We had a mircoburst of snow last night, leaving 14" of new snow this morning and blue skies. I got invited to join a local group who had hired JHMR Alpine Guide Tom Turiano for a session of out-of-bounds skiing. The Alpine Guide program offers skiers and boarders a chance to access the backcountry skiing from the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort with highly-experienced guides who know these mountains like the back of their hand. Not only does the guide program allow riders to board the aerial tram in the morning before the public, but also offers liftline-cutting privileges.
Tom is a climbing and skiing guide as well as author of the "Bible" of backcountry skiing in the Tetons, the book "Teton Skiing: A History and Guide", which is available through Tom's website.
The day was literally picture-perfect. We skied beautiful fresh lines in the bowls and faces to the south of the tram. After our first run, we were joined by Dave Miller, longtime guide and now supervisor of the guide program. That meant we had TWO legendary Jackson Hole guides showing us their best stuff based on decades of experience in this terrain. It was amazing.
I got a fair amount of helmet-cam footage and will try to post a video tomorrow.
For now, here are a few photos from the day...
Here's the mountain from the tram base at 8:30 this morning:
Here's Tom doing what guides do best; setting the line by skiing next to the trees and leaving the open powder shot for the clients:
Here's Karen enjoying a little snow:
And here's Dave maintaining terrain familiarity:
We now have 304" of total snowfall for the season, a 102" base, and we're not yet halfway through the season.