Buckrail and Teton Gravity Research are both reporting that Snow King Mountain shut down operations yesterday due to an avalanche near the Cougar Lift. Snow King released a statement, confirming those reports. In a Facebook post, resort officials said the avalanche was “skier-triggered” and occurred on the run, “Belly Roll.”
This rare, low-elevation, in-bounds avalanche goes to show how crazy weather can affect the snowpack in a matter of days. The avalanche danger in the Tetons is currently marked as “considerable.“
“All Snow King lifts are closed for the remainder of the afternoon due to an in bounds skier triggered avalanche that occurred on the Belly Roll run at 2:30pm. No parties were injured and we are very grateful the two skiers involved skied away unharmed. Lifts have been closed as a precautionary measure for the afternoon. The Cougar and Rafferty Lifts will reopen in the morning as scheduled. The Summit lift will open when conditions permit. King Tubes, the Cowboy Coaster, and the magic carpet will remain open as scheduled. NO UPHILL TRAVEL PERMITTED until conditions permit.” – Snow King Mountain Facebook Post
While it’s hard to see all this weather and not want to ski somewhere, backcountry travelers must exercise extreme caution and patience right now. Conservative route-finding is key.
General Avalanche Advisory 02/11/17 [Tetons]
Yesterday, the Wyoming Department of Transportation fired their GazExs on Teton Pass. They triggered a very large slide on Glory Bowl that deposited 10s of feet of snow onto the road. Two skiers triggered a near full depth avalanche on a mid-mountain, mogulled slope on Snow King. Skiers and riders are likely to trigger similar slides today, and natural activity will be possible. Cautious route finding and careful snowpack evaluation will be essential for safe travel in avalanche terrain.
Find the entire Buckrail article here: Slide on Snow King closes ski area