Grand Teton National Park has closed a portion of a popular backcountry skiing area, 25 Short, to keep visitors and waking grizzly bears safe.
Only a portion of the popular backcountry skiing area is closed. The peak, unnamed 9975, remains open with ridgeline access to Turkey Chute, Chute the Moon, and other Avalanche Canyon routes. Most of these can be accessed from the Taggart Lake Trailhead. The east-facing slope below the summit, also known as 25 Short, remains closed.
Grizzly bears have been waking up from winter hibernation. It is essential to avoid them as they are hungry and looking for food throughout the area. According to the National Park Service, about 50% of male grizzly bears are awake by mid-march, followed by females with cubs awaking in April to early May.
The National Park Service press release commented:
“Backcountry skiers are encouraged to be alert, aware of the surrounding area, and carry bear spray. Black and grizzly bears may be located anywhere within the park, including developed areas. All park visitors should carry bear spray and maintain a minimum of 100 yards from bears and wolves, and 25 yards from other wildlife. Please report bear sightings within the park to Teton Interagency Dispatch Center at 307-739-3301.”