Thread Starter
TS
Bob Peters

Bob Peters

JHMR Ambassador
Industry Insider
Joined
Oct 28, 2016
Posts
67
Several years ago when I was living in the Red Lodge, MT. area, we had a 75" base before Christmas. This is pretty much unheard of at Red Lodge, generally the they get the big dumps in later in the season. The whole area was open-even Palisades- which some years does not open or just opens a weekend or two-( no snowmaking in that area), anyway, the rest of the Montana Rockies were pretty bare. Was riding up the lifts with people from all over the country who had canceled other plans to come to Red Lodge!
Not sure if what you're describing was in the internet era (most likely was), but that's what's happened to the ski industry. Travel plans get changed at a moment's notice based on what the real-time snow reports are showing. It must drive the resort marketing people crazy.


Today's report:

Two (count 'em, TWO) inches of new snow last night. We skied fresh tracks on the edges of lots of runs. It's amazing how low the "the skiing is not bad" bar can go when you haven't had snow in several days. I was part of a pretty big posse today and we were all semi-raving about how much better the skiing was today than yesterday.

It wasn't really that good, but compared to YESTERDAY?... it could almost be described as epic. Maybe epic-light? Semi-epic? Epi?

In all seriousness, the skiing actually was pretty good today. We've got a little bit of a lull in the weather today and tomorrow, but here's the 24-72 hour forecast:

Forecast for Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center
National Weather Service Riverton WY
124 PM MST Fri Dec 1 2017


.DISCUSSION...
After a brief quite period through most of Saturday with only a few
possible higher elevation flurries, a new storm system will impact
the area later Saturday night through Sunday night. Significant snow
is expected with this system. Most of the far west mountains will
see 8 to 16 inches possible. The lower elevations will see 4 to 8
inches. Gusty to strong southwest wind will blow Saturday into
Sunday before turning northwest Sunday night as the system moves
further south and east.


We are the "far west mountains". With any luck, a significant portion of that forecast will prove true. If so, we'll have fun.

Today's best turns?

The Gun Tower slot east of Elephant Tree. Lots of blown-in new snow. I think it was MORE than ankle-deep. I was wishing I had a snorkel.
 
Thread Starter
TS
Bob Peters

Bob Peters

JHMR Ambassador
Industry Insider
Joined
Oct 28, 2016
Posts
67
WELL! They added new terrain today.

They opened the Sublette chair and a good share of the terrain it serves. The Alta Chutes, Bird in the Hand, and Liquor Cabinets are still closed but most everything else is open now. Cheyenne Bowl, Bivouac, Tensleep Bowl, Cirque, even the Headwall. There were about a thousand people hiking the Headwall but I was not one of them. I had "other things to do". Reports were that the skiing was pretty good and at least worth making the hike.

The forecast is still looking positive for the next 48 hours, so we have our fingers crossed.

Today, Bivouac, Flip Point, and Rendezvous Trail were all good, but the best turns I had were the first fifteen or so dropping into the Cirque just to skier's left - not left, RIGHT - of Meet Your Maker. Tensleep Bowl was a close second.
 
Last edited:
Thread Starter
TS
Bob Peters

Bob Peters

JHMR Ambassador
Industry Insider
Joined
Oct 28, 2016
Posts
67
Hmmmm.

Snow is falling and the skiing is improving. Today had a few inches of new up high and snow squalls through the day. I only skied until 11am as we helped some friends go Christmas tree hunting in the Bridger Teton National Forest. Hunt successful!

So, I don't know how good the skiing got before the lifts closed, but I heard it was getting better through the day. Not sure how well the snow will pile up but it IS still snowing (not heavily) on Teton Pass tonight as of almost 10pm. Tomorrow should be fun.

The forecast - after this little storm blows through - is for continued cold weather this week so the snowmaking should really kick in. At this point, I'm in favor of any kind of frozen water that might end up on the runs.

Today's best turns? Bivouac Woods!
 
Thread Starter
TS
Bob Peters

Bob Peters

JHMR Ambassador
Industry Insider
Joined
Oct 28, 2016
Posts
67
Six inches of windblown new snow today. Even if we didn't get the 8-16 from the forecast we were tantalized with, it was good skiing. The new snow was fairly dense and made a nice addition to the existing base. Downside was that most of the snow fell above 7500 feet in elevation, so we still need a bunch of new snow to make most of the lower mountain skiable.

That said, the rumors of poachers on the Hobacks and Lower Faces are rampant now so that's always a good sign.

Very cold temps forecast for the next several days, good for the snowmaking.

Today's best turns?

Riverton Bowl. Second best - Gannett.
 
Thread Starter
TS
Bob Peters

Bob Peters

JHMR Ambassador
Industry Insider
Joined
Oct 28, 2016
Posts
67
Don't you love sleeper days? That's a day when you really don't have high expectations on your way to the hill and then SOMETHING happens to make the day exponentially better than you were just sure it would be?

Today was such a day.

The snow report showed an inch of new snow, intermittent clouds and sunshine, and pretty cold weather. Riding the Bridger Gondola, we rumbled up into a cloud at about the level of the base of the Casper chairlift. What was strange about this cloud, however, was that it was snowing, fairly hard. Very light density but pretty significant snowfall. Enough to coat your thighs and forearms and skis just while riding a chairlift.

Stranger still was when we got to the top of the Sublette chair. The snow stopped and we popped out into sunshine and blue skies.

We headed over to the Tensleep Bowl side to the top of the Cirque. From there, we hiked up the Pepi's Bench route to the top of the Headwall. I don't know where it came from, but Headwall consisted of deeper-than-boot-top powder on a relatively smooth base. Utterly amazing considering what I had expected. It just confirms the old adage about ski conditions: "You don't know until you go."

Today's best turns?

Coombs

Second best? Grand Woods

The view from the top of the Sublette Chair:

Cody Peak 12-5-17.JPG
 
Thread Starter
TS
Bob Peters

Bob Peters

JHMR Ambassador
Industry Insider
Joined
Oct 28, 2016
Posts
67
Oh, what a beautiful morning!

Sunshine, cold temps, blue skies, a smattering of new snow, nobody on the hill.

If you can't have a storming, full-on-blizzard powder day, then there's absolutely nothing wrong with a day like today. Soft, cut-up, chowder all over the mountain. Perfect visibility, great turns everywhere because the snow base is too solid for anyone to make significant moguls. Just a fun, fun day.

Today's best turns?

Coombs

Also-ran?

Far Left Cirque

Laramie Bowl at 9:20am:

Laramie Bowl December 6 2017.JPG
 

cosmoliu

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Dec 6, 2015
Posts
589
Location
Central CA Coast
I just got an email announcing that the tram opens on Saturday! I won't get freshies, but I'll get leftovers Sunday and the rest of the week.
 
Thread Starter
TS
Bob Peters

Bob Peters

JHMR Ambassador
Industry Insider
Joined
Oct 28, 2016
Posts
67
I just got an email announcing that the tram opens on Saturday! I won't get freshies, but I'll get leftovers Sunday and the rest of the week.
That's the rumor (actually, I think it's a fact).

We've been looking up at Rendezvous Bowl the last few days. I don't think there are ANY freshies left, even for whoever happens to be on the first tram on Saturday. There are tracks all over R-Bowl from patrollers and workers and whatnot. An additional rumor is that there are a few lanes down R-Bowl that are pretty clean but there are a LOT of rocks sticking out. Ski with care!

Today was a bit of a change for me and it was outstanding. The change was that I've been skiing primarily off-piste the last several days. Today, it was almost all groomers.

I went out on a brand new pair of skis (Rossignol E88*) so I stuck essentially 100% to groomers where I knew there weren't any rocks. I think we skied every groomed run that's open. Almost every run was really, really smooth, edgeable, and rock-free. Sunshine, smooth groomers, and nobody on the hill. That makes for an incredibly fun day.

Best turns of the day?

Tie: Campground and Rendezvous Trail

Worst?

Apparently hardly anyone agrees with me because it continues to get lots of traffic - Grand. A close second was middle Werner because they're still grinding up the artificial snow they've blown in over the last week. In another couple of days, it'll be really good.

* Carvy, damp, stuck-to-the-snow, versatile, predictable. I absolutely loved them but disclaimer, I'm an on-hill rep for Rossi so you shouldn't believe a word I say.
 
Thread Starter
TS
Bob Peters

Bob Peters

JHMR Ambassador
Industry Insider
Joined
Oct 28, 2016
Posts
67
It is good to have @Bob Peters back, all is right in the (ski) world.
Not sure ALL is good in the ski world. The snow goddesses don't seem to be very interested in providing a lot of white stuff anywhere around the West (with possible exception of PNW). There's some kind of disturbance in the force and somebody needs to get on it pronto!

Today was a bit of a Groundhog Day. Sunny, cold, great groomers, some (not all) great-ish off-piste skiing that is trending toward less than great as each snowless day goes by. Somewhat disturbing is the temperature forecast trend, which is gradually upward and ticking over the freeze level on the upper mountain. We don't need NONE of that.

Hiked the Headwall again and did the main chute above the top of the Bridger Gondola. Pretty skiable but headed in the wrong direction.

Today's best turns?

Skier-left Gros Ventre above South Pass Traverse

Second best? Flip Point and far skier-right side of Laramie Bowl

Worst turns?

Tensleep Bowl. Hello, Mr. Wind Scour.

TOMORROW WE TRAM!
 

SkiFree

Chris
Skier
Joined
Oct 31, 2017
Posts
28
Somewhat disturbing is the temperature forecast trend, which is gradually upward and ticking over the freeze level on the upper mountain. We don't need NONE of that.
TOMORROW WE TRAM!
Hmmmmm. Headed to Jhole in a week for the first time. Sounds like I'll be bringing the rock skis. Ignorant question, but do you think Corbett's is manageable? I would love to cross it off of the bucket list :).
 

Tony S

thread drift a specialty
Skier
Joined
Nov 14, 2015
Posts
3,584
Location
Maine
Hmmmmm. Headed to Jhole in a week for the first time. Sounds like I'll be bringing the rock skis. Ignorant question, but do you think Corbett's is manageable? I would love to cross it off of the bucket list :).
I looked at it and crossed it off my bucket list on the spot. It was easy.
 

Tom K.

HRPufnStf
Skier
Joined
Dec 20, 2015
Posts
2,878
The snow goddesses don't seem to be very interested in providing a lot of white stuff anywhere around the West (with possible exception of PNW).
No love over here, either, with none in the picture until next weekend.
 
Thread Starter
TS
Bob Peters

Bob Peters

JHMR Ambassador
Industry Insider
Joined
Oct 28, 2016
Posts
67
Hmmmmm. Headed to Jhole in a week for the first time. Sounds like I'll be bringing the rock skis. Ignorant question, but do you think Corbett's is manageable? I would love to cross it off of the bucket list :).
The Corbet's question is not ignorant at all. So many people ask that it's sort of a given around here. The answer is a lot more difficult, however. Sometimes it's a piece of cake, sometimes it seems more like a suicide wish to me that anyone would even think about it.

I don't know whether it's good news or bad news for you, but I'm pretty sure you don't need to worry about it on this trip. There's nowhere near enough snow for them to open Corbet's. I think the bucket list needs to chill until the next trip.

Today was good news and bad news also. Good news? They opened the aerial tram, Rendezvous Bowl, and Lower Gros Ventre. Bad news? Heh, heh - they opened the tram, R-Bowl, and Lower GV. The Bowl wasn't great but it was fun to be up on top again. Lower Gros Ventre was, well... I know I said a couple of runs were FIRM about a week ago? Lower GV was, ummmmm, considerably firmer than that. If you're coming to visit JH between now and the next major snowfall, bring carving skis and make sure they have edges.

We did a lap out of bounds in an area that can't be named. Really fun, consolidated untracked powder in the shadows. Now THAT'S all gone, too.

Best (inbounds) turns today? Crags Run off Teton lift.

Worst turns today? Well, Lower Gros Ventre has got to be right up there.

In all fairness, though, it's outstanding to have another major way down from the upper mountain. Hats off to the snowmaking and grooming crews for putting feet and feet of snow on Lower GV! Once it goes through a few more grooming cycles, it should be really nice.

Top of the tram on 12-9-17:

Tram 12-9-17.JPG

Looking out across Rendezvous Bowl toward Cody Peak on 12-9-17:

Top of Mountain 12-9-17.JPG
 
Last edited:

cosmoliu

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Dec 6, 2015
Posts
589
Location
Central CA Coast
My first day of six today. I was pleasantly surprised at how good the coverage is. "Firm" spots abound, but there's enough pushed around snow to get purchase without side slipping too far. "Tiles and piles" as they say. Our best turns were on Bivouac. If I can't have freshies, then give me BUMPS!
 
  • Like
Reactions: mdf
Thread Starter
TS
Bob Peters

Bob Peters

JHMR Ambassador
Industry Insider
Joined
Oct 28, 2016
Posts
67
My first day of six today. I was pleasantly surprised at how good the coverage is. "Firm" spots abound, but there's enough pushed around snow to get purchase without side slipping too far. "Tiles and piles" as they say. Our best turns were on Bivouac. If I can't have freshies, then give me BUMPS!
Ha! According to the forecast, you should get your wish over the next five days.

It was fun skiing today. I was one of the red coats you probably saw little posses of all over the hill. I had an all-day ski school clinic today. Apparently I must have passed because they haven't cancelled the bookings I have over Christmas.

Anyway, there really is some great skiing around, but there are also some pretty scraped-off and slippery spots in between. Good edges are your friends these days but there's also some really good, chalky, edgeable snow scattered around the off-piste for those willing to go out and look for it. I agree with you about Bivouac. Cirque is pretty good too, in places.

That said, since I was mostly clinc-ing today and we stuck mostly to the groomers:

Best turns? Middle Sundance. Wow.

Worst turns? Honestly didn't have any really bad ones. There were some pretty noisy ones in a couple of places on the Cirque, but we sort of expected that.
 

cosmoliu

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Dec 6, 2015
Posts
589
Location
Central CA Coast
Yeah, I'm sure we saw you. In red, right?

We hit Cirque around 3, just at the right time for the previously sun-facing soft piles to have been transformed into death cookies. Yeah, it seems like a week of visiting Bivuoac and Wally's repeatedly.

Agree that lower GV is a triumph in modern snowmaking prowess. I didn't know that it had not been open before yesterday.

My favorite turns of the day were Sundog and Sleeping Indian before 10. Gotta love that early morning corduroy.
 
Thread Starter
TS
Bob Peters

Bob Peters

JHMR Ambassador
Industry Insider
Joined
Oct 28, 2016
Posts
67
Yeah, I'm sure we saw you. In red, right?
Ha! Yeah, I'm sure that was me.

Yes, the early morning "roy" has been excellent.

We would all love to have 15" of brand-new powder of 5% density and nobody else on the hill, right? But in my limited experience :P, that just doesn't happen all that much. Today and this week, you gotta dance with the lady that brung ya'. If it isn't going to snow, you make do. Sunshine and smooth groomers and almost non-existent crowds aren't all THAT hard to live with.

For me, it was another day of clinique and we had very nice skiing in a lot of places.

Best turns? Most fun groomers were way far skier's-left on upper Werner and also Crags run below the dogleg. Best off-piste were Broken Goggle, Cheyenne/Bivouac/Wally's, and skier-right of Ranger.

Worst turns? Grand seems to be holding its place at the bottom (top?) of the not-so-cool runs.
 
Thread Starter
TS
Bob Peters

Bob Peters

JHMR Ambassador
Industry Insider
Joined
Oct 28, 2016
Posts
67
I'm feeling a little silly giving "snow reports" when it doesn't snow. Today's conditions were a lot like yesterday's which were a lot like the day before... and so on. Most of the places that have been pretty good remain so, but there are a lot of road cuts and rollovers that are starting to get brown and rocky. I don't think that's from melting as much as the snow is just evaporating in the dry, cold sunshine.

Our forecast shows at least a tease of some snowfall this weekend, but it sure doesn't look like anything too sumptuous right now.

I'm getting emails from people in Colo and Utah asking about conditions here (and Targhee) given that there's little snow in the usual areas in those states. I don't know exactly how to answer that.

We have pretty good skiing in lots of places on our mountain. I keep being told by those who cut their teeth back East that our conditions would be "epic" in a normal year back there. Well, that might be but our conditions aren't what I usually would rave about at Jackson Hole. I happen to like hardpack and don't mind skiing it. What I'm less enthusiastic about is the fact that there are a lot of high-traffic places now with just enough little rocks to make you skittish about letting the skis roll wherever you might want to go.

Bottom line: It's skiing and I'm enjoying myself, but I don't know how far I would travel to experience this particular skiing.

That said, drum roll please...

Today's best turns: Far-right part of Laramie Bowl from Flip Point down to just under Alta Three Chute.

Worst turns: Upper Gros Ventre from where you drop off from the top of the Bridger Gondola down to the Lupine Way turnoff.

I don't think everyone is praying hard enough for snow. Get down on those knees!
 
Top