Jackson Hole had received 557” of snow as of April 3rd, 2011. Their snowpack depth was 122”. They were having the 2nd best year they’ve had in 13 years and what did they do? They closed. They closed and they are expecting about 2 feet of fresh snow this week with highs in the low teens at the top of the tram (check out the forecast). This clearly leads to the basic question: WTF?
First off, they aren’t making any money this time of year. No ski resort is. Secondly, they have a lease with the National Forest that gives them only so many days to operate per winter. They started early this year in November, so they have to stop in early April as their lease is up. Thirdly, there is some kind of Caribou/animal migration/mating that goes on on the mountain in April. Hard to believe anyone can get it up in the kind of weather that is forecasted up there this week. Didn’t we exterminate all the problem causing animals in the West? Grizzlies, Wolves, Mountain Lions – all gone. Now, whoever these new animals are that are causing us problems and keeping our tram closed…can’t we just do the same to them?
This video is from March 31st, only 5 days ago!
So the final and more obvious question is: What can we do about it? Jackson is one of the sickest resorts in North America and currently they can’t get us up there when the conditions are epic, the temps are finally survivable, and the snowpack is stable. April is likely the best month of the year for sidecountry off the tram at Jackson Hole.
what should be happening off the tram into May. photo: www.jacksonholewy.com
I’m at a loss, and I really don’t know anything about National Forest leases and contracts. I’m looking to you guys. Is there a logical solution? Is there something we can do? We need that damn tram in April, humans!