- Overall Rating 5
- Family Friendly 3
- All-Mtn. Terrain 5
- Terrain Park 4
- Nightlife 2
Date Visited: Dec 24, 2006
I am from Buffalo, New York, and just spent 5 days riding at Jackson, here are my thoughts. When you think you're a "good" rider/skier, pack your gear and head for "The Big One" (that's what the locals call it and for good reason). Everything you have heard and read about Jackson's terrain is true! Here's why:
#1 Terrain: Jackson's blue runs are diamond runs on the East coast. Most runs are steep and are two to three, sometimes four times as long. So if you're a person who does not workout regularly or are not used to big mountain riding, your legs are going to be noodles. Don't worry, if you stay at the Teon Mountain Lodge, you can recover quickly using the two-person Jacuzzi tub. Loved it!
#2 Altitude: Rendezvous Mountain sits at 10,450 feet. Have no illusions, if you are not used to big mountain riding, you will feel the altitude in your lungs. For example, to get to the top of Rendezvous Mountain (where these images were taken), I took the Bridger Gondola, worked my way over to the Thunder chair, then to the Sublette chair, and finally the East Ridge chair. Took about 45 minutes from the Bridger Gondola, but by the time I got there I was tired, and I did squats for a month to get ready for Jackson!
#3 Snow: On Friday, December 15, it dumped. The snow itself looked like little pebbles, and the wind was clocked at 50mph if not more in some places. Did it sting? Yes! Could I see? No. Did I care? HELL NO, because I was in heaven. There was powder and fresh tracks to be had all over the mountain, and this is why I came to Jackson.
#4 Scene: Jackson Hole isn't famous for it's local scene and for good reason, there isn't much of one, unless you're a local or have friends there. You have the local spots (Moose bar), and the city spots made popular like Silver Dollar Bar. etc., but for the most part, I was not impressed. Another thing my wife and I noticed was the service. Not a very customer service oriented place, as the people were not very outgoing. My wife and I are in our mid 30's, and most of the service folks where in the 20's, so there was a generation gap if you will.
The one spot we loved was the Cadillac Bar. I wish I knew what the bartender's name was, (stout guy with a beard) because he was outgoing, funny and made everyone in the place feel at home. He was very fast when serving drinks, and gave you a fresh drink before you could ask for one! By the way, he was older, in his 40's and understood the meaning of customer service. That's the only place in Jackson where we really felt welcomed.
Overall: I enjoyed Jackson Hole, it is a great mountain and will test you abilities from expert to novice. The terrain is sick, and changes frequently. One reviewer said there was a lot of mogals, and I agree. If you snowboard, you can look at it two ways: You can say this sucks and go back to Apres Vou, or you can say this is a challenge Jackson is throwing at me and I will take it on. Life isn't perfect nor is Jackson, but she will test you. That said, suck it up, and if you are a "good" rider, here is another test to make you better. The Big One gets a 5!!!!