Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Sugarloaf, ME / Philly
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I've been to Whistler for 20 ish days and Jackson Hole once for 10 days. Whistler is way more touristy, way more people, bumps everywhere if there is no fresh snow, and not once did I experience a big dump while I was there. I know it happens, and there was some snow, but it gets tracked out so damn quick with all the traffic it's near impossible to get to the good stuff without a guide taking you to the local spots.
Jackson was less busy, never waited in a line (this was over Christmas) and it has more of a "we know you are here to ride" vibe and less touristy. Food wasn't insanely priced either. I was staying off mountain, so I can't comment on lodging.
Based on last season, Jackson was the place to be but it seems like the PNW is getting pounded this season, but so it J-hole.
I did get fucked over for a college pass at Jackson this year (called 12 hours after the sale ended, they told me too bad, I would have to pay $1000 more if I wanted a pass), but they do have damn good snow, and an amazing grooming fleet. That is what really impressed me (similar to Colorado mtns) they have the whole grooming thing down and it doesn't get icy until like 3PM.
At Whistler I felt like it is so big they don't groom anything except the most major trails, and it was just bumps and ice everywhere.