Well, well, well here we are “enjoying” yet another a 45-50*F day in February… at 6000′ above sea level… in the mountains of Wydaho.
It looks to be unseasonably warm over the weekend and throughout the next week with Star Valley overnight lows rarely dipping below freezing and daytime highs approaching 50*F. Jackson Hole should see temps below freezing most nights but daytime highs are forecast to be in the 40s consistently.
Climate change is real. Chemtrails cause it. Geoengineering is a genocidal geopolitical fustercluck. It also makes finding good snow here in Wydao more challenging.
Act like you know or die like a punk.
After returning from Wisconsin last Sunday I found great skate skiing across the entire valley floor in GTNP last Monday. If you’re looking for that sort of fun, it’s probably still out there, especially on sunny days before things get too sloppy. I’m still hunting for powder because pretty soon corny crusts might be all we have left.
On Tuesday RT, Maestra, and I skied Red Creek where we found bottomless pow in the shade up high and 8″ of fluff on a smooth rain crust in the shade down low. Obviously a variety of crusts — both breakable and not — exist on slopes that see a lot of sun or ambient warmth. RT called it her “best ski day ever” which tickled me pink. Conditions up Red are probably not as rosy now as they were then.
On Wednesday Will from Winona and I headed up Glacier Gulch to check out the high peaks and celebrate his recent retirement. We found good snow in the shade from the valley up to our high point on the Teton Glacier Moraine around 10,200′.
At higher elevations some slopes looked tasty, others looked windfucked, most sported suncrusts, and a lot of sexier shots had gotten hammered. Red Sentinel and the other one dropping from the Teepee Snowfield looked great before getting hit hard. A duo was headed up a clean looking Spoon when we stopped by Amphitheater Lake for lunch.
Corn skiing is in full effect on sunny slopes at mid and lower elevations. Maybe the same holds true up high but I don’t know.
On Thursday the Great Grimaldi, the Maestra, and I headed across the river to do a little yard work with The Rake.
We humans were both pretty tired from previous adventures but saw a window of opportunity to check out an elusive line so we went for it. The Maestra never gets tired, dehydrated, or hungry apparently: 28 hours after returning home she still hasn’t touched her food bowl.
Getting a canoe to the river was easy thanks to unbreakable sun crusts on S facing slopes. The hardest part was keeping it from going too fast and getting away from us.
As we ascended we encountered almost every conceivable condition from rotten slush to sun and rain crusts to bottomless sugary pow. All in all I would say the snow was good, mostly because we had the right attitude.
Towards the top of Brad Peak (~8900′) we booted up shady waist deep sugar that felt SKETCHY. Apparently sleds recently set off a huge slide on a similar aspect at a slightly higher elevation in the peaks surrounding Star Valley. Duly noted.
Dropping in we hugged a treed spine until the sugary layers became more solid and found hero snow on a smooth base until lower elevations where avalanche debris made for survival skiing.
We made a heck of a traverse back to the boat. It was easier than expected thanks to firm conditions.
Views of surrounding peaks alone made the day worthwhile. I got some great “guidebook” photos, but this is all you’re gonna get outta me today. 🙂
Today I hoped to ski the Little Rake solo but saw a lot of sun on it while studying it from the road and decided to take a break instead.
Tomorrow I’m going snowboarding inbounds at JHMR instead of getting after it elsewhere. I don’t really know what’ll ski good but imagine shady, untracked slopes at mid to upper elevations are the best bet. Now that the sun is rising higher in the sky those special places are fewer and further between. Star Valley seems to have gotten more snow than Jackson Hole recently, but it has also gotten more heat. Happy hunting, weekend warriors! I hope this helps!