Skiing on race gear on Christmas Eve 2011
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Monday, December 5, 2011
A long time friend suggested we head into the mountains for an early season ski tour. I was game, as we hadn’t been out in the mountains together for awhile together. The forecast was for super cold temperatures, sunshine, and a little wind. We set plans to travel towards
or simply ‘the park’. Grand Teton National Park
We met at a coffee shop at the easy hour of . A third party arrived at the coffee shop and we were heading north in a warm car and knowing we were soon going to have to brave the cold. We set out in the early sunshine with a tentative plan to ski up Avalanche canyon and make a long ski tour. We traveled less than fifteen minutes and realized the travel up the canyon looked daunting. Low snow and extensive bush whacking and travel through downfall canelled thoughts of early season travel in that area from the valley bottom. We all shrugged. We looked to the next canyon north and we all smiled. Garnet canyon was our inline option.
We traveled quickly over the glacier moraine and across the frozen lake to the base of the canyon and climb. We climbed steeply and through fairly well covered terrain with much effort. Large ski packs filled with down clothes, wind breakers, food and water kept our progress honest. However, we all soaked in the sunshine as we pulled out of the valley and skied inward towards the heart of the canyon. As we approached the ‘meadows’ we stopped to fuel and water up and take a sit down break in the last sunshine for awhile.
We ate quickly as the temperatures forced us to eat and talk on the move. We headed up the north fork of Garnet canyon to a snow platform below the Teepee glacier and south-east face of the
Grand Teton. Skinning up canyon we were able to follow an old skin track partially for awhile.
After the meadows we skinned and booted our own chosen line. The platforms we had skinned to, we all agreed, was our time to ski and put the climbing skins away.
We skied mixed and variable conditions for 4,000 feet, but we found mostly good quality powder. The coverage was a bit sparse and the skiing was tentative, slower than usual, and extra careful about what lays below the slopes surface – rocks.