News: Marmot Chair In Place At Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
By Brigid Mander | November 21st, 2011
November 21, 2011
— Brigid Mander
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has added a new chairlift — to the joy of some and the chagrin of others.
The new chair, however, doesn’t access any terrain that wasn’t already easily accessed, and its main function, according to resort management, is to make the lives of intermediate level skiers easier at the steep and unforgiving ski resort.
The lift, called the Marmot Chair, will ferry skiers from near the base of Thunder Chair over to the summit of Bridger gondola, dining options, and mid-mountain demo shop.
The 1200-foot double is the reincarnation of the East Ridge chair, which allowed skiers to access the mountain’s summit, Rendevous Bowl and Corbet’s Couloir while the aerial tram was being re-built several years ago. After a couple more years of languishing without being used, the lift was dismantled this summer, moved to mid-mountain, and lengthened by about 80 chairs plus new lift towers, said Zahan Billamoria, communications manager for JHMR.
This photo shows the top of the old East Ridge Chairlift at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The lift has been moved, revamped and renamed. It is now the mid-mountain Marmot Chair.
Despite rampant speculation among locals as to where the lift would be moved to, Billamoria said its current location was the only place ever seriously considered by resort management.
“It was kind of the missing link at mid-mountain, and it is going to help alleviate congestion at the base area,” Billamoria said. “Intermediate skiers were looking for a way to go back and ski blue runs on the other side of the mountain without having to go all the way to the bottom.”
Most locals don’t see the new chair’s location having a huge impact on their ski habits. Some see it as a ploy to draw more diners in for lunch at the restaurants at the top of the gondola, calling it the "Cheeseburger" lift. But most importantly, many are just happy it isn’t allowing lift-access to current hike-to only terrain.
This photo shows one of the bootpacks that accesses the Headwall at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. For a while it was rumored the East Ridge Chairlift would be relocated here, but the resort says that was never planned.
“It sure beats them having thrown it up to access the Headwall, or the Crags,” said Tim Cohn, one of many relieved locals.
“I guess the new chair might be nice. I don’t honestly know,” said Dave Bertsch, a local skier, lawyer and fishing guide. “I’m not stoked on it, but I’m not unstoked. I guess I don’t really care."
Benny Wilson, co-founder of the Jackson Hole Air Force and a skier of JHMR since it opened for business, thinks it’s going to be beneficial for destination skiers, but not make much difference for hard-charging locals.
“It’s going to allow for better utilization of the terrain,” he said. “It’ll be good for ski school, and it’ll be great for beginners and intermediates. They need a break sometimes.”
Wilson also pointed out the chair will have some nice uses besides ferrying blue skiers back to blue terrain.
“In the spring, you won’t have to ski the mank down from Thunder and Sublette anymore,” Wilson said. “And — they could even do race camps up high now, after the season is over.”
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort employees add chairs to the new Marmot lift.
Location: Jackson Hole WY Keywords: Featured Ski Snowboard Resort News Travel