Grand Targhee: Mountain Tour

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The smart way to ski Targhee's 1,500 acres is from south to north, across the mountain. Beginning at 9:30 am atop the Dreamcatcher quad, powder junkies start their day with warmup runs down blue cruisers Crazy Horse and Wild Willie. If you're looking for corduroy to begin your day, check out Lost Groomers Chute (it's just a name) or Sitting Bull, a blue run that forks nicely into Wild Turkey, Midway Traverse or Big Thunder. Keep riding Dreamcatcher for fresh tracks through noon or so. Need to refuel? Head to Snorkel's for a sandwich, a cappuccino and a much-needed rest. After lunch, migrate north via Sitting Bull or The Face to the black-diamond open bowls of the Headwall area. There you'll find Good Medicine, The Ugly and Bad Medicine en route to the Blackfoot double chair for some afternoon powder stashes. Drop into the intermediate Chief Joseph Bowl and ride the wind drift deposits of the Blackfoot area until your legs beg for mercy. Or keep working 'em: mogul masochists can dig the bumps on Big Thunder and Sweetwater. Beginner skiers should use the Shoshone quad, which opens at 9 am, and continue south to north across the Shoshone lift area. Need more challenge? Targhee offers another 1,500 magical acres and 2,800 vertical feet designated exclusively for snowcat powder skiing on Peaked Mountain. Starting at 9 am, face shots will keep you well-hydrated as a guide takes you through waist-deep powder for half- or full-day tours of pure, champagne heaven. To ensure a spot, book a tour several days in advance at the mountain Activity Center in the main village. (Prices are $240 for a full day, $175 for a half day.) Afterward, kick back to some live music with a well-deserved microbrew at the "nearly world-famous" base-area Trap Bar.