Just over the hill from the more famous (and crowded) Jackson Hole, Grand Targhee is a powder junkie's delight, with an annual average snowfall of 500 inches. And its northern location ensures that the fluff stays fluffy.
Skier/Rider Profile: Powder, crud, glades, groomers, bumps, in bounds or out: It's all fair game to the fanatics who spend the interminably long months of summer clad in ski boots with their heads in the freezer.
Gear Profile: The best all-mountain sticks are both responsive and versatile, and refuse to compromise performance over variable conditions. As in other categories, short and fat is where it's at.
Ski: K2 Axis XP
$795; (800) 426-1617 or www.k2skis.com.
Just a few short years ago, K2's Axis XP would have been considered a fringe ski: too short and wide for all but the most dedicated powder junkies. My, how times have changed. These days, the Axis XP's115-78-105 profile is right down the middle of the all-mountain category. What sets this ski apart is its almost psychic ability to turn thought into action. Though it looks big, the Axis XP skis light and agile, without forgoing a whit of stability.
Snowboard: Winterstick All Mountain
$410; (617) 451-0089 or www.winterstick.com.