It's funny how things turn out sometimes.
A group of us headed up Teton Pass last Saturday morning. Our intent was to do a relatively easy-going tour over to Edelweiss Bowl to try to catch the morning corn. Edelweiss involves skinning up a couple of pitches, skiing/skinning a lap or two on the bowl, and skinning back up to the car from the bottom of the bowl.
As we drove into the parking area at the top of the Pass, one of our party suddenly remembered that she had left her skins at home where they were drying from the day before. That meant our only option would be to boot up Glory Peak instead of skinning over to Edelweiss, which is a considerably LESS easy-going option. But at least we had options.
We all loaded up and did the boot, arriving at the top of Glory to cloudy skies and a hard wind. For those of you without much spring-skiing experience, cloudy skies pretty much translate into a hard and frozen snow surface instead of the wonderful, just-starting-to-soften-in-the-sun magic that is good corn skiing.
As we stood around trying to decide what to do, another group headed down Glory Bowl. We could hear their skis scraping on the snow surface long after we could see them, so we came up with another option. We would ski/hike north from the top of Glory out to the Great White Hump. From there, we could ski a long gladed ridgeline down to the west or perhaps ski east off the Hump itself.
It takes close to another hour to get to the Hump. Along the way, the clouds simply vanished and by the time we reached the Hump we had a sky so blue you just wanted to rejoice.
That blue sky meant the sun could start working on the east-facing slope below the Hump and THAT meant perfect corn. Here's a very far-off photo of the Great White Hump. Like many photos of the mountains, it's hard to get a feel for the scale involved. Those cornices on the top of the Hump will show up in subsequent photos and you might appreciate the size of this snowfield:
Here's part of the group walking up the south flank of the Hump:
Here's my wife buttering a little freshly-cooked corn:
Karen on the rollover. The camera doesn't show it, of course, but this section is steeper than 45 degrees:
Dave cruising down with one of those big cornices as a backdrop:
A minor boot up out of that basin and onto the next ridgeline:
Then Karen gets first dibs (other than the photographer) on the next pitch:
But Dave finds the sweet spot:
And finds it succulent indeed:
Then powers through a little wet-slide avy debris on the next pitch:
And Karen savors a post-corn stroll through a mountain meadow:
Our easy-going morning turned into a fairly major tour, but it was well worth it.