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Jackson Hole 2/22-2/25/21

Zand

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 30, 2003
Messages
3,549
Points
48
Location
Spencer, MA
Resort or Ski Area
Other / Not Listed
Date
Feb 22, 2021
Snow Conditions
  1. Powder
  2. Packed Powder
  3. Slush or Spring Snow
  4. Cord
  5. Sticky
  6. Chopped or Crud
Started off with Apres Vous at the 8:30 opening bell and enjoyed a mix of groomers and woods between there and Teton chair for an hour or so. A few fresh inches fell overnight and everything was skiing beautiful to start. Lots of fresh tracks to be found in Washakie Glade.

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Around 9:30 I headed over to Thunder and was able to get a few good runs in before the line became too much, especially with Sublette on wind hold. First ride up I noticed that Tower 3 had lots of snow blown into it and looked silky smooth, so enjoyed skme knee deep turns up top in there and almost bumpless to the botton. Next door, Mushroom Chutes were steep and very deep.

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The Thunder line quickly got over 15 minutes so I took a few runs in the chutes and woods off Marmot. Not as deep as the north facing stuff but the sun hadnt gotten to it yet so nice to ski. Took an early lunch at 11 at the top where I noticed that Sublette had come off wind hold.

After dealing with another long Thunder wait, I hit the chutes off Grand and...wow. The sun had totally baked the powder that was still virtually untouched and it would stop you in your tracks. Actually went over the handlebars once and I'm lucky I didn't Tomahawk down.

By the time I got to Sublette it too was also posting an almost 15 minute wait. First run was a
Alta 1 which was just as sweet as Tower 3. North facing slopes stayed sweet all day and this was no different.

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Decided to take one more ride on Sublette and then get the hell away from the lines. Headed around to Expert Chutes which were full of soft snow and also some avy debris (they were blasting away this morning). Took Marmot out of the area and headed into Mr Toads. I've been in this area about 5 times and I find a drastically different way through each time. Today I ended up in a super steep open pitch with a cliff band and great snow, but definitely unexpected since I usually find mellower woods.

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I was getting pretty spent by that time, but it was only 1:30 or so. I decided to head over to Casper and Teton and do some cruising. Temps were pushing 40 degrees and the sun was shining bright on this part of the hill and the groomers were very springy. Dipped into the woods a couple times but like the Grand woods, almost impossible to turn in anything that didn't face north.

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Hit the Casper Restaurant for a drink and to relax for a few minutes. Checked the webcams and say Thunder's line had died down. Headed in that direction around 3 and wrapped up the day with two Tower 3 runs and a Paintbrush run. Like I said, the north facing stuff stayed mint all day. The flat light was getting ugly but the steep parts of both runs contain lots of trees so they were more than doable.

The worst part of Jackson Hole is having to get to the bottom after completely spending yourself all day up top. It's 2000 vert to the base from the BOTTOM of Thunder and it felt even longer today as the groomers had frozen back up already. First world problems.

Overall a very nice day 1 of 4 at Jackson and looking at 5-10" overnight into tomorrow morning.
 

Zand

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Joined
Dec 30, 2003
Messages
3,549
Points
48
Location
Spencer, MA
I forgot to put this in non-northeast reports. Can a mod move it over there (or leave it here if no one cares lol).
 

jimk

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Thanks for sharing. That picture of Tower 3 makes it look like an intermediate run, which we know it ain't. Looks snowy! I've been to Jackson three of last six years. Won't get up this year, so nice to read your report.
 

Zand

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Joined
Dec 30, 2003
Messages
3,549
Points
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Location
Spencer, MA
Thanks for sharing. That picture of Tower 3 makes it look like an intermediate run, which we know it ain't. Looks snowy! I've been to Jackson three of last six years. Won't get up this year, so nice to read your report.
Very difficult to get a pic that comes close to showing the steepness. Maybe by taking a pic from Marmot so you can see it in comparison to the surrounding terrain. But that first run was so silky and smooth that it felt like an intermediate run lol.
 

Zand

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Messages
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Location
Spencer, MA
Looks like the overnight snow totally flopped...super windy in town right now, probably will be wind hold city on the hill. Might be a rare bad day at Jackson today.
 

Zand

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Dec 30, 2003
Messages
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Location
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OMFG...

Tram, Sublette, Thunder, and for some reason Apres Vous on wind hold. So we get this...

0223211008.jpg

35 minutes to get on Sweetwater which is by far the longest I've ever waited to get on a lift (hint: Wachusett is my home hill). Apparently I made it here just in time as they closed Moose Wilson Rd for hazardous conditions (I did about 4 mph the whole way here). Took 1 hr 10 mins from town. Now the sun is out and baking everything again.

Now to finally start skiing...half the mountain.
 
Last edited:

Zand

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Joined
Dec 30, 2003
Messages
3,549
Points
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Location
Spencer, MA
I made a grave mistake this morning...
Might be a rare bad day at Jackson today.
I'm learning today that there's no such thing as a bad day at Jackson. In fact, despite the insane lines, somehow there's knee deep snow absolutely everywhere even though it seemed like it barely snowed. I'm a f*cking idiot for going back to bed for a couple hours thinking it would suck.

Pics coming later. If it weren't for the lines today would be top 5 of all time for me, but unfortunately I'm on a 1 run per hour pace.

0223211329.jpg
 

Tonyr

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Jan 6, 2019
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Very difficult to get a pic that comes close to showing the steepness. Maybe by taking a pic from Marmot so you can see it in comparison to the surrounding terrain. But that first run was so silky and smooth that it felt like an intermediate run lol.
original_cdc7abf0-b179-4d97-aa13-df7b71cf8e94_20210206_125615.jpg
Great report! There is one looking down tower 3 chute from a few weeks ago. My picture doesn't look that steep either but the run is in fact steep.
 

Zand

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Dec 30, 2003
Messages
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Location
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from recent visits, tower 3
View attachment 50564

cant remember if this is tower 3 or alta 3 :)
View attachment 50565
From the cliffs in the distance, I'd say Alta 3!

I wish I got a picture of Alta 1 today. Waist deep. Face shots galore. Almost felt like I could straight line it. If Sublette didn't have a 30 minute line I would've hit it all day. Should still be great tomorrow.

Today's report coming soon. 2 days left unfortunately. Whenever I come here I never want to leave.
 

Zand

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Joined
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Messages
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Location
Spencer, MA
Tuesday Report...

As I noted above, this morning was a series of mistakes. I woke up, saw that it wasn't snowing, and saw the snow report said...trace. Also very windy. I ended up leaving the hotel an hour later than yesterday, at 9. As soon as I opened the door to leave, a heavy snow squall hit which I would've missed if I left at 8 like I wanted. I checked the report again and it said all lifts open except Thunder and I could see that it was dumping on the webcams.

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After a 1 hour 10 minute ride in conditions looking like above (taken while stopped, but don't think I went over like 8 mph between Rt 22 and the resort) I arrived to a total shitshow. Tram, Sublette, Thunder, Marmot, and Apres Vous all on wind hold, sun coming back out, and masses of people everywhere. The report even said Moose Wilson Rd was closed due to the blizzard conditions I had just drove through. Apres Vous was the biggest bummer because it meant I HAD to get in line for a Gondola as Teewinot was now useless. Even worse was that when I was in the middle of the maze, Apres Vous opened but I was stuck where I was. After 35 minutes in line for Sweetwater, the lift ride, and 10 minutes in line for Casper I was finally on skis at 11:00. If I had left an hour earlier I would've been skiing powder by 8:30.

And powder there was. I hopped right into the trees and they had at least 12". Either the 2 hour snow squall did one hell of a job or they had more than "trace" overnight.

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I braved a 10-15 minute line for Teton a couple of times to enjoy those woods skiers left of the lift. Such a vast area to ski and so much fresh snow in there.

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A guy on the lift told me Saratoga Bowl was off the hook, so against my better judgement I skied down to Apres Vous which was actually a pretty quick line at that point. Skied into the bowl and...no. Maybe it was good earlier but now at noon the snow was cooking in the microwave and yeah...it was a waste coming down from Teton.

To add insult to injury, the line was massive when I got back so I just went to the base. The Sweetwater line was much shorter, but I noticed that the resort opened the remaining holdouts from wind hold and I was now 3 lift rides from where I wanted to be. Casper had a long line and after traversing over, 30 minutes after Thunder opened it looked like this...

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After a 25 minute wait or so I was on my way up. Quick check of the cams showed Sublette had a less epic line at that point so I headed that way via Grand Woods. Just full of untouched knee deep lines. Unbelievable run. Would've loved to have skied Mushroom instead but with that line I wanted to get the hell away from Thunder.

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Sublette ended up being a 15 minute wait or so, and on the way up I had trouble making my mind up. Alta 1 was tracked out but looked filthy deep. On the other hand, the Flip Point side of Laramie Bowl had about 3 whole tracks through it. I ended up deciding on Alta 1 and...holy shit. It was wind loaded and the entire chute was waist deep. It was tracked out but my god what a run. To top it off, once out of the chute there was untouched snow to the left all the way to the bottom of the bowl. I didnt take any pics that run because it was too fun to stop.

Unfortunately, Sublettes line was now as long as Thunders and despite the amazing conditions, I just didn't have the energy and patience to stand around for 30 minutes at a time. I took Marmot up to hopefully hit Mr Toads but it was closed for avy danger. Instead I found some nice woods in the Gondola area that were still full of untouched snow.

I skied through lunch and by that point it was already 2:30. I stopped at Casper for a quick refresh and bathroom break. Webcam showed Thunders line had no signs of dying down, so decided to finish the day lapping an empty Teton lift.

IMO, this is the 3rd best lift at Jackson and easily the most underrated. Theres all kinds of fun "backcountry" type terrain right next to the lift with no traverses required. It gets you a ton of vert with no run out and unlike a
Saratoga at noon, this still had tons of fluffy pow at 3:00. Snow got a little crispy near the bottom but not bad. Took 3 runs in various woods before my body had enough.

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Finished off the day in the drainage next to Ashley Ridge. Scoped some untracked snow in there while on the way to Teton earlier and it didn't disappoint.

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After getting 23 runs yesterday, ended up with a grand total of 11 today. Between starting 2.5 hours later than yesterday and the liftlines, quantity just wasn't meant to be today. But the quality...well...I thought it was going to be lousy today and the mountain straight up laughed in my face. Perfect bluebird day, and the best part is right at closing the clouds moved in and the snow machine turned back on so hopefully tomorrow will be just as epic. And no late start this time.
 

jimk

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It's so hard to avoid certain unpleasant things when you visit a place once a year or once every few years in tourist mode. That's why these trip reports are great, we can learn from each other's experiences. You just have to roll with the punches sometimes. You're showing good patience. Glad you got rewarded with good conditions.
 

kingslug

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My wife wonders why I'm always first in the parking lot no matter what. These mountains are hard to predict..report says not much and yet its buried.
No Hobacks?
 

Tonyr

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Jan 6, 2019
Messages
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It's so hard to avoid certain unpleasant things when you visit a place once a year or once every few years in tourist mode. That's why these trip reports are great, we can learn from each other's experiences. You just have to roll with the punches sometimes. You're showing good patience. Glad you got rewarded with good conditions.
Well said Jim!
 

Zand

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Joined
Dec 30, 2003
Messages
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Location
Spencer, MA
My wife wonders why I'm always first in the parking lot no matter what. These mountains are hard to predict..report says not much and yet its buried.
No Hobacks?
Been a bit apprehensive to go in there with the warm sunny days manking up the low elevation south facing stuff. Saratoga was garbage so didn't think the Hobacks would be much better. Today for sure though.
 

kingslug

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Yup..the Hobacks are a big hit or miss..you miss..your fucked for 2000 vertical. I always try to get some info. Sux that Saratoga was garbage..thats my go to place to get away from it all...but you have to get out before the murder runout.
 
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