JACKSON, WY — WYDOT had a busy day today clearing and mitigating four avalanches in Hoback Canyon.
WYDOT Public Relations Specialist Stephanie Harsha said Cow of the Woods came down naturally at approximately 1 p.m. today and slid partially across the road.
WYDOT responded by triggering a second slide “which doubled [in size] and came all the way across the road,” Harsha said. The crown was 16′ at the biggest and tapered down to five-six feet. So the WYDOT crew punched a hole through the debris to try to get traffic moving again.
To be safe, WYDOT triggered another slide in Calf of the Woods — and while they were cleaning up, Cow slid a third time. Luckily, the third slide was much smaller and didn’t require much a lot of extra cleaning.
Through it all, WYDOT never closed the road, just warned people that travel lanes were blocked and people should be prepared to stop. Harsha said traffic was moving again by 3:45 p.m.
A commuter told Buckrail he waited for about two and a half hours for the road to clear after an avalanche closed it — but he made the most of it. Scott Mitchell Costello sent us this video of him and some pals tossing a football around. It is springtime, after all.
Snake River Canyon also slid yesterday and closed one lane of traffic. Harsha said this warmth and rain are “kind of creating the perfect condition for avalanches. Especially with the snow stored up high.” WYDOT will keep a close eye on activity in both Hoback and Snake River Canyons and may close either for mitigation work. Buckrail will keep you posted if (or when) that happens.