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Jackson Hole 2/10-2/14/20

Zand

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A dusting of snow in town as I got started today. Warmed up with a Sundance run off Bridger and it was evident that the mountain received around 6" in some spots as Sundance was sporting shin deep powder up top.

Moved over to Apres Vous to check out Saratoga and it was decent up high, but as you got low it got crusties underneath. Obvious the sun got to it a bit yesterday. Moved over to Teton to ski some woods and that was more of the same.

Checked the webcams and noted that an early Thunder line had died down so headed over there. The forecast for the day was mostly sunny and for the summit and base that came true, but for some reason mid mountain had its own little private snow cloud and it dumped at times. Thunder was definitely the place to be. Tower 3, Paintbrush, Hoops Gap, and Thunder Woods were all full of knee deep chowder. Skied that most of the day and also through in an Alta 1 run off Sublette which wasn't nearly as nice as the Thunder stuff but still good.

After a late lunch at Casper I went back for more Thunder laps. A guy on the lift mentioned the Hobacks were in good shape. I've never skied them before and I was hesitant because I thought they'd be crusty but around 2:45 I figured why not finish the day there. Needless to say, they were full of deep chowder. Going in there is amazing, like skiing bowls in Colorado but they're 2k+ vert and totally out in the wilderness. Even saw two moose at the bottom by the traverse. It did get a bit crunchy towards the bottom but the top 80% was mint.

I was feeling tired and a smart person would've hit the bar and called it a day, but I'm a dumbass and saw the Tram had no line. Yeah I'm dead tired, a 4100 vert run is exactly what I need. Adding to the fun, the summit ended up being socked in when I got there. The run down through Tensleep Bowl wasn't bad, but Broadway was full of big powder bumps and impossible to see. Made my way down to Nez Perce which was also very chopped up at the top and my quads were screaming at me. Finally, literally 25 minutes after starting, I limped through the finish and headed out. Remind me not to do that again.

Overall a totally epic day, especially off the Thunder chair and the Hobacks. 4 more days of this madness although I'll definitely have to work in some easier days.
 

Zand

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2/11

Today was supposed to be a bit more of a take it easy day and it kiiiinda worked out, but still ended up within 7000 vert of yesterday.

Overslept this morning and didn't get to the base until 1015 or so. Wanted to check out the Kings and Queens competition and the Tram had a long line, so I did the Bridger/Amphitheatre/Thunder/Laramie/Sublette/Tensleep combo to get up there instead. All I have to say is those people are insane. Really cool,event to watch live too. The one drawback is that the temp was in the single digits and the wind was blowing around a bit so after an hour my feet were sufficiently numb so I headed for Casper Restaurant via Expert Chutes (which were terrific) and down some traverses.

After nearly 45 minutes of warming my feet up I was finally good to go. It was almost 12:30 by then so I felt like I did enough "resting" and went hard the rest of the day. Instead of hopping on Casper, I took Jackson Face to the bottom. Despite being pretty much front and center above the base, it was full of sweet soft snow and barely tracked out. Kind of hard to find so people must ski right past it.

Headed back up the Gondola, down a little bumpy chute next to Cascade which was fun, then up Thunder where I decided I spent most of yesterday there and I wanted to explore Sublette a little more today. I decended into Laramie bowl via some chutes off Grand and holy he'll were those steeper than I expected. Right up there with some of Jackson's more famous terrain. Noticed on that run that the south facing stuff was much nicer than yesterday which was a bonus, no crusties especially up high.

First run off Sublette I hit Wally World. Dropping into the bowl was fun but honestly 4/5ths of the run was traversing catwalks so not really worth it.

Next 3 runs were off Pepis Run. First run I went past the chutes and hopped into the woods. Pretty short woods shot as I was pretty far down at that point but there was a ton of untouched powder in there. Also hit Alta 1 and Alta 2.5, both of which were incredibly soft.

Wind was really starting to whip on top of the ridge so I headed across Tensleep to Downhill Chute. Actually found quite a bit of scratch over there, probably the worst run of the day. Hit Tower Three next which was incredible. The wind was filling the top with snow, then each skier pushed the new snow down so it felt like a powder day. Couldve skied that and Alta Chutes all day.

Hit the glsded and fluffy terrain under Marmot next which had a few slick spots and a rock or two to avoid but that was fun as well. Took Dicks Ditch to the bottom. One of those natural halfpipe drainage type deals, a real hoot with nice snow up top and some crap at the very bottom.

It was 3:20 by then and I was spent. Wasn't going to make the mistake of taking the Tram back up like yesterday so decided to cool down with a cruise down Werner off Apres Vous. Much better last run of the day than yesterday, thats for sure.

Sounds like we have some more snow coming in tonight. I thought the conditions were better today than yesterday, so a few inches might really make it off the hook. Overall it's been incredible so far and I'm almost glad I missed the concrete powder extravaganza last week because the soft snow and small snowfalls this week are terrific.
 

Zand

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2/12

Woke up to 6" of new snow on the snow report today. Had another day of kinda relaxing a bit but not really. Decided to skip the opening madhouse and arrived around 10:30. Started with a Tram ride after a 20 minute wait and was rewarded with bright sunshine and powder in Rendezvous Bowl. Headed down to South Hoback which still had a ton of untracked powder. Unfortunately it was warmer today and the sun was already manking it up and there was definitely some crust underneath, especially down low. Powder on the top half was worth it though.

Between the Tram line and the good 25 minute run it was pushing lunch time by the time I got to the top of Bridger so I headed in. I liked that upstairs cafeteria, much less of a madhouse than most of the other lodges.

After lunch I kicked things into gear with a run in the woods next to Cascade, or "Creepy Doll Woods" according to a random sign in the middle of the run. Ok then. Did a couple Thunder laps in the woods off Riverton Bowl and Tower 3. T3 was very bumped up compared to the last few days but still soft. Still a ton of fresh powder in the trees.

Hit the woods off Grand down to Sublette...high enough to avoid getting very manky and crusty compared to the Hobacks. Hit Tensleep Bowl where I saw Corbets had a lot of customers, took that to Downhill Chute which was all chopped up from people traversing and not much fun. Took Beaver Tooth to the bottom which was like a Berkshire East run...powder, rocks, dirt, and all kinds of fun stuff. The runout back to the groomers was a pain too.

Headed up the Tram to check out the scene at Corbets. After another 20 minute line and stopping for a waffle, I got there just as Ski Patrol was roping it for the day. The couple people I saw go down took a very tentative path down and made it through fine so if it doesn't change much overnight I hope to hit it tomorrow.

Took Expert Chutes down which were also,all chopped up from traversing. Wish people would just traverse the top, pick a line and go. Hit Tower 3 one more time before heading down the hill. Had time for one more run so I went over to Teton to see how the woods were looking. Actually found some totally untracked lines in the woods at 3:40 which was pretty awesome. Haven't hit that much this week so I may try to spend some time there tomorrow.

Two days to go, weird that the coldest and least snowy day had the best conditions so far this week but looks good to finish it up.
 

Zand

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I feel like they kinda worked on the goat path for Kings and Queens so they'd have easier access for Ski Patrol if something happened. People were able to kinda glide down to the turn yesterday. Still won't be easy but we'll see.
 

abc

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Corbets is ski in now?
Not sure what exact condition it takes. But I've been told by a ski instructor there that "when the condition is right" Corbets can be entered without the mandatory air. And he also gave the impression that "condition" happens frequent enough that I should check it out each time I'm there.
 

skimagic

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How are the "crowds" while you were there? A few friends were at JH in late January, and didn't find it crowded.
 

Zand

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How are the "crowds" while you were there? A few friends were at JH in late January, and didn't find it crowded.

This week has been good...only line has been the Tram which has consistently been a 3 car wait. Everything else has been ski on all week except for the occasional 15 chair wait at Thunder and Sublette.

Tomorrow may be a different story with the start of Presidents weekend. I've seen the pictures of the lines on weekends and powder days so I feel lucky to have gotten an entire week of great conditions with no lines.
 

Zand

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2/13

Another 10:30 start (I usually don't ski more than 3 days in a row and now that we're up to 5 I'm really feeling it, especially at Jackson of all places). The day started warm and sunny but by the afternoon the upper mountain got cold, windy, and cloudy as the next storm cycle is ready to move in just in time for me to leave.

Started off with a Tram ride. Spent probably 30-45 minutes watching people hit Corbets. Some first timers so that gave me more confidence, plus a few hot shots who launched off the right side. After an eternity of second guessing I finally went for it. I wanted to try my best to not look like a total weenie (some people literally slid down the whole thing on their ass). There was a small platform of snow about 1/4 of the way down the quickly disappearing goat path so I got to that. I wanted to ski out the rest of it but right before the turn the snow went almost verical for about 15 feet and I threw on the brakes. I kind of layed against the snow on the left wall but kept it going and made it around without leaving my skis so I think,it went okay for the first time. Not sure how long it'll be before I do it again but I'm glad I finally got it out of the way. Anyway, after the second turn it was full on powder the rest of the way into the bowl with face shots at every turn.

After that I was pretty jittery and my legs were like rubber. I was skiing like shit so I decided I needed lunch and a beer to calm down.

After lunch I headed for Teton to ski some woods. Hit Teton Face which IMO is better than Saratoga Bowl. No traverses or any BS, just 1800 vertical of a mix of glades and bowl type skiing. The snow was nice and soft in the sun. If it was day 1 i could've lapped it all day but I was pretty much ready to collapse after one run.

Back up Teton, hit the woods skiers left of Wide Open. The trees were tighter here, so the snow was more fresh and there were pockets of powder everywhere.

It was already pushing two by then and I had to get a couple laps up top so traversed over to Thunder and hit those awesome trees skiers right of Gannett. A few rocks popping up thanks to the warm sun but easily avoidable.

First ride up Sublette felt like the temp dropped 20 degrees and the wind was cranking at the top. Hit Alta 1 which was definitely skied out a lot since yesterday, tons of ruts and a few rocks but still more than skiable.

Next run I headed down to Expert Chutes. Got in some trouble there. Went left after the lead in and wad rewarded with 10 untouched powder turns. That party ended with a rope blocking some cliff drops, so followed the traverse to the left. Eventually the rope ended at a doable looking chute that was unfortunately full of rocks and I wasn't having that. So I had to hike back up to Cirque where I found a closed sign across the path I just climbed up. Kind of a bad job organizing the closed areas there. Made my way around to Downhill Chute which was much less rocky and a fun way to end an interesting run.

With the wind whipping I knew my favorite chute by the 3rd tower of the Tram would be full of powder so I couldn't head out yet. After skirting the huge bumps up top, sure enough it was in great shape. I've found Tower 3 is fun to ski with low energy. It doesnt take any effort to get down...its so steep that you just let gravity do the work and slam into powder pillows every 20 feet.

3:40 came fast so took Marmot and put together some woods shots to the bottom. I hate that I've been ignoring this aspect of Jackson all week, but between all the blue cruisers near the Gondola are a ton of sweer woods lines full of good snow because no one really skis them. Near the bottom I hit Cowboy Couloir which was low enough on the mountain to be kinda crappy.

Can't believe this week is almost over already...after 5 days at Jackson I feel like I could use another 500 more to really learn the mountain because every run I find new lines and the snow is almost always great at every turn. This place is just total magic.
 

skiur

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Not sure what exact condition it takes. But I've been told by a ski instructor there that "when the condition is right" Corbets can be entered without the mandatory air. And he also gave the impression that "condition" happens frequent enough that I should check it out each time I'm there.

The conditions are enough snow to cover the drop.
 

jimk

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Thanks for sharing your experience Zand. I'll be going there soon for a few days. .Way to go on Corbets!
 

Zand

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2/14

Somehow this week is already over.

The first half of the day was kind of a dud. The top was socked in, wind whipping, snow barely falling, and everything the sun touched yesterday below 8500 feet was frozen solid. Plus my body just felt like it couldn't take any more. I would take 3 turns in the trees and need to stop.

After lunch the wind really picked up with Sublette going on wind hold. I moved over to Teton and Apres Vous but stuck to the groomers as the woods were rathet crunchy. Moved back to Thunder around 1:30 and it was heavily graupeling and the wind was absolutely brutal, not to mention any open areas were impossible to see. Groomers were a mix of ice and powder bumps and you couldn't see either. The north facing woods were nice but skiing the groomers to and fro were in such a condition that a guide dog was almost necessary. I didnt want to quit early on my last day but I was pretty much begging for 4:00 to hurry up. And then...

Dumpage. Around 3:00 the graupel turned to heavy snow that came down harder and harder through the rest of the day. All of a sudden free refills were in order and I found a second wind I couldn't find all week. Every time I go,west it starts dumping the day I have to leave. The Mushroom Chutes were so powdery at the end that I couldn't stop lapping them. I was at peace with it being my last day all day but having to shut it down after that last hour killed me.

I read and hear stories quite often about people who come here to ski just for a week and then end up never leaving. I kinda understand that vibe now.
 

Zand

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Sunny near the base Monday

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Snowy mid mountain Monday

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Sunny top of Sublette on Monday

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Mid mountain had some nice snow thanks to its own private snowcloud

jac11jpeg.jpg
 

Zand

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In the woods off Teton on Monday

jac7jpeg.jpg

I think this is in Saratoga Bowl somewhere...

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Late day run through the Hobacks

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Expert Chutes on a sunny Tuesday

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Dick's Ditch

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Zand

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Summit tram station

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Summit view Wednesday morning

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Rendezvous Bowl Wednesday morning, amazing sky and some powder to boot!

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Inversion in the valley

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Getting lost deep in the Hobacks

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