Saturday, May 23, 2009

Targhee to Jenny Lake

Targhee to Jenny Lake

Awesome Skate Ski Mountaineering Tour, completed 090522 in 7 hours flat. 13.3 miles. Near-perfect corn conditions prevailed, including smooth(ish) snow, mostly suncup free, that did not get punchy with sun-warming. Perhaps most remarkable of all is that snow cover allowed skiing all the way to below Hidden Falls, 1/4 mile from the boat dock. Git out there!'s not too late!

Sunrise from Mary's Nipple

Backside of Targhee

Grand Teton and North Teton Canyon from Mary's

South Teton Canyon

Ridge leading toward the Teton Crest from Targhee

Beard's Wheatfield

Pillow cornice I cut below to get out onto the slope. I traversed solid corn all the way to the next ridge line...

On the way to South Leigh Lakes - great skating up here....
North Teton Canyon headwall - one of them anyway...

Sun-glaze on the snow. Great, smooth, edge-able corn...

Teton Crest Cornice

Peterson Glacier area, looking into Cascade Canyon from the crest

Maidenform Peak and the Teton Crest

Mt. Moran

The Skate Ski Mountaineering quiver

The summit ridge to the un-named peak 10,855...

The gully from the top of 10,855. Can you see the tracks? A first descent? This remote peak is a long way to come with heavy gear, and a lot of flat skiing to get back from, making light gear in the right conditions a prime choice....

Here's the photo that inspired this route. It's been my desktop wall paper since I took it in June from the top of the Enclosure a few years back. You can see the hanging basin with the two lakes and the steep, slabby rock - now snow covered - leading down into Cascade Canyon.

Near-perfect corn and 2000 feet to go!

Be sure to turn right before the cliff-band!

...and cut over to more primo corn... the slalom trees... an awesome snow-bridge...

...and an awesome view of 'little Yosemite.'

Three miles later, the snowpack is still thick by the rushing waters of Cascade Canyon.

Made it!...7 hours after leaving Targhee.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Skied the King again today...

It was a beautiful evening as a classic cool spring day bounced back from nearly raining to mostly sunny. I lucked out, getting Lucia, our 8 month old to sleep by 6:37 pm. I won a ro-cham-bo, and was off after taking out the trash. I packed up my camelbak with a pair of 80 cm Big Foot skis and tightened the laces on my Raichle Degree 7 Pro mountain boots, and took off for the top, encountering a dozen other skiers, half of who are friends.

Again today, 45 minutes to the top and a raucous run down in sometimes punchy snow. It was good fun, until I got home, heard two crying whimpery voices, and realized my wife had been trying to reach me. The cell phone, in my hoody pocket, was inaudible and its vibrations unfelt. That's because I was pushing my heartrate to 90% for training, but also so I could get back home in a shorter time. May the history books go easy on me.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Spring Rain

May Ushers in Rain...
A long, late snow season, without terribly warm weather became perfect storm for April corn, and skate ski crust cruising galore...until now that is. R&#, the four letter R-word, and 40 degree temps are turning our snow out for the season...or turning it something else.

A warm trend around mid-late March was JH's only big heat wave until we got nearly a few spells of clear weather in April that yielded good and lasting corn which seemed best on the fringes. To wit, one of my best skates ever in the south end of JH was on the east side of the Snake, going north along the dike on April 6. Four days later, the ground was all but bare. It was that thin and rotten from a long winter, but had a shell that lasted a day.

May showers don't bring June corn, so let's hope for the best. Tonight's rain in Jackson was still snow halfway up Snow King. That was 8pm at 40 degrees. Now it's 11:30 and 38 degrees under clear skies...on track to freeze. So spring hopes eternally, or is that hope springs eternal?...that we'll be back out on the crust before long.