Grand Targhee, WY Conditions Report: Storm Day(s)

Sergei Poljak | | Conditions ReportConditions Report
Wendy finds herself in the air, just a little bit. Photo: Sergei Poljak Jan. 11, 2017
Wendy finds herself in the air, just a little bit. Photo: Sergei Poljak Jan. 11, 2017

It’s been a stormy four days at Grand Targhee Resort in WY. I heard there’s a sun out there, and that it’s the source of all life on Earth…nuts. But seriously, all of these clouds have contributed to a lot of snow. A bit more than two feet of it, to be precise. Sure, we didn’t have the totals that California clocked – Mammoth has 18 feet in the past two weeks – but hey, our mountain was open and we skied pow, while they frantically shovels their driveways and groveled about how the mountain was closed.

Snow Numbers:

Screen shot 2017-01-11 at 7.17.33 PM

In fact, not only has Grand Targhee been open without much delay, the exception being today, but the skiing has been quite good. Really good, actually. There has been an almost inexhaustible supply of wind-buffed powder turns, especially at the lower mountain. The best days were Monday and Wednesday. That’s when there was the most…

(Rime, actually, not pow. Not to be technical about it or anything)
(Rime, actually, not pow. Not to be technical about it or anything) Photo: Sergei Poljak Jan. 10, 2017.

Grand Targhee is the kind of place where you can do laps. I did close to 30 laps on Monday. It was just one of those days where you can’t stop. Today was a little tougher. 2 of 3 lifts were delayed so the day was a bit shorter. I only did about 15 laps…Tuesday was good too, but I can’t quite remember how many laps I did that day.

There was also some softer, more typical powder snow in Chief Joe’s Bowl, and off the Sac lift. That snow got worked after a while though, while the wind-buff was just regenerating itself like Medusa. You couldn’t chop it up fast enough that’s for sure. Well, not when there’s hardly anybody at the mountain and you’ve practically got the place to yourself.

There were a couple of obstacles to maneuver, however, before the better turns lower mountain. Specifically, the incredibly strong winds, rime forming on goggles, the utter lack of visibility, and graupel, snow and ice whipping you in the face. I overheard one fellow mentioning that he kind of liked it because it scared him. I liked it because there were goods at the end of it all. By the end of the day today, the snow was still very soft, but also heavy, like skiing a sand dune or something.

All in all, I’m wonderfully exhausted, as one should be after living it up at the Grandest of Targhees. 

Some locals waited three hours for the Dreamcatcher lift to open…

Targhee is home to some hard core local characters who might not be so happy about me writing about it...
Targhee is home to some hard core local characters who might not be so happy about me writing about it…

 

Graupel, or snow pellets, form from these types of flakes basically accumulating a lot of rime. the rime is at the end of the the columns. Photo: Wiki commons
Graupel, or snow pellets, form from these types of flakes basically accumulating a lot of rime. The rime is at the end of the the columns. Also, this photo is mind-boggling. Photo: Wiki commons

Today there was extreme avalanche danger, which is very rare and very dangerous so we were lucky to be skiing at all. 

Screen shot 2017-01-11 at 7.10.04 PM

Forecast:

The forecast looks very promising for the Tetons, and all of the West for that matter, next week. For now, it’s sunshine and time to enjoy all of that amazing powder. 

Screen shot 2017-01-11 at 7.14.29 PM
Forecast: OpenSnow

Tomorrow or Friday will see the opening of some slackcountry lines and Mary’s Nipple, where there will be fresh snow abound. Based on the way the terrain is situated, I’m guessing there will be soft turns, but I haven’t skied there yet. I haven’t even seen Mary’s Nipple yet, just a short traverse and hike from the main lift, Dreamcatcher. I can’t wait to see Mary’s Nipple…

My own personal pow cam, just have to look out the windshield.
My own personal pow cam, just have to look out the windshield.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.