Posts filed under ‘Events’

Jackson Hill Climb

So… last weekend was Hill Climb here in Jackson. This being my first spring spent in the area, I got to experience this special event for the first time. For those of you who may also be unfamiliar with Hill Climb, the event is formally known as the World Championship Snowmobile Hill Climb. About 20 snowmobilers known as the Jackson Hole Snow Devils started a hill climb in 1975 at Snow King Mountain in town, and the tradition has continued annually at the same location ever since. To say that it has grown in size, however, may be an understatement. This year, for its 40th anniversary, Hill Climb drew over 300 snowmobilers, and a crowd of more than 10,000 fans to the valley.


Snowmobilers start the events early in the morning, and they last all day. Competitors start at the base of the mountain, and the objective is to snowmobile straight up the incredibly steep slopes of Snow King, and end up the first one at the top. I live right near the base of Snow King, and so luckily (or unluckily, depending how you look at it), I was able to see and hear the snowmobiles revving up early every morning.

The festive spirit of Hill Climb is definitely palpable in the air in Jackson throughout the weekend. The base of Snow King houses beer and food stands from great local vendors, and of course, hundreds of jovial fans. A trip to the nearby bars downtown is recommended on Friday and Saturday night, as visitors and locals alike continue the celebratory spirit after hours. If you don’t prefer to be right in the middle of the crowd to spectate the events, a great option is Lift Restaurant and Bar, which due to its location, has become somewhat of an epicenter for Hill Climb festivities. Located on Cache Street, just across the street from the base of Snow King, Lift is open all day during hill climb and serves up a delicious selection of elevated bar food and drink. A great way to spectate is to go to the roof of Lift, which has perfect panoramic views of the action at Snow King.

Overall, Hill Climb is definitely a unique way to have some fun while taking a break from skiing in March, if you can. I hope that you are able to experience it at least once during your travels to Jackson Hole… I definitely look forward to it next year.


March 31, 2016 at 3:53 pm 1 comment

Jackson Hole’s Winterfest 2014

This year marks the fourth annual Winterfest in Jackson Hole. What is Winterfest? It’s a two week celebration of all things winter. It includes ice skating, nordic skiing, horse racing (yes, you read that right), ice climbing, hockey, dancing, wine tasting, and of course, downhill skiing. New this year is a snow biking event! Yep, that’s pretty much all of the different activities you can do in Jackson Hole during winter. For a full schedule on the events and activities visit the Jackson Hole Chamber’s website.

My favorite event of Winterfest is an event that is going on it’s 43rd year – the Cutter Races. The Cutter Races is a fraternal 823356_650217496915_917188066_oand charitable fundraiser. Net proceeds benefit the Salt Lake City Shriners Hospital for Children. So what are the Cutter Races? Men race teams of two horse drawn chariots down a drag strip of snow. It’s something that you would expect to see in the Greek or Roman empire around 600 BC, not in 21st century Jackson Hole. The sight is incredibly rare – people tailgating out of their trucks that are backed up to the snow bank, dollar bills exchanging hands as people place bets on red or green. The air fills with chants of “Go Red! GOOO!” Then there is the occasional horse that spooks and makes a run for the fans who are shielded by a makeshift fence. People line the quarter mile strip cheering for their favorite horse, drinking beers and eating bratwursts grilled on a hibachi on the back of a pick up truck. It doesn’t get much better than that! The Cutter Races are held just south of town near Melody Ranch on Saturday and Sunday, February 15 & 16. The entrance fee is $15 per adult and children 12 and under are free. For more information visit their website.

On Saturday (February 15) through Monday there is a alpine ski race on Snow King Mountain, located in downtown Jackson. The Wild West Classic Elite FIS Series features two Giant Slalom and two Slalom events. The event offers a view of some of the best ski racing talent from all over the world. If you are into ski racing you should definitely stop by and watch the race for a bit. Snow King is steep and the course is technical, making for some great skiing!

Also on Saturday is the 21st annual Moose Chase Nordic Ski Race. The race takes place at Trail Creek, at the base of Teton Pass in neighboring Wilson. This is a premier Nordic race that includes a 30k (that skis like a 50k), a 15k, 5k, 3k and a free 1k. Athletes of all ages and abilities welcome. For more information on the Moose Chase race visit the Jackson Hole Ski Club’s website.

On Monday there are snow bike demos at Snow King Resort, culminating with a snow bike race at 5PM. Unfortunately, there is much information available about the race but feel free to check out the Teton Mountain Bike Tours website.

On Friday, February 21 there is the 3rd annual Winter Fest Wine Tasting and Silent Auction at the Center for the Arts. Entry is $25 and includes a souvenir wine glass. Proceeds benefit restoring the historic Masonic Lodge. It is guaranteed to be a fantastic evening of wonderful wines, fabulous silent auction items, loaded with fun and fellowship among friends and neighbors. The event is 21+ and starts at 5:30PM.

Also on Friday is the Jackson Ice Fest at The Exum Ice Park at Snow King. Participants will compete under the lights for prizes. Events will include a Poker Climb, a Speed Climb, and an Efficiency Climb. If you wish to compete the fee is $20. Some equipment will be available to use but climbers are asked to bring their own if possible. Spectators and competitors will enjoy keeping warm by the campfire with hot chocolate! For more information contact Exum Guides.

On Saturday there is a Winter Trails Day at Cache Creek Trailhead. Families will have the afternoon to explore multiple winter recreation opportunities available on the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Activities include free Nordic ski lessons as well as a chance to meet and thank the trail groomers.  Fat tire/snow bikes demonstrations will be available along with several avalanche related presentations including avalanche rescue demonstrations, and avalanche probe line and shoveling techniques.  Participants at this winter festival will also be able to participate in snowshoe demonstrations and tours in the area.  Also provided will be a winter Snow Ranger project for kids led especially by a Bridger-Teton National Forest naturalist. This is a great way to spend the day enjoying the outdoors with your family.

Also on Saturday and Sunday is Ski Jouring, held at the same location as the Cutter Races. What is Ski Jouring? Skiers and snowboarders get towed into a jump behind a horse. Think of water skiing but then replace the boat with a horse and the water with snow. Got it? Yeah, it’s a wacky sport!

Winterfest culminates with the Lion’s Club 49er Ball, held at the Virginian Saloon. The evening will start with dance lessons by Dancers’ Workshop at 7:00pm followed by the Kenny Bradberry Band at 8:00pm. The event will feature wonderful silent auction items, a $1000 Grand Prize, exciting “Las Vegas” gambling, and the famous costume contest. Tickets are $15 and available from the ’49er Queen candidates, Brandy Armajo (307.690.6238) and Beth Shidner (307.690.1352). $20 at the door.

So there you have it! Two weeks full of wintry fun. It’s events like these that make Jackson Hole so unique. There is so much more to do during the winter months in Jackson Hole than just ski. I hope that you get to come experience some of the other things that Jackson Hole has to offer!

February 12, 2014 at 3:31 pm Leave a comment

Gaper Fools Day in Jackson Hole

Every year April Fools Day brings an onslaught of harmless pranks and tomfoolery across the US. In the “peter pan” town of Jackson Hole, where every resident refuses25690_533852942415_3389928_n to grow up, it is only natural that its residents take April Fools Day to a whole other level. At Jackson Hole Mountain Resort the locals descend on to the hill in bright neon onesies, jeans, rear entry boots and snow blades. While we appreciate the skiers who visit our valley, sometime their attire is downright hilarious. Some people feel like if you go skiing once a year, why invest in a good ski jacket and pants? Why not just use an one piece that you bought in the 90s, or a pair stretch pants from the 80s? So in turn, us locals dress up like those visitors. While this day may seem like a jab to our visitors, it really presents an opportunity to escape the rad bro get ups and just have some good old fashion (literally) fun.

The term gaper is derived from the gap present between the goggles and hat or helmet. Unfortunately, this feature is indicative of an individual who rarely skis or who is learning how to ski. It may seem a bit pretentious, but Gaper Day is all about having544771_605769575905_2097734183_n fun. You get to ski in a pizza, mess around in the lift line and laugh at yourself and others, a lot. The best way to witness this spectacle is to head to the “Thunder Bumps” on the Thunder trail located under the Thunder chairlift. By mid day there will be a party at the top of the trail, people eject out of their skis and drink beers while watching fellow gapers do tricks off of a small jump. To get a taste of what you’re in for check this video out (fast forward to 2:30 if you want to see people skiing off of the jump). Ultimately, gaper day is about having a good time.

After the mountain closes, head to the base in front of the tram. The ridiculousness continues off the hill and into the evening.

As with anything in the ski industry, there is no shortage of alcohol involved, so make sure you partake responsibly. Skiing intoxicated can be quite dangerous. Thanks to the amount of hotels, restaurants and bars who own property in the area the liquor laws extend to the base area. You can walk around with an open container from anywhere, the liquor store, a bar, your backpack, etc. without getting in trouble. Though I will caution you, make sure that if you do drink, DO NOT DRIVE. Take the START Bus. The police are aware of gaper day and they tend to increase their presence on the road. Above all, go have a good time and dress appropriately!

March 29, 2013 at 6:36 pm 2 comments

Mountainfest, PPP & Gaper Day 2012

This weekend is going to be packed with live music, incredible athletes and tons of neon and rear entry boots. Why do I say that? Because this weekend Jackson Hole Mountain Resort hosts their Mountainfest, the Jackson Hole Ski Club puts on their Pole Peddle Paddle event, and the Jackson locals dress up as gapers.

Mountain Festival occurs every spring at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Each year the resort brings in a new performer for a live concert in the main parking lot. Previous artists include Katchafire and Grace Potter. This year’s performer is G Love and Special Sauce. They are known for their unique, “sloppy”, and “laid back” blues sound that encompasses classic R&B. Ski all day or watch the Pole, Pedal, Paddle (PPP) and then enjoy music under the tram (Lazy Eyes) starting at 3pm followed by Elk Attack, opening for G. Love and Special Sauce at 5:30pm on the main stage in the parking lot. There will also be a fireworks display following the concert. There will be plenty of START buses on hand, as well cops looking to hand out DUIs, so just a friendly reminder, if you drink, whatever you do, don’t drive.

You may be wondering what the Pole, Pedal, Paddle (PPP) is. This annual event, started 37 years ago, encompasses an alpine and nordic ski race, boating section and bike race and allows the well rounded athletes of Jackson Hole to shine. You may complete the race as an individual or as a team. Many take the race seriously, but there are awards in a family class and fun class. In the family class the team members must be immediately related. The fun class is not judged on time, but rather on how much fun the team seems to be having. In the past, one team made a barge with a grill, DJ and dance floor and took it down the boating section. The race is entertaining to watch and will have an award ceremony at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort at 4pm.

On Sunday, come ski at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and watch the locals dress up as gapers and play around on April (Gaper) Fools Day. What is a gaper you may ask? Visit my post on the closing of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort from last year to find out. Just expect a lot of neon, one pieces, skate skis, fanny packs, headbands and of course, tom foolery. It is one of the most fun days at the ski resort, where it isn’t about the skiing, but rather entertaining each other. For a show, make sure to ride the Thunder lift and check out the Thunder bump run, where the locals will be trying to one up each other with daffy’s and spread eagles. So dust that one piece off, break out your neon headband and join all the locals on the slopes on April 1. This weekend is bound to be action packed and full of good times. See you on the hill!

March 29, 2012 at 9:03 pm Leave a comment

St. Patty’s Day in Jackson Hole

Like the majority of Americans, I am a mutt: a combination of multiple ethnicities that leaves me questioning why my last name is Russian when I have more German blood in me. However, one day of the year, the miniscule (or large) Irish part of everyone in the US shines. Boston born and bred, I was under the assumption growing up that St. Patty’s Day was a large holiday, such as the Fourth of July, only bigger. The celebrations are so large that when I studied abroad I went to Dublin for St. Patty’s Day expecting an even larger party. To my dismay, there was hardly a celebration at all, just a family friendly parade through the downtown. When I moved to Jackson I had no idea how big the celebration would be. Would I be in for a surprise!

There is no doubt that Jackson Hole knows how to party, and Saint Patrick’s Day is no exception. The party starts in Teton Village. After a day on the slopes head down to the base area where the local band One Ton Pig will be kicking off the festivities at 3pm under the tram. Make sure you wear your green so that you can get $6 Irish Car Bombs in Wool & Whiskey.

If you are looking for something to do that it is family friendly, head over to Snow King Resort. Snow King’s annual pond skim starts at noon on Saturday. There will be food and a cash bar. The pond skim is always a great time – dress up in your greens or get creative with a costume if you want to participate. Prepare to get wet if you stand near the pond – some contestants aim to spray the crowd with icy water as they attempt to ski or snowboard across the pond.

If you are in town, make sure that you head over to the Snake River Brew Pub. Starting at 11:30am the Brew Pub will be offering liter steins which you may purchase and use for the remainder of your time at the Brew Pub. There will be authentic Irish cuisine and what St. Patty’s Day is complete without green beer? No Car Bombs here – the Brew Pub only serves wine and beer.  At 10pm DJ Vert One will drop some beats so make sure to wear your (green) party pants.

Wherever in Jackson you may be, Saturday night is bound to be a lively night. Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band is playing at the Town Square Tavern starting at 8pm, Cherry Royale is playing at the Stagecoach in Wilson starting at 10pm ($10 cover) and as always, happy hour at the Cadillac Grille is from 4 to 6 and 10 to midnight. The Cadillac is closing for good on April 1, 2012, so make sure you make it to one last happy hour before then! So start getting your greens together and get ready to celebrate this Saint Patty’s Day with us in the Hole this Saturday.

March 16, 2012 at 3:29 pm Leave a comment

Jackson Hole’s 2nd Annual Winterfest

The Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce’s Second Annual Winterfest kicks off today, February 10th. The Winterfest includes many different activities and events, including the popular Cutter Races, put on by the Jackson Hole Shriner’s Club. Today, the festival kicks off with the Margarita Cup Race, a downhill race at Snow King Resort. From 3 to 6:30pm you can watch local racers fly down a Super G course on Snow King. There is a raffle and prizes, food and bar drinks available. At 7:30 the Moose hockey team plays the Hockey Source HC from Washington at the Snow King Ice Arena. Admission is $8.

On Saturday, February 11, the festival starts out the day with a Snowman Competition on the Center for Arts Lawn at 2pm. Bring a carrot and some coal and be prepared to make your best snowman. Once you finish your snowman, head over the to the town square for some ice skating. At 4:30pm there is a Snow Bike Race at Snow King. The start is at the base of the Rafferty Lift where the Snow King Hotel is located. Snow bike rentals are available and registration for the race is $5. Whether you plan on participating or observing the hottest new outdoor trend, it should be a fun time.

On Wednesday, a snow sculpting contest starts on the town square. The entries will be judged at noon on Saturday. The festival climaxes on the weekend of February 17 and 18 with a Nordic race, dodgeball tournament, Cutter Races and K-9 Keg pull. The main attraction is the Cutter races, which take place on Saturday and Sunday starting at noon at Melody Ranch. View a video of the 2011 Cutter Races here. Horses pull chariots over a short snow covered distance. This is a very unusual spectacle that should not be missed! A full list of the Winterfest events can be found here on the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce website.

Finally, winter has returned to the valley by bringing some light snow to freshen up conditions on the mountain and create a winter wonderland in town. I hope that you are able to get some good skiing in as well as experience some of the Winterfest events this week.

February 10, 2012 at 5:40 pm Leave a comment

New Years Eve 2011 in Jackson

As the last day of 2011 approaches and the peer pressure surrounding your NYE plans bear down on you, breathe easy. Here are some great ways to spend New Years Eve.

For those with kids:

If you have active kiddos, head up to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Teton Village. Kids can participate in a Glow Worm Parade on Teewinot – meet at 4:50pm at the Kids Ranch. Teewinot is the learning center, so even your little ones can participate. The Glow Worm parade starts at 5:30pm. Afterwards, watch the torchlight parade at 6:00pm as resort employees ski down Apres Vous.  Fireworks will follow the torchlight parade.

If you want to stay in town for the night, Snow King has a torchlight parade and fireworks that begin at 6:15pm. Head to the base of the mountain to see the show. You may see the fireworks from anywhere in the downtown area.

For Adults:

The Silver Dollar Bar & Grill

For those who are looking to have a swinging new years, The Silver Dollar Bar & Grill at the Wort Hotel has live music by Gary Small & the Coyote Brothers.  If you are looking to enjoy the night and not be around a bunch of hooligans this is a good option. And as a bonus, there is no cover.

The Couloir

Unfortunately, the tickets for New Year’s Eve at the Couloir at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort are already sold out.

For those looking for a rip roaring good time:

The Town Square Tavern

By far the best place in town to have a rowdy New Year’s Eve, the Tavern boasts live music by Soul Impressions, who will be playing funk, soul and rock & roll. The band starts at 9:00pm and tickets are $10. Party favors and a free champagne toast at midnight is included in the ticket price.

The Q Roadhouse

If you are looking for a night filled with dancing, drinking and good times, the Q, located on Teton Village Road, is the place to be. With 4 DJ’s spinning tunes throughout the night, there will be some guaranteed booty shaking. Discofari, 11OOLA, Mr. Whipple and Cut la Whut will be working the crowd all night. The tickets are sold out online but there will be 50 tickets first come first serve at the door on the night of the 31st. Tickets are $20. For more information on New Year’s Eve at the Q Roadhouse click here.

The Stagecoach

Affectionately known as “The Coach” by the locals, I rang in 2011 at The Coach last year. Located in Wilson, Wyoming at the foot of Teton Pass, this bar has a great party atmosphere. Known for it’s Disco Night (ladies night) on every Thursday night, the dance floor is often covered in beer and is often filled with sweaty dancing coeds. This year the Coach is boasting a live band, Whiskey Morning, and a champagne toast at midnight. There is a cover charge of $5 at the door.

The Mangy Moose

If you are looking to rock out in Teton Village, the Mangy Moose has the Hell’s Belles returning to the stage for a NYE appearance.  This all female AC/DC cover band is known to rock the house. Tickets are $30 at the door, though they can also be bought online.

Planning to have a New Year’s Party of your own? The Liquor Store is having a New Year’s Eve Tasting on Friday, December 30th and Saturday, December 31st from noon until 7pm. Try 8 different bottles of sparkling wine before buying them for your party.

Wherever you happen to be on New Year’s Eve, just keep this one piece of advice in mind: if you drink, don’t drive. Honestly, it isn’t worth it. You will be caught, you will be put in jail for the night and you will have to pay a hefty fine. Our police are notorious for catching drunk drivers. Just call a cab.  For a list of taxi services click here. The rates on the list are incorrect as they are from Jackson Hole airport, but the taxis can pick you up and transport you from wherever you are. Also, remember that before 11:30pm the START Bus is also a great option.

I wish all of you a happy and healthy 2012 and I hope that you join us in ringing in the new year in style!

December 29, 2011 at 9:09 pm Leave a comment

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