Wydaho Snow: 12.11.15: Powder Days Return to Teton Pass and JHMR

It got really hot and humid early in the week before finally cooling down and dumping a bit over the last few days.

Yesterday, 12.10.15, I joined the Crack of One Misfits Club for an afternoon of seriously stormy skiing on Teton Pass.

Bartelby, Maestra, and I braved the elements up the bootpack where we ran in Steve Matz, Mere Bear, and Freakin’ Eakin for a few laps on Mt Glory.  The skiing was OK, but variable, very wind-affected, and zippery in spots.

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DSCN2979Freakin’ and Steve said the gut of Glory was great, but the rest of us opted for the NE Ridge, which was hammered up high, good in the middle, and still needs more coverage down low.  As usual, Meredith stole the show, skiing effortlessly and smooth on a tiny set of Voile AT race skis (155cm long, maybe 70mm underfoot).

Shortly before sunset, conditions were seriously stormy, so Bart and I stopped halfway up, counted our blessings, and enjoyed good turns back down the lower angle pitches near Twin Slides:

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Today we had a legitimate powder day on our hands in the Tetons.  I didn’t see any signs of avalanche activity on any aspects encountered, but I was only skiing inbounds at JHMR and at the Pass in areas that saw a lot of skier traffic earlier this winter.

People were skiing the gut of Glory Bowl, Twin Slides, and First Turn inconsequentially: hopefully this warm and wet weather stabilized sugary terrain that hasn’t seen as much skier traffic as standard TP terrain has.

This evening it went blue for sunset laps on Mt Glory.  S facing snow stayed cool at upper elevations, so it should be soft and sweet for skiing again tomorrow.  Taylor Mountain looked really sexy around sunset, but I wouldn’t risk it now because it hasn’t seen as much early season traffic as other peaks around the Pass and is probably sporting some serious sugar instabilities under gigantic windloads.

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JHMR is skiing good top to bottom although better at higher elevations for sure.  Tomorrow the Gondola and Thunder Lift are supposedly scheduled to open so folks will surely be lining to score first tracks.  Get there early if you want the goods.  I will probably avoid the weekend crowds by skiing outside Alpine.

Today was my first day on a snowboard in 11 years.  This morning I scored a free pass, bought an affordable board and boots at Headwall Sports, and headed to JHMR for a complimentary snowboarding lesson courtesy of Royal T.

The fundamentals came back pretty quickly, and I felt like I was 14 all over again but going on 34 on account of the feelings felt while frequently falling.  It was nice following some real snowboarders around because I definitely see the terrain from a skier’s perspective now, and there is certainly a big difference in riding style there.

Teton Pass 1999

Hiking up Glory around sunset with a board on my back brought fun flashbacks to my first laps on the Pass in the late 1990s when the Big O Crew from Winona, Minnesota would invade Tetonia for “SHEPFEST” each winter.

As I recall, we’d rage via majorly minor consumption from New Years’ Day until we were due back at school.  No beacon.  No shovel.  No probe.  No clue, but we sure had a great time skiing the ‘Ghee and lapping the Pass — especially that one trip when Shep’s car died outside Bozeman and we rallied the rest of the way in an old Ryder rental truck.

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Observant folks will notice the jump just left of the truck. 🙂

Ahhhh, memories!  As for the future, I’ll probably be heading up the Grey’s to see how things are shaping up down here in Alpine.  More snow is forecast over the weekend, so hopefully winter is finally here…

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