As I write this report, I'm still stoked from my summit of Buck Mountain in GTNP this past weekend. I did the trip with Aaron Dahill of Exum Mountain Guides. With 2011 being the great snow year that it was, I decided to try the 12 months of skiing thing. Being from Jackson originally, I opted to use the Tetons as part of this quest. I made fun trips to Teewinot, the Middle Teton Glacier from the Dike Pinnacle and the Cave Couloir. I wasn't able to summit any of these, either because of conditions, or my equipment or my conditioning. So, I tried Teewinot again the first of this month and didn't make the summit, due to deep snow - in May. Here is a writeup on that venture, (http://hi-adventure.com/teewinot-quest/).
I had pretty much decided that I was done with the peaks for the year, but then Aaron emailed me and said he'd been up to Buck and it was skiing great. That was all I needed. We were on for the 19th. (I do have an advantage over a lot of people in that Boise is only about a 6 hour drive from JH and my Aunt lives within 10 minutes of the park entrance).
We headed out at 4:00AM and hit the summit at 9:30. Buck Mountain is the 7th highest Summit of the Tetons, and so now I'm on my way to climbing/skiing all 7. (I should add here that I was right at my physical limits and so I have already upped my training and nutrition in preparation for next seasons attempts). The skiing was fantastic and we got over 4,000 vertical of skiing!
At my age and relative inexperience in big mountain attempts, I have opted to use a guide service to do these climbs and ski descents. (plus that is the only way my wife will let me do it). For those of you out there who would like to try this but haven't got the experience, I would highly recommend this route. I have been on 3 trips now with the Exum guides and I am very impressed with how much I learn and how much fun I'm having. Oh, BTW I did get my 12 months of skiing in, but Bob Peters' record string of a gazillion years in a row is still intact!
For additional details and GPS data on this adventure, I have it posted here on my website: (http://hi-adventure.com/buck-mountain-ski-descent/).
Here is the video of the highlights of the descent: