According to the Wyoming Department of Transportation, the Teton Pass had to be closed Monday morning to conduct avalanche mitigation on Mount Glory. Highway 22 over the 8,432-foot pass at 3 a.m. was expected to close at 3am Monday due to recent snowfall that has left the area prone to avalanches. The Teton Pass carries traffic from Wyoming to Idaho and is a very important route. This road also connects skiers to Jackson Hole and Grand Targhee.
It is not unusual for the pass to close at this time of year, but the area has seen a fair amount of snowfall so far this year! High winds and unstable snow conditions are expected throughout the day, which should have backcountry skiers and snowboarders on edge! The closure only took a few hours, but it still put a damper on morning travel.
“Jackson, WY 12/5/16 –Strong winds continue this morning and combined with two feet of new snow have created dangerous conditions. At 3 AM the WYDOT was able to trigger a slab avalanche on an east aspect of Glory Bowl that ran to the highway. Dangerous deep slabs are a hazard at the upper elevations and surface slabs formed by strong winds present a hazard at all elevations. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route finding and conservative decisions are essential for safe travel in avalanche terrain today,” stated the Bridger Teton Avalanche Center regarding today’s conditions.
Mount Glory is a 10,086ft mountain that is located on the Teton Pass and is very prone to avalanches! The mountain received 14″ of snow at the elevation of 9,300ft in the past 24 hours. This snowfall makes the mountain prone to slab avalanches, which WYDOT conducts avalanche mitigation to deter from happening. When an avalanche occurs on Mt. Glory or Glory Bowl, it slides on to the pass and endangers drivers, along with blocks the road with huge amounts of snow.
Grand Targhee is located on the west side of the Teton Pass and the resort has received 20″ in the past 48 hours.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is located on the east side of the Teton Pass and the resort has received 23″ of snow in the past 48 hours!