Thuermer stepping down as News&Guide editor

By Jim Stanford on April 24, 2014

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Angus Thuermer will be taking his Leica around Wyoming writing about the environment for WyoFile.

The bombshell news came on the bottom of page two.

Angus M. Thuermer Jr., the dean of Jackson Hole journalism, is resigning as editor of the News&Guide, the paper reported yesterday.

Thuermer, 61, will become statewide natural resources correspondent for the online news outlet WyoFile. His last day at the paper is May 21.

Thuermer started in the pressroom at the Jackson Hole News in 1978 and worked his way up to editor. He reputedly kidnapped publisher Mike Sellett’s dog and held it ransom for a newsroom job.

Along with Sellett, Thuermer presided over the News as it became one of the top small weeklies in the country. He wrote the bulk of environmental news during the 1990s, covering stories like the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone, recovery of grizzly bears and slaughter of bison outside the world’s first national park.

The hard-nosed newsman doggedly pursued his stories, taking on developers, despoilers of natural resources and politicians who sought to conduct public business in secret. He told riveting tales of grizzly maulings, avalanches and rescues of climbers in Grand Teton National Park.

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Posted under Business, Environment, Media, Politics

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know you the river near to Moose

By Jim Stanford on August 14, 2013

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View below Deadman’s Bar on Sunday evening. Click to enlarge.

Know you the river near to Grez,
A river deep and clear?
Among the lilies all the way,
That ancient river runs to-day
From snowy weir to weir.

Old as the Rhine of great renown,
She hurries clear and fast,
She runs amain by field and town
From south to north, from up to down,
To present on from past.

The love I hold was borne by her;
And now, though far away,
My lonely spirit hears the stir
Of water round the starling spur
Beside the bridge at Grez.

So may that love forever hold
In life an equal pace;
So may that love grow never old,
But, clear and pure and fountain-cold,
Go on from grace to grace.

— “Know You the River Near to Grez,” by Robert Louis Stevenson

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ski stoke of yesteryear

By Jim Stanford on October 24, 2012

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Bunny hill rope tow on Snow King, circa 1950s.

The season’s first significant snowfall triggered the usual flurry of status updates and text messages. Undoubtedly, most in this ski-crazy community are excited for the coming winter. Another day or two of snow, and the race will be on to make first tracks.

Long before Teton Gravity Research premieres, the early ski pioneers in Jackson Hole were just as enthusiastic. They recorded the joy of winter’s arrival in journals slightly more poetic than today’s spraying.

While researching a story on historic winters for the upcoming Jackson Hole magazine, I came across a few of these accounts. Here’s an excerpt from Doris Platts’ book Wilson, Wyoming: Hoorah!, written by the late Virginia Huidekoper in her column “The Corral” for the Jackson’s Hole Courier on Nov. 15, 1945:

The skiing season was officially opened … by a mixed group of eager Idahoans and Wyomingites who gathered on Teton Pass and gave vent to pent-up desires which had accumulated during the dry months. Three feet of powdered satin on Telemark Hill gave semblance to a winter battlefield by evening. Criss-crossed and pock-marked, the slope was initiated in true fashion by weak-kneed christies and first-of-the-season egg beaters.

In spite of near-blizzard conditions, the initial ski outing was hailed as a good beginning to what looks like a long and promising winter.

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Blitzen Trapper set for rendezvous at Garter

By Jim Stanford on March 24, 2012

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Blitzen Trapper, led by singer and guitarist Eric Earley, finishes its tour Sunday at the Pink Garter. This will be the Portland band's first show in Wyoming.

When Blitzen Trapper takes the stage Sunday night at the Pink Garter, Marty Marquis will feel right at home.

Marquis, red-haired guitarist and keyboardist for the Portland-based quintet, used to hitchhike a lot when he was younger. He made a point of choosing a route that took him through Jackson and the national parks.

“I love the Tetons, love Yellowstone, and the folks that I met around there were always really friendly,” he said Thursday from Salt Lake City, where the band was performing. “It seemed like I got offered a job every time I came through there.” Also, the parks and surrounding area were “some of the historical trappers’ favorite places to hang out.”

Expect Marquis and his bandmates to share a few stories, theirs mixed with historical tales, during the show. Blitzen Trapper’s songs are steeped in Western imagery, telling of wandering and adventures, outlaws and wolves.

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in memoriam: Steve Romeo and Chris Onufer

By Jim Stanford on March 11, 2012

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Steve Romeo and Chris Onufer after skiing Teepe Pillar on one of their first backcountry adventures in the Tetons, winter 1996-97. Steve was using alpine trekker bindings, while Chris wore leather tele boots. Photo by Reed Finlay.

A wave came crashing like a fist to the jaw
Delivered him wings, ‘Hey, look at me now’

~ Pearl Jam, Given to Fly

A public memorial service for ski mountaineers Steve Romeo and Chris Onufer will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the outdoor plaza at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. A reception will follow afterward at the Mangy Moose.

Romeo, 40, and Onufer, 42, died in an avalanche March 7 in Grand Teton National Park. They were ascending Ranger Peak when the slide occurred.

So much has been written about these two in recent days, and the loss so devastating, that it’s hard for me to add much. I had known both since we worked on the mountain at JHMR in the mid-1990s, me as a photographer and them running the lifts. When I started guiding whitewater on the Snake, Steve was a photographer in the canyon before joining the staff of Skinny Skis.

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