JACKSON, WYO – According to a Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) snowplow driver a skier triggered avalanche buried a car on Teton Pass during today’s mornings commute. This is the second time in recent years that a car has been hit by a skier triggered avalanche.
Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center Bulletin rated the Teton Mountains above 10,000 feet as Considerable for the morning and afternoon of April 13:
Mountain temperatures are starting out around 15 degrees cooler than yesterday. While a few snow showers could linger in the morning hours, sunshine will be the primary factor impacting the avalanche hazard. As the day warms above 7,500 feet, the chance for skiers and riders to trigger large to very large wind slabs will be on the increase, and shedding of the new snow could occur naturally on sunlit aspects. Daytime warming and sunshine could also bring about the possibility of wet slides involving the new snow on sun affected slopes. Monitor the effect of the sun, and transition to shaded terrain if snow surfaces start to become damp. Below 7,500 feet, significant avalanche activity is unlikely.
The forecast bulletin went on to say:
Close to two feet of snow has fallen since midnight on Thursday. Strong southwesterly to westerly ridgetop winds accompanied this snowfall, and dense wind slabs up to three feet in depth have formed on leeward slopes in the mountains. These wind slabs could be triggered by backcountry travelers in steep avalanche terrain, and the resulting avalanches could entrain significant amounts of snow and travel long distances. Warming temperatures and sunshine will increase the likelihood of triggering these slabs, and natural activity might be possible on sunlit aspects in the afternoon.
Latest WYDOT Update:
“Road closed due to winter conditions. As of April 13 at 09:22 a.m., the estimated opening time is in 4 to 6 hours. Parking on the roadway is prohibited and delays WYDOT from opening the road.”
Teton Pass was closed Yesterday April 12 in the early morning hours for avalanche control work. The control blast shook our office from 20 miles away. Needless to say the mountains are alive and very active at the moment in the Teton region. Winter is going to be sticking around for a while.
With that being said please be safe, mindful of others and stop skiing over road cuts and slide paths (shown above) that go onto Highway 22. Lets not blow skiing on Teton Pass for the generations to come.
when the skiing and riding is good up there, it’s really good..
For the latest snowpack update in the Teton region please visit: http://jhavalanche.org/