While Grand Teton National Park boasts some incredible backcountry skiing and riding, there is no detailed avalanche forecast for the area, according to the Grand Teton National Park Foundation. Grand Teton National Park and the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center are partnering with GTNPF to raise money for the purchase and installation of weather stations in the park itself. This would give local avalanche forecasters additional data to provide greater safety measures for skiers and riders in the Teton backcountry.
The weather forecast that currently informs the area is largely sourced from outside of the park’s boundaries, and it only covers the 45-mile stretch of the Teton Range within the park.
The forecast also lacks specialized weather data for the backcountry of the park, where precipitation, temperature, and wind can vary dramatically from other areas of the park, like the visitor centers, according to the GTNPF.
"People underestimate how different the weather is across the range. Having weather stations in the park is so simple in my mind: you get better and real information from these new stations to ski better snow and ski safer," says local big mountain skier Hadley Hammer. "You can base your day off of the results from the current station and end up having a completely different day of skiing than you had planned on."
With increased traffic in the Teton backcountry, having a source for accurate weather data is essential both for enjoying top-notch snow and ensuring avalanche safety. Of course, having as much information as possible is essential to staying alive while enjoying skiing.
"Jackson is so special because we’re such a community, and for communities to work we need to give back to the resources we have," says Hammer. "It seems only fitting i give back to the foundation that’s only trying to get me to stay safe."
The foundation hopes to reach their fundraising goal of $25,000 by September 1st, and if it is met, weather stations will be installed immediately for the 2018-19 winter season. Visit The Grand Teton National Park Foundation to learn more and donate.
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