Looking Back

Toby Grohne and Lauren Penix react when they are cut off from the line of people getting on the last winter Aerial Tram at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in April 2006. The two expressed their regret and surprise at the situation when the gate was closed and no more skiers were allowed on the tram. The occasion drew thousands of skiers, many whom dressed up in costumes to celebrate the valley icon’s retirement after 40 years of serving Rendezvous Mountain skiers.

45 years ago ...

The most popular event at the annual Snow King Serendipity was the first Snow King Hill Climb, sponsored by the Jackson Hole Snow Devils. Thirty racers entered the snowmobile race up Snow King Mountain. John McLaughlin, the only one to make it all the way to the road at the top of the mountain, emerged as King of the Hill.

After finding no suitable alternatives the Jackson Hole Airport board ended its search for another location for the airport and instructed its master plan consultants to focus their study on the effects of keeping the airport in Grand Teton National Park. The board also asked the firm to consider the effects of closing the airport if the present site could not be retained after the park lease expired in 1995.

Jackson resident Beverly Landis, a nurse at St. John’s Hospital, received a Citizen Lifesaving Award from the Boca Raton, Florida, fire department for attempting to save the life of a 79-year-old Florida heart attack victim. While biking during a visit to her parents she spotted a man lying in his driveway, apparently in the throes of a heart attack, and immediately began CPR.

30 years ago ...

At the 16th annual King of the Mountain World Championship Hill Climb, David Shepherd, of Jackson, Montana, won the modified King of the Hill crown, becoming only the second snowmobile racer to claim two world championships — his first being in 1987.

It took kids just minutes to pick up all 7,500 eggs on Town Square during the 23rd annual Easter Egg Hunt sponsored by Jackson State Bank.

The East Coast-based Fund for Animals objected to Yellowstone National Park’s plan to shoot 25 bison. The park wanted to collect blood and tissue samples for a brucellosis study. “We don’t think the ends justify the means,” said D.J. Schubert of the Fund for Animals.

A task force charged with studying ways to prevent grizzly-hunter conflicts recommended that hunters planning to venture into Yellowstone National Park be required to take a safety course on how to be careful in bear country.

A Jackson police officer was exonerated by a federal jury on civil charges that he brutalized a Jackson man during a February 1990 arrest.

Many educators in the country worried that the latest Ninja Turtles movie, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze,” encouraged violence in children. But Jackson parents didn’t seem worried. “I think the movie teaches sticking together and standing up for what you believe is right,” said mother Laurie Earnest.

15 years ago ...

Jackson Hole mountaineer Doug Coombs died in the French Alps after falling over a cliff while trying to aid a friend who had plunged over the same precipice. He was 48.

The last winter Aerial Tram left the dock just before 4 p.m. to the loud cheers of costumed revelers who turned out to bid farewell to the lift, which was to be retired. Passengers in the last car included Jackson Hole Ski School founder Pepi Stiegler and his son, Seppi; Ski Patrol Director Corky Ward, who started his 34-year resort tenure as an instructor under Stiegler in 1972; and Ski Patrol veteran Kirk Speckhals, who once rode 26 trams in a single day, a record he shared with three others.

Brooks Holmes, of Jackson, won the men’s racing class title at the 31st annual Pole Pedal Paddle, ending the reign of 13-time champion Mike Freeburn, of Durango, Colorado. Sun Valley, Idaho, racer Dayna Deuter won the women’s racing division for the third time in four years.

By the end of ski season, 440 inches of snow were recorded at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s midmountain study station, making the 2005-06 winter the fourth snowiest since 1974.

Jennifer Dorsey is chief copy editor and Business section coordinator. She worked in Washington, D.C., and Chicago before moving to the Tetons.

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