Targhee guest ‘VERY lucky’ to avoid cornice collapse

ALTA, Wyo. — A guest at Grand Targhee Resort got “VERY lucky” Wednesday after ducking a boundary rope and nearly falling through a cornice.

According to the resort’s social media, a guest ducked a rope line, walked out onto a cornice, and nearly fell through.

“It appears they fell through a gap that is forming because the cornice is starting to pull away,” the resort said on Instagram.

The accompanying photo shows a guest-sized hole and lines above it that indicate where the cornice is fracturing. Had the cornice failed, it could have carried the guest down a large and steep cliff.

The back side of Grand Targhee. Photo: Grand Targhee

The guest was able to self-rescue, but Targhee highlighted the incident as a reminder that cornices are “extremely dangerous and can break unexpectedly.”

A cornice is an overhanging edge of snow on a ridge or crest of a mountain. They are susceptible to failure and can break.

Signs and resort boundaries exist for a reason! Learn more about cornice danger here.

The anatomy of a cornice. The guest likely stepped on the “potential fracture zone” and fell partway through, but the cornice did not break. Image: Grand Targhee

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