Skier Keith Benefiel blows through powder on a backcountry run in the Tetons on Sunday after a robust storm gave the winter season a holiday boost. Nearby, the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort celebrated its 50th anniversary season with the opening of the new Teton Lift and start-up of the aerial tram to serve landmark Rendezvous Bowl. (Angus M. Thuermer Jr./WyoFile)

Skiers at Wyoming’s top resorts are grinning as the season got underway with a series of storms dumping two feet of snow in the Teton Mountains over the last five days.

The Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center at Teton Village reported 24 inches of snow in five days at the bottom of Rendezvous Bowl, the landmark run at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Skiers navigated that steep pitch for the first time of the season Friday, the day the aerial tram began running to the resort’s summit.

The resort’s 50th anniversary season also saw the opening of the new Teton Lift on Saturday. It carries skiers almost 1,600 vertical feet to a new run called Kemmerer. Most runs on the mountain are named after Wyoming sites; Kemmerer also is the name of the family that owns the resort.

“We’re off to a great season,” said Anna Cole, resort spokeswoman. “Yesterday was a large arrival day at the airport. We’re expecting another busy holiday season.”

Grand Targhee Resort and Snow King Mountain also have been operating lifts in Teton County. Backcountry skiers have been out in force, packing parking lots at trailheads.

Six snow measuring sites around Jackson Hole point to a normal snowpack, but the Natural Resource Conservation Service cautioned that the data might be unreliable. That’s because estimates were made from only about a third of the usual number of plots.

Angus M. Thuermer Jr. is the natural resources reporter for WyoFile. He is a veteran Wyoming reporter and editor with more than 35 years experience in Wyoming. Contact him at or (307)...

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