The entire West Coast finally got what they needed last weekend: a major storm that pounded the mountains with multiple feet of fresh snow. From Mammoth Mountain to the Sierras and into the Pacific Northwest, white gold rained down and allowed many resorts to fully open for the 2012/13 season. The Rockies got their fair share as well, with resorts in Utah and Colorado receiving a bit of moisture. But one of the resorts that is leading the pack in terms of total snowfall for the year with 123”: the perennial all star Grand Targhee, WY.
You may have seen the last Resort Report from Grand Targhee from 2011 with DJ Z-Trip on an awesome powder day. Well this season has started off right on track and looks to be another amazing winter in Wyoming. As the lack of snow in Colorado is wearing riders' patience thin, I linked up with Andy Schultz and Jeff Bourgault from Vans retailer Underground Snowboards in Breckenridge and braved the long drive up to Victor, Idaho. Situated at the base of Teton Pass on the Idaho side, Victor is the gateway to Grand Targhee, which lies on the backside of Wyoming’s Teton Range but is only accessible through Idaho. This unique location often keeps many Jackson residents on their side of the pass, and allows for great privacy and minimal crowds, even on good powder days.
With about a 17" storm total, we rolled into Victor late Sunday night and posted up with local powder guru Gary Hansen and Avalon 7’s Rob Kingwell. Due to extremely high winds, most of the lifts were closed all day Sunday, so Monday morning the place was packed with eager skiers and riders ready to ride the fresh snow. Granted, “packed” by Targhee standards is a relative term. We spent the morning riding Dreamcatcher following Gary to untracked turns, then did a little exploring after Sacajawea and Blackfoot de-thawed and opened up. Although Grand Targhee has only four chairlifts, there are many hidden nooks and crannies to discover and always fresh snow to be found somewhere. Almost everyone left the resort by noon, and we spent the entire afternoon seeking stashes while even more snow fell to soften things up.
Tuesday was a different story. With no new snow technically reported, low visibility and much colder temperatures, we arrived at 9am to a nearly empty parking lot and no one in the lift line. And while the report said 0”, overnight the wind had blown in the previous day’s tracks with colder snow and reset the mountain. Dense fog up top gave way to wide open turns down fields of soft, windblown powder and tree runs. By the end of the day the weather picked back up and perfect snowflakes were falling again.
The boys had to get back to Breck so we headed out, but from the looks of it another storm moved in with more on the way. If you’re in need of a quick December powder fix, don’t hesitate. Get in a car, hop on a plane or do whatever you have to do to get to Grand Targhee.
See more photos from the trip to Grand Targhee on vanssnow.tumblr.com.