skimming o’ the pond Sunday

By Jim Stanford on March 16, 2013

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For a second straight year, Snow King’s annual Pond Skimming Party falls on St. Patrick’s Day. And while the recent spring weather would have been ideal, perhaps even filling the pool, the snowstorm predicted for Sunday will only heighten the stakes for skimmers.

Festivities run from noon to 4 p.m., with music, food and sudsy beverages. Last year organizers poured green beer, and there has been talk of coloring the pool. Check out the resort’s Facebook page for photos and more details.

For those looking to celebrate their Irish heritage off the slopes, tonight Center for the Arts hosts the acclaimed Celtic band Lúnasa. Tickets start at $15.

And over in Teton Valley, Fitzgerald’s Bicycles throws its 10th annual St. Patrick’s party at 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Wildwood Room. Snake River Brewery has made a special batch of Irish stout, and The Flannel Attractions will perform.

This video is from the 2010 pond skim. To all the hardy participants, Sláinte!

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in memoriam: Joe Casey

By Jim Stanford on February 5, 2013

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This team photo was typical of Casey’s sense of humor.

The Jackson Hole community is struggling to come to grips with the death yesterday of Moose hockey player Joe Casey.

Casey was a 13-year veteran of the Moose, the captain and all-time leading scorer. He was one of the funniest characters ever to grace the Snow King ice.

Teammates say he may have died of pneumonia. He had been feeling ill over the weekend and sought medical attention, but the severity of his illness may have been unknown. An autopsy is pending, his brother Mikey said. He was 37 years old.

Shock was the prevailing emotion late Monday night, as friends gathered in the Moose locker room at Snow King. While teammates traded stories, many people were still in disbelief, as if his death were a hoax he might have staged for a laugh.

Only three days earlier, on Friday night, he tallied two assists in Jackson’s 5-4 win over the Chicago Chargers, according to the club’s website.

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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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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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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)

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