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Worse than a root canal.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
A few years ago, my wife and I went backcountry skiing in a drainage that we'd never visited before. At one point while skinning, I led us into a particularly nasty section of switchbacking up a steep, brush-choked sidehill. After about ten minutes of being slapped by branches and hanging up skis during kick turns, she announced to me that she'd "rather have a root canal".

That's been her standard for truly bad ski experiences until this past Saturday.

Jackson Hole's tram opened for the summer on Saturday morning and we caught the first car. From the top, we headed out and climbed up Cody Peak (the next peak south from the top of the ski area). There was tons of snow up high, and it had snowed nearly 18" about three days before.

We skied Four Shadows Couloir in thick, *dense*, snow about knee deep. It wasn't "epic" skiing by any means, but it's a very pretty spot and the turns were sort of semi-manageable. We all survived the chute and got the bottom of Cody Bowl.

That's where things went downhill, to put it lightly.

We *could* have opted to hike back up to the top of the tram and ride down, but NOOOOOOO! Bob thought maybe we could ski down to the valley.

"How bad could it be?", were my famous last words.

We would soon find out.

Almost from the moment we passed the point of no return, we started skiing into bottomless glop. Wet, heavy goo that you couldn't ski in and could barely move your skis in. The kind of stuff that breaks femurs and wrenches knees. You'd sink in up to your thighs or down to the rocks, whichever came first.

"Skiing" as we know it was impossible. If we tried to go straight down the slope, we'd bog down immediately and be stuck trying to lift out skis covered with fifty pounds of wet snow. If we took our skis off and tried to walk, we'd drop waist-deep into rock holes and log traps. Oh, for a snowboard!

We ended up skiing sort of angled traverses, slogging along and trying to lose elevation as fast as we could. It took us almost two hours to drop three thousand vertical feet - a distance that might take ten minutes in good powder. We were completely exhausted and drenched with sweat by the time we finally made it back to Teton Village.

Thanks to my brilliant decision-making, my wife now has a completely new benchmark for sucky skiing.

post #2 of 7
Bob - And a great story for late nights after a few drinks......

And a snappy comeback from the little woman for your next "good idea".

We've all got 'em, but yours is a classic!
post #3 of 7
So Bob- has she scheduled you for a root canal, sans anesthetic, in return for the experience?

[ May 28, 2002, 02:46 PM: Message edited by: PowderJunkie ]
post #4 of 7
Funny, the darkest horror of my life so far really was a root canal. A hell I'll never forget. I can't pass a dentist office without my stomach flipping.

So this skiing must have been REALLY bad!
post #5 of 7
My wife's had half a dozen root canals in the last dozen years. A couple years ago, four of them failed and the teeth had to be pulled. Now she's got a permanent bridge on one set and a couple of expensive metal implants with even more expensive crowns on them. The twelve grand invested so far is why we haven't made any of the ski trips in the two years we'd finally been positioned otherwise to take. She's never complained about this process. Her twin sister's had dentures for more than 30 years because she hated going to the dentist.

Anyway, our last trip out west was an April jaunt that included a visit to Jackson Hole. We unknowingly followed some relatively "good" powder into an afternoon sunspot in the Hobacks that became very heavy and sticky. Skis kept coming off and standing put us in snow up to the waist. I think it took us three hours to get back. My wife's never complained about following me into that mess, but I'll bet she'd rate it as worse than the root canal.
post #6 of 7
Jackson can be challenging in "spring" conditions. But, after all, it's skiing. When it's good it's the best there is.(shoulda been here last week)(oops that's fishing). I've been there in some pretty slushy conditions but one of my best all-time memories is seeing the two "roosters" on my Rossi SMs breaking new powder on the Hobacks.
Oh yeah, I usually sleep through root canals.(a little trick I learned from a sport phsychologist the first time I went to the coaches acadamy in 88).

[ May 28, 2002, 09:56 PM: Message edited by: SLATZ ]
post #7 of 7
The hobacks ROCK, whether it be powder, ice, crud, glop, corn, or more than likely all of the above.
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