Jackson Hole is planning construction of a new ski lift that will completely change the way people ski the Grand Tetons as of the 2015-2016 winter season.
The Teton Lift, spanning 1,600 vertical feet, will provide easier access to Granite Canyon on the northern boundary of the national park and add more inbound advanced and intermediate terrain. “It’s going to be a whole new area for our skiers to enjoy,” said Anna Cole, communications manager at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. “The terrain is very steep, and it’s easy to get cliffed out in an avalanche, but it’s a nice area for advanced skiers who now won’t have to hike to get there.”
Cole said that the upcoming season will be unaffected by the Teton Lift plans. Two new trails have been constructed so that all areas will be accessible. “Nothing will be changing for this season,” she said. “People can still hike the head rail area to Granite, and we are planning summer construction so nothing will be interrupted for skiers.”
Upon completion, the lift will drop skiers off along the Sheridan Ridge in a vertical, rocky zone 3,000 vertical feet above the base of Teton Village. The area was barred from 1965 to the 1999-2000 season. During those years, adventurous skiers risked their passes to go down the ridge. After the area was opened, people flocked to the area. Now, ski flow will be increased even more with the lift’s increased accessibility. “It’s so crowded out there already, it's crazy,” skier Jason Tattersall told Powder. “Feed the monkey!”