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Jackson Hole Tram Wait

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I'm planning a late Jan midweek trip to JH, and I'm putting together a run plan to maximize the experience.  I need some locals knowledge.

1)   When do the Hobacks normally open each year, and what percent of time are they open? 


2)   What is the normal tram wait midweek?   Trying to figure how long a tram lap takes (not racing, just normal skiing), and how may tram laps can be done in an average hour/day?


I'm figuring 45 minutes (10 minutes wait, 10 minutes ride, 5 minutes Union Pass chair, and 15-20 minutes skiing).   

8 laps * 45 minutes = 360 minutes (6 hours), taking from 9:00am-3:00pm. 
8 laps * 4139 feet = 33,112 vertical.  

Therefore 8 runs through the Hobacks/Lower Faces would eat up a whole day.

Does this sound about right?  

post #2 of 4
Wow!  Your forum name sure tells the tale, doesn't it?

While I tend to look at skiing a little more from a quality standpoint than quantity, I think your estimate of 8 tram laps a day is doable for a strong skier in relatively good conditions if you're doing Lower Faces/Hobacks.  That assumes very little liftline at the tram, which will definitely NOT be the case if it's a big powder day.  On a major powder day (regardless of the time of the season), there would probably be a two or three-tram wait at the opening.  By 11:00am, the wait could drop down to one to two trams.

On a big powder day, six trams is probably more realistic than eight.  You can usually get more good skiing by riding chairs or the gondola.

Your best conditions to rack up vertical are two days after a storm.  Half the locals drop out in that situation and you might be able to do walk-on trams.

Good luck and I hope we have lots of snow by then.
post #3 of 4
 You will want to do some Hoback laps for sure.  I think that the better skiing is usually on the upper mountain and you will get more done than doing just tram laps.  I like to mix it up and will ski the Hobacks and Lower Faces when they're bad just because I can.  A Hoback is a comitment, because once you start, you are skiing it to the bottom whether it is good or not.  It can change quite a bit in 3,000'.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

That helps a bunch.  My only trip was in 2005, and just like you said, happened to be 2 days after a storm.   With the old tram it was still back to the start of the maze, a 3 tram wait I think.  

I had a blast on the Hobacks, but it sounds like maybe I just got lucky, as conditions were great all the way down.  It's a great mountian, but in my opinion the lower faces are what make it special.  I'm from Oregon, and because of Cascade cement the off-piste is only good 20% of the time.   I'm wondering how often the lowers faces are bad and unskiable?   Then I'd be limited to the groom and upper mountian, which would certianly change the experience.

I've only got 3 days once every 5 years, and I want to make the most of it.
Bob, you're Unofficial Guide is great!   Thanks to both of you for the information!


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