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Weather and Terrain

Fall Snowstorm Predicted for Jackson Hole

September 28, 2019

If you have not already heard, there is a BIG snowstorm headed to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and the Tetons this weekend.  Weather forecasters, along with NOAA has issued a Winter Storm Watch for the Teton Mountains of Wyoming, which include the Grand Targhee and Jackson Hole ski resorts today and tomorrow (Saturday and Sunday).  NOAA is forecasting 5 to 10 inches of snow between 8,500 and 10,000 feet in elevation, along with 12 to 18 (or more!) inches of snow above 10,000 feet. 

The top of Jackson Hole Resort is 10,450 feet and the top of Grand Targhee is 9,862 feet – which means if the forecast is correct, there will be a lot of snow covering the beautiful mountain ranges!  This is good news for snow and winter seekers to start laying a base of glorious white snow on the mountains.  While ski season is just under two months away, the days are counting down and Mother Nature is doing its job to help get the season started.

Last week the Rendezvous Enduro bike race took place at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.  Riders had an epic weekend of racing through snow!  For the first time ever, Mother Nature changed the course.  During the Friday practice day, a snowstorm rolled in and covered the upper mountain with lots of fresh snow.  This allowed riders the opportunity to embrace the unique experience of riding from the top of the tram with their bikes navigating through the snow to test out the full course before race day.   It was an epic day of practice where riders experienced all conditions – snow at the top, down wet trails mid mountain, and more day at the bottom. 

Well, unfortunately or fortunately, the overnight storm Friday night left more snow, totaling over 8 inches on the summit.  Snow drifts grew to almost 2 feet of snow!  The race organizers and trail crew quickly had to assess the conditions before race start, knowing safety and the feasibility of running the race on the original scheduled course would not be safe for riders.  With all of the snow, they had to cancel the first stage of the race, which was at the highest elevation at the top of Rendezvous Mountain (elevation f 10,450 feet).  To make up the distance, they added a lower stage at the end of the race.  Even without the first stage, racers still had the opportunity to ride the tram to the summit before making their way down to the start of stage 2. 

I say a little snow added for a fun adventure at the Rendezvous Enduro, and it was an experience the riders will not forget!  It is definitely a good thing the race was last weekend and not this weekend.  Snow projections, along with mountain weather moisture, wind, grey skies and more would have put a bigger damper on the race.  The interesting thing about mountain weather though, is it can change quick.  After two days of snow, the sun and warmer ‘fall’ temperatures will make its way back to Wyoming.  This will allow sun-seekers a chance to get out and enjoy the beautiful sunny weather on the trails, rivers and scenery of Jackson Hole.

Photo:  Beautiful fall scenery in Jackson Hole


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