Last Tram

“Last Tram” At Jackson Hole With Bryan Iguchi
Photography by Kevin Zacher

The tram is the domain of the local-the first tram of the morning even more so. The closest snowboarding ever gets to being a team sport is probably in these tram lines-huddled together in the cow gates, bagel and steaming coffee in hand, anticipating the big game out on the powder field, comparing (or concealing) tactics for maximizing each run.
The tram gets packed tight, someone lets out a moo, anticipation builds as the tram docks, the doors open, and any analogies to a team sport get trampled in the rush for first tracks. Friends fall behind, victims of the powder-day rule. No offense, bro.
At Jackson Hole, 10,450 vertical feet of vertical terrain spread out below the tram dock on Rendezvous peak. Open boundaries tempt riders out into Rock Springs and Four Pines-cliffs, terrain-packed powder turns, transitions … heaven. Inbounds, Rendezvous Bowl blows in deep, and gullies and drops clutter the Hobacks. At the bottom, there’s only one thing to do-unstrap and get back in line. Tram laps are the only way to go around here.
Last winter, Jackson Hole “decommissioned” the tram. Blasphemous! It was a big deal-the end of an era. Riders took solemn last rides and made plans to finally head to Chamonix for a season. We sent photographer Kevin Zacher out to ride with Bryan Iguchi and his crew to get some last shots. Bryan shared some thoughts with us about day-to-day life riding Jackson’s tram. We thought that maybe we’d run the photos in black and white-the article more of an obituary. But as we headed into this season tramless, JHMR announced plans to build a bigger, better tram-and just like that the nightmare was over. Jackson’s loyal masses let out a collective sigh-too emotionally battered to do much more than just be thankful. Look for the new 100-person tram to launch in December 2008. -Annie Fast