I was on an extended road trip from Jan. 11 - Feb. 13, skied 26 days: 2 Mt. Bachelor, 1 Big White, 4 Mustang Snowcat, 1 Revelstoke, 4 Baldface Snowcat, 2 Red Mt., 2 Whitewater, 2 Schweitzer, 1 Sliver Mt., 1 Montana Snowbowl, 4 Jackson Hole, 1 Grand Targhee, 1 Snowbasin and 1 Alta. For the last 7 of these Liz who was with me on the Antarctic trip came out from NYC. On our 3rd Jackson day we had the pleasure of skiing with Bob Peters.
We started with the second Rock Springs gate at the bottom of Rendezvous Bowl. This feeds the more direct fall lines in Rock Springs which overall have the same SE aspect as the Hobacks. But similarly the snow was still dry and chalky except on the most direct south exposure. Liz and Bob skiing and then resting below one of these pitches.
The skier’s left path in Rock Springs brings you to one of its signature features, Split Rock. Bob skiing it here.
Here’s a view from below of the terrain accessed from the Why Not gate we would ski next.
The diagonal line at center right has fairly straightforward access while the slot between the rocks dead center of the picture requires careful navigation from above and Bob thought it would be too sketchy.
Here Bob shows us the tree his friend Les Gibson hit Feb. 3, 1983, blowing out a knee but fortunately he made a full recovery.
Les and Bob were also skiing together a few years later in a narrow Granite Canyon chute when Bob blew out an ACL.
Bob showed us the easiest way to get out of Rock Springs. It tends to funnel to a gully at the bottom, then into the tight trees with roots, moguls, etc. If you get on skier’s left of the gully and follow high traverse tracks continuing left, you will avoid most of the tight trees and come out on the open part of the Hobacks ~300 vertical above the Union Pass Traverse.
Our second tram with Bob was out the Why Not gate not too far above the entrance to the Hobacks. The weather was now clouding over and would also break up the cold inversion at the bottom of the mountain. There are 2 short pitches with excellent snow followed by a traverse through trees to the top of the long pitch of Why Not. Unfortunately this pitch faces due south and was refrozen spring snow.
It’s a great line but unfortunately needed either sun or new snow to improve the surface. We were still happy to learn how to get there safely for future reference.
Bob had to meet someone for lunch, so we thanked him for the tour and took lunch ourselves. Then we took a tram up and skied Flip Point into Laramie Bowl with marginal visibility, then up Sublette for a run to the base via North Colter and Elk Alley. By this time Liz was getting cold. I took one last run up the tram to Rendezvous Bowl, Center Chute and Lander Bowl. My total vertical was 18,200.
Thanks to Bob's tour we were able to show Rock Springs to some friends of mine who arrived in Jackson to start skiing the next day. TR's from the whole trip at http://www.firsttracksonline.com/boards/viewforum.php?f=3