The status of Teton Pass' prized backcountry access point is uncertain.

During a Monday meeting between the Wyoming Department of Transportation and county commissioners, an exchange between Commissioner Luther Propst and District Maintenance Engineer Tory Thomas called into question the status of the pullout on the top of pass where skiers usually park — the one that sits just below Mount Glory and just east of the access points for Teton Pass's southerly slopes.

By Tuesday morning, the area in question had only been partially plowed since the weekend's storms, allowing vehicles enough room to pull off and check brakes, but not park where they usually would.

"Can you guys assure us that the parking lot on the top of Teton Pass will open Nov. 15 when the trailer limitations go into effect?" Propst asked.

"Well, let's be clear that was never a parking lot. That was always designed as a brake check," Thomas replied, adding that once the damaged truck arrestor on the east side of the pass is "fully functional," WYDOT plans to "offer limited parking on Teton Pass as we have in the past."

Propst responded: "What does limited mean compared to years past?" 

To which, Thomas answered: "It'll be the same as in years past."

But then the two sallied back and forth over dates, as Propst sought a firm date for the completion of the truck arrestor — and, by extension, the opening of the parking lot on the top of the pass. Thomas said WYDOT didn't have an exact date, but was eyeing sometime between the middle and end of November.

Propst then asked if the parking lot would remain closed if WYDOT didn't complete the work before winter.

"It will remain a brake check station if that work is not complete," Thomas said.

Read more about the pullout, and recreationists' reactions to changes to Teton Pass parking in Wednesday's News&Guide.

Contact Billy Arnold at 732-7063 or barnold@jhnewsandguide.com.

Teton County Reporter

Previously the Scene editor, Billy Arnold made the switch to the county beat where he's interested in exploring Teton County as a model for the rest of the West. When he can, he still writes about art, music and whatever else suits his fancy.

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