Today is the last morning here in Wyoming before heading out to Montana. It was a nice long stay here, having arrived Saturday evening and skiing 4 days with a rest day in the middle. I didn’t get any powder days but there was still plenty of fresh snow to find in the woods and an extreme amount of terrain to explore across the mountain. This is definitely the largest mountain I have ever been to by far. Mammoth has a ton of space but it doesn’t feel anywhere close to as big as Jackson Hole. The lift layout here is a little wonky since it relies heavily on the tram that we all but avoided due to the long wait. But we had absolutely zero lines for all of the other lifts so we got around no problem and had plenty of ski time. About the tram, it was a 100 person tram that goes from the bottom all the way to the top, an elevation gain of about 4000 feet. While it moves quickly, there are only two trams in total; one going up and one going down. Even with 100 people on board, this meant a solid 30-40 min wait just to ride it. The alternative was to take a gondola, ski down to one lift, take that lift up, then ski down to another lift, and then finally take that lift to an area a few hundred feet below the top. This process definitely took over an hour but yielded two solid lengthy runs in between the other lifts so that it wasn’t waiting in a theme park esque line. Even on weekdays that tram line was obnoxious. We rode it once on Monday and then just stopped bothering after that. Got some good pictures up there but the short run from the top was not worth the hassle of doing it again. The only reason worth doing it would have been to try Corbets Coloir but that trail wasn’t open anyways so we enjoyed the rest of the mountain thoroughly.
Ahh anyways enough complaining about the tram. This was an amazing trip and I had a great time here at Jackson Hole. The tree runs were sublime and the terrain was terrifyingly challenging. Soft snow was plentiful around the mountain, rocks were difficult to find, and we had very few people to share the mountain with. No other lifts had a line at any point of any day, outside of the first day on Sunday. And even then it wasn’t bad at all. I waited on more lines at Solitude but that might have been an exception due to the powder there lol.
There were so many cool spots around the mountain and it was super easy to just get lost wandering around in the woods, cruising from one pocket of powder to the next. The most unique thing about Jackson though was just how long the runs could be. Our favorite section that ran from the top of the Sublette lift all the way through the woods of the Hoback area down to the bottom of the mountain took a solid hour of skiing. Round trip from the bottom gondola and back again was well over two hours. Doing this run twice in a day meant that took more than half the day! This concept was very foreign to me but much welcomed. We spent minimal time overall doing anything but skiing. Lift rides were lunch time and we got last chair every day, finally arriving to the car after 5pm. Granted, due to staying 50 min from the mountain and never waking up on time, we never got there before about 945 (mountain opened at 9) but we certainly didn’t miss out on anything!
One cool thing we also did was rent demo skis for an hour. Here I have the demos (in green) next to my set. This was only $10 an hour to rent and you could come back and try as many different ones as you wanted. Since we didn’t get around to this until the last day, it was only one session. I picked out the Blizzard Rustler 11 in 182 length with a 112 width. I want to find a powder ski and while this one isn’t overly dedicated to powder, it was an amazing ski to try out. It felt like cheat codes were activated and I could just fly through crud like nobody’s business! We took a wild ride through some shitty snow and this ski kept composure at ludicrous speeds and made me feel invincible. I calmed down at some point just because it felt dangerous since I know I’m not actually invincible. But it really did make me feel like I was skiing with a handicap before. Just the way these effortlessly crushed the mountain gave me much motivation to seek out a pair next season. Getting back on my skiis felt quicker to turn and easier to maneuver but there was so much less confidence when the going got rough and speed was definitely not the same.
Now I am off to Big Sky, MT for another 3-4 days of a new mountain and more adventure. Definitely feeling the 7 days of hard skiing so far but the rest days have definitely helped and exploring new places is always exciting.
Ski days this trip: 4
Ski days this season: 18
Lift ticket $ per day: $600/18 = $33.33 (fun fact, JH was $154 per day window rate!)
States Skiied: CA, UT, WY
Resorts Visited: Mammoth Mountain, Snow Summit, Solitude, Alta, Jackson Hole