JH? Thanks for the help. 

I looked at the JH guide but it seemed to start off with being a solid intermediate and didnt cover the transition specifically. My wife is slowly building up her steepness tolorance and I dont want to freak her out right off the bat!

Thanks again.




Quote:
Originally Posted by swedskier View Post

Corbett's? I am joking though.

Why not go to a place like Vail and teach your wife to ski on wide open and pretty solid runs like the Back Bowls?
After that she'll be able to improve her tight skiing technique. 
Looks like they have been skiing other places and want to go back to JH where it all began!
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post







Looks like they have been skiing other places and want to go back to JH where it all began!

 

If you really do want to, then it is a no brainer, you MUST go.

Hope you'll have lotsa fun.
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
It all truly began at Alta/Snowbird, UT for those keeping records. I love to ski, while my wife likes it ok, she loves the scenery which I think everyone can agree JH has plenty of! Plus JH is nice an laid back and people are friendly. Its funny the West has more "southern" hospitality than Florida!

I am new to the forum TPJ, what is a bear? I know if I have some hair on my back but cut a guy a break! Just kidding =)
We will be in JH Dec 24-29. Hopefully El-Nino will not have much of an affect but who knows!
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jms02k View Post

It all truly began at Alta/Snowbird, UT for those keeping records. I love to ski, while my wife likes it ok, she loves the scenery which I think everyone can agree JH has plenty of! Plus JH is nice an laid back and people are friendly. Its funny the West has more "southern" hospitality than Florida!

I am new to the forum TPJ, what is a bear? I know if I have some hair on my back but cut a guy a break! Just kidding =)
We will be in JH Dec 24-29. Hopefully El-Nino will not have much of an affect but who knows!
 
I have heard horror stories about rude locals who have "THE ATTITUDE".
post #19 of 21
 A bear is a member of epicski.  I probably won't have time to do any free runs in that time period as it is our Christmas rush.  There was a time in the 90s when I would go other places in the intermountain region and people would be turned off when I said I was from JH.  It doesn't seem to be like that now.  I know my own attitude has mellowed considerably in the last decade or so. Most "locals" last about 2-3 years and leave.  The rest get over themselves after a few years here.
post #20 of 21
If you're really set on JH, you've gotten good info.

If I had the group you describe -- solid blue skiers, a beginner trying to go intermediate, and maybe one or two more advanced skiers, I'd head to Steamboat.  Maybe that can be your next trip!
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by swedskier View Post



I have heard horror stories about rude locals who have "THE ATTITUDE".
 

In all fairness to JH skiers I've been there several times over the last 20 years and I have only encountered one person with "THE ATTITUDE".  This coming from a guy with a strong southern accent that enjoys tram laps on pow days.  Although one way I have found to combat the attitude anywhere I've been is when someone asks me what kind of skier I am the answer is always, "I pretty much suck."  Always good for a laugh from the locals.
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