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Video: Skiers and snowboarders in Jackson Hole have a scary encounter with a frantic moose

A moose on a snowy road
Ivars Krutainis via Unsplash

Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is a freerider’s paradise. Set amongst the jagged, awe-inspiring Teton Range, the resort offers a big-mountain experience second to none. Cliffs, steeps, and couloirs challenge even the most seasoned skiers and riders, and the Aerial Tram provides panoramic views on the way to the top. When you want to get after it, Jackson Hole’s the place to be.

When you set out on a morning run, you have a winter canvas in front, where you can paint lines to your heart’s content. What you won’t expect is a moose galloping alongside, like a thoroughbred released from the starting gate. But that’s just what happened to one skier on a recent trip to the famed resort. Here’s what happened.

Moose runs wild at Jackson Hole ski run

A moose decided to take a run at Jackson Hole

Footage posted on YouTube shows a moose running down an easy-pitched cruiser at Jackson Hole. It appears to run at full speed as if escaping danger. But more than that, it looks like it’ll run over anything in its path, making it a scary experience for surrounding skiers. 

According to Wyoming Wildlife Advocates, a male moose can weigh up to 1,000 pounds and stand 7.5 feet tall at the shoulder. Imagine that barreling down the mountain toward you while you take a warm-up lap. 

Thankfully, no one was hurt during the incident, though it serves as a reminder of our need to coexist with nature. In a wild, natural area like Jackson Hole, you have several options to stay safe during a moose encounter. We’ll explore that next. 

Moose in the Wyoming wilderness
Madhu Shesharam via Unsplash

What to do if you encounter a moose on the mountain

This moose’s rapid pace indicates it’s in distress. Numerous moose inhabit ski resorts in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem but typically remain in the forest, out of sight of skiers and riders.

But if you find yourself in a similar situation, with a moose bearing down on you at full speed, what should you do? The Wyoming Game & Fish Department’s Public Information Officer, Breanna Ball, offers several insights. 

  • Avoid spooking a moose by being aware of your surroundings and making noise.
  • Give the moose plenty of space to move freely, at least 25 yards, and back away slowly if you are close to a moose. 
  • Keep an eye out for moose signs, like fresh tracks in the snow, and if you see a sign, avoid the area.
  • Always keep your pet on a leash.
  • If you are charged by a moose, try to put objects like a tree between you and the moose.

Skiing and snowboarding at Jackson Hole is all about big mountain exploration. But a recent moose encounter shed light on the delicate balance between people and wildlife. You can safely navigate a similar situation by keeping your distance or avoid it altogether by looking out for fresh tracks. Either way, it’s a small price to pay to experience the Grand Tetons. 

Mark Reif
Mark Reif is a writer from Stowe, Vermont. During the winter, he works as a snowboard coach and rides more than 100 days. The…
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