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Glad to see it was on your must ski list. That's really the point, JH is a
must ski and especially this year.

- Snow quality is mediocre.

This is silly. JH get's some of the lightest and driest snow there is. I
don't think that I have actually ever been out there when the snow wasn't
excellent. However, all resorts can have their bad periods.

- Because of the insane skier volume, it gets tracked out really fast.

No more so than an Aspen Highlands or Squaw Valley or any resort that draws
excellent skiers. You want untracked for days you ski Snowmass. Where else
can youski out the gates into terrain like that available at JH? Then you
have powder for a long long time,

- It's actually rather small.  At 2400 acres....

I find ski area stats to be about the most meaningless in any field. JH has
the steepest, longest, most consistent pitches of any area in NA and The
Hobacks are without question the best powder skiing in the US.

- Its lift system is so old and slow, that you spend way too much time in
line.  What, exactly, is so great about a tram that makes you wait 45
minutes?

It ain't the best but on the tram when you consider that you can ski open
bowls, tight chutes and trees all in one run it's pretty special.

- What a pain it is to get to.  Flying in to town is challenging, and
getting from town to the mountain is unpleasant.  Far more enjoyable are the
places like Park City, Aspen, Breckenridge or Whistler, where you can walk
to the lifts.

You can't compare ease of access of other areas to SLC areas. I'm on a one
stop/no plane change flight. That's pretty easy access and the airport is 30
minutes from Teton Village. As far as ski towns, yes Aspen is wonderful, so
is the Intrawest village at Whistler (great skiing when it isn't raining and
socked in) so is the one at Squaw. You haven't even mentioned Telluride! But
in JH I am walking to the lifts also. I can find negatives for most areas.
But let's at least not put in an area like Breckenridge in the mix. Come on.
Park City is a great town but I'd ski elsewhere if I was in Utah.

So top 10 must ski areas (N.A. Only) in order would be:

Squaw Valley
Aspen/Aspen Highlands/Snowmass
Jackson Hole
Banff/Lake Louise
Mammoth
Alta/Snowbird
Whistler/BC
Telluride
Taos
Stowe

Bonus: Sun Valley







-----Original Message-----
From: Vermont Skiing Discussion and Snow Reports
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of David Merfeld
Sent: Wednesday, March 15, 2006 9:18 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [SKIVT-L] Only 20 Days Left


--Tag Gross wrote:

You will still be able to access the terrain but not via the same route.
They will add another chair that goes up rendezvous from a different area
and it will take multiple lifts to reach the top. A new tram was estimated
to cost $25 million. It's really going to be something that changes the
experience there dramatically. That last rise is incredible and of course
you cruise by Corbet's and S&S.  For those of you on a budget there's Hostel
X or staying in Jackson itself instead of Teton Village. It's been a good
snow year there this year, I believe they are already well over 400".

My one piece of advice after 40+  years for anyone who is a skier is to not
miss this. Max out your credit cards, borrow the money, sell your kids but
get out there.

--End of Quote--

Back in 1994, after 25 years of XC skiing, I decided to try telemarking.
That first year, I spent a week at Jackson Hole.  Being immortal, I
naturally just took the tram up to the top, on my first run, and tried to
ski down Rendezvous bowl.  Well, **that** was an interesting run.

In the 11 years since, I have skied a fair number of the classic resorts in
North American.  This weekend I aim to finish up the list of must-ski
mountains in Colorado, by hitting Snowmass (Ajax and Aspen Highlands were my
wife's and my anniversary present to ourselves a few years ago).

Just last month, we took the kids to JH and Yellowstone.  It was really kind
of surprising, after the intervening years, to compare JH to the
competition.  All in all, I found the place disappointing.  Why?

- Snow quality is mediocre.  It faces East, fergunnissake.  Last time I
checked, north was the preferred direction.  In neither trip did I get
anything that resembled good snow.  There was plenty of good snow out there,
in the backcountry or at Snow King, but JH had none of it.

- Because of the insane skier volume, it gets tracked out really fast.
Three days after a storm, I was getting fresh tracks at Snow King, but a day
earlier I found none at JH.

- It's actually rather small.  At 2400 acres, it used to be considered big.
But compare it to the current crop, and you don't even make the cut unless
you have at least 4K.

- Its lift system is so old and slow, that you spend way too much time in
line.  What, exactly, is so great about a tram that makes you wait 45
minutes?

- This one is a pure personal taste thing, but I find open bowls all pretty
much the same, and much prefer trees.

- What a pain it is to get to.  Flying in to town is challenging, and
getting from town to the mountain is unpleasant.  Far more enjoyable are the
places like Park City, Aspen, Breckenridge or Whistler, where you can walk
to the lifts.

Comparing JH to other mountains, I must conclude that it is resting on its
laurels.

--David Merfeld

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