Winter Resort, Mountain & Park Safety

Heads Up – Know the Code, It’s Your Responsibility

Grand Targhee Resort is committed to promoting slope safety!

The inherent risks involved with alpine activities can lead to dire consequences. When visiting our mountain environment, please remember this fact at all times. Grand Targhee Resort is committed to providing our visitors with information and at times warnings to help them to make good decisions. With this in mind, we ask that our guests respect their Responsibility Code, and utilize the rest of the following menu, especially if you’re new to our area.

Backcountry Access and Terrain Park users please visit the appropriate tab for current information and updates.

The following uses are not permitted:

  • Dogs, except for service, avalanche, and search and rescue.
  • Camping or over-nighting, except as approved by Grand Targhee Resort and the U.S. Forest Service.
  • Snow play activities use (i.e. toboggans, sleds, tubes, etc.) except as operated by the Resort.
  • Motorized vehicles outside of the base area except for administrative purposes (in accordance with the Targhee National Forest Travel Plan).
  • Infants are not permitted on the lifts. Children in backpacks are not permitted on the lifts.

Ski Patrol- Reporting an Emergency

Call the Ski Patrol Dispatch at 1 307-353-2300 ext.1333 on your phone, or just the extension from a resort house phone.

Ski Patrol Emergency call boxes are located at various trail locations. Please hold the call button in while you speak. Tell the dispatcher your call box number and the details of your emergency.

Contact the nearest lift operator or other resort employee if a phone is unavailable.

The First-Aid room is located in the lower level of the Rendezvous Lodge between Powder Day Photography and the North exit. For walk in First-Aid assistance, please stop by the First-Aid room and dial ext.1333 on the in room phone.


Uphill Travel Policy/ Designation of Boundary types

Uphill Travel Policy

Uphill travel within the permit area during lift operating hours will be allowed in the following designated areas with some restrictions:

  • Mary’s Nipple/Peaked Ridge: uphill access is allowed in appointed areas when “Closed, Avalanche Area” signs and gates are open.
  • Peaked Cat Ski Area: uphill access is allowed in appointed areas when “Closed, Avalanche Area” signs and gates are open.
  • Wachabe Woods: uphill access is always allowed in appointed areas and may be necessary to return to the ski area.

Uphill/downhill travel during lift non-operating hours (4:30pm to 9:00am) will be allowed on a portion of the Teton Vista Traverse (TVT) only. Travel will be allowed up to the 'Scotty’s Cutoff' to access the Scotty’s Backcountry Gate when avalanche control work is not planned. Please refer to the "Open/Closed" sign at the the beginning of the Teton Vista Traverse (TVT).  This policy is intended to allow access to National Forest Land, and not resort permit area.

Designation of Boundary Types

Information on closures will be available by calling 1 307-353-2300 ext.1333 between 9am and 4pm Grand Targhee Resort acknowledges and marks its boundaries in several forms:

  • Caribou-Targhee National Forest Permit Area: The total area allowed by the National Forest Service for use by Grand Targhee Resort. As each of the following zones resides within, the Permit Area itself bears no marking.
  • Ski Area Boundary: The total zone within the designated permit area that Grand Targhee Resort determines as their official boundary. This boundary may be subject to change, and will be delineated by “Ski Area Boundary” signs. Some Ski Area Boundary zones are also Closed Areas. Backcountry users may leave the Ski Area Boundary at any time by way of the “Open Backcountry Gate” located at Scotty’s Couloir (unless closed by the USFS or the Teton County Wyoming Sheriff’s Office). Other backcountry access zones are located within Closed, Avalanche Areas (see below), and may only be used when these areas are open for use. These areas lack rope lines and “Closed” signs, but have the requisite “Ski Area Boundary” signs.
  • Closed Area: Consisting of sub-zones within the Ski Area Boundary, Closed Areas are marked with “Closed” signs and rope lines. Access to these areas is prohibited, and violators may be subject to Law Enforcement penalties.
  • Closed, Avalanche Area: As a subset of the Closed Area policy, Avalanche Areas may be accessed by users when allowed and indicated by qualified Grand Targhee Resort personnel. These areas have specific flip signs that read “Closed- Avalanche Area” when closed, and “Caution- Avalanche Hazard” when open for use. Gates in the area’s rope line will be opened when access is allowed and closed when disallowed. All users must enter the area through these gates only. Closed, Avalanche Areas within the permit area will be posted on status boards at the appropriate lift loading area and will be included as part of the snow report.


Treewell Safety

Grand Targhee Resort is world renowned for deep light snow. While this is most always a good thing there are inherent hazards related to deep snow within the resort boundaries! NARSID stands for Non-Avalanche Related Snow Immersion Death. NARSID incidents occur with deep snow or tree well immersions, in which a rider or skier falls into an area of deep, unconsolidated snow and becomes immobilized. The more the person struggles, the more entrapped in the snow they become, and risk suffocation.

  • Each skier or snowboarder controls his or her own level of risk and are the only ones that can prevent this type of accident from happening. Always ski and ride with a partner. To minimize your risk, you must know how to travel safely with your partners in these un-groomed deep snow areas.
  • Always stay in visual contact so that your partner(s) can see you if you fall. Visual contact means stopping and watching your partner descend at all times, then proceeding downhill while he or she watches you at all times. It does no good if your partner is already waiting for you in lift line while you are still descending the slope.
  • Stay close enough to either pull or dig out. If you have any question about what "close enough" to assist someone in a tree well is, hold your breath while you are reading this. The amount of time before you need air may be how much time your partner has to pull or dig you out of danger. Other factors such as creating an air pocket or the position you fall in, may affect this critical time frame.
  • Remember, if you lose visual contact with your partner you could lose your friend. It is important to know that most people who have died in deep snow or tree well accidents had been skiing or riding with "partners" at the time of their accident. Unfortunately, none of these partners were in visual contact so they were not able to be of help in a timely manner.
  • If you have lost contact with a friend or group, contact Grand Targhee Resort patrol at ext.1333.

Your Responsibility Code/Notices

Skiing can be enjoyed in many ways. At ski areas you may see people using alpine, snowboard, telemark, cross country and other specialized ski equipment, such as that used by disabled or other skiers. Regardless of how you decide to enjoy the slopes, always show courtesy to others and be aware that there are elements of risk in skiing that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce. Observe the code listed below and share with other skiers the responsibility for a great skiing experience.

  1. Stay in control
  2. People ahead have the right of way
  3. Stop in a safe place for you and others
  4. When starting downhill or merging, look uphill and yield
  5. Use devices to help prevent runaway equipment
  6. Observe signs and warnings, and keep off of closed trails
  7. Know how to use the lifts safely

No Reckless Individuals Allowed

This resort supports and enforces a policy adopted by the Legislature of the Great State of Wyoming. Individuals who enter closed areas, who are involved in hit and run collisions, who are impaired by alcohol or drugs or who act recklessly endangering themselves or others, may be subject to arrest, criminal prosecution, revocation or suspension of lift privileges and removal from the area. See Wyoming Statutes sections 6-9-201, 6-9-301.

All uphill pedestrian traffic, sledding and snowmobiling are forbidden within the area boundaries. Inverted aerials are not recommended.

Notice of Inherent Risks and Assumption of Risks

Alpine recreation involves a high mountain winter environment where activities create inherent risks, which may result in catastrophic injury or death. These risks include man-made and natural obstacles, both marked and unmarked including but not limited to: avalanche danger, non-avalanche related snow immersion, tree well immersion, changing weather, snow conditions, surface and subsurface conditions, variations in terrain, trees, gullies, cliffs, rocks, towers, snow making equipment, fencing, etc., failure to perform within one's ability and contact or collision with others or animals. CAUTION – grooming equipment, snowmobiles and snow making may be encountered at any time.

By entering this ski area, you are assuming and accepting all risks of injury, damage or loss. If you are not willing to assume and accept these risks, please do not purchase a lift ticket at this resort. See Wyoming Recreation Safety Act, Wyoming Statutes sections 1-1-121 through 1-1-123.

Lift Safety

Grand Targhee Resort is committed to educating families on the importance of chairlift safety. Please visit our Practice Chair at the bottom of the Shoshone lift to help you to familiarize. The Grand Targhee Ski and Snowboard School is a great resource for families to learn more about safe riding techniques. For even more information and ways to educate your kids to stay in the chair, visit www.kidsonlifts.org.

Be advised that you cannot board a lift unless you have sufficient physical dexterity, ability and knowledge to negotiate or to use such lift safely, or until you have asked for and received information sufficient to enable you to load, ride and unload the lift safely. You may not use a lift or any ski trail when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Knowing how to properly use a chairlift is a part of Your Responsibility Code.

Helmet Use

Take a moment and ask yourself:

  • How old is your helmet?
  • Will it still protect you if you need it to?
  • Does your helmet fit properly?
  • Is it a hand me down helmet?

www.lidsonkids.org provides parents and other consumers with important helmet safety information complete with simple helmet sizing instructions to help ensure a proper fit. See more at NSAA.org. The Board Shop, Teton Mountain Outfitters, and Habitat each offer a variety of helmet types and sizes, and can provide knowledgeable insight to their use. Keep an eye out for helmet specials, especially during NSAA Safety Week!

Freestyle Terrain Areas

Freestyle Terrain areas are designated with an orange oval and may contain jumps, hits, ramps, banks, fun boxes, jibs, rails, half pipes, quarter pipes, snowcross, bump terrain and other constructed or natural terrain features. Prior to using Freestyle Terrain, you are responsible for familiarizing yourself with Freestyle Terrain and obeying all instructions, warnings and signs. Freestyle skills require maintaining control on the ground, and in the air. Use of Freestyle Terrain exposes you to the risk of serious injury or death. Inverted aerials are not recommended. You assume the risk. Freestyle Terrain has designations for size. Start small and work your way up. Designations are relative to this ski area.

Smaller features Medium features Larger features

LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP

You are responsible for inspecting Freestyle Terrain before initial use and throughout the day. The features vary in size and change constantly due to snow conditions, weather, usage, grooming and time of day. Do not jump blindly. Use a spotter when necessary.

EASY STYLE IT

Always ride or ski in control and within your ability level. Do not attempt Freestyle Terrain unless you have sufficient ability and experience to do so safely. You control the degree of difficulty you will encounter in using Freestyle Terrain, both on the ground and in the air.

RESPECT GETS RESPECT

Respect Freestyle Terrain and others. Only one person may use a feature at a time. Wait your turn and call your start. Always clear the landing area quickly. Respect all signs and do not enter Freestyle Terrain or use features when closed.

Backcountry Warning

The ski area assumes no responsibility for skiers or riders going beyond the ski area boundary. Areas beyond the ski area boundary are not patrolled or maintained. Avalanches, unmarked obstacles and other natural hazards exist. Rescue in the backcountry, if available, will be costly and may take time.

Grand Targhee Backcountry Access Policy

Backcountry is defined by any area outside of the ski resort’s boundary Grand Targhee Resort has a Closed Boundary/Open Gate Backcountry Access Policy. Access in lift served terrain is permitted through our Backcountry Access Gates, but it is not permitted through our roped ski area boundaries. When open, Targhee’s Peaked and Mary’s Nipple terrain has an open boundary policy. Our Peaked and Mary’s Boundary is designated by a boundary sign line.

The Scotty’s Backcountry Gate

Grand Targhee neither encourages nor discourages backcountry touring. Backcountry users are essentially "on their own", and accept their own risks. Make sure you read all signs before entering. Backcountry users need to make their own decisions about avalanche conditions and if the terrain is skiable. Once riders leave this boundary, it is not patrolled. When leaving resort boundaries skiers and snowboarders enter the Jedediah Smith Wilderness and the Caribou/Targhee National Forest where there is no Avalanche Hazard Reduction and the only rescue is through Teton County, WY Sheriff and Search and Rescue. That rescue could be delayed hours, or into the next day.

Backcountry Skiing

Grand Targhee Resort neither encourages nor discourages backcountry touring. Skiers/snowboarders crossing out of the Grand Targhee Resort boundaries do so at their own risk. Read the posted signs at the designated access gates before proceeding. Call the Bridger-Teton National Forest Backcountry Avalanche Hazard & Weather Forecast at 307.733.2664 for more information or contact the Activities Center to schedule a guided backcountry experience with Yostmark Mountain Guides 1 307.353.2300 ext.1355.

Warning: Risk of Avalanche

Know Before You GO - Check current Teton Avalanche Conditions - JHAvalanche.org!

While snow safety and avalanche mitigation efforts help reduce the risk of avalanches, avalanches and snow slides may occur at ski areas, both inside and outside of the posted boundaries. Avalanches are inherent risk of the sport due to the nature of snow and its application on steep mountain terrain. Become educated on how to reduce the risk of injury or death from avalanches through your own actions and awareness. Visit avalanche.org or contact Grand Targhee ski patrol for further information on the risks and prevention of avalanche-related injuries or death.

Avalanche Terrain

The backcountry surrounding Grand Targhee Resort is extreme terrain and contains numerous avalanche paths, cornices and cliff areas. In the backcountry you are at high risk of avalanche, lost, stuck, cliffed-out and/or injury. Most avalanche fatalities occur in the backcountry. Outside the boundary, avalanches are not created by ski patrol with explosives; they are created naturally and by people. Be Aware of the Hazard and read the Bridger Teton Avalanche Hazard Advisory before venturing into the backcountry. Even taking all of the precautions, your safety in the backcountry is not guaranteed! Backcountry Access Gates will be equipped with a BCA Beacon Checker. Make sure you have fresh batteries and are transmitting. Look for these signs to find the solar powered BCA Beacon Checker. Stop by Ski Patrol to ask any questions you have about our Backcountry Access Policy, or if you need further information. Patrol will periodically host Avalanche Awareness Sessions during the winter season. Please participate in an Avalanche class from American Avalanche Institute at American Avalanche Institute in Victor www.americanavalancheinstitute.com if you plan on going into the backcountry.

This advisory is posted at the Scotty’s Gate and at both patrol stations. It is also available online at www.jhavalanche.org or call 307-733-2664

Always ski one at a time with a partner and have the proper equipment (Beacon, Shovel and Probe). Make sure you and your partner know how to use and practice with your equipment. In the event of an avalanche your partner is your best chance of survival.

Backcountry Access Gates will be equipped with a BCA Beacon Checker. Make sure you have fresh batteries and are transmitting. Look for these signs to find the solar powered BCA Beacon Checker. Stop by Ski Patrol to ask any questions you have about our Backcountry Access Policy, or if you need further information. Patrol will periodically host Avalanche Awareness Sessions during the winter season.

Please participate in an Avalanche class from American Avalanche Institute at American Avalanche Institute in Victor www.americanavalancheinstitute.com if you plan on going into the backcountry.


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Mail: 3300 Ski Hill Rd. Alta, WY 83414
Reservations: 307-353-2300 | Call 800-TARGHEE