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White Pine just needs snow dancers

Posted: Monday, Nov 19th, 2012

PINEDALE – White Pine owners are excited about the upcoming ski season, which they say could begin as early as next week. All the resort needs is more snow.

Sublette skiers of all ages were buzzing Saturday at the Ski Social at Rock Rabbit, where the White Pine partners, Sublette County Ski and Snowboard Association members and Pinedale High School ski coach Ward Wise hung out talking about the resort’s reopening after a year’s hiatus.

New partners Alan and Robyn Blackburn, both avid skiers, recently bought up Tony and Bonnie Chambers’ share and Alan was unsurprisingly given the role of sales and marketing assistant.

“There was a possibility White Pine would not have opened,” he said. “We wanted to see skiing back at White Pine, and Robyn and I are both skiers. Everyone wanted it to open this year – but it has been a lot of work.”

The hard work to maintain lifts, clean facilities and hire management has resulted in passing inspections by the Forest Service and insurance representatives as well as pre-season sales of more than 400 season passes.

Co-owners Rex Poulson and Ken Konicek also were feeling the public’s anticipatory buzz Saturday at the ski social, all smiles and acknowledging the upcoming season is “exciting.”

When asked who gets first tracks down the mountain on opening day, Poulson and Blackburn laughed at the question that perhaps hasn’t been answered yet among them.

Up the stairs at Rock Rabbit, new general manager Doug Kremer snapped pass-holders’ photos and printed out passes on the spot. Kremer, who comes to White Pine with 30 years’ experience at Big Sky in Montana, did it all – from being a “liftie” to ski patrol to director of lower mountain operations.

Coming from a larger ski area outside of Bozeman to Pinedale, Kremer called White Pine “a cool resort.”

The facility is fantastic, the lifts are in great shape and everything’s in great shape,” he said. “Every day we’re getting closer.”

Kremer had hiked up some of the ski runs to check them out, he said.

“The runs here are fantastic. I hiked Bonneville about a week and a half ago,” he said, adding that he envisions all sorts of ski events being possible on White Pine’s terrain.

One benefit to White Pine’s reopening is that the ski and snowboard association as well as high school ski team racers will be able to ski “at home” again.

Alpine coach Ward Wise said kids are excited about it.

“We hope to have Piney kids on there; we have in the past,” he said. “Right now we’ve got 19 (Pinedale ski team members) and may have a couple more next week.”

To keep up with White Pine’s opening and schedule, visit http://www.whitepineski.com/ or its Facebook page.

For the complete article see the 11-20-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 11-20-2012 paper.

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