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TR - July Skiing, Grand Teton Natl Park 7-13-08

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
As usual, everyone who said they would tag along bagged out, so I have no actual skiing photos. Plenty of photos of the hike and the tracks, however.

My destination today was Lake of the Crags in Grand Teton National Park. Lake of the Crags sits in this unbelievably beautiful canyon about 3,000 vertical feet above the valley floor. The canyon's name is Hanging Canyon and it certainly deserves its name. It's a pretty steep trail all the way up. The canyon was heavily glaciated so once you're up in it you can see a long ways. Many Jackson locals consider the hike to Lake of the Crags to be one of the very best hikes in Jackson Hole.

I rode the park service cruise boat across Jenny Lake, walked the lake trail for about five minutes, and then headed up the Hanging Canyon trail (which is not marked because the Park Service in its infinite wisdom doesn't want to "encourage" people to go up this canyon).

Here's a view of the Cathedral Group of the Tetons. From left to right, the main peaks are Teewinot (12,325 ft), the Grand Teton (13,770 ft), and Mt. Owen (12,928 ft). This view is looking southwest from a spot on the trail leading to the Hanging Canyon waterfall:



And here's the waterfall from the same spot on the trail. The trail continues up to the right of and around behind the waterfall.



About a thousand feet higher, I came to the beginning of the snow line. The snow was several hundred feet BELOW Lake of the Crags, so I put on my ski boots and started booting. That big rock face over my head is a climbing destination known as Rock of Ages:



And here's what Lake of the Crags looked like today.



This is July 13. I have gone SWIMMING in this lake in late June in low-snow years. It's just incredible how much snow we still have in the upper Tetons. My goal for the day was "The Jaw", which is the high saddle in the upper right-hand corner of this photo. By the time I got up about halfway between the lake and the Jaw, however, the snow was starting to feel a bit rotten (and I was pretty much as cooked as the snow was starting to get).

So I booted up a little face a bit left of the center of this photo (sort of on the far side of Rock of Ages) and skied back down the center bowl. I skied through a spot in that felt a bit steepish, so I broke out the inclinometer:



Here's a almost-useless shot that shows some of my tracks. Sorry for the poor quality, the light just wasn't working to highlight the tracks.



And here's a shot from back at the outlet of Lake of the Crags:



While I was hiking up, I had noticed that there was a pretty nice bowl lower down that was still holding snow, so I traversed over there after leaving Lake of the Crags. The rock face above this is a climbing route up Symmetry Spire, which is just out of sight over the horizon of this photo:



And here's a little better closeup of my tracks. It was pretty fun playing pin ball through the boulders:



After that, I was able to ski a couple of snow-filled gullies down another three hundred vertical or so. Then it was time to switch back to hiking shoes, throw the ski boots and skis in the pack, and trudge back down.

All in all, it was way better (and way MORE) skiing than I expected. Now I'm going to fall asleep.
post #2 of 25
Very, very nice summer stoke!
post #3 of 25
:

And I thought it was beautiful in New England today!
post #4 of 25
Amazing! As always, thanks for sharing.
post #5 of 25
Amazing Bob. just remember there is someone as crazy as you in utah. I would of suffered for those turns.

keep it coming should get my July TR soon I dont have to go far....
post #6 of 25
Wow! Us East Coaster's are in AWE!!

I think you need a helmet cam Bob!
post #7 of 25
Thanks Bob
post #8 of 25
wow those pics are pretty!
post #9 of 25
Great shots,

Any idea why the red tinge to the snow??
post #10 of 25
How many months in a row now?
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
As usual, everyone who said they would tag along bagged out, so I have no actual skiing photos. Plenty of photos of the hike and the tracks, however.

My destination today was Lake of the Crags in Grand Teton National Park. Lake of the Crags sits in this unbelievably beautiful canyon about 3,000 vertical feet above the valley floor. The canyon's name is Hanging Canyon and it certainly deserves its name. It's a pretty steep trail all the way up. The canyon was heavily glaciated so once you're up in it you can see a long ways. Many Jackson locals consider the hike to Lake of the Crags to be one of the very best hikes in Jackson Hole.

I rode the park service cruise boat across Jenny Lake, walked the lake trail for about five minutes, and then headed up the Hanging Canyon trail (which is not marked because the Park Service in its infinite wisdom doesn't want to "encourage" people to go up this canyon). ....
Wow ... I hiked this in late June of 2000 (I think ... maybe 2001, but I'm pretty sure it was 2000), and it looked very very different! There were a few snowfields, but nothing like this.

And I'm glad to see that you consider it "pretty steep" as well ... it was a fabulous hike, but I was in running shoes instead of boots, and I remember having sore feet for the wedding we attended the next day. (And then my husband accidentally punched me in the nose during some raucous dancing that night ... ow. It was a painful weekend.)

Anyway, thanks for the photos. Beautiful area.
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattL View Post

I think you need a helmet cam Bob!
Heh.

Wouldn't I have to have a helmet to use a helmet cam?

Do they make baseball cap cams?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_j View Post
Great shots,

Any idea why the red tinge to the snow??
I don't know if this is true or not, but it's been explained to me that the red/pink tinge is algae that grow on the snow late in the spring.

The first time I ever ran across it was during July of 1998 when I was doing my very first summer skiing for my turns all year thing. We skied the main Baldy Chute at Alta and then we ran into all sorts of this red stuff down in Ballroom. Our tracks were almost blood-red. A guy I was skiing with said it was algae.

I've seen during the summer in lots of other places as well. Does anybody know if it's something other than algae?
post #13 of 25
The red snow is from algae (really!).

Bob, this trip looked just fantastic! I was able to get July 4th but didn't have nearly the excellent skiing that you did. We were on the way to Vail for the weekend with the family, so I convinced my wife to take an hour and drop me at the top of Loveland Pass. Spencer spaniel and I hiked across to the cirque and dropped in for one run (about 25 degree slope rather than 45, unfortunately!). Pretty sun cupped, and so much had melted out since the week before that the run was not contiguous to the bottom any more, but month 45 is now in the bag. I need to get a full day to take a real trip.
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post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
How many months in a row now?
130 as of yesterday. Assuming I make it to September, that'll make eleven years in a row.

It's pretty hard to believe now, thinking back on when I started. I've done some pretty weird skiing during that stretch.
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dp View Post
The red snow is from algae (really!).

Bob, this trip looked just fantastic! I was able to get July 4th but didn't have nearly the excellent skiing that you did. We were on the way to Vail for the weekend with the family, so I convinced my wife to take an hour and drop me at the top of Loveland Pass. Spencer spaniel and I hiked across to the cirque and dropped in for one run (about 25 degree slope rather than 45, unfortunately!). Pretty sun cupped, and so much had melted out since the week before that the run was not contiguous to the bottom any more, but month 45 is now in the bag. I need to get a full day to take a real trip.
Nice job, dp. "Way to keep the dream alive." That's what the young boat driver at the Jenny Lake dock said to me yesterday as I got on the boat with my skis after returning from Hanging Canyon.

Spencer looks like he's having fun. I love dog-skiing shots.

Oh... and thanks for confirming that it's algae.

I'll pm you in the next couple of weeks. There's a chance that we'll come down to Boulder around mid-August to see some friends whose daughter is starting school there.

If we do, maybe you and I could meet up for some August turns?
post #16 of 25
Let me know when and I'll save the date- it will be the high point of my summer! We will be away the 17-24th, but home the rest of the month. We will be in Seattle the latter weekend and I am hoping to get some turns in on Rainier that Friday.
post #17 of 25

Summer Fun

Bob, thanks again for the vicarious summer turns !
post #18 of 25

Now that's dedication to the solo TR. Good stuff! Thanks.
post #19 of 25
Dang Bob, I wish I'd gone there. Maybe next year.
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
I don't know if this is true or not, but it's been explained to me that the red/pink tinge is algae that grow on the snow late in the spring.
Always wondered myself, another reason not to eat snow...

Nice Summer Turns!
post #21 of 25
Well done Bob. I've hiked that trail just a couple of times but only from the top down. Both times we've crossed over the col from Symmetry Spire and then hiked back down Hanging Canyon. We were probably picking our way down the same ledges that, snow covered, gave you your 50 degree slope.
post #22 of 25
Nice photos Bob. Looks like it would have been a chilly swim this year!
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
I'll pm you in the next couple of weeks. There's a chance that we'll come down to Boulder around mid-August to see some friends whose daughter is starting school there.

If we do, maybe you and I could meet up for some August turns?
Bob, if you do make it down to Boulder I hope you'll drag out Evan and Hannah! Perhaps they might be willing to scout out some areas before you come down.
post #24 of 25
I'm glad to see so much snow. I was out there last summer at this time in all the heat and the snow was zilch. Even the glaciers looked to be tiny and receding.
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
Here's a almost-useless shot that shows some of my tracks.
Hardly useless!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
I don't know if this is true or not, but it's been explained to me that the red/pink tinge is algae that grow on the snow late in the spring.
This past weekend on Adams, we had so much of that down low that my brother's old white & blue Glidelite skin plush became pink & blue.
(I also recently had to replace my mtn bike hydration bladder's hose because it took on a reddish hue -- I wonder if that is similar algae?)
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