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TR Grand Targhee, Big Sky, Bridger, March 2024

marzNC

Angel Diva
It's been a while since I tried doing a trip report during the trip. Don't know how this will turn out, but here goes.

The plan involves meeting up with Albuquerque Bill and a Diva in SLC, driving to Driggs to ski Grand Targhee (GT), driving to Big Sky, and finishing up with a couple days at Bridger while staying in Bozeman. Other Divas will be joining in at Big Sky. There is a Meet On The Hill (MOTH) thread if anyone is interested in details about ski days in advance.

There will be a major snowstorm at GT starting later today. Hopefully after we get to Driggs.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Flew out from RDU to SLC yesterday, Feb. 28, via MDW. Had tried to book via DAL in September but Southwest changed my flight in November. Same arrival time. Irony is that my midday flight from Raleigh to Chicago was fine. However, the next plane started in Atlanta. It had to go around the strong line of thunderstorms and high winds. End result was that the MDW-SLC flight left about 2 hours late.

After checking bags at RDU, about 10am
RDU-SLC flight Feb2024 - 1.jpeg

Windy arrival in Chicago
RDU-SLC flight Feb2024 - 2.jpeg

Better food and fewer people in Terminal A, salmon was good.
Layover was supposed to be about 3.5 hours
RDU-SLC flight Feb2024 - 3.jpeg

Sat in front based on A45 boarding (Early Bird), beat the bags at Baggage Claim, got them about 9:00pm MT, so 14 hours to get from NC to UT.
New double ski bag, with wheels, worked out pretty well, brought powder skis and all-mountain skis.
SLC baggage Feb2024 - 1.jpeg
 

2funoutdoors

Diva in Training
It's been a while since I tried doing a trip report during the trip. Don't know how this will turn out, but here goes.

The plan involves meeting up with Albuquerque Bill and a Diva in SLC, driving to Driggs to ski Grand Targhee (GT), driving to Big Sky, and finishing up with a couple days at Bridger while staying in Bozeman. Other Divas will be joining in at Big Sky. There is a Meet On The Hill (MOTH) thread if anyone is interested in details about ski days in advance.

There will be a major snowstorm at GT starting later today. Hopefully after we get to Driggs.
Lucky ducks! ;)
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Today, Feb. 29, was another travel day. We drove from SLC to Driggs, ID. That's the small town (pop. about 2200) that is the closest to Grand Targhee. I've always stayed in Driggs when skiing GT on the way to Big Sky. Last last year, we have a condo at Buffalo Junction, just north of the center of town.

Lucky for us the start of the snowstorm was delayed until late tonight. With the unusually warm weather, the roads were dry. There was no risk of blowing snow because there have been thaw/freeze cycles recently.

For this part of the trip, the "crew" is MarzNC, @teppaz , and Bill. The three of us traveled to SLC separately from NY, NC, NM. We'll be meeting up with @mountainwest and her DH, who are locals.

Sunrise in SLC, view from Crystal Inn Midvalley
GT Day 0 29Feb2024 - 1.jpeg

Loading up a Ford Edge with luggage and ski gear for 3 adults, 4 pairs of skis, 2 standard boot bags, 1 Transpack SideKick with boots and helmet put in the car separately
By unpacking my ski bag, I could fold it up and squeeze it in easier, they stray items all fit into the extra backpack that folds into it's own pocket
GT Day 0 29Feb2024 - 2.jpegGT Day 0 29Feb2024 - 3.jpegGT Day 0 29Feb2024 - 4.jpeg

Dry road past Rexburg as the mountains come into view
GT Day 0 29Feb2024 - 5.jpeg
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
After getting into the condo in Buffalo Junction, we headed into Driggs. @teppaz opted to rent powder skis from Peak Sports, as recommended by @mountainwest . We stocked up on food for the next few days at the local supermarket, Broulim's. It's an independent grocery and had a very good selection. With the snowstorm coming in, seemed like a good idea to have supplies for eating dinner in the condo on Friday evening.

The timing was perfect for an early dinner at Royal Wolf. I haven't been there since 2013. The food is as good as ever. Forgot to take a picture of my Wiskey Chicken. We had a good view of the locals playing pool, with the winner staying at the table.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
March 1 was a powder day. The locals knew it. We got to the parking lot just before 8:00am. We were lucky to get one of the last spaces in the first few rows, just before the pay section. We've learned where to boot up inside the lodge. There were competitors for the freestyle comp all waiting around for the go ahead to go over to the Sac lift.

The Mountain Collective Pass is direct-to-lift for the included days. I got the bonus day at GT. Bill and @teppaz will need to go to the Activities Desk on Sunday for their third day at 50%.

It started snowing about 9:00. Dreamcatcher (main lift from the base) didn't run in the morning. We gave Blackfoot a try but the visibility was very poor and the snow wasn't good either because of the hard stuff that wasn't covered enough, so we headed to Sac. While that was okay, after lunch we went to Colter.

Had a ball on the blues off Colter (6-pack new for 2022-23) for more than two hours straight. Very few people, with the snow getting deeper every run. Did Jack Straw several times.

Main base, heated walkways much a huge difference
GT Day 1 01Mar2024 - 1.jpeg

Snowy afternoon, Bill and teppaz
GT Day 1 01Mar2024 - 2.jpeg

Last run on Shoshone that serves the teaching terrain. Plenty of powder turns to be had. An instructor was teaching a group of beginner adults on the side of the North Pole terrain park how to handle powder while make small wedge turns. I opted to play in the fresh snow with my Stormriders. It was dense enough that I wasn't really having issues sinking.
GT Day 1 01Mar2024 - 3.jpeg

Took a little while to get the snow off the car, also the slush out of the wheel wells
GT Day 1 01Mar2024 - 4.jpeg
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Saturday will be the major storm day. I wonder if the freestyle competition will be delayed until Sunday.

We rode up with a competitor who was skiing solo on Colter. He's from Jackson. Skied Corbett's when he was 9. Think he's about 12 at most. He was enjoying the snow at GT.

March 1, 2024
 

Tennessee

Angel Diva
Looks like you are powder lucky! Enjoy. Eat the food. All the food at Targhee is good — especially the Ahi Tuna poke bowl at Snorkels!
 

teppaz

Angel Diva
I was happy to have rented powder skis (Icelantic Maiden 101, super-fun) because my technique in those conditions isn’t great. They helped me feel more comfortable and I had a blast. More today!
Update: not more today as Grand Targhee is not opening. We’re not sure why as the conditions aren’t all that unusual for the area.
 

santacruz skier

Angel Diva
Update: not more today as Grand Targhee is not opening. We’re not sure why as the conditions aren’t all that unusual for the area.
Snowshoeing perhaps?
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Oh well, sometimes the best laid plans don't work out. Bottom line is that GT didn't open this morning. The issue was not exactly weather, but the snow on the road last night up from Alta, WY was a factor. We learned the story at the local ski shop where @teppaz rented her powder skis.

I was out early getting snow off the car. We wanted to leave the condo at 7:15 in order to get to GT before 8:00am. On a powder day that's a Saturday, need to be early to get decent parking.

Sunrise in Driggs, March 2, 2024
GT Day 2 02Mar2024 - 3.jpeg
 

santacruz skier

Angel Diva
Oh well, sometimes the best laid plans don't work out. Bottom line is that GT didn't open this morning. The issue was not exactly weather, but the snow on the road last night up from Alta, WY was a factor. We learned the story at the local ski shop where @teppaz rented her powder skis.

I was out early getting snow off the car. We wanted to leave the condo at 7:15 in order to get to GT before 8:00am. On a powder day that's a Saturday, need to be early to get decent parking.

Sunrise in Driggs, March 2, 2024
View attachment 22634
Nice photo! Way too early for me!
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Snowshoeing perhaps?
It started snowing again in Driggs. There are bands of snow that will continue coming across the Tetons for the next 12-18 hours.

We waiting in the queue of cars for a while until the official announcement was made. After going back to the condo to change to street clothes, we check out a few places in Driggs. The Wydaho Coffee House is wonderful. We got pastries, good coffee, and/or hot chocolate. There was sunshine when we went in, but it was snowing again when we left.

Peak Sports is the shop that @mountainwest had recommendation for renting skis. They were willing to adjust the 3-day rental to just two separate days given that GT was closed today. I noted that they carry the Dalbello line of 3-buckle boots. A woman was just finishing up her purchase, including Intuition liners.

Also took a little walk from the Buffalo Junction condo to Figgie's Deli. They are open 11am-4pm so never been around when it was open. The menu looks very good.
 

teppaz

Angel Diva
Peak Sports is the shop that @mountainwest had recommendation for renting skis. They were willing to adjust the 3-day rental to just two separate days given that GT was closed today. I noted that they carry the Dalbello line of 3-buckle boots. A woman was just finishing up her purchase, including Intuition liners.
I was impressed by their flexibility. Good attitude wins them a return client.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
If anyone is interested in the weather around the time of this trip, check out the related Conditions thread. While I'm always checking OpenSnow for the forecasts for my favorite resorts, I pay even more attention starting about a couple weeks before I arrive. Partially in order to decide what to pack. Although I take a range of options in case the temperatures vary more than expected, especially for a trip that involves more than one destination.

 

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