palikona

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I figured Corbet's would not be close, but what about the Hogbacks? I keep hearing how great the skiing is there?
 

cosmoliu

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Hobacks, as of last Friday, were all grass, sticks, and rocks. Unless there are several dumps in the next couple of weeks, they don't have a chance of being open Jan. 1.
 
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Bob Peters

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And speaking of "expert terrain", ski patrol have now closed Expert Chutes (not sure why anyone would have skied there anyway), Tower 3, and Hoop's Gap. I haven't heard officially, but I assume it's because of hard, slick snow surfaces that lead to anyone who falls and doesn't know how to self-arrest VERY QUICKLY sliding into trees and rock outcroppings and riders and other inconveniences.

Unless we get a pretty good shot of snow or two, the expert terrain will be probably be limited to what's open right now. I'll just interject here that upper-intermediate terrain at Jackson Hole can become "expert" pretty quickly when you add hard, slick surfaces, big bumps, and frozen debris. Just sayin'.

That MUST be the reason that hardly anybody is skiing the Cirque, Rendezvous Bowl, and most of Laramie Bowl. Those runs are all pretty "expert" right now.

Today was a sort of step in the right direction. We had a couple of inches of windblown snow and MUCH warmer temperatures - up around freezing. This was one of those days when being the second (or tenth) person to ski an off-piste run was better than being the first and getting fresh tracks. It was largely a day of piles of dense new snow in the troughs of bulletproof moguls. We bonked around the mountain quite a bit and it was definitely a case of later being better.

There's a smattering of new snow in the forecast the next few days and every little bit helps - a little bit. A lot of us are really enjoying the skiing we have, but wishing - fervently - for what we SHOULD have.

Today's best turns? Study Plots, interestingly enough. Avalanche was a close second.

Today's worst turns? Far-side Cirque. Hands down, no debate. Drop the mic.
 

SpikeDog

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Monday - 1st ski day of the season for me and Spikedog Jr. We fired up the Mountain Collective Passes (JHMR just keeps getting better at processing these), and headed up ApreVous. Snow guns going everywhere under the lift, and we avoided them like the plague. Teton lift had the goods on Crags, and it was fun to roll down onto Moran with a bit of speed. Seeking out the most north facing runs was key - the next run on Kemmerer was an icy bitch.

We rode the tram after a lonely lunch at the Alpenhof (only ones there for about a half hour before other folks trickled in). No lines on a weekday, even with some snow falling at the higher elevations. We just walked on like Bill Murray at Pebble Beach in Zombieland. We rode the East Ridge down in a ground blizzard, tailgating a ski class of teenagers for perspective. Not that great, but with the low visibility a better option than the middle of the Bowl. Best snow of the day on a run to skier's right of Bivouac through the trees (Bivouac Chute perhaps??). Only a couple of turns wide at the top, it was chock full of succulent skiable chalk. Once again a very north-facing slope with lots of shade. I'd never skied it before, although there's another obvious line between that and the Bivouac run that I'm familiar with. I rarely do Bivouac anyway, since there are more fun ways to get through Cheyenne Bowl like WallyWorld or Central Chute.

Perhaps 2" of new snow fell during the day. Mostly annoying, since it would freeze to our goggles, and didn't do much to improve conditions. Worst conditions were found at the Cirque on Downhill. Mic drop for sure, Bob.
 
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Bob Peters

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the next run on Kemmerer was an icy bitch.

Best snow of the day on a run to skier's right of Bivouac through the trees (Bivouac Chute perhaps??).

.
I didn't know you were in town. I would love to hook up but I'm leaving tomorrow morning for Boise and won't be back until late Friday afternoon. Then, I'm instructoring Saturday and Sunday and most of next week, so I'm really unavailable the next several days. I guess you'll have to find the fun stuff on your own (which I know you're capable of).

I haven't been on Kemmerer since about two weeks ago. If I had been, it would top the "worst turns" list every day. Yuck!

That slot to skier's right of Bivouac - I think - is the one that leads to Cheyenne Rock. It's a fun area.

I found today to be the best skiing so far this season. Even though only two or three inches, the new snow was dense and stuck moderately well to the old surface. Helped to soften up the frozen bumptops a little bit. We had some really nice turns on Pair-a-chutes, Study Plots, Elephant Tree, and Cheyenne Bowl. The old frozen surface is still down there, but flat-ski feathered turns worked pretty nicely in lots of places. The same was true of the skier's left line on Rendezvous Bowl. I found it so much fun this morning that I made three quick runs in succession up there.

Best turns of the day? Riverton Bowl - it had fairly large bumps and some slick/scrapy areas so it wasn't exactly super-great, but I love Riverton Bowl and hadn't been there for a few days so I was happy.

Worst turns of the day? Thunder Run. It wasn't really terrible, but it was worse than anything else I skied.

I won't be posting any reports for the next couple of days because we'll be out of town.

Y'all have fun.
 
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Bob Peters

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We’re due in Jackson at New Year. We’ll hopefully miss some of the Christmas crowd.
I’m sure there’s enough fun stuff to do around the area for a family. Maybe some suggestions from some locals to help some visitors out if the ski hill is not at it’s best?
There’s obviously the Elk Rufuge. The above suggested ranger lead walk sounds great. Trip to Yellowstone to see Old Faithful. Any other must do activities?
I’ll be happy even if there is just a few groomers to lap. How are they holding up in the dry? Snowmaking doing it’s thing?
We’ll be sure to pack extra woolies!
A couple other things to do with the kids: Tubing and the Cowboy Coaster at Snow King resort. Those are two separate things and both really fun.

What expert terrain can I expect to be open around the first week if the year?
If you can tell me where the Dow Jones Industrial Average will close on January 3, I'll take a shot at guessing what expert terrain will be open. Sorry, but I don't have a clue.
 

palikona

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Has Tensleep Bowl been open? I'd love to get a look up into Corbet's from there.
 

cosmoliu

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The traverse across to Tensleep Bowl from the skier's left of Rendevous Bowl was roped off each time we skied past it. Of course, you can get a good look at Corbet's from the tram.
 

SpikeDog

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The traverse across to Tensleep Bowl from the skier's left of Rendevous Bowl was roped off each time we skied past it. Of course, you can get a good look at Corbet's from the tram.
There's a couple of traverses to Tensleep Bowl. The upper one is accessible from the Tram. You slip past Corbet's and S&S to get in there. It's pretty steep, rocky, and needs lots of snow, so it's rarely open this early. Some years it never opens. I can count on one hand the times I've skied it in 23 years. The lower entrance is easier to get to, just turn right off Sublette Chair and keep going until you get to the bowl. It was open on Monday (Dec 18), and is a cool area to ski. Unfortunately, it leaves you with gnarly Cirque exit points like the Expert chutes, Meet your Maker, and the currently icy Downhill/Snag tree run. At some point they might groom Downhill - the locals consider that sacrilege, however.
 
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cosmoliu

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^^^ Thanks, Spike. I frankly couldn't remember how I got there to ski past the bottom of Corbet's previously. It was in the Steep and Deep camp six years ago, when I was mostly trying just to keep up, without much time to take in the scenery. We had good coverage and skied Expert Chutes repeatedly, and Meet Your Maker once. I would think it was via taking a right at the top of Sublette.
 

cosmoliu

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Pretty steep, as I recall. It was six years ago, and my two most recent visits were in early December, too early for the steep stuff to be skiable. As far as chute-ing at Jackson Hole goes, I think Tower 3 Chute is a good intro, then Alta Chutes 1 and 2, then Expert Chutes. I don't think I will be dropping Corbet's in this lifetime.
 
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Bob Peters

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How steep are the Expert Chutes?
I think they range from a little over 30 degrees to a bit under 45. Depends a lot on which line you choose and how much snow has fallen during the season.

My sources tell me that Flip Point was outstanding today.

I’ll be back on the mountain tomorrow afternoon.

There’s a significant storm in the forecast.
 

palikona

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How does Tower 3, Alta and Expert Chutes compare to: Pali and The Alleys or the East Wall at ABasin; Banana/Funnel at Crested Butte; or Stone Creek Chutes at Beaver Creek?
 

PisteOff

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Ok, we’re at the Cowboy..... The Ghee in the morning for a max 3 powder up lesson. It’s snowing. 191 through the Hobacks was my favorite mountain pass drive to date. It was stunning. Pics to come....
 
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Bob Peters

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I got back into town just in time to do a couple of really late-afternoon trams and assorted chairs today. The wind was HOWLING on top and the snow was blasting. I can't honestly say that Rendezvous Bowl was all that great, but there were places lower down where the snow was drifting in. Tomorrow could be interesting as there is a very strong snow forecast for tonight and the Teton Pass web cam http://www.wyoroad.info/highway/webcameras/WYO22TetonPass/WYO22TetonPass.html shows heavy snowfall as of 9pm tonight.

The PowderChasers.com guy was apparently here this afternoon and he said he had "blower pow" late in the day at the summit. He must be a lot better at finding snow than I am (he is, after all, the Chaser), because all I found was pow that had blowered itself all the way into the next county (or state!).

In any case, it's snowing tonight and that's really good. Our top-of-the-mountain NOAA forecast is set up right now for a pretty big event on Christmas night. It's all making the snow on the upper half of the mountain really good. Lower half of the mountain still needs significant love. It's hard to imagine that the snow that's in the immediate forecast will provide that, but I've been wrong about a brazillion times before so it certainly could happen.

I'll have a better report by tomorrow night, but for now:

Best turns of the day? Surprise Meadows

Worst turns of the day? Kemmerer. (I know. If you've been reading these reports, you'll wonder why in the world I would have tried Kemmerer. It's part of the "if-you-don't-go-you-don't-know philosophy.
 
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Bob Peters

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DISCLAIMER...

I just realized that my reports might imply some authoritative judgement on where the skiing was best or worst. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is an enormous ski resort with a huge amount of vertical. There's no way any individual can sample all of the skiing on this mountain in one day because the conditions can change minute to minute based on wind, snowfall, elevation, aspect, skier traffic, and the individual rider's attitude and conditioning.

So, my little pronouncements about "best" and "worst" are just that. They are my own impressions of the places I skied on the day and times I skied them.

You mileage might vary significantly. ogwink
 
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