Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Grand Teton Ski/Board Attempt

Just tried to ski the Grand Teton Monday… ( by way of the original first descent route, the Stettner Couloir seen here.

My partner Brendan Burns and I got through all of the cruxes, but we left the upper E. Face and the last 800 feet to the summit for another day. It was a fine adventure, and although travel was slowed by some punchy, unfrozen snow, the avalanche danger was low and the snow was soft enough to make the steep skiing altogether pleasant. 

It has been a tricky spring to try to hit the conditions for this kind of route. Freezing nights have been rare due to the amount of precipitation (much of it snow) that continued to fall. According to an advisory from the Jenny Lake Rangers: "The Teton Range contains an unprecedented amount of snowpack for this time of year. Unusual conditions exist due to an unseasonably cool and wet spring following a record winter snowfall with 732 inches recorded at the Raymer plot on Rendezvous Mountain (elevation 9,300 feet)."  We had some good timing relative to changing conditions, and were able to climb in relatively low hazard conditions.

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