3/1/2019 (Friday) — Powder day in Jackson Hole... NOT!


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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Lower Hudson Valley

    3/1/2019 (Friday) — Powder day in Jackson Hole... NOT!

    It’s been snowing since Sunday or Monday. 4 feet of it!

    I drove in on Friday at first chair. The sun was out. The snow was deep! And everyone was still at work. I lap the tram and Corbet all day long!!!


    Rewind and retake.

    I got up at 6:30, grab some breakfast and hop in the car for the 2 hr drive from Idaho Falls to Jackson. The road was clear all the way to Jackson.

    An hr later, first sign of doubt. As I flew through a lonely traffic board on the side of road at 90mph, I thought I caught a glimpse of it said “Rt 22 closed”. It can’t be. I checked that earlier. Besides, there’s no new snow last night. No reason for the road to be closed.

    1/2 hr later, another lonely sigh by the roadside: “Teton pass: closed when flasing”. And the light was NOT flashing. I probably didn’t read the previous sign correctly.

    But a few mile later, another similar set of light that was flashing brightly. Ouho!

    A few hundred yards later, a bunch of cars in front of the gate, which was unmistakably closed. One or two were turning around but the rest just stopped. People were outside mingling. So I joined them to find out what’s going on. It turns out there’s an avalanche about an hr earlier.

    Most there were locals. Some came up because they got “updates” the pass had re-opened. Surprise to see the gate still down but the believe were it should open “any minute”. So I waited as those minutes tick by.

    About 1/2 hr of mingling and speculation later, a truck came from the pass. A guy in uniform gave us the bad news. There’re some cars in the back country lot, which means there’re still skiers up there somewhere in the pass. They can’t do any avalanche blasting for fear of triggering avalanche on top of them. No avalanche mitigation, can’t open the road!

    Now what?

    Well, one can go around the long way. “Probably 2 hrs, at least”.

    Theres no cell signal up there. So nothing can be done till getting back to Victor. Google still was under the impression the pass is open. So it refused to give me an estimate of how long it’ll take to get to Jackson the roundabout way. The locals guess of 2 hr had be be believed. That should still get me to Jackson well before noon.

    But it took longer. A lot longer. The situation wasn’t helped by some long stretch of emergency road work (likely a result of smaller avalanche) I didn’t get into Jack till well after 12. And given the hassle of parking and shuttle, I’d be lucky if my ski could hit snow by 1. I wrestle with the situation a little bit and decided it’s not worth burning a day on my Ikon pass.

    A beautiful gorgeous powder day, wasted due to lack of information and communication.

    In retrospect, had I known it would take 3+ hrs to go around, I could have gone to Targhee. But I hadn’t given it a thought, believing I could still get to Jackson by noon and ski a good 4+ hrs!
    Last edited by abc; Mar 2, 2019 at 12:00 AM.

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