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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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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Video Blitz boosts filmmakers, nonprofits

By Jim Stanford on October 25, 2012

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Last Saturday, 1 Percent for the Tetons staged perhaps its most successful Schechter Fest yet: screenings of eight short films about the latest round of projects funded by 1 Percent donations.

Nearly 400 people — many of them friends of the young filmmakers — poured into Center for the Arts to watch the clips and vote for their favorite. The above video, by KGB Productions, was the funniest — no surprise, given that KGB are the professional makers of Wyoming Triumph. Because it was voted best by the audience and a panel of judges, the video won an additional $1,000 for the filmmakers and $1,000 for the Candyland Trail built by Teton Freedom Riders.

1 Percent is continuing the Blitz with online voting that will award an additional $1,000, to be split between maker and nonprofit. All of the videos are posted on the 1 Percent website, and the deadline to vote is 5 p.m. Nov. 2.

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Posted under Art, Economy, Environment, Humor

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the beauty of first tracks

By Jim Stanford on November 17, 2011

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The Backcountry Film Fest celebrates the joy of earning your turns.

Tonight, Winter Wildlands Alliance brings its seventh annual Backcountry Film Festival to Snow King Resort. The event is a fund-raiser for Friends of Pathways and the Jackson Hole Ski Club.

Among the films to be screened are Solitaire by Sweetgrass Productions and Breaking Trail by Powderwhore, as well as a short by Jackson’s own Chris Dickey.

Betty Rock is serving pizza and chili, and Snake River Brewing Co. is pouring beer. The festival runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Screenings will begin at 6. Admission is $10, and proceeds will benefit the FoP Teton Pass Ambassador and Ski Club nordic programs. There will be a raffle with a host of great prizes.

With a winter storm blasting Jackson Hole for the next few days, it won’t be long before skiers and riders are breaking trail to earn their turns in the Teton backcountry. Tonight’s lineup is sure to stoke the excitement.


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Vermont fund-raiser nets $4,000

By Jim Stanford on September 27, 2011

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These tees were a big hit.

Last week’s JH4VT benefit party raised nearly $4,000 for Vermont residents and businesses affected by Hurricane Irene.

The money will help people along Route 4, an area especially devastated by the storm.

“Jackson is truly an amazing community that pulls together whenever others need it,” said Don Watkins, one of the organizers.

The strong turnout was not surprising, given that roughly 33 percent of all Jackson Hole residents attended Middlebury College.

Friends of the 802 will continue to accept donations online.


Posted under Economy, Environment