Where would you choose?

  • Whistler

    Votes: 6 40.0%
  • Jackson Hole

    Votes: 9 60.0%

  • Total voters
    15

Roger

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Ok so Jackson Hole or Whistler....so my family (Mother, sister and my brother) have never been to any resorts and want to go out West this season with me for the first time. My mother (73yrs young) she isn't able to ski at all and my brother and sister want to learn.

Whistler would be at the end of January and Jackson Hole would be the first week in March. So besides the slopes I am looking for a place that my mother and my sister can walk around doing some shopping and other fun activities bars etc.

I have been to Whistler before and was a great time but it rained a lot and that put on a damper on things but well aware of the nightlife and quite a great place to stay. Never been to Jackson Hole so no clue what its like but they also offer a day trip to Grand Targhee and been reading reviews its a fun small town. Is there enough to do for a week trip there?

Would love some opinions. Thanks again :) You all are awesome.
 

dbostedo

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What's your priority on your brother and sister learning? Do they want to spend the week in lessons? Or just "try it out"?
 
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Roger

Roger

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What's your priority on your brother and sister learning? Do they want to spend the week in lessons? Or just "try it out"?
My brother is a quick learner and use to skateboard a lot so he has coordination and he snowboarded once. My sister has never stepped on a slope but girls usually learn faster. I am sure they would want to get into it.
 

dbostedo

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In that case you might want to factor in the ski school and available beginner terrain.

I presume these trips are already scheduled for you, so you're locked into these two places?
 
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Roger

Roger

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In that case you might want to factor in the ski school and available beginner terrain.

I presume these trips are already scheduled for you, so you're locked into these two places?
I am not locked into any trip yet. I am trying to pick a trip that is within my price budget ($1450 each everything included) and a great time and a town that has plenty to offer besides just skiing. I have an option of around 20 different locations but they vary from around $1500 to around $3000 but some of the resorts are small and only ski in and ski out.
 

Philpug

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Whistler has an awesome village for sure. At Jackson, the non skiers could get bored pretty quick. Both resorts have great ski schools and they should be able to advance quickly and if thats the case, Whistler will have more terrain for them to explore. Rain is always a possibility in the village at Whistler. Jackson, the town is a must visit.
 

Talisman

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I have been to both and like them, but voted for Jackson. For the non-skiers Jackson offers a unique sleigh ride ino the ~5,000 head of elk in the refuge and possibly a day trip to YNP which also amazing in winter. Grand Targhee, which you mentioned and Snow King are alternatives to Jackson Hole for the day. Be aware Jackson Hole doesn't have lots of beginner terrain. I dislike crossing Vancouver by car or bus to get from the airport to Whistler, but maybe I do the drive incorrectly.
 

Jerez

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Jackson has a real town, not just an admittedly well done but still ersatz village. I have zero experience with JH ski school, but there is also a town mountain that might be good for beginners. We tried getting out daughter in law starting lessons at Whistler and she has refused to try again. Beginner hill was at the bottom of the mountain, not scenic at all, and very very crowded. She was run Iinto twice and twisted her ankle. Just a bad experience.
 

Scruffy

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With beginners, i.e. non-skiers, if you choose Jackson, stay in the town of Jackson, not at the mountain ( Teton Village ); there will be a ton of shops and such. You can also go to Yellow Stone National Park for a snow cat tour, and there is elk and mule deer preserve sleigh rides and stuff like that to do.
 

Jim Kenney

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Essentially, you are asking two questions about Whistler and JH, which mtn is best for beginners and which mtn (Whistler Village vs. town of Jackson) is best for non-skiers? I'd say Whistler wins on both accounts. However, Jerez's response gives me a little pause. I've been to both mtns and about 95 others, but since it's been many decades since I've been a beginner I don't always notice how well suited ski areas are for beginners.
Can you consider other places? Here is pretty good list I found by googling: https://www.zrankings.com/articles/best-ski-resorts-for-beginners-top-10
and I'd add Crested Butte to that list because it has good beginner terrain and good expert terrain, but is a little thin on copious intermediate terrain.
 

dbostedo

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Essentially, you are asking two questions about Whistler and JH, which mtn is best for beginners and which mtn (Whistler Village vs. town of Jackson) is best for non-skiers? I'd say Whistler wins on both accounts. However, Jerez's response gives me a little pause. I've been to both mtns and about 95 others, but since it's been many decades since I've been a beginner I don't always notice how well suited ski areas are for beginners.
Can you consider other places? Here is pretty good list I found by googling: https://www.zrankings.com/articles/best-ski-resorts-for-beginners-top-10
and I'd add Crested Butte to that list because it has good beginner terrain and good expert terrain, but is a little thin on copious intermediate terrain.
On that ZRankings list, as far as having a real town or village with shopping, restaurants, and things to do, I'd think the likely choices are :

Park City
Steamboat
Breckenridge
Aspen - Buttermilk and Snowmass

Aspen is my favorite place I've been - though I've only been to 11 places out west (counting Aspen's 4 mountains as 1 place). If I was a beginner, I think I'd love to learn at Buttermilk. Though staying in Aspen itself is usually expensive, and staying at Snowmass can be a lot more affordable, but you have to bus/drive into town. (The buses are nice, easy, and frequent though.)
 

Ken_R

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You can learn to ski from zero at both Whistler and Jackson but I would not recommend them based on what you want / need. There are better options. Buttermilk for instance is a MUCH better mountain to learn on. Beaver Creek as well. Park City would be on my list too. Of the three Park City and Buttermilk have the best other than skiing activities and town. Beaver Creek has a very nice village and is close to Vail, Avon and Edwards. The beginner skiing at Beaver Creek is a the top with amazing views and great snow.

Jackson is a skier's mountain for sure and far from everything else (I guess you can go to Yellowstone Park as a non-skier activity which is close enough) . It is the place to go when Advanced/Expert skiing is your priority. Whistler is more like Vail from what ive heard / read. A great mountain village with vast amounts of ski terrain (well, more than Vail) but still it is focused on the skiing. Although Whistler is more isolated than Vail it is not as much as Jackson.
 

Scruffy

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On that ZRankings list, as far as having a real town or village with shopping, restaurants, and things to do, I'd think the likely choices are :

Park City
Steamboat
Breckenridge
Aspen - Buttermilk and Snowmass

Aspen is my favorite place I've been - though I've only been to 11 places out west (counting Aspen's 4 mountains as 1 place). If I was a beginner, I think I'd love to learn at Buttermilk. Though staying in Aspen itself is usually expensive, and staying at Snowmass can be a lot more affordable, but you have to bus/drive into town. (The buses are nice, easy, and frequent though.)
+1
 

Ski&ride

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Essentially, you are asking two questions about Whistler and JH, which mtn is best for beginners and which mtn (Whistler Village vs. town of Jackson) is best for non-skiers? I'd say Whistler wins on both accounts.
I disagree completely on the non-skiers perspective.

Jackson is a village the whole WORLD come through the visit, albeit in summer. The Teton & Yellowstone Park are still there in the winter and just as stunning. And the Elk Preserve bring in almost all the elks in Yellowstone to Jackson. That’s not counting the snowmobile/snow couch tours to the geysers and frozen waterfalls, plus the bisons & big horn sheep by the roadside and wolves in the distance.

And you think Whistler’s Micky Mouse contraption wins? Let’s have it, what would the non-skier do in Whistler “village” apart from shopping and drinking? More shopping and more window shopping?

Sure, Jackson’s terrain is pretty weak for progressing beginners. But with all the off-slope options in Jackson town, it will be a far better overall experience for those 1st timers.
 

James

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Another vote for Buttermilk. You wonder when skiing there if something happened and everyone died as there's do few people. Moonlight Basin might have had as few, but that was before it became part of Big Sky.

Plus you could always take the gondola at Ajax, (Aspen), up for lunch. Nice view.

Jackson also has Snow King but I never went there. I doubt it would be crowded.
I was told by someone at Jackson who patrolled at Snow King that they have a steeper sustained pitch on one trail than anything at Jackson.


Snow King:
https://snowkingmountain.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/snow-king-winter-trail-pdf-map.pdf
 

markojp

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Jackson has a real town, not just an admittedly well done but still ersatz village. I have zero experience with JH ski school, but there is also a town mountain that might be good for beginners. We tried getting out daughter in law starting lessons at Whistler and she has refused to try again. Beginner hill was at the bottom of the mountain, not scenic at all, and very very crowded. She was run Iinto twice and twisted her ankle. Just a bad experience.
That's odd. There's a huuuuuge teaching area with beginner terrain mid mountain at Whistler. Most of the kids programs get taught there. Saw a snomobile pulling a litter of kiddos up to the area. hmmmmm. Snow King in the town of Jackson looks pretty steep from the bottom. Haven't skied there, but have seen it. Doesn't jump out as a 'learner' area, but again, I'm not an expert other than having skied Jackson once for a week a long time ago.
 

markojp

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I disagree completely on the non-skiers perspective.

Jackson is a village the whole WORLD come through the visit, albeit in summer. The Teton & Yellowstone Park are still there in the winter and just as stunning. And the Elk Preserve bring in almost all the elks in Yellowstone to Jackson. That’s not counting the snowmobile/snow couch tours to the geysers and frozen waterfalls, plus the bisons & big horn sheep by the roadside and wolves in the distance.

And you think Whistler’s Micky Mouse contraption wins? Let’s have it, what would the non-skier do in Whistler “village” apart from shopping and drinking? More shopping and more window shopping?

Sure, Jackson’s terrain is pretty weak for progressing beginners. But with all the off-slope options in Jackson town, it will be a far better overall experience for those 1st timers.

Different. Both good, but different. Not really something to blow the 'mine's cooler than yours' horn about. (From Whistler, one can run up to the Pemberton Valley just up the road for more of a rural valley experience. It's pretty stunning, but yes, in Whistler proper, you don't have the 'view for miles' down in the valley that one has around Jackson.)
 

raytseng

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I would say you need to consider tacking on the first and/or last day as a non-ski day in the surrounding metro area..

Why are the dates for Whistler and Jackson locked in with different dates? Are you already committed to go to these locations and booked? Are they on a different itinerary? I don't understand what the constraints are.
Are you a good traveler that can relocate? or you like to settle into a base and plop down.

If it's the case that you are going on this schedule regardless and they are going to join you, Vancouver is a full bustling city where they can come in and spend extra day in the city before taking a relatively convenient shuttle to Whistler to meet you.
I'd pick that itinerary of Vancouver+Whistler >7days Jackson>7days Whistler.

If for Jackson, an option is to reschedule this to SLC, and then the city is also available for both ski/non-ski activities and then IF you want to go to Jackson you can for half the trip with a travel/rest day (and fly out of jackson)

If this is NOT locked in, there are other options as well, I will throw in there for a decent budget option that approaches the affordability of SLC is Banff/skiBig3; as winter seems to be the "off-season" there and the USD goes pretty far at least in terms of Lodging.
 
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raytseng

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As far as the Learning, as usual you have to zag when everyone zigs.

For lessons if you can avoid peak or weekends, you will have a better chance of a better lesson and much less crowds.

Then the next optimization is if you must do an weekend, avoid weekend AM. Everyone picks the AM lesson with the intention that they will learn then "practice" in the afternoon, but usually the reality is after half day, they will be too pooped to really do it. Choosing PM instead may have a better chance at success.
 

Ski&ride

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I'd pick that itinerary of Vancouver+Whistler >7days Jackson>7days Whistler.
+1

Vancouver is a full bustling city where they can come in and spend extra day in the city before taking a relatively convenient shuttle to Whistler to meet you
That’s a good compromise. I would rent a car. so any day someone doesn’t feel like skiing, they can drive into Vancouver.

In Jackson, there’s a lot more to do in the town of Jackson. The learners can ski half a day and go do some sightseeing. They could also drive around the surrounding area. Or take the day off and book a snow couch tour into Yellowstone.

Vancouver is a full hour away so it can be part of the week thing but not part of a day diversion.

I will throw in there for a decent budget option that approaches the affordability of SLC is Banff/skiBig3
Yep! That’s another good one, since we’re including Canada anyway.
 
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