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Skier May Have Triggered Avalanche That Buried Highway in 20 Ft. of Snow

Directly adjacent to the bootpack on skier's left, Twin Slides normally offers up great turns, but this year the area is proving active. Creative Commons photo.

WILSON, Wyo. — Teton Pass commuters had to improvise Thursday evening after an avalanche buried Highway 22 under what on-scene responders are calling up to 20 feet of snow.

According to the Jackson Hole News&Guide, WYDOT officials were forced to close the pass for the night after the slide was triggered at roughly 4:52 p.m. 

RELATED: 2-3 Feet Likely In Many Areas Wednesday-Sunday

WYDOT representative Stephanie Harsha said the Department is currently working to clear the road and search for skiers possibly trapped in the snow.

“They want to make sure they search the area well,” Harsha said, “There’s also the additional danger of additional slides.”

They do believe it was skier triggered.

The avalanche and pass closure came after multiple weeks of ongoing dumps that have been widely celebrated by local ski bums, but have also locked in multiple persistent weak layers that are already setting off alarm bells among Teton backcountry enthusiasts.

The slide originated from the popular Twin Slides area, which is one of the most popular and accessible runs on Teton Pass. No injuries or casualties have been reported, but responders are wary that skiers and/or riders may have been buried in the slide.

“They do believe it was skier triggered,” Harsha said. “They’re looking into that right now.”

About The Author

stash member Sam Morse

TGR Editor-at-Large. author of The Ski Town Fairytale and creative behind The Bumion. Lover of steep-and-deep lines, long trails—and hot springs waiting in the distance.

Do we have confirmation this was skier triggered?

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