Spring may be on the horizon, but Intelligent Travel Contributing Writer Cathy Healy doesn’t want you to pack away your skis quite yet.
JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. — I was getting ready to tell you about how skiers of all ilk, including me, an impassioned green-run cruiser, can find their bliss in this valley of extreme skiing…when I discovered that the region is on sale. After a 60 percent drop in bookings over the bad-economy holiday season, Jackson merchants are hoping for a spring rescue, so negotiate. This may be the year you can afford one more ski trip.
What people often forget, and I count myself among them, is that there are four ski options at Jackson.
One: There’s Jackson Mountain, of course, the big one, which offers the world-famous 4,139-foot vertical drop and a new tram that lifts 100 people to the top of the mountain in nine minutes. No greens up there, and most intermediate blue trails at Jackson are like blacks in other places. Good skiers love Jackson. Great skiers really love it. Check out their packages (many of which include airfare) here and here.
Two: But people who need a place to learn or to warm up can take a bus from their lodgings in Jackson and Teton Village over the pass to Grand Targhee, the snow-drenched backside of the Tetons, where 40 feet of powder transforms ridges and the tops of pines into sculptures. Greenies can ski from the top of the mountain to the bottom. Plus, there’s plenty of territory for advanced skiers who want to come along. I really love Targhee. (Note: The bus-ski ticket from Jackson is $86, which is $6 more than the daily pass at Jackson Hole. The drive takes 1.5 hours each way–30 minutes of which is pick-up at the hotels, including in Teton Village. While the drive can seem hairy in a blizzard, remember: more than 25% of the people who work in Jackson commute every day over this pass. Also, the new buses have huge windows — all the better to watch moose in the woods.)
Three: Snow King Resort
is in the Western-chic town of Jackson Hole itself, which makes it very convenient. If you stay here, you can ski free, day or night, and swim under the stars. Oh, about the skiing–only 15 percent beginner and 60 percent advanced. Too tough for me.
Four: Extreme “Line”
- Nat Geo Expeditions
Skiing involves hiking three-to-four hours up the face of one of the Teton peaks, then cannoning down a crack in the mountain. Line skiing seemed to be the choice of the superstar skiers featured in the free copy of Jackson Hole Skier
in our Snow King condo. The superstars said things like: “Dude,” and “I skied in a hurricane.” I laughed and read all the stories.
Photo: John P Sullivan via the Intelligent Travel Flickr pool