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Jackson Hole - Experiences?


nworswick
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I'm thinking about taking a trip in late December to Jackson. I usually travel to Vail/Beaver Creek as I used to live in Vail and love the steep groomers! Can anyone give me a good report on Jackson from a carving perspective? How is the snow in December, grooming, etc.?

Thanks for any input you can give me...

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I've been out to JH four times--usually in February. It's a mountain on steriods with ridicously steep in-bounds terrain, huge vert., wide open bowls, numerous cliffs, tight chutes, insane tree shots, and vast backcountry. If you're going to JH, carving on groomers should be the last thing on your mind!! :D

Only once did I ever use my carving board...it was at the end of a long week of deep powder and wild steeps...my poor legs needed a rest. I found some decent groomers off the Apres Vous lift and the Amphitheater trail off of the Thunder Lift.

To be honest with you, JH is not a carving oriented mountain. Many of the trails and bowls are ungroomed and bump up after storms. There are some traverses and long cat tracks that are avoidable, but if you're stuck on one, it can be a thigh/calf burner in hard boots. If you own a soft-boot set-up, bring it. Softies seem to be a little more versatile at JH, plus they are easier to hike in. If you don't own softies, I'd bring the powder stick/free-ride board over the pure-carving set up....or just bring the whole quiver!! In the past, my ride of choice was a Burton 172 Supermodel big mt board with plates (I don't own a soft set-up). This year, I'll be trying a new Coiler 169 AMX.

If you want groomers, try Park City. I lived there for a few years and it's a great town and a terrific mountain. But if you want the most insane pure mountain hard-core experience, go to JH.

JH is a magical area and the Tetons are one of the most stunning and breathtaking mountain ranges. Everyone should have the JH experience at least once in their life!!

Enzo

ps. already have my trip planned for the last week of Feb.!!!:D

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I learned to ride at Jackson Hole on a trip in 1991. I was(and still am) able to take anyhting on skis including a few drops into Corbet's. My snowboarding friends thought they'd "teach" me to snowboard by showing me how to weight an edge at the base of the tram and then up we went. After 2 turns right at the top where its almost flat they pronounced me profocient and took off. It took me 3.5 hours to get to the bottom, but by the bottom I could link 5-6 turns before slamming.

That said, JH is one of my all time favorite hills. However, it is the only place where I still put the skis on for half of the trip. I haven't ever ridden my hardboot setup there because its too much fun ripping the bumps and trees and doing small drops. I think I could do that stuff on my hardboot setup, but like Enzo said its easier to hike and traverse in my softie setup, and I definitely rip the bumps better on the all mountain board. Anyway, it'll be a great trip as long as you can handle a lot of tough terrain on any board you bring. If not, you will be stuck on the 4-6 runs that get groomed right under the lift.

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My boy and I went to JH year before last, and I've been there 4 different trips. We're both on Plates and Hardboots, and softer springy boards. Me on an Ultraprime or Coil, and him on a E-deck or Amp. We play in the steeps and in the bumps. Couldn't really do much in the way of all out carving, the slopes just aren't laid out for it.

We teamed up with a German who was also on plates and we broke him in on non groomed terrain, and we all had a ball. We had skiers, softbooters and hardbooters all skiing together. Shorter and a little softer board is what you need, and then when you hit the occasional groomer below the main slopes you can lay down a couple of turns, but you would be dissappointed if you bring a stiff and long carving setup and expect to have several days of nothing but trenches. Also be prepared to put your boots into the walk mode to be able to suck up the terrain. I would never board with softboots after experiencing a flexy hardboot setup.

There's definitely fun to be had at JH, but you have to be a little more versatile, rather than expecting to lay down hard carves all day. If you do go invest in a board that most hard core carvers would turn their nose up at, something that will give you a little float and allow for very short radius turns and quick edge to edge.

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Originally posted by kiwanoron

They are Both Great Places But if you Go make the trip to Targhee...It is WORTH IT!!! I lived in Cody Wy. for 4 years and went to both places every winter...Don't bother with Alpine Gear. If you can wait till the end of Jan. or Feb. to go...It is Awesome...

If you go, Targee is the only place you can really use an Alpine Deck, they groom every day and have good steeps...they have one slope that's over 50degrees....with alot over 45degrees...fast, steep and cord....yeah lots of fun

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Been to JH a few times, always lucky with the conditions, place is awesome. We had a condo at the bottom of "Rawlins Bowl" which we always used to get back to the condo), what a hoot it's like a GIANT natural 1/2 pipe. It made it almost worthwhile to take a break for lunch. At the end of the day it was always insane comming back to the condo at quitting time.

Definately make the trip to Targe for a day. Just hope your bus' brakes don't give out comming home down the Pass like ours did !! That was a once in a lifetime experience ( I hope).

Even found some descent Pizza there, dowstairs of the Mangy Moose.

Get some of the locals to show you around, you'll be amazed by what's there that you would normally miss.

jp1

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Ok when I was there in the mid 90s the slopes to the right between Fred's Mt and Mary's Nipple specificly Crazyhorse was groomed every day I was there and that side of the mountain was always fresh Cord...I rode the cat up one morning to get first tracks on freshly groomed Wild Wille, if things have changed that's to bad

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