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Hitchhiking Brings Concerns On Teton Pass

January 30, 2014 Jackson Hole, State of Wyoming, Teton County No Comments
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With the legalization of hitchhiking now, the increased number of those who are taking advantage of the arrangement are causing some concerns.  Teton Pass Ambassador Jay Pistano explains that primarily, hitchhikers may not be easily seen as they walk along the road at the edges of traffic lanes. He says a lot of the passenger traffic right now goes up on the north side of the road as they hike up Glory.  He says, “That a lot of times puts you in a position where it’s sort-of necessary to hitchhike to get back to your car – and if it’s really poor visibility like with this storm (for example), it would be nice if people would keep their runs closer to the top where they didn’t feel the necessity to hitchhike.”  He says people should really base where they go on the weather conditions and the visibility. Pistano reminds those hitching that they should always walk facing traffic.  However, when they are hitching rides, they will be on the side of the road where the traffic is moving in the direction they want to go.  At those times, he says, the hitchhikers need to remain stationery.  Pistano also urges pedestrians on the pass to be especially watchful for snowplows, as the drivers may not easily see them through the snow that is being kicked up. He says the plow-drivers are doing their best to work around the situation , but it is always a little tougher to maneuver around people who are walking up.  Pistano says, “What I prefer you do is to be up on the berms: get yourself out of the roadbed.” Pistano adds that those hitching rides should be sure they are not standing in one of the avalanche paths, putting not only themselves in danger, but the motorists who stop for them as well.  Pistano also suggests the use of a light – like the strobes used by bicyclists – affixed to the top of one’s skis in order to increase visibility.

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