PPP registration deadline today

By Jim Stanford on March 24, 2014

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Conditions could be good for the annual rite of spring.

Competitors and fun-class partiers wishing to participate in the 39th annual Pole Pedal Paddle must sign up today to avoid a $15 late fee.

Register online or at the ski club office upstairs in Snow King Center.

The race will feature a top-to-bottom super-G at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, 8-k Nordic ski at Shooting Star, 20-mile cycle to the Snake River and 10-mile paddle to the finish at Astoria Hot Springs.

As the News&Guide reported Friday, the bike leg will be split slightly to accommodate the Nordic course layout, with racers pedaling about a mile to begin skate skiing.

The forecast for Saturday is calling for sunshine and a high of 44 degrees.

Participants may compete solo or with a team, in racing or recreation classes. Fun class is judged not on time but by who appears to be having the most fun. It’s not uncommon to have chiseled Olympians racing alongside costumed beer guzzlers.

Cash prizes of up to $500 will be awarded to the top three finishers in racing class (individuals and teams), with gift certificates for rec class. Raffle prizes include a kayak from Rendezvous River Sports and 2014-15 JHMR season pass.

Entry fees are $60 per individual or $45 per team member. Fun class is $80 per team, and family teams are $70.

After the race, awards will be given at Teton Village, and Michael Franti and Spearhead will perform a free concert as part of the Jackson Hole Rendezvous.


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park road to get consistent grooming

By Jim Stanford on January 29, 2014

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Skate skiing is an easy glide by the Tetons.

For skinny skiers, the Teton Park Road is about to get smoother.

Teton County has reached an agreement with Grand Teton National Park to groom 15 miles of the road for Nordic skiing. The county will groom at least once a week between the Taggart Lake parking lot and Signal Mountain Lodge.

As with other trails around the valley, the track will accommodate classic and skate skiing. Donations to the GTNP Foundation, a private nonprofit, will pay for the service.

The road is closed to vehicle traffic during winter. While a popular destination, the park has groomed it only sporadically in recent years as funding and staffing have allowed. Winds tend to eradicate the track quickly.

Jackson-Teton County Parks and Rec will groom on Saturdays and perhaps other days as well. The park will continue to augment the service when possible.

The agreement makes sense for tourism. Skiing or walking along the park road is one of the few premier activities in winter outside the ski resorts.

Besides, there are never enough excuses to go to Dornan’s.


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cold not a record; PPP nordic leg on

By Jim Stanford on March 25, 2013

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Temperature at the airport.

Today’s chilly morning, with a temperature of -8 degrees at Jackson Hole Airport, made for lots of annoying “I’m glad I’m on spring break” Facebook posts, but it was not a record, according to meteorologist Jim Woodmencey.

The record for March 25 in Jackson is -27 degrees, set in 1965, he said.

The meteorologist noted colder temperatures in Bondurant (-18) and at Yellowstone Lake (-19) this morning. The lows may have been even a few degrees colder before dawn, he said.

The recent blast of winter has ensured that there will be a nordic leg for the 38th annual Pole Pedal Paddle on Saturday. The Jackson Hole Ski Club will set a course at the base of the mountain by the Teewinot and/or Eagle’s Rest lifts.

Today is the deadline to register for the PPP without paying an additional $15 registration fee. Sign up to participate individually or with a team here.

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Morton repeats as PPP champ

By Jim Stanford on April 1, 2012

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Out of hibernation: Zen Deathriders, sporting bear hides, won the fun class.

Whether skiing, biking, paddling or skating for the Jackson Hole Moose hockey team, Spencer Morton can do it all.

Morton retained his title as the best all-around athlete in Jackson Hole yesterday by winning the racing class of the 37th annual Pole Pedal Paddle.

Spencer Morton

On a day that began with pouring rain and ended with brilliant sunshine at Astoria Hot Springs, Morton survived a grueling nordic leg and edged triathlete Adam Wirth of Boise, Idaho, and Dave Bergart of Victor. Morton’s total time for the 4,139-vertical-foot downhill, 10-k cross-country ski, 20-mile bike and 10-mile paddle was 2 hours, 22 minutes and 49 seconds.

Katie Engelman won the women’s racing class by one minute over Kathleen Crowley, finishing in 2:41:21. Peter Neal, 14, won the men’s recreational class. Complete results are posted here.

Afterward, competitors enjoyed music in the sun at Teton Village by Jackson bands Lazy Eyes and Elk Attack, followed by Mountain Fest headliner G. Love and Special Sauce. It was a perfect ending to one of the biggest PPPs in recent history.

For more on the event, see Monday’s Daily and Wednesday’s News&Guide.


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ski club streamlining PPP prep

By Jim Stanford on March 26, 2012

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Yahoo in transition.

Despite the spring melt-off, the nordic leg of the Pole Pedal Paddle appears to be intact heading into Saturday’s race.

Carrie Boynton, Jackson Hole Ski Club director, says organizers are making every effort to retain the cross-country 10-k at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

“There are a few holes, but otherwise it looks good,” Boynton said of the course.

So, too, does the weather forecast for the week, calling for a mix of sun and clouds and temperatures in the high 40s and low 50s — a far cry from the frigid and downright blizzard conditions competitors have endured in recent years. Roads are dry, and the flow of the Snake River is up slightly.

Today is the deadline to sign up for the 37th annual PPP without paying a $15 late fee. The club has mulled relaxing the late fees, but it helps organizers to know in advance how many participants to expect, Boynton said. Fun class registration is likely to be up this year, with reduced entry fees and Snake River Brewing Co. offering a $250 party to the team judged to have the most spirit.

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