Jackson Hole has always drawn adventurers and those who crave the excitement and beauty of the mountains. It is a legendary place, especially for those hunting some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world.
In the early 1960s, Paul McCollister and Alex Morley first envisioned Rendezvous Mountain as a part of that legend. In the winter of 1965, the first skiers enjoyed the fruits of their labor. McCollister and Morley sought to create a place that would rival the ski resorts of Europe, and to that end, built an astounding 2.5-mile tram to the peak of Rendezvous Mountain.
In 1992, the Kemmerer family bought the ski area from its original owners. Unwaveringly dedicated to investing in their home state of Wyoming, the three siblings utilized funds from their family’s mining business to expand and upgrade access to Rendezvous Mountain. They understood the vision of McCollister and Morley, and wanted to take the next steps towards realizing the dream of slopes as excellent as the Alps.
50 years later, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is one of the most celebrated ski areas on earth. For visitors and locals alike, the mountain is a snowy ground zero for all kinds of winter fun. This year, in honor of the mountain’s 50th anniversary, the season is studded with special events including the opening of a new lift, reunion days for former staff, and a free concert at the season’s close.
The day after a snowy Thanksgiving, many in Jackson Hole abandoned the temptations of Black Friday discounts to help kick off these anniversary celebrations at an event called Flashback Friday. Lift tickets were sold at their original 1965 price – only $6 – and all rentals and ski waxing services were the same price. Across the mountain, food and drinks were likewise sold at throwback prices. Skiers and snowboarders were encouraged to celebrate by wearing their own throwback apparel, an invitation that many accepted with gusto! The slopes were bustling with locals and visitors boasting their favorite vintage cold weather gear.
In addition to their dedication to fun and adventure, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort champions stewardship of Jackson Hole, both in the natural world and in the community’s culture. In support of these deep-rooted values proceeds of all the tickets sold on Friday were donated to local charities. Other anniversary events will also support these organizations, including Teton County Search and Rescue and Honoring our Veterans.
The mountain has grown since its opening day in 1965, now boasting 13 lifts and 2,500 acres of top notch in-bound terrain. The array of activities beyond the slopes has expanded, as have the options for lodging, excellent food, drinks and shopping just steps away from the tram.
Despite these changes, the reasons that bring us to to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort still endure. Like the earliest ski pioneers in Jackson Hole, we crave the exhilaration of flying through pristine snow high above the valley floor. We revel in the adventure of new runs, the unparalleled views from the top, and the genuine warmth of friendships forged in the snow.
Images © Taylor Glenn