3/11 - 3/18: Heading out west to JH and the Ghee for my 35th birthday! Any and all advice is welcome from best runs, bowls to on-mountain dining, in-town dining, apres scene and day off activities. We're staying in the Tensleep Condos in Teton Village and skiing Th, F & Sun. Then, driving to the Ghee and staying at the Teewinot Lodge on mountain and skiing Mon & Tu. We won't be doing any back country or snow cat assisted skiing. Thanks for the help. Can't wait!
Grew up skiing Targhee. What kind of skiing are you looking for?
Each chair at Targhee has a different feel. The blackfoot chair is great for powder stashes along the northern boundary, even several days after a storm. DC has the good, the bad, and the ugly combined with the headwall for great bumps, or the patrol chutes off the other side. In between DC and Peaked Mtn, Marys is worth the hike when open. Sac generally stays pretty quiet, but the cliffs are definitely worth poking around.
On powder days, I'd highly recommend Targhee. The jackson locals drive over the pass to avoid the crowds.
Dont miss out on the wydaho nachos at the Trap Bar!
Teton Thai is an excellent Asian food restaurant down in Driggs. Really good. Try the Buffalo Pho. Theres a really good pizza place up on a second floor on main street, forgot its name.
funny like a clown
SIAWOL Jr. and I hit Jackson last year. Plenty of options but I'll note a few notable highlights that fall into the "I'd do that again" category:
-Pinky G's pizza
-Teton Tiger restaurant
-TGR shop--bring a coffee (or other beverage), cruise the swag, sit in the theater to watch a movie for a few minutes
-Toga bowl--oft-neglected corner of mountain with some fun shots
-Hobacks--can get tracked out and a pain to get back from, but even with that the experience is worth it
-grab a waffle for sure up top and take in the views. Ridonkulous
-RV Bowl is a don't miss. Skier's left tends to see a little less traffic
-a couple laps on Sublette will pay off big time. Lots of "sporting" runs there
-if you're up for a little work, from the summit follow the east ridge traverse hard left, stay high. you'll have the chance to look at Corbets from as close to the top as you're comfortable, then as you follow the ridge along you'll eventually get to the corbet's runout and can look at it from the bottom. But keep going around towards Tensleep and stay high. Hike the headwall. Probably about 15 minute hike up, with lots of options from there. We personally preferred going out to Casper bowl area. Just crazy to be up there, awesome views, some gnarly terrain to admire (or ski), and all the avy control stuff up there. Cool experience.
we didn't do any onmountain dining other than the Moose one night.
Been at JH once (March 2018) so can't offer a whole lot. Main advice would be to ask ski patrol how the visibility is at the top before getting on the tram. Did the tram on the first run - it was (very) lightly raining at the base and about 1/2 of the way up it was snowing sideways. We skied Rendezvous Bowl and visibility was 2' max - skied down the whole thing having no idea if it was steep, rocky, etc. At one point I came to a stop because I was skiing uphill LOL! After that we stayed on the lower 2/3 of the mountain and it was fine. You can get three different sets of conditions (powder, heavy snow and slush) on one run due to the massive vertical of the place.
Did one day at Grand Targhee...epic! It's base (8K) is much higher than JH so you don't have to deal with the variable conditions as much. Had 10" of fresh snow and skied powder for most of the day. Dreamcatcher lift is an intermediates powder paradise and if it's sunny out you'll be stopping to take picture of the Tetons. Blackfoot lift serves some steeper terrain and also a good powder spot. Sac lift serves some nice terrain but when we were there the snow seemed to set up fairly early in the day due to sun exposure. GT is my favorite place to ski.
If you go into town then you have to go to the Million Dollar Cowboy Saloon - bar stools are actually horse saddles! Beer is cold and food is good.
Have a great trip!
In reply to this post by SIAWOL
Thanks for the quick tips. As far as what I can ski and what I'm looking for, out West I've had some great days at Copper (Spaulding Bowl to the Resolution lift, Enchanted Forest, Union Meadows and Union Bowl/S & R lifts). Most recently 4 years ago. I also liked the Horseshoe Bowl, Peak 6 and my most epic run at Breck was the hike to Peak 8 Summit off the Imperial lift to Snow White. As far as East Coast comps, I skied Lies last week and spent some time in the easier glades (don't enjoy super steep/super tight trees) and have skied Castlerock Run at Sugarbush in past years but it doesn't look pretty.
So in summation, I don't mind bumps but I prefer powder bowls. Also, I'll be skiing with my 66 year old Dad who doesn't do bumps or gnarly ridge drops anymore but I'm sure I'll split off from him from time to time.
There's a plate of Wydaho nachos at the Trap with my name on it for sure.
I definitely plan to get into the Hobacks and Toga Bowl. Did you have a preferred Hoback? I plan to grab a waffle at the top and enjoy the views, thanks for the detailed tips. What is the easiest route down from the top for my Dad? I'd like him to experience the tram ride, summit and waffle with me but also make it down in one piece. Also, any advice for best lifts to avoid the crowds if it's a busy day? I think Friday or Sunday is our most likely day for that.
The Hobacks are all very similar. Conditions can vary a lot with 4K of vertical and every aspect you can think of. South hoback was my personal go to usually.
Follow conditions and weather before you get there and try to determine what’s going to be skiing the best. At any point of any season you can get spring skiing or full on mid winter powder conditions but with so much variety you can usually find some good skiing.
If the upper mountain is hitting I recommend doing laps on sublette and altering them with thunder every third lap or so. Going from thunder to sublette use the grand for a fun groomer bomber, skip those natural south faces to the right of the grand, it’s bony in there.
I also recommend getting a guide, especially if it’s dumping. They can skip the line for the tram and can take you into the side country south of the resort.
If you have the time I really recommend skiing at snow king, the town hill. It’s a fantastic little mountain with night skiing. If you have touring gear you can skin up just before sunset and ski down right as the town lights go on and the sun is setting. It’s a very cool local experience.
Couple of tips/opinions from several trips out to Jackson (not that that makes me a super seasoned skier over there)
The tram is iconic but it takes for freakin' ever, and unless you're right against the window it's a miserable ride - like riding the L train during rush hour in ski boots plus equipment. If the line is spilling outside of the fencing expect to wait an hour for it. I would do it once, at the end of the day when the lines are hopefully shorter just to say you did it, but don't bother trying to lap it. Unless you're looking to hike the ridge over the Rendezvous Lodge or send it down Corbet's you're only getting one additional bowl that you don't get off the Sublette chair.
Pow Days - Everyone heads for the Tram or the Gondola, but I had better luck on the right side of the mountain, heading up to the Apres Vous or Teton Quad Chair. Less competition for first tracks over there with plenty of steep terrain. RA's advice about hiring a guide is super interesting as well.
I really enjoy skiing right under the Marmot Double chair. It's challenging off piste terrain and no lift lines.
Don't do the Hobacks if you're tired or conditions are questionable. They are interminable.
The nice thing about Jackson is that there really aren't many surprises, for the most part what you see is what you get and you can pick your route based on the level of challenge you are looking for. The Saratoga bowl and Moran face are the only areas I can think of that you have to commit to before you know what you are getting into. Both of those are moderately challenging with steeps and obstacles that you need deal with, but nothing too extreme.
Food - My wife and I really liked the higher end pizza restaurant at the base of the mountain. There are a bunch of hip restaurants in the town of Jackson and they can get PACKED. Make reservations ahead of time if you want to go to them.
Targhee is awesome. I skied my first ever powder lines there 10 years ago. - if the roads are questionable and you don't have AWD and decent tires on the rental you're risking your life to get over there though.
Enjoy and give a TR when you get back!
Hike out to 4 Pines.... Shit is awesome!!!
There is an "easiest way down" flagged on RV Bowl, but that's all relative. It's skier's right...not markedly "easier" IMHO opinion, but it's at least marked as such. Honestly RV bowl isn't bad anyway--visibility is probably the difference maker. Even with some bumps it's so wide open and not overly long that you've got plenty of time and real estate to pick your way down it.
If RV bowl proper is absolutely positively out of the question but you still want to ski from the summit, follow the signs for Tensleep which is more of a traverse than anything. Once you get to Tensleep bowl proper, there's a couple of short little pitches that drop down to the right that'll get you back down to blue territory.
Crowds?...the Aprez Vous lift is awsome. HS Quad (1800' vert in 5 minutes is a lot of bang for your buck) that doesn't see as much traffic as the gondi or tram. And there's some groomers from there you can absolutely rip. Jr. and I hit that first run on Day 1 down St.Johns...the pitch was plenty and groomed to perfection and we must have hit like Mach 7 on that thing. Both of us smiling ear to ear back at the lift and we're like "this is going to be a fun week...."
Have fun. Take pics. Post pics. In that order.
In reply to this post by dmc_hunter
4 Pines May just be the best side country pow run in the lower 48. If you get it before most others it’s absolutely incredible.
The most iconic tour imho is Cody Peak to No Name to 4 Pines. If you can get that the day after a storm lifts right after riding the days first box......you win.
I would think that people can download on the tram if they don't feel like skiing down. That's actually the best way to enjoy the view. Have done that on the Snowbird tram with an intermediate after riding up to have lunch at the top for the view of Mineral Basin and the front side.
JH has a free mountain tour. Those are always on green/blue groomers. Perhaps your father could do that one morning while you go exploring?
JH has different sections that are all connected by cross trails that are narrow cat tracks. Pay attention to trail signs to make sure you end up where you want.
Nora's Fish Creek Inn is in Wilson, on the road between Jackson and GT. Well worth stopping for dinner on the way back to JH.