White Pine Ski Area opening soon
Lift evacuation training. Photo courtesy White Pine Ski Area.
November 22, 2015
White Pine Ski Resort hopes to open soon, with their tentative opening day on Friday, November 27, the day after Thanksgiving. The final decision will be made on Monday, November 23rd. White Pine’s General Manager Tim Scott indicated the storm at the end of last week brought 14" of snowfall and another storm is fast moving in from the Pacific to add to their base. They will begin with running Little Spirit lift. Great Spirit lift will open as soon as they have sufficient snow cover.
Fall mowing and clean up by community volunteers in early November allowed for great snow cover on the lower mountain. Early grooming and packing immediately following the recent storm has provided a solid base ready for the next snowfall. "Another 6 inches and we’ll fire up Little Spirit lift," said Scott. The decision on opening the rest of the mountain will be made in conjunction with White Pine lead ski patroller Gary Wilson with safety and adequate snow cover the primary considerations.
White Pine held lift evacuation training over the weekend of Nov. 21 & 22. Over 40 emergency response personnel from EMS, Search and Rescue, Ski Patrol volunteers and employees met at White Pine to attend the annual training/refresher course on how to evacuate skiers caught on the chair lift in the unlikely event of a major power shutdown.
"In the event of a malfunction or breakdown with skiers on both lifts, we would involve all Sublette County emergency response personnel, so it was crucial that they attended the refresher," said Gary Wilson. "White Pine has returning staff and a lot of new faces – everyone would be called upon to assist if there was an emergency – so all employees learn how to belay and perform the rescue. We went through the evacuation numbers of times, so every person had the opportunity to be familiarized with all aspects of the evacuation." Fortunately it has been a number of seasons since anyone needed to be evacuated. Lift evacuation is just one of the many functions that Wilson and his ski patrol team assist guests with on the mountain.
White Pine’s new Tubing Hill scheduled to open mid-December. The tubing run is on the west of the Great Spirit on Competition run. The Tubing Hill opening is still awaiting a little more snow to create a safe run out at the base.
White Pine is located 10 miles northeast of Pinedale, Wyoming in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. It has 25 runs for downhill skiing and snowboarding and is adjacent to 35K of looping Nordic ski trails for all skill levels. Two lifts service groomed downhill runs and the terrain park offers jumps and slides. Fortification Mountain rises to an elevation of 9,500 feet and offers spectacular views of the Continental Divide, Wind River Mountains, the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Fremont Lake, as well as the nearby Wyoming Mountain Range.
Once they begin their regular Winter hours, they will be open Thursday through Sunday from 9AM to 4PM. White Pine is open all of Christmas break and most holidays. Adult full day lift tickets are $48/day, half day adult lift ticket is $36/day. Junior/Student/Senior full day lift tickets are $35/day, half day $28. Child (5 and under) lift ticket for full and half day is $6. Discount rates are available for schools and groups. There is no charge to cross-country ski on the nearby Nordic trails.
White Pine offers several large slope-side condo cabins for rent that can accommodate up to six people. The cabins typically have 2 bedrooms and 2 baths (one with a jetted tub), well-equipped kitchens with stainless steel appliances, a large walk-around deck, washer/dryer, living room with fireplace, and a BBQ on the deck. Cabins are non-smoking and pets are not allowed, except for service animals. White Pine Lodge offers food services and a bar.
Additional lodging and dining services are available in nearby Pinedale, a small community with a population around 2,000. Jackson Hole is located 88 miles to the north, and Rock Springs is 110 miles to the south. For more information about Pinedale visit www.visitpinedale.org.
For more information about White Pine Ski Resort call 307-367-6606, or go online to www.whitepineski.com.