South Teton Summer Surfing – Skiing
June 22, 2011
|The Teton range from summit of South Teton|
The summer solstice greeted us
June 21, 2011 and with the Solstice came the sunshine. I believe I read in the local Jackson Hole paper that the average temperature in May was 46 degrees. The early part of June followed the same weather pattern – a lot of clouds and rain with not much sunshine. This weather has helped the snow pack remain intact in the high country of the Tetons and other local mountain ranges.
The alarm was set for and I woke about 15 minutes before the chime sounded. I looked out the window and walked outside to check the weather and get a feel for the temperature in the darkness. It was cold enough and the skies were clear for a summit attempt and ski. With the longest day of the year being two days ago, I knew the sun would be rising early over the Gros Ventre range and spreading warmth on the peaks of the Tetons.
|Morning light over Jacksons' valley of green|
I knew the day could be a long one, so I ate a big breakfast and made a cup of coffee for the
25 mile drive to the trailhead in . Driving north to Lupine Meadows, the usual characters were mulling around in the darkness – Elk. As I entered the Park, I tried to sneak a look at my objective in the mountains, but the abundance of elk just off the side of the road had my attention. Elk cows weigh from 450 – Grand Teton National Park 600 pounds while the bulls weigh in at 800 – 1,000 pounds. I always enjoy seeing them early in the morning and focused not to take my eye off of the road.
|Ice Cream Cone and South Teton|
|Upper Garnet Canyon|
|South Tetons' East Ridge (on Right) and corn skiing below|
The views from the top were spectacular. The views towards the valley
6,000 feet below showed a wild Snake River approaching high water levels. The valley was green and the peaks across the range were still well covered with snow. Looking towards the West I could see far across . I soaked in the views for awhile as I prepared for a summer ski from the summit. I choose to ski the Idaho off the summit towards the Ice Cream Cone notch. The ski off the summit is steep and I was focused on my skiing. After reaching the col between the South Teton and the Ice Cream Cone the steepness backed off and I continued on down the north glacier. The ski off the summit of the fifth highest peak in the Tetons was another great day in the mountains. East Ridge