The Battle of the Trams - Ski Mag

The Battle of the Trams

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Okay, we admit it: we picked a fight. we challenged Snowbird and Jackson Hole to each field a team to race, top to bottom, from their respective trams for one day during standard operating hours. The point? To see which team could log the most vertical feet in one day.

The playing fields weren't exactly level: Snowbird's tram is faster, but the mountain has less vertical. Jackson has more vertical, but the route down is more difficult. Jackson fielded all-stars like Tommy Moe, A.J. Cargill, Scott McGee (on tele skis), and snowboarder John Griber. Snowbird's all-female team featured Sara Clemenson and Kasha Rigby on tele boards, Nora Pincus on alpine gear, and Shannon Yates on a snowboard. The starting guns went off at 9 a.m., and at 3:45 p.m. the final trams loaded for the summits. The result was amazingly close: Snowbird won by a mere 324 feet.

Jackson Hole, WY:
347,676 cumulative vertical feet

Snowbird, UT:
348,000 cumulative vertical feet

TEAMS
Jackson Hole, WY:
Three men, one woman

Snowbird, UT:
Groomed Chip's Run through Peruvian Gulch.

COURSE
Jackson Hole, WY:
Off-piste, rugged terrain down the East Ridge Traverse into Tensleep Bowl,then Expert or Downhill Chutes to the welcome groomer of Gros Ventre.

Snowbird, UT:
Groomed Chip's Run through Peruvian Gulch.

FRINGE BENEFITS
Jackson Hole, WY:
"Special" brownies between runs.

Snowbird, UT:
Afternoon rubdowns in a massage chair in the tram. And herbal tea, of course.

FUEL

Jackson Hole, WY:

A large bag of mesquite beef jerky, Griber's elk jerky, 7 navel oranges, 14 Clif Shot Energy gels, 2 dozen chocolate chip cookies, and 20 lime-green Gatorades.

Snowbird, UT:
8 Kit Kat bars, 2 bags Reese's Bites, 12 PowerBars, 4 turkey hoagies, 9 bananas, 17 Clif Shot Energy gels, and 16 Powerades.

FAMOUS WORDS
Jackson Hole, WY:
Reflecting on the event, Griber philosophized: "Dude, we would have won if we could've gone faster."

Snowbird, UT:
Nora Pincus yelled, "C'mon give it to me! Give it to me!" when the tram operator was struggling to open the door at the top tram dock.

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