Powder 8 Local Qualifier: Lineup, Look Back and Results

Sarah Felton & Brigid Horigan: All Girl and Grand National-Bound with 7th Place
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This is What Second Place Looks Like: Jeff Leger & Tanner Flannagan Powder 8'ing in Pretty-Much-Perfect Synch

This is What Second Place Looks Like: Jeff Leger & Tanner Flannagan Powder 8’ing in Pretty-Much-Perfect Synch

After laying dormant for 15 years, a most-beloved ski tradition, The Powder 8, made its triumphant return to the Tetons yesterday on a stormy Jackson Hole morning. Christened with a foot of  fresh snow from the past couple days,  44 skiers combining to form 22 teams, headed for the hills via an 8:24 am tram bound for Bernie’s Bowl. Despite the weather backup location move from the intended Cody Bowl to Bernies, the eventful day proved a grand old time had by all.



JHSC Skier Team Kristan Waddle and Jenny Allen Wait to Start While The Rest of the Powder 8 Teams Watch Above Bernie’s

In  a swift, sprinted, snowy and somewhat socked-in hour and half, the skiers and event organizers realized the continued legacy of a classic on-hill Powder 8 competition in true Jackson Hole form.  The locals-only pre-qualifier event to February’s final TheGrand National Powder 8, was loaded with technically sound and stylish skiers making for one fine day in the 50th year of JHMR.


Some Stick to the Rules & Nail It (Skiers Ethan Valenstein (f) & Sam Sehnert (b)

Others Do Not & Still Look Good

Others Do Not & Still Look Good (Skier Paul Velte)

The in-bounds venue, another regular Powder 8 comp host site throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s, saw an impressive lineup of 22 teams ski with ease, grace, and plenty of steeze. Certainly synch is the name of the game as per Powder 8 standards, but the Jackson Hole locs, in some cases- went above-and-beyond (per tradition) in the ‘matchy-match’ sense. Enthusiastic spectators and judges saw one pieces, jean jackets and jet suits galore.

Sarah Felton & Brigid Horigan: All Girl and Grand National-Bound with 7th Place

Teams young and old, co-ed, all female, and all- twin (for reals) strutted their stuff one-by-one before the careful eye of selected judges well versed in the art of 8. Skiers representing The Jackson Hole Ski Club and St. Lawrence University Ski Team Alums to a duo  representing Powder Magazine and the prerequisite Jackson Hole Air Force (hello Captail Benny Wilson and ‘Dave the Wave’!!) lined up atop their lottery-designated lane and skied their hearts out to the tune of 20-plus turns much to their own visible delight.

Who's Who Powder Magazine's Local Editor Matt Hanson and His Ski Bum Phantom Wingman John Verdon Skiing Blower

Who’s Who? Powder Magazine’s Local Editor-In-JH-Resident Matt Hansen (f) and Ski Bum Phantom Powder Mag Favorite Wingman John Verdon (b) Skiing Blower… Naturally

Powder 8 proved the best of days at JHMR. All were inspired and excited by the throwback and consequently threw down a healthy and fun competition. Thanks to Jackson Hole Ski Patrol for the inspiration and bringing the safety – All personnel who touched the P8 from Lifts to Race Crew to Judges. And of course the Powder 8 Locals for bringing this special version of ski spirit dating from ’71 back into this 50th season for all to watch and share in the fun.

Powder 8 2016 Local Qualifier

Powder 8 2016 Local Qualifier | January 16, 2016 | Bernie’s Bowl | JHMR

Congratulations to everyone, especially the top 7 teams – all of whom are going on to the Grand National Powder 8 next month. These top-finishers will go head-to-head with invited teams from around the Rocky Mountains in the Grand National representing the best of what Jackson Hole has to offer. Long live the Powder 8 and see you February 6 in Cody Bowl!

All photos: Amy Jimmerson

Place  Lane #   Team  Total 
1 10  Halsey Hewson & Chris Denny  194
2 20  Jeff Leger & Tanner Flannagan 187
3 19  AJ Puccia & Brendan Levine 184
4 17  Ethan Valenstein & Sam Sehnert 183
5 21  Bart Flynn & George Flynn 177
6 13  Capt. Benny Wilson & Dave the Wave 170
7 22  Brigid Horigan & Sarah Felton 169
8 3  Kristan Waddle & Jenny Allen 160
9 16  Paul Velte & Jeb Stuart  159
10 12  Rick Hunt & Jon Hunt  147
11 18  Shannon Owens & Christian Cisco  136
12 9  Cassandra Lee & Patrick Brennan 126
13 0  Drew Kneeland & Kyle MacDowell, JHSP                    118
14 8  Zach Simon &Mike MacDonald 116
15 5  Prudence Daniels & Sofie Danforth 115
16 4  Rob DesLauriers & Kit DesLauriers 113
17 14  Ana Rode & Lori Roux 111
18 11  Bill Allen &Morgan Carrig  94
19 2  Wes Lucas & Steve Zelikovitz 93
20 7  Eric Jacobson & Dave Blatt  90
21 15  John Verdon &Matt Hansen  86
22 1  John Grant & Lisa Grant  64
23 6  Rachel Levitz & Lauren Roux 0
P.S. STAY TUNED: Fans can continue to tune-in to The Ledge on the morning snow phone line -meanwhile he and Tanner will be training for Feb 6th.

P.S. STAY TUNED: Fans can continue to tune-in to ‘The Ledge’ on the morning snow phone line -meanwhile he will be training for the Feb 6th showdown.

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Little details make the biggest vacations

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2016 certainly started with a snap and pow.


After a postcard-fluffy white Christmas, New Year’s week was so cold I had to fib a little to our out-of-town friends about why I wasn’t on the hill everyday: “I will ski when the mountain is not so crowded with tourists like yourself.” My cousin Nick saw right through this when he had one of those heavenly rides through the Hobacks the morning of New Year’s Eve, miraculously never seeing another person top to bottom. He was blown away by the breadth and depth of Jackson Hole. You can take the Tram up with 100 new friends, and a few turns later into Rendezvous Bowl, you feel like you own the mountain.

Not near Kids Ranch, literally in the same building. Take the elevator to drop off.

Not near Kids Ranch, literally in the same building. Take the elevator to drop off.

As I mentioned in my last post about Kids Ski Free!, I was totally agog at the condo I saw at Cody House in the Kids Ranch building, so my friend Julie at Jackson Hole Resort Lodging invited us to stay a night. Before we moved to Jackson, I used to be one of those moms who’d burn more calories hauling my four children and their gear than actually skiing (mostly owing to the fact that I’m in terrible physical condition). This unit, like many of JHRL’s ski in-ski out properties, made me want to stand out on the balcony with a steaming hot cup of coffee waiting for a friend to ski by and recognize me. In fact, this unit being in the Kids Ranch building and directly adjacent to the Bridger Gondola, we could wave to my husband waiting in line for first gondi while we had an early morning soak in the hot tub.

Natasha pondering the Gondi.

Natasha pondering the Gondi.

Alex Sr. was fired up for the hotly anticipated Teton Lift, at the top of the gondola. Here’s an insider’s look courtesy of Teton Gravity Research. Totally gangster, as my son Alex might say.

Our stay began as I opened the fridge up to this:

Did we need anything else?

Did we need anything else?


Just kidding. Actually the fridge was kitted out like this for our one night stay thanks to Ashley Watson at Mountains of Groceries.

A little more realistic.

A little more realistic.

Ashley is the proud owner of this wonderful local company that can set up your JHRL unit with a personalized grocery run, arrange private chefs for in-home dinners, and even set up Christmas trees and Valentine’s Day flowers! They can also tidy up your cupboard at the end of your stay and see that leftovers are donated to local food banks. Having your fridge, cupboards, and wine rack fully stocked when you arrive feels like you’ve just been gifted another day of vacation.

Our unit was so conveniently located right in the Village. The kids loved running to the General Store (about a hundred feet away) for milkshakes. Even though we were ridiculously close Jackson Hole Sports, Julie insisted we try out JH Mountain Direct (JHDirect). JHDirect, a service of Jackson Hole Sports, offers more than just ski deliveries. They run a true concierge-level service for skiers and snowboarders. You book the service online, which means you’re already enjoying a 20% discount. Some friendly, helpful soul like General Manager Larry Hartenstein will follow up with a phone call: “What kind of skier are you? Have you skied here before? You planning on skiing all day?” He’ll know how conditions have been and where you might be headed during lessons. Then, he sends over a couple of these cuties:

Patrick and Dan from JHDirect.

Patrick and Dan from JHDirect. Two jolly men in red suits with sacks of treats!

Dan Gully and Parker Warren showed up like a couple of Santa’s with six pairs of brand new, high performance skis, and a selection of boots.

Sweet. Brand new Rossi’s.

The kids, sleepy-eyed and shuffling in their pajamas, were wide-awake at the sight of the first-class gear and then in utter disbelief that Dan and Parker could boot-fit them in the living room.

Nikita and Mary being fitted for boots in their jammies! True luxury in my book. They would be so irritated if they knew I posted bedhead pics.

Nikita and Mary being fitted for boots in their jammies! True luxury in my book. They would be so irritated if they knew I posted bedhead pics.

JH Mountain Direct can also bring your lift tickets, Mountain Sports School vouchers, and even tell you exactly where to meet your instructor. They are also super nice and know the mountain inside and out. These are the big and little details at JHRL that make you feel like you’re on vacation the very minute you arrive.

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Inches to Feet, This Storm is Producing!

A fresh coating of white made for great snowboarding and skiing.
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The return of the powder!  We’ve had some great bluebird inversion days recently, but just as you start itching for some cold smoke, mother nature produced! As of 2:00pm 1/14/16, we’ve received 11″ of new snow since midnight. And there’s only more to come. So come out to Teton Village and enjoy the snow!

Forecast: Jim “Woody” Woodmencey is calling for up to 21 additional inches through Monday. Check out his current forecast at www.mountainweather.com
NOAA’s forecast is looking pretty spiffy too!


The winter storm of January 14, 2016 has arrived! Workers shovel the deck at Corbet’s Cabin.


A sign of some strong wind and snow.

DJ pushing overhead plumes of cold smoke on every turn down Bivouac!


Some happy faces riding up Sublette ready for some more action.

The 60" upper mountain base with 11" of fresh is riding nicely!

The 60″ upper mountain base with 11″ of fresh is riding nicely!


Be careful out there! A simple fall could lead to something more serious. Ski in pairs and keep an eye on your buddies!

Just released today, this video highlights the importance of safety in bounds and in the backcountry. Be safe out there!

Chris getting deep mid afternoon off the new Teton Lift.

Chris getting deep mid afternoon off the new Teton Lift.

Teton Lift bliss.

Teton Lift bliss.


Nadine charging the pow off of Sublette.

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Dropping into the Weekend

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On Wednesday morning, I got on the Gondola right at 9 am, eager to get first tracks on the fresh corduroy sprawling across the mountain.  Much to my happy surprise, the sun was shining on the upper mountain and I found myself giggling with happiness as I cruised down the pristine slopes.  I thought that was the best morning of the season until today.

The snow really fell last night and left an unbelievable coat of fluffy powder for me (ok…everyone) to enjoy.  Wednesday’s “giggles” turned into full on squeals of joy as I made my way down Rendezvous Bowl.  The point of this personal story is: GET OUT THERE THE SNOW IS UNBELIEVABLE AND YOU’LL GIGGLE AND SMILE SO MUCH!*

*sorry for yelling.

Anyway, here’s what’s going on this weekend!  Have fun and be safe!
Location: Teton Village, Wyoming
Time: Friday, Saturday, Sunday.  No fees or admission.
Information:  Join Teton County Search and Rescue and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in honor of Safety Month at the top of the Bridger Gondola.
from 9am-1pm, TCSAR will an exclusive look at the TCSAR helicopter they use, parked on top of the Bridger Gondola. In addition, there will avalanche dog demonstrations, information being handed out, and volunteers answering questions.
The ‘Safety Posse’ will be on the hill handing out goodies and prizes to skiers/riders practicing safety on the slopes.
There will be another helicopter showing from our friends at Air Medical Heli, from 11am – 2pm.
 This is such a fun opportunity for shredders of all ages to learn at JHMR.  It’s rare that you can get some up close and personal time with ski patrol, avy dogs, and helicopters, so I wouldn’t miss this chance!  On top of that, it’s so important to be an educated skier or rider, seeing that you can only control Mother Nature so much.  That said, do your best to look uphill, ski in control, and be an ambassador of the mountain!


Location: The Pink Garter Theater in Downtown Jackson
Time: Friday, Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm 
Information: Tickets available online from $20.00 – $45.00. 21+ only
THE INSIDE SCOOP: Folks have been *buzzing* about this party, which is a strong indicator that it’s going to be worth the ticket.  I don’t really think that I have enough street cred to comment farther.  Which probably means I should go.

jh snowboarder
Location: Cody Bowl, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
Time: Saturday at 10:30 am
Information: JHMR is bringing back the historic competition to the Powder 8 face of Cody Bowl, for our Grand Reunion Weekend. The nationally recognized event, which ran from 1975 until 2001, will be an invitational team contest with over $10,000 in cash and prizes. There will be a local qualifier for Jackson Hole teams on Saturday, January 16th with the finals being on Saturday, February 6th.
It’s been a couple of decades since the Powder 8’s have been held in Teton Village, and it’s going to be so fun to see which local teams qualify for the finals this weekend.  The competitors are local legends, so stay tuned to find out which 2 teams make it!

Location: Hotel Terra Ballroom in Teton Village
Time: Saturday at 3:30 pm
Information: Join Teton Adaptive Sports for an Apres Soiree on January 16th, 2016, in the Hotel Terra Ballroom. This fundraiser will raise money to benefit Teton Adaptive Sports, an entity doing big things around Jackson Hole. Food and drinks will be available and kids and families of all ages are welcome.
 It’s truly unbelievable what Teton Adaptive Sports does to make sure that everyone can have a mountain experience.  If you’ve never seen their equipment, I’d highly recommend going to their live demo on Saturday morning on Teewinot.  If you’re blown away (you will be), you can head to this Apres Soiree and support their worthy cause.

apres soiree
Location: The Mangy Moose in Teton Village
Time: Saturday at 9 pm
Information: Whatever you like – Hip Hop, Rap, Reggae, Dancehall, Dub, Soul, R&B – DJ Simotaneous will surely get the party started! Show starts at 9pm.
Any DJ that promises dance, hip-hop and rap is a hero in my book.  Saturday is a huge day in Teton Village so there won’t be a shortage of activities to keep you busy until the DJ starts at 9 pm.  And…it’s free.

Location: The Pink Garter Theater in Downtown Jackson
Time: Saturday night at 10:30, free admission
Information: Jameson Drink Specials!
THE INSIDE SCOOP: This evening will be a perfect combination of good music and whiskey.  What’s not to love?  Grab a friend, say you’ll cover the cost of the tickets (hehe they’re free), and you’ll have a good ole time.



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Backcountry Safety Weekend

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Its Backcountry Safety Weekend here at JHMR, and this Friday and Sunday Teton County Search and Rescue and Classic Air Medical are bringing their helicopters and staff to the top of the Bridger Gondola.


January is the National Ski Areas Association Safety Month, and we are pleased to announce three days of event promoting safety over this MLK weekend.


On Friday, January 15th a TCSAR helicopter will be based atop the Bridger Gondola from 9AM – 1PM for an exciting experiential demo for the skiing public.  Search and Rescue volunteers, in addition to JHMR Ski Patrol, will be on hand to answer any questions, hand out information on backcountry safety and also perform beacon checks and avalanche dog drills.  On Saturday, January 16th the JHMR Safety Posse will be out on the slopes rewarding safe skiing behavior by passing out stickers, candy, and new collectable avalanche dog safety cards.  Sunday, January 17th the Classic Air Medical Helicopter will be stationed atop the Bridger Gondola for the public to check out from 11AM until 2PM. (All helicopter staging is weather dependent).


In partnership with Teton County Search and Rescue this video about the Jackson Hole backcountry outlines some of the hazards and potential implications of backcountry usage.  Know before you go, and educate yourself!

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Captain Benny Wilson – The Founding Father of Jackson Hole Air Force

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Follow Benny on Facebook | Jax on instagram | Lance on instagram

Howdy Folks,

Jax N’ Lance here to tell a tale of the legendary Captain Benny Wilson. A skier with so much grace, sense of humor, talent, and positivity that you will want to hang out with him every day!

_C4A0449Upon meeting Benny, he will be the charming one in the top hat, scarf with skulls, epic tribal necklace, and smile from ear to ear. There is something familiar the legends that we have featured thus far (check Wild Bill here) and that is the never ending stoke to ski and live within the mountain culture day in and day out.

_C4A0361One of the first times I saw Benny was in 2013. He was sending it over some trees off of thunder bumps in a hot green outfit. The jump purposely placed in the path of the trees because as Benny claims “it is gaper day, and folks should get some major air.” And if not… end up in the trees.

Benny on gaper day in 2013

Benny on Gaper Day in 2013

As many know, Benny was the key part in founding the legendary Jackson Hole Air Force with the late Howie Henderson. The JH Air force is a group of avid skiers who embody the free skiing movement. Known as the “rope ducking, patrol-provoking alpine outlaws” they helped to revolutionize open boundaries at JHMR officially in 1998. Some may even call it skiing’s biggest underground ski/rebel fraternity. The group built their reputation on stealth and secrecy, often poaching info from patrol radios to live life to an epic extreme. Then chalking up the daily tales over beers  at the Bear Claw after. They always ensured a level of safety with their pack and avalanche gear and made safe choices… all looking out for one another within snow conditions and abilities.

_B0A1759It all started one day when they decided to make a movie that would feature Jackson Hole at it’s finest. That being steep, deep and full of big air. Benny came up with Jackson Hole Air Force. Spending 3 years in the marines, he quickly took his own spin on a marine slogan of swift, silent, deadly, and created the tagline Swift, Silent, Deep.

A free spirit at all times, Benny is a joy to ski with

A free spirit at all times, Benny is a joy to ski with

Today there have been roughly 300 patches given to those talented enough to be invited to join the Air Force. A high honor for any skier when the invitation comes their way. Benny has many fond memories as they skied around the resort from the thunder bumps, wall of voodoo, croakie point, to building massive airs and having bbq’s in caves. If you are lucky, you may see them hanging out at their latest hangout on the “bench” in the Hobacks.

One of Benny's favorite short steeps on the mountain

One of Benny’s favorite short steeps on the mountain

It is a fond memory for the early members of the JH Air force to think back to the Bear-Claw Café. And one for us to even enjoy today as the Gelande Quaffing competition has grown to a whole new level. One fine day when the crew was waiting for the mountain to open, the bar tender would send fresh beers sliding down to the customer that ordered it. One glass took an extra hyped glide and was on track to take air and create an epic catastrophe when out of nowhere it was caught and then pounded by the patron. Gelande Quaffing was born. From there it became a game of après ski competitions and served as epic entertainment for spectators. It subsided for some years but low and behold on Feb 24th, 2008 it returned bigger than ever when the Village Café hosted the Annual Gelande Quaffing World Championships. It is now known as one of the most awesome events of the season. There are training camps, training videos online and teams take it very seriously. Working year round on their skills throwing back flips, twists or jumps before they catch and pound the steins of PBR.

Gelande Quaffing World Championships 2013

Gelande Quaffing World Championships 2013

Gelande Quaffing competition: 2013

Gelande Quaffing competition: 2013 _B0A1778


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Top Ten Facebook Posts of 2015

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Our Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Facebook account strives to showcase impressive photography and videography, in addition to keeping locals and visitors alike up to date on pertinent information around the valley and here at the resort. From skiing/riding to the incredible landscapes of the region, we want to keep you up-to-date with what’s happening in Jackson Hole. Much of the information provided comes from within the walls of ‘The White House,’ although we also feature photos from the top photographers in the valley, bringing you the very best of the area at any given time. We’re excited with the growth of the page and the following we have generated, and are looking forward to continuing to share all the aspects of this little place we are lucky to call home.

And now, for the Top 10 Facebook Posts of 2015.





















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Piste Mountain Bistro’s Elevated Flavors

piste 4
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Piste Mountain Bistro has been the source of a lot of buzz in Teton Village.  Every guest who’s ventured up the gondola for a meal at Piste has had something good to say about the mouthwatering cuisine, stylish decor, and unparalleled views.

As a member of the marketing team at JHMR, I know all of the hard facts about Piste. I know their hours, phone number, menu items, decor inspiration, general manager, and more. Piste has evolved over the past year into a beautiful addition to the Rendezvous Lodge, and I knew I had to get up there and experience it in all of it’s finished glory. Yesterday, I finally got my chance!

Walking into the space, I immediately felt like I was on a quintessential ski vacation, which is a rare feeling as a Jackson Hole local. The entry is lined with decorative skis and the seats are leather with buffalo hide accents-all very “Wyoming.” The interior is comfortable yet chic, and surrounded by windows that overlook the greater Teton Valley. You may wonder why the windows matter if you’re dining at night–Well, the views of the valley floor are gorgeous on a clear night, but the real showstopper is when the snow cats groom the mountain right next to the restaurant windows!  This has been a favorite among diners, especially for the kids.

piste 2

My friend Phil and I wanted to order everything on the menu, so in an effort to save our stomachs, we had our server bring her favorite dishes to the table.  It was a risk that we are so glad we took.  The first thing we tried was the Lamb and Quinoa Meatballs, which quite honestly blew me away.  The yogurt sauce really brought all of the flavors together and I can confidently say that I will order these meatballs again in the very near future.


Next up was the Crispy Salad.  Until yesterday, I was convinced that I don’t like kale, but this salad absolutely *kaled* my distaste.  The crispy greens are complemented by the butternut squash puree and some sweet sugared grapefruit.  I can see (and taste) why our server loves this salad. It looks as colorful as it tastes!


Just as we were finishing the last morsels on our salad plate, the Spicy Wild Prawns made their way to our table.   The flavor had the perfect amount of kick, and to be perfectly honest, had Phil and I fighting over the last one (don’t worry, we split the prawn in perfect halves).


The food was amazing, but I can’t gloss over the drinks we had.  I’ve never been the type to order specialty cocktails, but in the spirit of fully trusting our knowledgeable server, I tried whatever she thought was best!  Once again, her choices won over my taste buds.  Check out these delicious (and stunning) cocktails:


Piste’s Specialty Negroni



The “Marta” Bloody Mary with gin

piste 1

The face of a happy girl with a Spicy Margarita

As I’m sure you can imagine, our stomachs were happily full, but we knew we had to make room for the grand finale: the Skillet Baked Seasonal Pie.  Yesterday’s seasonal pie was pumpkin, but it was so much more than that. The skillet came out with a healthy scoop of vanilla ice cream that slowly melted its way into every nook and cranny of the skillet.  Just like all of the dishes that Phil and I shared, the pie was great for a small group of happy skiers.


One of the perks of our early dinner was getting to see the sunset.  The valley was socked in with fog all day, but just as our plates were cleared, the sunset peeked through the clouds.  I couldn’t resisted going outside to take in all of the beauty that this town has to offer.

piste 3

All in all, my experience at Piste was more than I anticipated.  I expected good food, but their carefully crafted interpretations of classic flavor pairings had me speechless.  And it’s worth mentioning that the majority of the ingredients come from a 250 mile radius to ensure that you’re tasting the fresh and natural flavors of the west. The food at Piste can only be matched by the amazing mountain views surrounding the restaurant.

If you want a dining experience that will literally elevate your Jackson Hole experience, Piste Mountain Bistro should be your next stop.  Take a closer look at the menu here, and be sure to make a reservation via opentable.

In the upcoming weeks, Piste Mountain Bistro will offer 2 for 1 beers and shared plates at the bar from 5:30-6:30 Thursday through Saturday.  I’m already dreaming about my next meal at Piste, so maybe I’ll see you there!

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Meet Josie and the Jackson Hole Avalanche Dogs

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January is the National Ski Area Association Safety Month.  This is a time for resorts to remind skiers and riders of the hazards and risks that are associated with our sport, so for the month of January we’ll be posting weekly with different educational blogs that are relevant to skiers and riders.

We like to keep it fun at JHMR and our Ski Patrol has created a series of ten collectible safety cards that have outlined the Skier Code.  Each card features photos of our great avalanche dogs demonstrating the different skier code reminders.  Make sure to pick up the cards from the Guest Service Center or from a Mountain Host while you are visiting!

dog cards

Over the course of the ski season we will follow around these fury little workers to demonstrate what they do, and showcase their different personalities and handlers.  Last week, we spent some time with this pretty lady.


Meet Josie Wales, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Avalanche Rescue Dog.


Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR) began using canines for avalanche search and rescue circa 1986, and since their employment have been an invaluable part of the rescue team.  On any given day there are 3-4 dogs working, stationed strategically around the mountain for quick access to avalanche-prone terrain.  They work primarily at the ski resort, but travel to incidents in the backcountry.

In April of 1992, an avalanche occurred in the backcountry near JHMR, burying a skier under four feet of snow.  Rescuers searched, unsuccessfully, for an hour before avalanche rescue dogs were brought to the scene via helicopter.  The dogs located the skier, still alive, in ten minutes.  This was one of the first successful rescues by avalanche dogs in North America.

Jackson Hole Ski Patroller Chris Brindisi is Josie’s owner and handler.  The dog and handler work as a team to conduct a search of the avalanche site and locate victims.

Chris chose a german shepherd as his avalanche dog because of their strong work ethic, desire to please, and methodical temperament.  He likes the way they work, and, “they have more of an off-switch than other breeds”.

In any scenario, whether a burial simulation or an actual avalanche, the rescue dogs give it their all. Says Chris, ”They want to take ownership of the search.”

Josie’s stoic demeanor during down-time quickly changes when it’s time to work.  She can sense a training session before it’s spoken aloud by her handler…and when it’s time to go to work, she is game-on.


In the rare case of an avalanche inside ski area boundaries (where skiers and boarders don’t normally wear avalanche beacons) the avalanche dog is the best chance of a swift recovery.  The odds of surviving an avalanche is about 90% at 15 minutes, then declines to 30% after 35 minutes.  Prospects of rescuing a live person diminish quickly thereafter.  In a situation where every minute counts, the dogs’ exceptional sense of smell and extensive training can be the difference between life and death.

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Dropping into the Weekend

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We’re a week into the New Year and I have to be honest–2016 feels RIGHT.  We’ve all had a week to recover from our various parties and celebrations, and it’s inevitably time to think about what’s going to happen tomorrow when the clock strikes 5ish.

Well, just like 2015, I’ll be your faithful 2016 events coordinator, giving you the facts and special inside scoop so that you never feel like you have nothing to do when you’re wrapping up a day of shredding.  Here’s the weekend scoop:

Moose Hockey vs Boston
Location: Snow King Arena
Time: Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 pm
Information: Cheer on the Jackson Hole Moose as they take on the Boston Beans
THE INSIDE SCOOP: You may have noticed that the Moose are playing the “Boston Beans.”  I made up this team name but I really think I’m onto something. I’m a big ol’ Moose Hockey fan, so I will definitely be there with 200 of my closest friends.  And yes, you can be a part of that friend group.


Teka Brock Band at The Mangy Moose
Location: The Mangy Moose in Teton Village
Time: Friday at 8 pm, $5 at the door
Information: Always extremely popular at the Mangy Moose – Teka Brock and her band deliver great music with influences from the likes of: The Judds, Allison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, Kasey Chambers, Dolly Parton, Robert Earl Keen, Coles Whalen, Jewel, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty.
THE INSIDE SCOOP: The influences listed above lead me to believe that this band will ROCK.  And how often can you see an awesome band for just $5?!  Here’s how you should/could handle the day.  Meander into The Moose around 5, have some nachos and a beverage, and just relax until it’s time to boogie.


Mustache Militia at The Silver Dollar Bar
Location: The Silver Dollar Bar in The Wort Hotel
Time: Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 pm
Information: Men in Mustaches who serenade.
THE INSIDE SCOOP:  These guys make me want to grow a mustache (side note: I’ve tried and I can’t).  I’ve seen The Mustache Militia play before and they deliver a very nice vibe that aims to please.  Get there early and grab a table so that you can relax, dance, eat, drink or whatever else strikes your fancy.

mustache militia

Mr. Whipple at The Rose
Location: The Rose in Downtown Jackson
Time: Friday at 10 pm, Free admission
Information:  Smooth beats by DJ Mr. Whipple will add that extra something to your evening.
THE INSIDE SCOOP: See below.  Do you see that kitten tee?  If that’s not an indicator of good DJ skills, I don’t know what is. Mr Whipple’s show is free, so head over with a big group and be the start to the dance party.  There’s no prize for starting the party, but I’m sure there are plenty of bragging rights.

mr whipple

One Leaf Clover at The Tavern
Location: The Tavern in Downtown Jackson
Time: Saturday at 10:30 pm
Information: What is Mountain Boogie Rock? It is equal parts country and funk, rock and reggae, music and mountains. It is original songs inspired by life in the Rockies. Known for their high energy shows and playing until the cows come home, O.L.C. is both a testament to and a celebration of mountain life and culture. One Leaf Clover has opened for Rusted Root, Langhorne Slim, Adam Lambert, and Chuck Mead.
THE INSIDE SCOOP: These guys wrote in their bio that they’re known for playing until the cows come home…and I’ve heard rumors that cows RARELY go home.  So, eat a high protein dinner, caffeinate, put on your dance pants and head over to the show.

TGR Premiere: The Sammy C Project
Location: Pink Garter Theater in Downtown Jackson
Time: Saturday night, Early showing at 6:30 pm, 21+ showing at 8:30 pm
Information: Tickets are $10, available at the door and online.
THE INSIDE SCOOP: You down with Sammy C? YEAH YOU KNOW ME. I’m going to this premiere because it includes several things that I like.  Good movies.  Good friends.  Good shredding.  And a dance party immediately following.  Tickets are only $10, so head to the show.  Maybe I’ll save you a seat!


Have a great weekend everyone!


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