Northern Rockies/Alberta Jackson Hole trip - best time to go typically

Discussion in 'General Resort Discussion' started by TheArchitect, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. Lorenzzo

    Lorenzzo Right On The Line Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    2,124
    Location:
    JHole; GT; DV
    I don't know about mandatory but I wouldn't attempt the drive without at the very least snow tires if the roads aren't clear which during the winter is much of the time. I have 4wd and snow tires. If a storm is in progress you might face 270 miles of snow covered roads.
     
  2. mdf

    mdf entering the Big Couloir Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    3,045
    Location:
    Boston Suburbs
    SLC to Jackson is one of those rare itineraries where there is not "right" way to go. There are two or three ways to go with trades for all of them. Well, I guess the one where you have a high chance of 100 miles of elk in the road is not a good choice. So there are a couple.
    We went a route that is pretty flat, but it goes by a couple of lakes and was incredibly foggy. Some of the tensest driving I've ever done. There is another route that is Interstate further and avoids th fog bank, but you have to go over Teton Pass at the end.

    Sorry not to be more specific, but it has been a few years and I didn't bring up a map.
     
  3. ella_g

    ella_g Getting off the lift Skier

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2016
    Posts:
    170
    @Tytlynz64 I think the easiest way to go is 80/89 through Evanston. There's a bunch of ways to go, and if you go over the pass the only rule is no trailers (also all wheel drive or snow tires or chains, can't imagine you wouldn't have at least one of those). That said, last year when we did that drive we had all wheel drive, and now we have 4 wheel drive, in both cases good snow tires. If it's snowing, it's WAY less stressful with 4 wheel drive. They don't always plow that often and there's no salt on the road so the roads can get bad quickly, whether you're driving 15/89 through Soda Springs, staying west and driving over the pass, etc. Also bear in mind that the pass closes in bad weather, IMO there's no good reason to take that route.
     
  4. Tytlynz64

    Tytlynz64 Getting on the lift Skier

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2017
    Posts:
    303
    Thanks to all. I am doing a bucket trip of sorts. I am flying in to SLC on the 12 th, and was considering JH as I’ve never been. I am flying out of SLC to Mexico on wednesday to meet up with college buddies one of whom has been ill. So my choices are to make that drive to someplace Ive never been and drive back on Tuesday, or stay in SLC area and ski on the Ikon pass. I have been to Altabird, Solitude brighton but never DV. The Ikon pass and SW miles are making this possible so an additional flight is not an option.
     
  5. Tytlynz64

    Tytlynz64 Getting on the lift Skier

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2017
    Posts:
    303
    Ps. Are there any rental places that offer 4wd and good tires? Doesn’t necessarily have to onsite at the airport.
     


  6. cosmoliu

    cosmoliu Out on the slopes Skier

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2015
    Posts:
    472
    Location:
    Central CA Coast
  7. DanoT

    DanoT RVer-Skier Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    1,887
    Location:
    Sun Peaks B.C. in winter, Victoria B.C. in summer
    Going to JH means 2 days spent driving round trip, so if it was me I would maximize the ski days by staying in Utah where you also might save some $ by getting a weekly lodging rate.
     
  8. ella_g

    ella_g Getting off the lift Skier

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2016
    Posts:
    170
    @cosmoliu according to ski club wisdom (which Id take with a grain of salt), if you can ski the Alta chutes on a not so good day, and can ski Meet your Maker (corbets simulator off cirque), then you can ski corbets. They treat it like a progression, after the inbounds chutes (alta, expert etc) and MYM they head to the chute in Hoops Gap (where like corbets you have to make your turn, in this case with a tree not a rock wall), and then practice sending it down a narrow roped off area of the Daily Drop (fun to ski even without the ropes, off south pass traverse below Marmot, which runs into the bottom part of where they do Dick's Ditch banked slalom). My locals group did this by just hiking up and making lines in the snow, you don't need rope, so anyone can do it ... After that, if you're ok with sidestepping in (corbets is like 75% public theater and 25% ski run), and don't mind a little steep side stepping (look across not down -- they practice this on the top of the daily drop!), you're good to go on an easy day. If you need to get air and not sidestep, they take you on a progression which starts with The Bush, a big rock to jump off, then Mikey Likes It, a cliff that has a little side and a big side, all of which are easy to find and easy to lap with just hiking around off Amphitheater. Start on the little side, then move a foot or so to skiers right each lap ... Then you move on to Cupcake (more pubic theater / humiliation, right under sublette), Nightmare, Daydream etc. The idea is that when it's a mapped out progression, especially done with friends and with a lot of encouragement at each step, anyone can do it and anyone can get comfortable. The idea is maybe an easier sell with little kids than grown ups, because the kids just buy into it as normal (which is why you see a bunch of 5 and 6yos skiing corbets, they've done the progression with their ski group and are just hanging with their buddies, another Saturday morning in the village). If nothing else, for me it's been eye opening to see how parents & coaches (and the kids they're with) treat the mountain as a giant playground, with pretty infinite fun & challenging things to discover, there's never shame in taking your skis off and sliding down on your butt if you think something looks hard, but then you're encouraged to hike up or lap and give at least part of it a try. My oldest kid was a little freaked out by all of this last winter, but her training group did this thing that if anyone thought something was scary, the whole group then hiked or lapped it three times, or until everyone was comfortable. And there was always an option to bail. Ski club has a goal of having their u10s (eight year old) ski the whole mountain, and that's everything, soup to nuts. Many of the kids have skied the whole thing with their moms & dads before coming into the program ... Anyway, I know you never said you wanted to ski Corbets, but in case you do (why not???) ... this is one approach ogwink
     
    TheArchitect, cosmoliu and BC. like this.
  9. cosmoliu

    cosmoliu Out on the slopes Skier

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2015
    Posts:
    472
    Location:
    Central CA Coast
    Thanks for that, @ella_g . Yes, I did some of that progression, including MYM. Our Steep/Deep coach took us there and pointed out that it was a low risk maneuver, despite what that big looming rock looks like. Just execute that sharp right turn and you wind up on a wide open run. He made it totally optional and only one other "camper" and I did it. The reason I said I'd not likely do Corbet's "in this lifetime" is that I attended that camp 7 years ago, after I had just turned 60. In fact, each time we took our skis off and hiked, it became kind of a running joke for me, always bringing up the rear (often by several minutes), to say out loud: "Did I happen to mention that I just turned 60?" The next younger member of the group was 20+ years my junior and I'm happy to say that the hikes were the only time anyone ever waited on me. Anyway, I've just turned 67 and I've only gotten back to JH three times since that camp, each time too early in the season to continue that progression, as the more challenging terrain simply isn't open. How I schedule my season is a little complicated, but suffice it to say that getting to JH has defaulted to the second week of Dec. I suppose that if I spent more time at JH deeper into the season, I could probably gain enough experience to drop Corbet's. But also, I've started thinking more seriously about unintended falls and where they might take me. For instance, I'll adjust my line if I see that a fall would take me on a slide into rocks, something I never really paid that much attention to in years past. I definitely am a stronger skier than I was 7 years ago. Or even last year. Capability, for now, is not the problem. I just cherish my ski days too much to let a "sh*t happens" mistake cut my season, or my career, short.

    Funny story about the Alta Chutes, if you'll indulge me for a moment- About 12 years ago I was up at JH for the first time with some friends from back east. My partner that day and I happened to get on separate chairs on Sublette and when we got to the top he said that his chair mate had recommended that we try Dog Face to Pepi's Run. This was about our third day at JH and we were starting to get a decent feel for the mountain. It was on that chair ride without him that I first spied the Alta Chutes. As I mentioned above, my first impression was that those two white ribbons that I saw a couple of people on seemed too undifferentiated from the background rocks and stumps to actually have a name on the map. So, anyway, we headed off and after Dog Face we stopped at a sign that pointed left and said "Alta Chute 1, <> <>". He looked at me, and I looked back at him and said, "No Steve, I don't EVEN want to find out right now what Jackson Hole considers double black!" So we skied on to the next sign that said "Alta Chute 2, <> <>". I made the same comment with even more emphasis, and we skied on to Pepi's Run. The next ride up I realized that the two ribbons I had spotted earlier were the Alta Chutes.

    Fast forward 5 years and at the end of day 1 of Steep and Deep Camp our coach said that we'd tackle the Alta Chutes the next day. My heart skipped a couple of beats. Of course it went fine and I consider that Steep and Deep Camp to be one of the highlights of my 30+ year skiing life :beercheer:
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
    TheArchitect, ella_g and SpikeDog like this.
  10. ella_g

    ella_g Getting off the lift Skier

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2016
    Posts:
    170
    @Bob Peters @TPJ where are you? I feel like I'm 100% the wrong person to be reporting that the Hobacks are open. But, the Hobacks are open! Today, chock full of hungover brah types .. should settle down over the next few days ...
     
  11. Tony

    Tony tseeb Skier

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2016
    Posts:
    545
    Location:
    Northern CA
    I've driven/been a passenger on three different routes between Jackson and SLC: 1. I-80 to Evanston, WY then highway 89 2. Teton Pass/I-15 3. Via Soda Springs

    My thoughts are:
    1. 1. I-80 to Evanston, WY then highway 89. Only route that makes sense if going from/to Park City as I will in early March. (I plan to ski JHMR until 1 or 2, then drive 200 miles o Evanston and spend the night, then drive a little over an hour and ski Deer Valley the next day.) The time I did it, I was a passenger and was surprised at the amount of driving we did on snow covered roads. We had good visibility, but snow on road at least half of the way from Evanston to Alpine. Every though we were in a Subaru (WRX), it slowed us down and is not something I would have wanted to do in dark.
    2. Teton Pass and I-15. Really gets boring on I-15 which you are on for a long time. Make the most sense if going directly to/from SLC airport and JHMR (ski area)
    3. Soda Springs. Interesting route without much traffic and some long straight roads that allowed for high speeds (with radar detector). I did it in the afternoon after skiing 22K at Jackson and quitting at 130. After shuttle to free remote parking and changing, I was not on the road until after 2 and made it to downtown SLC before 6:45 so you don't necessarily have to lose a day traveling
     
  12. Tom K.

    Tom K. HRPufnStf Skier

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2015
    Posts:
    2,401
    Great to hear! Heading over for the annual "Boys Trip". Five days of fun, starting on the 27th, so I'm just starting to monitor conditions now.

    I'm a big fan of Lower Sublette Ridge. The "half-skied Hoback"!
     
  13. SpikeDog

    SpikeDog You want Big Air, kid? Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2015
    Posts:
    302
    Location:
    Wyoming
    Hobacks opened yesterday, along with the Casper Bowl. I was headed in, but my son was having problems with contact lenses, so we bypassed them. It was so freakin' cold (-8 F in the parking lot, -30 on the drive up near Farson). Not crowded at all due to the low temps.
     
  14. Thread Starter
    TS
    TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Working on my technique all the time Skier

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2016
    Posts:
    961
    Location:
    Metrowest Boston
    So I'm reading the guides and watching videos getting ready for my trip. My only issue is that there is SO much of the mountain I want to ski and not nearly enough time. I have three days at Jackson before heading to Big Sky and I've been thinking of spending one of those days in WY at Grand Targhee. Now I don't know.

    I have a lot of the terrain off of the Thunder and Sublette chairs on my must-ski list. What other areas do people consider must-ski if you're new to JH?
     
  15. SpikeDog

    SpikeDog You want Big Air, kid? Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2015
    Posts:
    302
    Location:
    Wyoming
    If you are skiing 3 days at JHMR, you'll find plenty of runs on your own. No need to make a list - just do it.
     
  16. mdf

    mdf entering the Big Couloir Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    3,045
    Location:
    Boston Suburbs
    If I were to make a list of iconic runs at JHMR -- not necessarily the best, but just ones that you kinda have to do...
    Well, if it is within your zone of possibility, Corbets. But beyond that, hmmm....

    Tower 3 Chute
    Expert Chutes
    Hobacks (the other lower faces ski similarly, but it just isn't the same experience)
    Alta Chutes
    Casper Bowl
    Rendevous Bowl to Rendevous Trail to Bivouac
    Amphitheater
    ski a run with Bob Peters or buy him a drink
     
    ella_g, DanoT, cosmoliu and 1 other person like this.
  17. Thread Starter
    TS
    TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Working on my technique all the time Skier

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2016
    Posts:
    961
    Location:
    Metrowest Boston
    Those cover a lot of the ones I have on my list. I read Meet Your Maker is a good primer for Corbet's so that's there. I also have Laramie Bowl and Cirque on the list along with Moran woods.

    I've read the Hobacks and lower faces are hit or miss depending on the snow.
     
  18. mdf

    mdf entering the Big Couloir Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    3,045
    Location:
    Boston Suburbs
    They are, but you have to ski them at least once regardless.
     
    SpikeDog and TheArchitect like this.
  19. Thread Starter
    TS
    TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Working on my technique all the time Skier

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2016
    Posts:
    961
    Location:
    Metrowest Boston
    That good, huh? The unofficial guide said as much. Okay, it's on the list and hopefully I'll get good snow.

    As for the Targhee question, maybe I'll ski the first 2 days at JH and see how much I get in. If I don't get my fill of JH I'll stay there for all three days. After all, this trip started as just JH and expanded to the Gathering and maybe Targhee.
     
  20. mdf

    mdf entering the Big Couloir Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    3,045
    Location:
    Boston Suburbs
    Not necessarily. But still required. It's part of the package.
     
    SpikeDog, SKI-3PO and TheArchitect like this.

Share This Page


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice