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Hundred Days: 11/26/11

Opening Day at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort



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Day 001: 11/26/11 – Opening Day at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

Anyone who has been living in the Jackson area for more than a couple of winters will tell you that last years opening day, with the tram operating and full coverage from the top of Rendezvous Mountain to the bottom of the Lower faces, wasn’t the norm for Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. To think that we could ever have another opening like last season, let alone in back-to-back years, would have been the epitome of wishful thinking. But over the fall, story was spreading of the return of La Nina, during which the Northwest and Northern Rockies tend to have above average snowfall. Judging by snow that fell through November, La Nina was indeed making an encore performance and Jackson Hole was able to announce an opening with over 3000 vertical feet of skiing accessed by the Gondola, Thunder, Casper, Apres Vous and the brand new Marmot lift.

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While nothing will ever match loading onto the tram to start the season, locals knew they were blessed with another above average opening day. Standing in line, skiers and snowboarders reminisced about the days of the ‘White Stripe of Death’; a crowded, man-made sheet of ice that covered a single run from the top to bottom of the Apres Vous lift. With the fact that we were all waiting in line to load onto the Gondola, we knew that we were not doomed to that fate today. Anticipation began the build as toes and fingers went numb standing in the shadow of the Bridger Center. The bluebird sky lit up the mountain and gave us the best view of the coverage in weeks. The crowd was unusually subdued until, at 9:00 am sharp, the flood gates were opened. Gondola cars jammed full 8 at a time unloaded skiers and snowboarders at the base of the headwall with the iconic view of the top of Rendezvous Mountain above and the valley floor below. Clicking into skis and strapping on snowboards felt extremely familiar, and after a couple of turns through the soft, untracked snow, we knew we were back home.


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We are extremely grateful for the efforts of JHMR, ski patrol, the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center and all those who worked tirelessly over the last few weeks to prepare for opening day and the 2011/2012 season. As the winter begins and we start to unveil new features on The Mountain Pulse, we invite you to join us as we chronicle life in the Tetons. We will continue to feature daily updates including the 100 Days journal, Photos and Videos of the Day as well as post exclusive weekly content covering events, organizations and the people of Jackson Hole. – SPW


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