I spent this past weekend in Jackson Hole with my wife and daughter getting some JH resort skiing on Saturday and then on Sunday I headed for some backcountry powder and steeps in GTNP with Exum guide, Aaron Dahill. The skiing at Jackson Hole was fantastic and we had a great day, including a lunchtime run straight down the Headwall with face shots the whole way down.
But this TR is about the backcountry outing in the park. We had been planning some kind of a ski outing for a month, and originally were targeting one of the bigger peaks as a winter ski mountaineering adventure. However, the weather and snowpack up high just didn't look right for this day. So, instead we opted for one of the smaller and very popular peaks in the park. 25 Short gets its name because it is 25 feet short of 10,000 feet. When we headed out we had talked about some of the different options available, but when we hit the summit fairly early in the morning we knew what the plan was going to be!
First up was to ski the Turkey Chute, a steep north facing couloir down into Avalanche Canyon.
Looking into the chute. As can be seen here and in the video, a short down climb was required. This is typical for this chute.
Looking back up the Turkey Chute from Avalanche Canyon
After skiing down the canyon far enough to get past the cliffs that protect the north ridge of 25 Short, we put the skins back on and put in a steep skin track back up for the summit. When we got there, I was surprised to see that our untracked lines were still available in spite of a fairly large number of skiers who had been there.
Here is a nice shot of the Grand Teton from the north ridge of 25 Short.
Our trek covered over 11.5 miles and just under 6,000 total vertical. The video below showcases some great couloir skiing and some of the best untracked powder that I've ever skied. I still have the "face-shot-smile", even after being back at work for a couple of days! Here is the obligatory face-shot selfie at the end of the day. 25 Short is in the background.
Edited by Cody Feuz - 2/7/14 at 8:23am