Chasing Ice screening at Walk Hall

By Jim Stanford on January 15, 2014

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The film chronicles shrinking glaciers.

Staffers at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort have organized an inaugural Eco Night on Thursday, featuring a screening of the acclaimed documentary Chasing Ice.

Chasing Ice is photographer Jim Balog‘s attempt to chronicle the rapidly changing Arctic landscape. Balog placed cameras in some of the harshest environments on Earth and shot time-lapse images of glaciers for three years. He found mountains of ice disappearing.

Also at the intersection of skiing and climate change, writer Porter Fox will be in Jackson on Saturday night promoting his book Deep, which ponders diminishing snow and the sport’s uncertain future. Fox will sign copies of the book during a party at Q Roadhouse, and Lazy Eyes will perform.

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Posted under Environment, Ski Resorts, Sports

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having a ball

By Jim Stanford on September 27, 2013

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TreeFight hosts the inaugural TreeBall.

Snow this week — 8 inches or more in the Tetons — has induced a bit of hibernation around Jackson Hole. (Lord knows this site has been in slumber!) Many residents have been content to curl up with a book beside the fire, but not these dudes, who already made some turns on Teton Pass.

Nothing shakes off the autumn doldrums like a good party, and this weekend features back-to-back soirees. Tonight at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, David Gonzales throws his inaugural TreeBall, a benefit for efforts to save whitebark pines, followed Saturday by the Jackson Hole Ski Club’s Ski Ball.

A slew of artists have donated works for the TreeFight event. Ballgoers are invited to come in snazzy attire and swing to the sounds of the Jackson Hole Jazz Foundation Big Band, conducted by Tony Saladino. The museum’s Rising Sage Cafe will serve appetizers. Tickets are $50, available here.

TreeBall comes on the day of more dire news about climate change. The loss of whitebark pines spells grave consequences for the Yellowstone ecosystem.

On Saturday, the ski club throws its annual bash atop the gondola at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, where the slopes already are looking wintry. As of this writing, the Ski Ball is nearly sold out. But the club is holding a raffle for a deluxe trip to a Mexican beach resort, a prospect that sounds pretty good right now. Raffle entrants need not attend the ball; tickets are available here.


Posted under Art, Entertainment, Environment, Music

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2012 hottest year on record in Wyoming

By Jim Stanford on December 20, 2012

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View of town and the Tetons on Sept. 21, at the height of smoke from Idaho fires.

The mercury may have been hovering around -10 the last few mornings, but this year is likely to be the warmest ever recorded in Wyoming, according to the National Climatic Data Center.

Temperatures for January through November were 4.3 degrees above normal. Given the mild start to December, 2012 is projected to surpass 1934 as the warmest year since record keeping began in 1895.

Three of the warmest years in the state’s history have occurred since 2006, according to NOAA data. 2007 was the fourth-warmest, and 2006 ranks sixth.

The trend is in keeping with the rest of the nation, as 2012 likely will be the hottest on record in the lower 48. Northern and Western states showed the greatest increases in temperatures, with only Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada and North Dakota exceeding Wyoming’s deviation from the norm.

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Posted under Environment, Weather, Wyoming


King doubtful for weekend opening

By Jim Stanford on December 4, 2012

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A webcam snapshot sums up what the past few weeks have been like in town.

In what should be obvious to all but the most optimistic skiers, barring a huge dump, Snow King Ski Area is unlikely to open its lifts Saturday as planned.

“Not looking good at all,” mountain operations manager Adam Shankland wrote.

Persistent rain and warm weather in recent weeks have put snowmaking well behind schedule. The King generally relies on a man-made base even when conditions are good.

Much colder nighttime temperatures are expected this weekend, with the National Weather Service calling for a low Sunday of 3 degrees.

Meanwhile, snow continues to accumulate above 8,000 feet, prompting Jackson Hole Mountain Resort to consider opening more terrain. The snow depth at 9,600 feet is 44 inches, according to the Bridger-Teton avalanche forecast.

Update 12/6: JHMR will open the new Casper high-speed quad Thursday, followed by the gondola and Marmot on Friday and tram, Thunder and Sublette on Sunday. The resort moved up the gondola and summit openings by a day.

(Photo via All Jackson Hole)


Posted under Economy, Environment, Ski Resorts, Sports, Weather

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in memoriam: The Snaz

By Jim Stanford on November 21, 2012

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A chapter in Jackson Hole media history has come to a close, as David Gonzales announced yesterday he will cease publishing The Snaz.

The popular website was Jackson Hole’s first mountain culture blog, established in 2006. Originally dedicated to Jackson Hole videos, the site evolved into a platform for news, discussion, fine art photography and conservation.

Original logo.

Gonzales said he is retiring the site to focus on TreeFight, the effort he founded in 2010 to protect whitebark pine forests from climate change.

“I had to consolidate my efforts,” he said. “TreeFight is more important in every way.”

Although there were several experimental websites in the early 2000s — jhlocal among them — The Snaz was the first Jackson Hole blog to achieve a wide audience. At the height of its popularity, the site drew close to 2,000 readers per day, Gonzales said.

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Posted under Environment, Media

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