Targhee to rock with Hard Working bands

By Jim Stanford on July 18, 2014

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Dave Schools of Widespread Panic returns to Targhee with Hard Working Americans, a new band fronted by folk singer Todd Snider.

Grand Targhee’s longtime slogan was “Snow from Heaven, Not Hoses.”

This weekend, the notes will fall from the heavens as the Alta, Wyo., resort hosts its 10th annual Targhee Fest. Music fans will flock to higher ground — 8,000 feet of elevation — for a lineup stacked with blues, rock and alt-country.

Blues guitarist Buddy Guy closes tonight, following Benyaro, an acoustic ensemble with local roots; the Neville-Allman supergroup Royal Southern Brotherhood; and Wood Brothers, which teams stand-up bassist Chris (of MM&W) with older brother Oliver on guitar.

Chris Robinson

On Saturday, Targhee presents a marathon slate beginning with jazz duo Charlie Hunter and Scott Amendola, country-rocker Robert Earl Keen, and Amy Helm (daughter of Levon) and the Handsome Strangers. Then the fest kicks into high gear with Widespread Panic bassist Dave Schools and crooner Todd Snider introducing their latest project, Hard Working Americans, followed by Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson’s Brotherhood.

Big Head Todd and the Monsters, long a favorite in northwest Wyoming, closes Saturday. The Colorado band comes full Circle with its debut appearance at Targhee, after many shows at the Mangy Moose and Snow King over the years.

Sunday features a parade of badass female vocalists: Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, Trigger Hippy (featuring Joan Osborne with guitarist Jackie Greene and Crowes drummer Steve Gorman) and headliner Tedeschi Trucks Band, fronted by the lovely Susan Tedeschi.

In addition, there will be late-night bands in the Trap Bar, capped by The Hooligans on Sunday. Single-day tickets are $55 Friday and Sunday and $65 Saturday. Camping is available on site at $35 for adults and $16 for kids.

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words of wisdom for autumn trails

By Jim Stanford on October 8, 2013

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Stewardship of trails requires some restraint.

Anyone who has ventured onto shaded or north-facing slopes in recent days has discovered muddy trails, so wet with melting snow in places that even careful foot passage is nearly impossible.

It’s frustrating when mountain bike season comes abruptly to an end, even more so when pathways are closed by a government shutdown. But there still are several good options (South Park Loop, anyone?) for getting a wheeled workout, especially on a road bike.

From Friends of Pathways:

Riding in mud can wreck the tread on the trail by leaving ruts that dry into hard bumps. This in turn contributes to erosion and further damage, while creating unrideable and hard-to-fix trail surfaces. If you are leaving a visible rut, the trail is too muddy to ride!

Varying weather conditions during the spring and fall can be especially critical for trails. You can still get out and ride and walk the trails, but please be aware of wet trail and very muddy spots. If you see that it is too wet, dismount your bike, push your bike through the mud, and walk on the edge of the trail.

Please don’t ride around the mud spots either; this creates an unsustainably wide trail and can even create two trails in one spot.

Perhaps it’s best to save the mountain bike for Moab or other points south.

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after the burn

By Jim Stanford on August 8, 2013

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A cyclist descends the West Game Creek trail through an area of forest scorched by the Little Horsethief Fire. Photo by Brenton Reagan

Eleven months after the Little Horsethief Fire burned the back of Snow King, nature is rejuvenating itself.

Twice this summer I’ve been fortunate to ride with friends the newly improved West Game Creek trail that descends from the top of the mountain.

The first trip, back in early July, revealed a moonscape of burned-out trees and soot on the ground. Thanks to the efforts of the Forest Service and volunteers, the trail was in surprisingly good shape. Lupine and other wildflowers were blooming in places.

I returned last weekend to find fields of fireweed in the burned areas. Beyond the pink blossoms stood perfect stands of high grass. A hum was audible: bumble bees buzzing through the forest.

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trails, tunes await festgoers

By Jim Stanford on July 19, 2013

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Steve Jones descends the new 38 Special trail into Teton Canyon.

One of the perks of the Widespread Panic weekend at Grand Targhee — redeeming the festival from just total hedonism — was trying out some of the new mountain biking trails at the resort.

Targhee has been improving its trail network in recent years, adding signage for the Quakie Ridge Loop in Rick’s Basin and Lightning Loop to the south. The Mill Creek downhill into Teton Canyon also has seen a substantial upgrade.

Now there are a couple of well-marked routes going up and down Peaked Mountain. Accessed from Lightning Ridge, the Peaked trail climbs in gradual switchbacks to the top of the Peaked chairlift before linking up with 38 Special, a long downhill full of banked turns. 38 Special descends into Mill Creek, and riders can continue all the way to Teton Canyon or climb back to the resort.

There’s also plenty of lift-served downhill biking on the front of Fred’s Mountain, for those who prefer to do their climbing via a chairlift ride.

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Snow King seeks zip line approval

By Jim Stanford on January 22, 2013

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Today the Jackson Town Council will consider a request by operators of the Snow King Ski Area to build a zip line on town land at the bottom of the mountain.

Snow King first floated the idea last May, and the reaction (here and here) has been less than enthusiastic.

This clip, apparently a promotional video made by the manufacturer, illustrates how the zip line would operate. Snow King has provided little information about the design, other than a diagram showing the proposed location.

The zip line would be 700 feet long, constructed east of the Cougar chairlift and west of the ice rink. The top and bottom stations would be on two parcels of land owned by the Town of Jackson. Snow King owns the parcel in between.

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Posted under Economy, Entertainment, Environment, Politics, Ski Resorts, Sports, Town Government

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