Trip Report: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, WY, & Big Sky Resort, MT

Luke Guilford | | Trip ReportTrip Report

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Report from February 5-10, 2023

I finally crossed a couple of legendary mountains off my bucket list. The first was Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR), located in Western Wyoming in the heart of the Teton Range. Followed by Big Sky Resort, located about an hour South of Bozeman, MT.

Day 1 (Feb. 5): See as Much of The Mountain as Possible

Conditions were far from perfect. Not much snow had fallen since the gnarly two-day storm that hit at the end of January. Nonetheless, it was fun to explore the mountain and scope out some lines to hit when the snow starts falling.

Day 2 (Feb. 6): Pow Day

Powder day Jackson hole
Entering the white room in Bernie’s Bowl. Photo Credit: Luke Guilford

I was beyond stoked to wake up and see that JHMR reported that the upper mountain received 6″ overnight and 10″ in the last 24 hours. The crew and I hit Bernie’s Bowl religiously, finding new lines each lap.

JHMR boasts over 4,000 vertical feet of skiing, and the conditions can vary dramatically over those 4,000 feet. The lower half of the mountain was much warmer, with heavier snow and sunny skies. While the upper half was loaded with light, fluffy snow and free refills throughout the day.

Day 3 (Feb. 7): Kings and Queens of Courbet’s Couloir

At the base of Kings and Queens of Corbet’s Couloir. Photo Credit: Luke Guilford

The weather was fairly clear most of the day, and 10″+ filled the legendary couloir, making for a great day for the competition. The excitement was at an all-time high watching our favorite athletes huck it into Corbet’s with incredible style. It was the first competition I had ever attended, and it was a unique event.

Following the competition, a couple of us hiked up Headwall to find some freshies. A day after the storm and the conditions were still primo.

Hiking the headwall
A quick 15-minute hike up Headwall. Photo Credit: Artur

Day 4 (Feb. 8): Half Day at JHMR Before Heading North to Big Sky

Strong winds and poor visibility plagued the upper mountain. Snow rolled in later in the morning, but we stuck to the trees to mitigate the effects of the poor visibility and hit a few runs still loaded with good snow. Around noon we packed up and set North towards Big Sky.

Day 5 (Feb. 9): Sneaky Pow Day at Big Sky

We caught word of terrain that had been closed the entire day before while a storm loaded up around 10″ on it. The Dakota lift became our best friend, and we spent a good chunk of the day in the Bavarian Forest, finding a ridiculous amount of fresh turns. Hanging Valley also had some great turns, which we accessed off the Dakota lift.

Terrain off the Challenger lift was also stacked, finding tons of fun down Big Rock Tongue and through Magic Meadows for some low-angle tree action.

A view of Lone Mountain, where we spent most of our time riding. Photo Credit: Luke Guilford

Day 6 (Feb. 10): Ending the Trip with a Lap Down Parachute

Last day on the slopes and most of the crew was feeling it. A couple of us had enough energy to hike up the Winter Bowl. The exposure along the hike was enough to get my adrenaline pumping. We dropped into Parachute after about a 30-40 minute hike, and the snow was incredible! The hike filled my bucket, and I was stoked to end the trip on a high note.

Winter Bowl
Looking up Parachute. Photo Credit: Sydney Maxson

Trip Summary: (11/10, worth the 3,000 miles of driving!)

Both mountains lived up to their reputation. JHMR had some gnarly terrain with great snow, no lift lines, and the best vibes. I loved the challenging terrain and crazy vert you could cover in one run. I feel like I have so much left to explore in the Tetons.

Big Sky is BIG. With 5,850 acres of skiable terrain, there was a ton to explore. Big Sky also holds gnarly, challenging terrain, and eyeing The Big Couloir was something else. The triple blacks are beyond intimidating, but there seems to be something for everyone at the mountain. I would love to spend more time at Big Sky and continue progressing on the big mountain terrain and diving back into the trees.

JHMR Trail Map
Jackson Hole Trail Map. Photo Credit: JHMR
Big Sky Trail Map
Big Sky Ski Trail Map. Check out their website to see the other maps. Photo Credit: Big Sky

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