Ed runs ski streak to 149 months

By Jim Stanford on March 11, 2013

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Well done, Ed: Bushnell prepares for the descent as clouds envelop the Tetons.

On a weekend that saw a Washington racer capture the Town Downhill crown, another skier quietly extended a feat stretching more than 12 years.

Ed Bushnell, the former journalist and videographer turned prosecuting attorney, returned to the Tetons and skied the backcountry Saturday, his 149th consecutive month of skiing.

Last we checked in with Ed, his streak had eclipsed 10 years. He has been skiing at least once every month since Bill Clinton was president.

To put it in perspective, when Ed began skiing year round in the fall of 2000, there was no Facebook, many of us still had dial-up Internet and it would be three years before I owned my first cell phone.

Now a deputy prosecutor in Clackamas County, Ore., Ed cobbled together gear and charged up Mount Glory with friends. He skied powder in the north-facing woods and found conditions so good that he went for a second lap.

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2 killed in avalanches

By Jim Stanford on January 28, 2013

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Nick Gillespie on Static Peak.

No sooner had skiers and riders relearned the joy of fresh powder yesterday than two people died in separate avalanches around Jackson.

Grand Teton National Park has identified the man killed in a slide in the northern part of the range as Nick Gillespie, a seasonal worker.

Gillespie was skiing with three companions on Survey Peak when the slide occurred, said spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs.

Earlier today authorities identified another victim from an avalanche in Hoback Canyon as Liza Benson, 28.

Gillespie, 30, worked on the park’s trail crew for several years, Skaggs said. He and his party skied into the Berry Creek area on the west shore of Jackson Lake on Thursday and had spent several days in the backcountry.

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Return of the King

By Jim Stanford on December 20, 2012

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Snow King Ski Area will open its Cougar and Summit chairs to the public Saturday, finally kicking off lift service this winter at the Town Hill.

Skiers and snowboarders did not wait. As documented in the clip above, many hiked the mountain Monday and rode deep, smooth powder, after a storm dumped a foot of snow on the upper slopes.

Wyoming’s first ski area originally planned to open Dec. 8, but warm weather hampered snowmaking and rendered the mountain Rain King.

With a little help from Mother Nature, snowmakers have been catching up. Today the Cougar chair operated for a race, and the resort finally groomed the frozen chunks of death cookies on the lower slopes into a carpet of corduroy.

A two-hour lift ticket is $20. The warming hut by the Alpine Slide is serving as season pass office while Snow King Center is undergoing renovation.

(Video courtesy David Gonzales of TreeFight)

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Selko honored for ski photography

By Jim Stanford on December 12, 2012

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Selko, right, poses with some gaper while covering the 2006 Torino Olympics.

Although the news has been shared widely since last week’s announcement, let me add my congratulations to photographer Jonathan Selkowitz for being named the International Ski Federation’s Journalist of the Year.

The award recognizes journalists for their career contributions to the sport. For 20 years, Selkowitz has poured an astounding amount of passion into covering ski racing, which is far from lucrative and, aside from Olympic years, receives little attention.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jonathan at two Olympics and other skiing events. No one works harder on and off the slopes, as the story below attests. He also is one of the more thoughtful humans on the planet.

In winning the award, presented jointly by the FIS and U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, Selko joins a select group that includes longtime TV announcers Bob Beattie and Tim Ryan and the late USSA correspondent Paul Robbins.

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JHMR speeds up opening; tram to run Saturday

By Jim Stanford on December 6, 2012

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First bro’s on new Casper chair.

After a big week of snow, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort will open its upper mountain earlier than expected. The Bridger Gondola and Marmot chair will open tomorrow, followed by the aerial tram and Thunder and Sublette chairs Saturday.

The resort has received 33 inches of snow in Rendezvous Bowl since Dec. 1. Also, ski patrol has completed preparatory work on the upper mountain faster than anticipated, spokeswoman Anna Cole said.

Today the resort opened the new Casper high-speed quad at mid-mountain. Aimed at intermediates, the $5 million lift replaces a 38-year-old triple chair.

Warm weather has made the snow dense, padding rocks. Colder temperatures and intermittent snow are expected for the next week.

(Photo by Julie Weinberger, via JHMR)

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