Skiers survive avalanche
Three skiers survived a large slab avalanche Jan. 7 in the backcountry near Grand Targhee Resort in which one of the athletes was able to rescue the other two, including one who was fully buried.
The three skiers were skinning at the base of the cliff known as the Hollywood Rocks, which is adjacent to the couloir that connects to the Scotty’s backcountry gate on Targhee’s eastern boundary.
The slide on a northeast aspect was reported to the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center as having a 36-inch crown and failing on faceted snow near the base of the snowpack.
— Tom Hallberg
Trapper cited, traps pulled
A trap line that caused an uproar due to its location near the well-trodden Cache Creek trailhead has been removed by a Wyoming Game and Fish Department warden, who cited the man who set the traps.
Warden Kyle Lash cited the trapper with failure to check his traps within the required 72-hour period and for not tagging his traps, non-bondable offenses that cannot be settled by paying a fine. The man has a Jan. 23 court date.
Lash did not name the trapper because of a Game and Fish policy that does not allow department personnel to identify suspects of violations until cases have been adjudicated.
The News&Guide previously verified the man’s identity in an article notifying the public about the controversial trap line, but granted him anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject.
He will be identified in print after his appearance in Teton County Circuit Court.
— Mike Koshmrl
Old Faithful trespassers banned
Two men have been banned from Yellowstone National Park for five years for trespassing on the cone of Old Faithful geyser.
Eric Schefflin, 20, of Lakewood, Colorado, and Ryan Goetz, 25, of Woodstock, New York, pleaded guilty last month to the charge of trespassing on a thermal feature.
Besides being banished from Yellowstone, Schefflin and Goetz were sentenced to 10 days in jail, $540 in restitution each and five years of unsupervised probation.
— Cody Cottier
START pauses fare increases
After nearly increasing bus fare rates for Teton Village and commuter routes, transportation officials will take more time to consider how the move could affect ridership.
It has been more than a decade since fares have changed, START Director Darren Brugmann said, meaning they’re due for an update.
But the START board delayed a decision, opting instead to review results of a pending bus route analysis.
“We know without a doubt when we increase fares that there will be a decrease in ridership,” board member Seadar Rose Davis said.
The board still plans to move ahead with a few additions to the fare structure, giving employers the option to purchase discounted six-month and annual commuter bus passes for their employees, priced at $405 and $720, respectively.
The Town Shuttle routes were omitted from the fare increases, meaning they will remain free rather than become linked to the cost of running them.
— Cody Cottier