JACKSON, Wyo. — Jackson Hole Ski & Snowboard Club (JHSC) has canceled the 2023 Pole Pedal Paddle (PPP) due to rising costs, volunteer shortages and a decline in participation over the last decade, the club announced yesterday, Dec. 5.
“In its heyday of the 80s and 90s, the PPP hosted nearly 1,000 participants annually with a highly competitive field featuring honed athletes including Olympic skiers, Cat 1 bike racers, World Cup kayakers and also hundreds of people that just wanted to dress up, have fun, float the river and party. PPP was the first rite of spring and brought our community together,” states the press release.
The traditional course, although it’s varied over the years, started at the top of the Jackson Hole Tram, down a Super G course on Rendezvous Bowl to 10k of Nordic skiing, a 19.5-mile bike race, ending with nine miles of kayaking, finishing at Astoria Hot Springs.
According to the release, participation has dwindled over the last decade with last year being the lowest turnout with 150 participants. The club also cited that the JHSC program competition schedule continues to extend longer into the spring, pulling student-athletes and their families from the event.
“JHSC is hoping this isn’t an obituary for the PPP but a time to revamp, reorganize and revitalize this iconic community tradition,” states the press release. “JHSC hopes a year off will be a call to action for those that want to see the PPP return to its former glory.”
According to the release, the Snake River Fund and Jackson Hole Kayak Club have both expressed interest in bringing back the PPP in 2024. The Club has created a page for PPP updates, accessible here.
The race ran for the first time in April 1975.