Saturday, March 5, 2016

The South Teton

Yesterday I hooked up with my buddy Jed for a big tour in the park. Grand Teton National Park. We arrived at the parking area under bright blue skies.

A little bit of skier scene here, but nothing like The Pass.

The morning started out cold and crisp, but quickly warmed as we skinned up Garnet Canyon.

A bit further up canyon the views open up. Middle Teton is the prominent peak. Our original plan was to head up the sunny slopes to the right to the Middle Teton Glacier, but the rapid warming on the sunny slopes gave us cause for avalanche concerns.

 So we continued up the valley which became more windswept as we ascended.

We skinned high onto the shoulder of the South Teton where we switched to booting.

Jed heads to the gully that leads to the summit.

The rimed summit zone was simply unreal and amazing.

 Jed took this one of me exiting the gully just below the summit.

Jed makes his way along the west ridge with a little bit of Wyoming and a whole lot of Idaho behind him.

Me on the summit with the Grand Teton off to the left. Elation!

We spent a nice spell on the summit admiring views and feeling good about life. Downclimbing the gully to our skis was easy. Then we had a bit of steepish windboard skiing which wasn't too bad. Jed makes it look easy.

Lower in the canyon the skiing improved.

I didn't realize how crooked the horizon is in this shot until I loaded it onto the blog. Left it as is. Pretty good skiing here too.

Fun line.

We enjoyed a little more good skiing on gentle slopes below here, but the lower canyon was a mix of powder and refreeze. By the time we reached Bradley Lake our quads were burning!

On the way back down to Jackson Hole we pulled over and I took this shot back towards the massif. The Grand dominates! The South Teton is somewhere to its left.

Definitely a ski for summit day versus a ski for turns day which was more than fine with me. The alpine scenery here is simply astounding. I feel blessed to have summited a Teton.

A memorable day for sure. Thanks Jed!!!

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