Saturday’s Pole Pedal Paddle is taking on a new, last-minute look.
With high temperatures melting snow across much of the valley, the scheduled Nordic ski leg of the five-part race has been axed. That will leave just four legs to the annual Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club event, with the alpine leg leading into the running portion, the running into the cycling and the cycling into the rafting.
The running segment was originally scheduled to go 1.3 miles from the bottom of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort to Shooting Star, where a 4-mile ski was schedule to take place. Instead, the running portion will now be a full 5 kilometers.
“It’s actually as seamless as we can possibly make it,” Ski Club Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Moran said, “with how many logistics are involved with constantly changing the environment around this race.”
That running portion will now go down the Teton Village road and past the Shooting Star maintenance facility, the usual transition point between the running and cross-country skiing portion. Runners will continue down the pathway for a short distance, then double back to the maintenance facility. From there they’ll begin the cycling leg, which is an 18-mile ride to the Snake River before paddling 10 miles to the finish.
The Pole Pedal Paddle is getting underway this year later than usual. With the April 10 race date, Moran said, the club knew a lack of snow could end up canceling the Nordic leg.
With that in mind, the team portion of race registration this year allowed only four competitors per team, with the plan if all five stages were a go to have one competitor double up.
Now, it will be up to each team to decide which of its four members does which section of the race.
Moran said the club tried to work out a Nordic course at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort earlier this week when it became apparent Shooting Star wouldn’t have enough snow, but ultimately that wasn’t fruitful either.
“Once we dug into considering what that would take, operationally it didn’t really work,” he said. “There were too many moving parts for us to try to plan something like that at the last minute.”
Registration remains open until 5p.m. Wednesday. Updated information for the new-look PPP is available at JHSkiClub.org/polepedalpaddle. Also see page 3 in the Scene section to read more about this long-standing spring ritual.
“It’s actually as seamless as we can possibly make it ...” — Jeff Moran JH Ski and snowboard club