Targhee will lose two of the three proposed lifts on South Bowl expansion
ALTA, Wyoming – While Grand Targhee Resort moves through an environmental impact study with the Caribou–Targhee National Forest Service, news broke this week that two of the three proposed lifts on the South Bowl expansion will be eliminated due to concerns around avalanche control.
Teton Basin District Ranger Jay Pence told EastIdahoNews.com on Monday that the area was identified as a hazardous avalanche site and the lifts would not be a viable option to the expansion plan. This move will reduce the skiable acres on the South Bowl in half from 600 to 290 acres.
Grand Targhee has been working with the development group S.E. Company and has the nod from the Forest Service to create a variety of expansions to the resort. The largest and most significant includes the expansion of ski terrain into Teton Canyon from Peaked Mountain and the South Bowl.
Before the EIS concluded that the lifts should be eliminated in the South Bowl, those additional lifts were set to manage up to 1,800 skiers an hour, according to the master plan.
“I am aware of the avalanche study but I’m not a part of the process,” said resort owner Geordie Gillett on Monday. “I want to put out the safest skiing experience I can for our guests. I am hearing people,” he said of public input.
In January of this year, Gillett announced he was pulling cat skiing from the expansion plan on the heels of public pushback. The original master plan called for the expansion of snowcat skiing off of Peaked Mountain that would have extended down into the Teton Canyon area prior to the potential construction of new lifts.
Pence said because of the incredible public feedback and scope of the project, the forest service pushed the timeline for the public commenting period from August 2021 to January 2022.
Pence said resort officials will have five alternatives to consider with the entire expansion plan after the EIS is completed.