A Brave Ski Mom Interview with Brenda, a Brave Ski Mom of two from the Philadelphia area.
If you could only ski at one resort this season with your family, which resort would you choose?
Why Grand Targhee?
We went to Grand Targhee two winters ago when our kids were 4 and 6 years old. It is such a nice mountain and we had an incredible time. It is a big western mountain, with an entire section devoted to kids’ skiing. To us, it seemed like the kids’ section alone was bigger than some mountain in the Northeast! With our kids, we explored the Eyeball Forest (wooden eyeballs on the trees), Candyland, the Bobsled Run and the Bear’s Den. The kids were in a learn-to-ski program in the morning and then we’d hook up with them after lunch. There is even one green trail from the very top of the mountain which they enjoyed. It has a great view of the Tetons and they were excited to be so high.
On this same trip, we also went to Jackson Hole. The cost of the kids’ program at Grand Targhee was about half of the cost at Jackson Hole and we were very pleased.
And for the adults?
We got to ski by ourselves in the morning and that’s when we got our invigorating runs in. At lunch, we would meet back up with the kids and hear what they had learned. They were so excited to show us what they could do and where they had skied. They showed us around all afternoon.
Is there anything that could be improved at Grand Targhee to make it even better for family skiing?
There weren’t alot of dining options in the base village, so sometimes they wait could be a bit long. It would be nice to have a few more options, especially for families with hungry kids. The nearest town is about 20 minutes away, so really you are mostly limited to the resort.
Any secrets you’re willing to share?
We were only there for 3 days and we were totally focused on our children, so I don’t know if I learned any local secrets. But actually, the entire resort is somewhat of a secret. There are no lift lines, even on weekends from what we understand. The whole place is somewhat of a secret. No lift lines, even on weekends, from what we understand. It is so close to Jackson Hole but because you have to drive from the Jackson Hole airport to get to Grand Targhee, it takes some effort.
Grand Targhee gets over 500 inches of snow in an average year and the views of the backside of the Tetons are incredible. We were there in the Spring and it wasn’t too cold.
What advice would you give other families before they come to Grand Targhee?
Despite being a big mountain, the base village is small and there really isn’t a town. We stayed slopeside at the lodge. It’s not fancy, but very comfortable. There are rental homes and condos available, which would be a great choice for families who want to cook. The lodge rooms had a microwave and refrigerator, but no dishes or utensils.
We ended up renting a car and driving from Jackson Hole. But shuttles are available. If you are going to catch a shuttle to Grand Targhee and stay right there, you can get by with a car. You can also fly into Idaho Falls and drive.
What makes Grand Targhee unique?
It’s a huge place. There is something at Grand Targhee for everyone. We only had the mornings to explore without our kids, so we didn’t get to ski everything. There is one whole side of the mountain we never got to with hike-to and cat skiing. We did find some very nice glades and wide open bowls which we enjoyed!
What is your favorite memory of Grand Targhee?
We took the kids up to very top, to ski the one green trail that comes down. They were really excited to be on top of the world. I loved seeing them skiing and having such a great time.
Do you have any tips to share with other parents?
Utilize ski school. Unless you’re a PSIA instructor, it is not a bad thing to hand your kids off to the experts. Find a mountain that knows what kids need and how to teach them. Get your kids out there and get them comfortable with skis. If you can arrange to have them ski with friends, do it. Having a buddy along makes it less scary to go to ski school.
Don’t ever think your children are too young to start skiing. In a few more years, my kids will be skiing better than I do! That’s exciting.
What is your favorite thing about family skiing?
The opportunity to be together and do something we love. We love the outdoors. So many people think that winter is a time to hunker down and watch movies. But skiing is something to do that’s active and outdoors in the fresh air.
Sometimes when life is busy, you don’t have so much time to talk with one another. The chairlift is great for finding time together to really connect.
The Brave Ski Mom Adds…
As Brenda says, Grand Targhee has something for everyone. Even though she and her family were really focused on skiing on the childrens’ slopes, the mountain has plenty of blue, black and double black runs and glades, as well as the guided cat skiing area that she mentioned on Peaked Mountain. For $349 for a full day or $199 for a half-day, you can join 11 other skiers for an unmatched powder adventure. The average vertical per run in the cat skiing area is 2,000 feet with most skiers getting up to 20,000 vertical in a day!
In addition, Grand Targhee also has a nordic trail system with 15 km of groomed trail. Other activities available include guided backcountry tours, the Teton ice park for ice climbing and for those a bit less adventurous, tubing, snow shoe tours, sleigh ride dinners and snowmobile tours. Truly, something for everyone!
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