Why did it take me so long to get here? This pilgrimage is worth doing way sooner than I did it if you think you’re a good skier. Skiing here made me feel like I’ve never even been to a steep resort before. It made me feel humble. I can only imagine what skiing here every day under and on these steep faces would do for your confidence and skill level.
The vertical is so great and so steep. You feel like you could fall off the mountain, and indeed you can at many spots.
There is no mellow groomer relief, you have to stay on it and with burning legs the whole time. It’s way more intense than any California resort. I nearly could not edge carve a turn the entire time except for a few green runs because I would just go too fast.
It is insanely steep. Did I mention I was scared at times? One powder run from the top would be like a season’s worth of pure vertical at most other resorts. Every inch of vertical is useable. Amazing.
We drove up the snake river valley to get here and I was blown away that this huge valley floor is above 6,000 feet, which is where the resort starts at. I was here on less than good conditions, a cloudy day after a week long spring cycle. The snow did soften a bit, but was fairly hard in most spots. The resort faces a bit toward the south east, so that may be why the snow quality can turn in the sun, but there was no sun that day.
A small bit of moisture was approaching and I had my fingers crossed for more than the 2 inches expected. The next morning there was just 2 inches at the top, one mid mountain and none at the base. We decided to sample the backcountry and drove up Teton pass, which is south of Jackson Hole. We did the north side hike up to glory bowl (less than an hour of hiking) and dropped the northern face (might be called chicken scratch). The snow was good but a bit inconsistent up top. There was fresh snow on the top pitch only. We cut back around to glory bowl run out and skied through variable spring conditions to the highway. It was super fun but not great snow overall. From this little taste of being out, I could see what all the hype is about: the backcountry had as much steep potential as the resort. So easy, so close, and with a long nice consistent pitch. And the ridge line access goes all the way to the resort and then to the Grand and beyond.
Our third day was sunny and warm spring skiing and it was awesome to see the full grandeur of this place. We found good spring snow, a slight inversion, and very long top to bottom runs. I downed a few beers and truffle fries at the Mangy Moose at the end if the day. It was awesome to finally see Jackson Hole, but I was as hungry as ever for powder on a dismal West Coast year.
While I was skiing the resort, I kept thinking: what made them think to put the tram where they did? It was obvious that they had expert skiers in mind. Those guys must have been so bad ass. I want to be bad ass too. This place is truly amazing and I can’t wait for a better weather cycle when I return.
2 thoughts on “Making the Pilgrimage to Jackson Hole, WY”
you hiked the North? or just skied the North and hiked the South?
You did the North side hike, or South side hike? You hiked the south and skied the north, right?