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Here's Something Completely New...

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
It sure was for me anyway.

Four of us did a ski tour from Teton Pass this morning. The first thing we skied was an east-facing bowl north of Glory Peak. I dropped in first because I wanted to take some photos of the others.

As I started skiing, I immediately got this very interesting sensation from the snow. This bowl had apparently gotten slightly wet the afternoon before and had just the thinnest glaze of ice over the snow. It was a layer so thin you didn't even notice it skiing, but it made for a really weird result. On each turn, all those little ice crystals I was disturbing would go cascading down the slope.

By my third turn, I had this 60-foot-wide sluff of tiny ice plates flying down the hill with me. You could hear it clattering down the hill as I was skiing in and out of it. It was also really hauling ass because it was sliding on the same ice layer that I was disturbing.

It was excellent skiing, but I've never seen anything like it.

Here's a photo of Gina skiing the line next to mine. If you look closely, you can see the same cascading ice pellets down the fall line directly below her and to her left.



I've skied a lot of sluffing snow before and some very strange conditions, but this is the first time I've ever skied in and out of microscopic broken window panes.

:
post #2 of 29
Glad to see you're still out there making turns. I've had that sensation too. It was in the Sierras maybe 15 years ago. You hear this tingling noise as the thin layer shatters. The skiing as I recall is quite good on this surface, as you easily break through.

Powdr
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
A couple of other photos from today.

Here's Anna smooging around on the wind rollers. Everything is so smooth and solid this time of year that you can play in the rollie-polies all day long.




Here's Gina skiing a fun little line through the forest:




Here's what happens when you run out of snow and there's a creek to cross:




And here's why the Social Security system is going bankrupt.

This guy is a few months short of his 69th birthday. He booted up Glory Peak with us and then skinned back up out of the bowl with the weird snow. As if that's not enough, he then went biking in the afternoon.

Quite an inspriration.

post #4 of 29
Love that last photo.
post #5 of 29
Snow crystals, you don't get many of those days, at least not around here.

Bob, I experience gratitude just looking at the pictures. What a great place for a guy (and wife) like you to live.

What about those skis?
post #6 of 29
Bob, You make all of us that are here in the East very jealous right now.

You do know how lucky you are don't you?

Very nice pictures
post #7 of 29
Those are great pictures! I am SO jealous!!!

Take a run for the rest of us.
post #8 of 29
If you haven't been officially welcomed Ski Diva, let me say welcome to Epic Ski.

I have visited your blog site and it's very nice.

Please stick around this summer and add to the discussion and fun.

I'm sure you'll bring much to Epic Ski.
post #9 of 29
You're really pissing me off Bob

And welcome Ski Diva!
post #10 of 29
Stop doing this to us ... well ... most of us ..

Gettin' "... depraved onna' count I wuz deprived ... " West Side Story ...
post #11 of 29
Well..... I got to ski on Dendix the other day, so there!!

*weeps uncontrollably at the thought of real snow*
post #12 of 29
I've usually got the skis in the cob web portion of my brain by this time of year and am full thrust into biking season.
These type of photo's have me thinking........maybe I could make a trip and ski once more this season.

Ski Diva,
What Lar said! Welcome!
post #13 of 29
Thread Starter 
jgiddyup and yuki, these are just for you since you hate them so. Enjoy.

(And for those of you who want to make sure that I know how lucky I am... Rest assured. I can't believe how fortunate I am.)

I went out alone today (noboby else wanted to get out of bed at 5:00am on a pretty marginal-looking day). I skied a spot in Teton Park that's been on my list of targets.

There's a steep canyon - that has no name that I know of - it's between Mt. St. John's and Rockchuck Peak. For those of you who are familiar with Teton Park, it's is the third canyon north (looker's right) of Cascade Canyon (and Jenny Lake). This is what the canyon looks like from the valley:




If you look at the very top of the canyon, there's a col that leads over into the next canyon west. This photo shows that col from a little closer vantage point. I started skiing back down right from the base of the final pitch of that col. It stayed pretty warm last night and the snow in that col was punchy and rotten. Since I was alone, I just didn't want to take the chance of booting up that in iffy snow.





Here's the view looking back down-canyon. Despite the cloudy day, the top layer of the snow was soft enough to be really fun skiing.




It was an interesting day. The hike up was fairly difficult because we didn't get a hard freeze last night. That canyon is just a little too steep in many places for me to skin comfortably and I couldn't boot up in most places because the surface crust wouldn't quite support me. So, I skinneed most of it but did a lot of slipping, which multiplies the required amount of effort exponentially. I was really spanked when I reached the base of that col.

The skiing, however, was just outstanding. Here's a sample of what it looked like as I was making my way down. The U-shaped notch in the center of the photo is one of the little couloirs I skied on the way down.




Here's a look at the rollover at the entrance to that couloir:




And finally, this shot taken from the valley that shows the middle portion of the canyon. It's just some really sweet terrain.




Now I really want to go back (with somebody) so I can make it up that final pitch to the col.

For now, however, I'm beat and I'm going to take a nap.
post #14 of 29
Jealousy doesn't even cover it. I haven't even been outside today
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
...And here's why the Social Security system is going bankrupt.

This guy is a few months short of his 69th birthday. He booted up Glory Peak with us and then skinned back up out of the bowl with the weird snow. As if that's not enough, he then went biking in the afternoon.

Quite an inspriration.

http://www.biglines.com/photosv2/200...ines_58795.jpg
Bob, I take it that's Bill. Say hi for me and tell him I'm imressed. I think I need to plan a trip to JH in May sometime! Great shots - THANKS
post #16 of 29
Well, it's baseball season here. We played six games this week. Today it was yard work. It's refreshing to have sunny days in the 70's again but your pictures Bob, tell me that within the next 3 years, i'll be living somewhere in ski country. The nice thing about many places i've stayed at in Colorado, they don't have any yards to work in. Just spend the weekend skiing, hiking or fishing.
Bob, what's the elevation at the top of the col you were at?
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars
... It's refreshing to have sunny days in the 70's again but your pictures Bob, tell me that within the next 3 years, i'll be living somewhere in ski country. The nice thing about many places i've stayed at in Colorado, they don't have any yards to work in. Just spend the weekend skiing, hiking or fishing. ...
Lars, hope to follow you there although it looks like it may take me a couple years longer.
post #18 of 29
I would be more impressed if those were PMTS turns.
post #19 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars
...

The nice thing about many places i've stayed at in Colorado, they don't have any yards to work in. Just spend the weekend skiing, hiking or fishing.
That *is* very nice. That's why we live in a condo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars

Bob, what's the elevation at the top of the col you were at?
According to TOPO!, the top of that col is just shy of 10,700 feet. I think I probably quit around 10,200. I'm a wuss.
post #20 of 29
OH MY GOD!!! That last series of photos makes me ache to go there!!! I'll have to get out there at some point, somehow.

As for your original topic, I have encountered conditions like what you describe just yesterday, a very thin crust that shatters and the pieces slide like lightening on top of the crust. It's almost thin as tin foil. I thought of your thread and took a pic of a piece of it (though it melted really quickly in my hand).



post #21 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict
OH MY GOD!!! That last series of photos makes me ache to go there!!! I'll have to get out there at some point, somehow.

As for your original topic, I have encountered conditions like what you describe just yesterday, a very thin crust that shatters and the pieces slide like lightening on top of the crust. It's almost thin as tin foil. I thought of your thread and took a pic of a piece of it (though it melted really quickly in my hand).



That is EXACTLY the stuff. It's interesting because you don't feel it at all when you're skiing through it, but it sure does make for some fascinating visuals and audio.

As for coming over this way, just let me know. If you don't mind a little walk, we've got fun skiing well into July every year.
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
That is EXACTLY the stuff. It's interesting because you don't feel it at all when you're skiing through it, but it sure does make for some fascinating visuals and audio.

As for coming over this way, just let me know. If you don't mind a little walk, we've got fun skiing well into July every year.
Well I just might take you up on it, I'll be coming back from Colorado in early July (after the Rainbow Gathering ), I might have to bring some ski gear, but I don't have an AT set up (yet). I'd just be hiking.
post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict
Well I just might take you up on it, I'll be coming back from Colorado in early July (after the Rainbow Gathering ), I might have to bring some ski gear, but I don't have an AT set up (yet). I'd just be hiking.
No need for AT gear in July.

What I do then is ride the aerial tram at Teton Village and ski something up around Cody Peak. It would cost you about $15 for the tram ride, and from there it's just a question of how much hiking you'd be willing to do. It's all booting that time of year, no skinning.
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
No need for AT gear in July.

What I do then is ride the aerial tram at Teton Village and ski something up around Cody Peak. It would cost you about $15 for the tram ride, and from there it's just a question of how much hiking you'd be willing to do. It's all booting that time of year, no skinning.
Sounds likely, I'm going to go get my road atlas out and plot possible routes.
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars
If you haven't been officially welcomed Ski Diva, let me say welcome to Epic Ski.

I have visited your blog site and it's very nice.

Please stick around this summer and add to the discussion and fun.

I'm sure you'll bring much to Epic Ski.
Just found your post, Lars, and wanted to say thanks for the welcome and for the comments about my blog. So far I've been getting a good response. Be sure to visit often.

This is a great site -- love the pix on this thread, but they're absolute torture! I'm up in Vermont and haven't skied in a month. (I'm sure you've all heard about the awful rain in New England. Maybe I better take up scuba diving instead!) It's going to be a long, long summer.
post #26 of 29
glad you gave this thread a bump Ski Diva.

Great photos from a solid outing. Still skiing up there on the Pass? I'm headed to the Park first week of June to ski some lines...that is if this heat doesn't melt everything out.
post #27 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by powstash

Still skiing up there on the Pass? I'm headed to the Park first week of June to ski some lines...that is if this heat doesn't melt everything out.
There's still lots and lots of snow on the Pass. It's the quality of the skiing that's starting to suffer. It's not doing any real freezing at night, so you're never quite sure if you can trust that supportable layer or not. People are still skiing Glory Bowl (east side of Glory Peak) and First Turn and Second Turn (southwest side of the peak). The thing is, they're getting soft so early in the morning that you need to be skiing by 8:00am these days.

I'm sure we'll have had some hard freezes by the first week of June, so it should still be good skiing if you can get up high. One option would be to take the tram at Teton Village and ski some of the north-facing stuff off Cody Peak. That's a skins-required game if you want to get back to the tram to ride down.

In the Park, that canyon I skied in the photos above should still be very skiable above about 8000 feet. I ran into Tom Turiano the other night (he wrote the book on ski descents in the Tetons) and he calls that Laurel Canyon because Laurel Lake is a little patch of water near the base of it. That's a very scenic line and should be good still.

The high peaks will still be skiable, of course. Buck and Teewinot and Middle Teton, etc. Getting *up* any of those would be totally dependent on some freezing weather between now and then, however.

Another option I really want to do sometime is to go up Hanging Canyon to Lake of the Crags or higher. That's a fairly long approach and the lower thousand feet of it is already melted out, but the upper canyon should be outstanding skiing for a long time. It's about a 1.5 mile hike from the String Lake parking lot just to get to the start of the Hanging Canyon trail, so you'd have to get a really early start.

Lots of options. We just need some colder weather.

PM me if you're thinking of coming up and I can give you the last-minute conditions. I've having foot surgery the first week of June, so my skiing will be done for awhile as of the first Monday of June.
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars
Bob, You make all of us that are here in the East very jealous right now.

You do know how lucky you are don't you?

Very nice pictures
Great pix!! To echo others, I am so jealous.
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim.
Jealousy doesn't even cover it. I haven't even been outside today
That about covers it. It did hail pretty hard today in NYC though. Someone even said it snowed a little.:
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