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New Jackson Hole Tram Unveiled!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Almost everybody in Jackson Hole turned out last night to see the unveiling of the new $31 million aerial tram. It was a hugely festive ceremony, with little kids, parents, old farts like me, and even the truly ancient all gathering around to get the first public glimpse of the new car.

Here's a photo of the new clock tower from the parking lot:



This is the crowd starting to gather at the tram base. The crossed spotlights mark the place where they positioned the tram car to drop the curtain:



Little kids (and some pretty big ones) sliding around on the snow while the crowd gathered:



Kids and cardboard boxes:



Finally, the big moment. The curtained car is moved into position.



And - fanfare please - the curtain drops to reveal the brand new Jackson Hole aerial tram:



Fireworks light up the new box:



And a surprise visitor (from the North Pole) rappels to the ground:



Mass fireworks:



As they moved the new car toward its dock for the night, the crowd re-started the 40-year-old tradition of pelting the tram car with snowballs:



Safely home:



The whole event took place during a driving snowstorm. What a great way to open a new era of skiing at Jackson Hole.
post #2 of 19
What? No rainbows in this extravaganza?
post #3 of 19
Sweet, I bet that was an awesome time.
post #4 of 19
Mmmm.....new tram smell.....
I'll get to ride the tram in a mere 4 weeks!
post #5 of 19
Nice! Can't wait to be inside it.
post #6 of 19
Magnificent
post #7 of 19
The old tram was classic. As we know, the patrol's job was to mash the skiers into the car to make room for the patrollers themselves to get on. I saw two unbelievable things happen...a woman said, "I'm getting sick," and a lane opened in that fully packed sardine can to get her to the window. Another woman fainted, and she hit the floor. The rest of us didn't have room to take a deep breath; I don't know why she wasn't held up by friction against the people around her.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Just a followup from this morning.

Today was the big grand opening. They had a "commencement" ceremony where a bunch of dignitaries spoke. After that, the first car went up with the owners, the board members, the politicians, the bankers, and a few lucky riff-raff (including my wife). The next five tram cars were all pre-allocated with media types, marketing types, a group of lucky employees (me included ), etc. The last predetermined car was filled with all the 2007/08 season-passholders who skied more than 100 days last year, which I thought was a pretty cool gesture.

Here's Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal addressing the rapt audience as all the lucky first-car riders wait to board. The purple coat and black helmet behind the window in the left-hand side of this photo is my wife:



Here's a shot of the CAR NUMBER ONE leaving the dock for the very first time with skiers and boarders:



And just in case anybody might get the impression that all this new stuff has somehow changed the basic ESSENCE of skiing at Jackson Hole, here's a photo of the tram at the top of the mountain. Clouds, snow, wind, and cold. Absolutely NOTHING has changed.



I got to go up on the fifth car. When I skied back down again, there was almost nobody in line for the tram, so I walked on. I did that two more times and came to work. It's so easy to rack up vertical at Jackson Hole when the red box is running and there's no line. This new tram is BIG, fast, smooth, and very high-tech. It's a joy to ride.

It sure feels good to have the tram back in Jackson Hole.
post #9 of 19
I watched the video of the unveiling and it LITERALLY gave me goosebumps. I love that place.

I can't wait.
post #10 of 19
They should have played Sigor Ros really loud when they dropped the curtain haha, awesome though, really want to make it out to JH in the next couple of seasons.
post #11 of 19
Wow they pull out all the stops for the new tram unveiling. Then again at 31 million bucks you can spend 10K on the unveiling.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by skylolow View Post
Wow they pull out all the stops for the new tram unveiling. Then again at 31 million bucks you can spend 10K on the unveiling.
This is one of the most anticipated improvements in skiing in the world! 10k would be a let down.
post #13 of 19
Bob,
Great report. Seemed like I was there. The peak sure can be one of the unfriendly weather spots I've visited, but magnificent when the weather is clear.
Just curious, did they test the cars extensively prior to the opening? I have to think testing was extensive, so, I assume they covered the cars???
post #14 of 19
The cars have been covered with a red wrap made by Marmot. It has been referred to locally as the bloody condom. It's cool to see it running and carrying skiers. My wife and I elected to ski on Thunder yesterday where it "seemed" warm because the wind wasn't blowing. I heard from many people that the conditions on the top were very nasty and coverage in the bowl was sketchy. We skied powder on Thunder and hit nothing.
post #15 of 19
Bob; thanks for the great report.
I made it to JH yesterday with my 17 Y.O. and friends. Like TPJ I found the best skiing to be off Thunder also but we did catch a tram around around 1:30 and almost walked on. The bowl was cold, windy with very poor vis and very sketchy conditions with many large rocks exposed.
Gosh I'm glad we made the trip.
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Living Proof View Post
Bob,
Great report. Seemed like I was there. The peak sure can be one of the unfriendly weather spots I've visited, but magnificent when the weather is clear.
Just curious, did they test the cars extensively prior to the opening? I have to think testing was extensive, so, I assume they covered the cars???
The only real purpose of the covers was to build anticipation for the great unveiling. They wanted to maintain as much mystery as possible until the grand opening ceremony. I think the concept worked because I wonder if thousands of people would have turned out on a cold, snowy night if they had already seen the cars. This photo from November 6 shows the cars with their covers:



And, yes, they tested the whole system VERY extensively. The cars ran (snugly wrapped in their cute little red Marmot covers) for six weeks or more prior to being cleared to carry the public.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adipose View Post
Bob; thanks for the great report.
I made it to JH yesterday with my 17 Y.O. and friends. Like TPJ I found the best skiing to be off Thunder also but we did catch a tram around around 1:30 and almost walked on. The bowl was cold, windy with very poor vis and very sketchy conditions with many large rocks exposed.
Gosh I'm glad we made the trip.
I'm glad you made it. They were absolutely walk-ons today. Almost nobody on the hill.

Did the 17yo ski in a group?
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
Did the 17yo ski in a group?
If you could call it a group, the only other with the instructor was another teenager that had been on skis a few times. He progressed very well. The instructor's name was Mike ????, a private chef when not ski instructing. I down played the powder stashes off Thunder and the first day tram ride in an effort to keep him off that board and on skis
We plan to get a few days in Jackson after Christmas, I'll give you a call and see if you can get away for a few laps. It looks like we'll be in Steamboat over new years.
post #18 of 19
Local PBS showed a "Christmas in Yellowstone" special last night. The scenery is just magnificent. At the conclusion, they showed New Years Eve at Jackson Hole with a fireworks display and the old stand-by of a group skiing with flares in each hand. Is this an annual event?
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Living Proof View Post
Local PBS showed a "Christmas in Yellowstone" special last night. The scenery is just magnificent. At the conclusion, they showed New Years Eve at Jackson Hole with a fireworks display and the old stand-by of a group skiing with flares in each hand. Is this an annual event?
It is.

Every New Year's Eve. It's primarily ski school instructors skiing/riding down with the flares.

We don't hold them in our hands, however. They're taped to each end of a bamboo pole. Even at that, you want to wear very old stuff because spewing from the flares will burn little holes in your clothes. For a few years, one of the female instructors used to sidestep the burned clothes problem by skiing nude.

Then she got married and that was the end of THAT.
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