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Big Sky

Zand

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Flying into Jackson Hole on Feb 9th and will be there for half of Sunday plus Monday-Thursday. I know they've been getting mega dumps for a month now and are just about 100% open and very deep. Will be my second time,there so know my way around and what to expect.

One option for this trip is just stay in Jackson the whole time but another option is to drive up to Big Sky for a couple days. I've never been there. I know all things equal I'd probably love it as much as Jackson but it seems that they've missed out on the bonanza of snow that has fallen to their south and not as much stuff is open (and a lot of of the good stuff that is open is thin). Obviously 3 more weeks can make a big difference and given that it'll be all weekdays I'm pretty flexible.

Question I have is would it be worth the trip to Big Sky if the conditions are many steps below what they are at Jackson? Or should I take advantage of Jackson being stupid deep right now and put off Big Sky for another year? If I could ski a decent amount of good stuff it would be worth it for me but I have no idea what to expect there.
 

Hawk

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One of the reasons that Big Sky has less open is a lot of the expert terrain is very steep and rocky. if it does snow I would definitely go to Big Sky. I have been to both a couple of times and I prefer Big Sky by far. It is a much larger place and when it does snow, it is a better place to ski powder. Jackson gets track up faster.
 

abc

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Question I have is would it be worth the trip to Big Sky if the conditions are many steps below what they are at Jackson?
No. Not with Big Sky "many steps below" Jackson.

It's a nice mountain all around. But that actually means you want to stay there for more than just a couple days. Especially since 1) you've not been there before so don't know where to go, you'll be just fumbling around aimlessly in day 1 or even 2; 2) A lot of the "good stuff" may not be open.

Or should I take advantage of Jackson being stupid deep right now and put off Big Sky for another year?
I'd say yes.

But if when you got there, after the first 2 days, you're "bored" and see storms hitting Big Sky repeatedly, by all means change plan!
 

kingslug

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Went there 7 years ago. Completely different experience than JH. No crowds, powder all day long..very chill vibe. The top of the mt is steep as hell.
 

Zand

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But if when you got there, after the first 2 days, you're "bored" and see storms hitting Big Sky repeatedly, by all means change plan!

If one gets bored after 2 days at Jackson they need to find a new hobby lol.
 

tnt1234

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We just got back from Big Sky. Skied four days. Awesome place.

Yes, snow levels are low for them, so as of a week ago, there was only one way down from the very top, and only about 1/3 of the Headwater chutes were open.

But having said that. the lower mountain stuff is great and the big bowl under the peak was open and skiing beautifully, as well as the steeps off the Challenger lift. There are tons of steeps, bumps, trees, open.

And they were avi bombing every day, which means the upper mountain might be close.

I've never been to JH, but might be going for my first time in march. Big Sky is a great place and I would gladly ski there again, even with this level of snow and % open.

If you go, hit me up, I'll tell you what we liked the best, and share thoughts on getting around the mountain.
 

KustyTheKlown

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jackson is super challenging and amazing but nothing i've skied in the usa really compares to the big mountain holy fuck factor of lone peak. even silverton didn't feel as steep and exposed. marx lenin the dictators etc. i think i prefer big sky to jackson overall. but as already said, they need snow. the hwole place is crazy jagged.
 

KustyTheKlown

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^the big requires avy gear and a partner. everything else at big sky you can access alone and without gear.
 

KustyTheKlown

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First time I went to big sky, my first run was up the tram. Totally socked in and had never been up there before. Quite an interesting run down some of the steepest terrain I’ve ever skied in an I can’t tell up from down whiteout
 

machski

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^the big requires avy gear and a partner. everything else at big sky you can access alone and without gear.
I thought North Summit Snowfields were the same access restrictions? Not that they have been open when I've been there, they tend to get wind scoured a lot.

So wind, that is a player at Big Sky more than anywhere else I have been in the West. I have dealt with windholds there on Lone Peak (although, most were before all the new lifts went in). The summit can also change from wind without a storm. What do I mean by this? One of our trips, Otter Slide off the top was closed (many guides/pros there use that as a litmus test for taking guests down Big Couloir), it was down to the bare loose rock most of the summit is. With no storm in sight, I figured it wouldn't be skiable that trip. Two mornings later on first Tram up, the operator said everything off the top except North Summit was open. I figured he made a mistake as Otter couldn't be open. But it was. I looked in and it was completely filled it. I thought about skipping it, figuring every turn would be into the rock below, but I skied it anyway. And was rewarded with sublime windbuffed pow. Could not believe what I had seen. But apparently this is not at all unusual on Lone Peak.

Anyway, watch the weather. They did just get 2 feet last week at Big Sky. If Marx/Lenin/Dictator open up, I would seriously consider a side trip. If those open up, a lot more should as well. Crazy fun, just remember the Tram line is often 45 minutes long due to the low capacity. Those days, hike the Headwaters off Challenger/Headwaters Chairs. Andersite has some fun lines too to beat crowds on the Tram.

Sent from my Pixel 3 using AlpineZone mobile app
 

jaybird

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Lone Peak Tram offers great terrain .. although the resort is so well designed that one can easily find other very challenging terrain. As mentioned above Headwaters and Challenger are superb:thumbup:
Added plus avoiding the Tram is not having to wait around in a liftline just to see a herd of goats up on the peak cliff wall. It's amazing how many people make the Tram ascent and then decide to ride it back down.

it's unfortunate that Targhee never gets any respect ..
 

thetrailboss

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Flying into Jackson Hole on Feb 9th and will be there for half of Sunday plus Monday-Thursday. I know they've been getting mega dumps for a month now and are just about 100% open and very deep. Will be my second time,there so know my way around and what to expect.

One option for this trip is just stay in Jackson the whole time but another option is to drive up to Big Sky for a couple days. I've never been there. I know all things equal I'd probably love it as much as Jackson but it seems that they've missed out on the bonanza of snow that has fallen to their south and not as much stuff is open (and a lot of of the good stuff that is open is thin). Obviously 3 more weeks can make a big difference and given that it'll be all weekdays I'm pretty flexible.

Question I have is would it be worth the trip to Big Sky if the conditions are many steps below what they are at Jackson? Or should I take advantage of Jackson being stupid deep right now and put off Big Sky for another year? If I could ski a decent amount of good stuff it would be worth it for me but I have no idea what to expect there.

So I have not looked through all three pages of comments, but a couple points. First, do consider going to Grand Targhee and Snow King. Both are neat areas and Grand Targhee is about an hour away and relatively easy to get to. Snow King is right in town obviously. Second, understand that although it looks like it is not "that far" between Jackson and Big Sky and looks like a straight shot, but it isn't on both points. We did the drive from Jackson to Big Sky in October with dry roads and no real weather and it was a lot longer than you would expect. You basically have to drive to north of Idaho Falls and then head north and west to West Yellowstone. That is a long drive in and of itself and though the road from Idaho Falls to West Yellowstone is fast and direct weather is a real issue. The stretch from West Yellowstone to Big Sky is not that far, but it is a narrow and windy road that had a lot of truck traffic on it surprisingly. It also goes through a part of Yellowstone so passing lanes were rare. As easy it would be to "cut through" Yellowstone to get there, the roads in Yellowstone are closed in the winter, so you ain't doing that. IIRC the drive was about 3 hours or more for us in good weather, with a short-cut on secondary roads between Driggs and 89, and not much traffic.
 

jaybird

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Snow King offers the best night skiing we've ever done.
Hit the Stagecoach in Wilson .. Cowboy Bar is overrated.
 

Zand

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Booked my flight back for Saturday morning so I can get another full day Friday. Going to wait and see how the week looks before booking rooms so I can see how both places are looking.
 

KustyTheKlown

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big sky def also more expensive to stay. jacskson has lots of cheap decent motels in town. big sky not so much. i stayed in west yellowstone, far as fuck, but super cheap. by the end of the trip i sprung for a single room in someones house on airbnb to stop the madness. that whole jaunt was when i had utah xmas booked and it didnt snow at all in utah. drove up to big sky and made it work.
 
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