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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Targhee: Tedeschi Trucks, Chris Robinson

By Jim Stanford on April 1, 2014

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Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi perform with their band at Center for the Arts in Jackson on the summer solstice last year.

Once again, the strains of Southern rock will reverberate through the hills surrounding Grand Targhee this summer.

The lineup for the 10th annual Targhee Fest on July 18-20 features Tedeschi Trucks Band, whose guitarist is Allman Brothers protege Derek Trucks. A pair of Black Crowes will perform with side bands: singer Chris Robinson with his Brotherhood and drummer Steve Gorman with Trigger Hippy.

Widespread Panic bassist Dave Schools returns in Hard Working Americans, fronted by crooner Todd Snider (auteur of this patriotic hymn). Royal Southern Brotherhood, featuring another Allmans scion, guitarist Devon Allman, also will play at the Alta, Wyo., resort.

Rounding out the lineup are Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, The Wood Brothers, Charlie Hunter and Scott Amendola, Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, Amy Helm and the Handsome Strangers, The Hooligans, and Big Head Todd.

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in memoriam: Slim Weston

By Jim Stanford on February 12, 2014

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Leon “Slim” Weston

Leon “Slim” Weston, the iconic cowboy lifty who greeted skiers at Grand Targhee for 45 winters, died last night after a battle with cancer. He was 72 years old.

Weston’s smile, cowboy hat and long, lean frame were a fixture at Targhee since the resort’s inception in 1969. He appeared in Warren Miller films and a host of ski magazines, gaining as much of a reputation as the resort’s fresh powder. A snowboarder, he was known to give out hugs and back rubs in the lift lines.

“He is the spirit of Grand Targhee and is greatly missed,” resort spokesman Ken Rider said. “A bunch of heavy hearts over here today.”

Weston was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2011 and had been fighting an ongoing battle. Still, he worked three days at the resort last week.

“Whatever he wanted to work, we’d let him work,” Rider said.

Weston was a farmer and rancher who lived outside Driggs. He got his nickname after riding up on his horse at the beginning of a Miller ski movie, and the filmmaker called him “Ol’ Slim.”

Rider said the resort is deferring to Weston’s family on plans for a memorial service. More information will be posted as soon as it is available.

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powder, sunshine for Targhee opening

By Jim Stanford on November 23, 2013

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Frederick Reimers carves a north-facing stash above the Blackfoot lift.

Grand Targhee couldn’t have scripted a much better opening for its 45th season.

A huge crowd from Wyoming and eastern Idaho turned out yesterday to carve fresh powder beneath a brilliant blue sky. The Alta, Wyo., resort opened all of its lifts, with a 4-foot base on the north-facing slopes.

After several weeks of slogging through the backcountry and even up Snow King, shredders were elated to have lift service again. Skiers glided down runs with the crags of the Tetons and Jedediah Smith Wilderness in the distance. To the west, the view across the Gem State stretched for more than a hundred miles.

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new features for avalanche forecast

By Jim Stanford on November 21, 2013

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Nov. 10 slide on Jackson Peak.

The Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center began issuing forecasts several weeks early this year, good timing given considerable snowfall and two avalanches (here and here) triggered by skiers in extreme terrain.

Forecasters continue to improve the website. New this winter is an interactive map on the home page that allows users to find forecasts for other mountain ranges around the West, from the Gallatins of Montana to Utah’s Wasatch and even the San Juans in southern Colorado.

The home page also has a photo gallery of recent avalanches and conditions around the region. The site makes it easier for backcountry travelers to submit observations, and new layers on the avalanche event map show closures for motorized use and winter wildlife.

While traffic on the website continues to grow, phone use (307-733-2664) has dropped off sharply, so much so that forecasters have considered eliminating the phone recording. The number of calls has dropped from 40,000 in 2010-11 to 20,000 and then 10,000 the last two winters, forecaster Bob Comey says.

The snow depth at Grand Targhee is 4 feet. Targhee, located on the west slope of the Tetons above Alta, Wyo., opens tomorrow. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, which opens on Thanksgiving, has nearly 3 feet of settled snow.

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