“Mornin’, Dutch. How are ya?”
“Livin’ the dream!” responds the longtime lift operator and supervisor at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. This sentiment was shared by many over the weekend as lifts began spinning on Saturday for the 2012/2013 season—the earliest opening day on record for the resort in Teton Village, WY.
Two lifts—Teewinot and Après Vous—were in operation with more than 2,000 vertical feet of skiing to be had. While warm temperatures leading up to the weekend had some people concerned about coverage, the crew at JHMR did a great job of getting the mountain ready. “It was so rad to get back on skis and rip the white strip” says Burgess Custom founder Sara Deutsch, “Glass half full kids, some of the very best winters around here start quietly.” A prelude to what would happen overnight.
Locals, some donning excellent outfits, were stoked to be sliding around on snow and the lift lines were merely long enough to throw a couple high-fives before being scooped up by the next chair. The Village Café, or V.C. as the watering hole is affectionately known, was bustling by 10:30 in the morning and the FREESKIER staff would check back periodically to make sure the pizza was hot and the beer was cold. For those who preferred to mingle outside, Tram Jam provided the soundtrack at the bottom of the gondola.
Any concerns people may have had about the lack of snow were certainly quelled by Saturday night’s storm that dropped almost a foot of snow on top of the resort and made Sunday’s skiing that much sweeter. Another 4 inches by Monday morning brought the resort’s summit total to 73 inches and is hopefully a good indicator of what’s to come.
JHMR is forgoing any park features for the time being with a focus on getting as much terrain open as quickly as possible. The area around the new Casper high-speed quad is being prepped and the top of the mountain is well on the way to its usual winter wonderland status. Everybody around town seems to be in agreement—it’s go time.
For current weather and snow coniditons as well as videos, check out Jackson Hole in our resort section.