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Cutthroats and Corn - Jackson Hole Spring Skiing 5-16-09

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Well, much as I would like to I can't afford to go enjoy Tommy Moe's "Kings and Corn" combination of heli-skiing and heli-fishing in Alaska. 

 

Yesterday, we did the poor stepchild's version instead:  corn skiing in Grand Teton National Park in the morning and cutthroat trout fishing on Fish Creek outside of Wilson here in Jackson Hole.  The Tetons may not have the vast scope of the Alaskan mountains that Tommy skis but they're not too shabby as far as mountains go in the Lower 48.  And it would take about thirty nice cutthroat trout to weigh as much as a single king salmon that you might catch on one of Tommy's trips.  Despite all that, we had a great time.

 

We started our day with a 4:45 alarm and arrival at the String Lake parking lot in Teton Park at 6:00am.  As it turned out, 6:00am was kind of late because once the sun rose, it came on with a vengeance. Even though my car themometer registered 17 degrees farenheit on the way to the parking lot, it was probably 50 degrees by 8:30 up on the mountain.  Major heat wave.

 

Here's a photo of one of the team on the String Lake trail bridge with the sun already on the mountain in the background and rapidly marching toward us.  Our destination is just to the right side of this photo:

 

 

We could tell as soon as we crossed the lake and started up that the sun was going to heat things up really fast.  So rather than take a skinning route that would be relatively slow, we elected to boot up the main gully toward Rockchuck Peak.  Here's one of the group trudging uphill:

 

 

When we started booting at the bottom of this gully (about 7:15am), the snow was frozen so hard you could barely kick steps into it.  By the time of the photo above, no more than thirty minutes later, the snow was already losing its consistency and we were starting to sink in.  Another thirty minutes ad we were postholing.  By 8:15, we were only about halfway to the peak but the snow was getting soft and it was time to turn around and ski down.

 

What came next was the kind of thing that makes me just love spring backcountry skiing.  We skied a little less than two thousand feet of delightfully smooth corn snow.  The top inch or so had softened and there was still a firm, supportable base under that.  You can make any type of turn you want and it feels like you're just soaring over this baby's-bottom smooth surface.

 

Here's what it looks like:

 

 

And here's a rare shot of ME - just out enjoying the day:

 

 

So after we finished up with the skiing, I spent the afternoon helping an old friend fish for cutthroat trout on Fish Creek on her property just outside beautiful downtown Wilson, WY.

 

Here's the welcoming committee as I drove in the lane:

 

 

Along with an osprey who had already had some luck with the trout (not very lucky for the trout, unfortunately ):

 

 

And here's a nice example of our quarry, the native fine-spotted Snake River Cutthroat trout:

 

 

I love spring!

 

Bob Peters 

Me on Twitter

Jackson Hole, WY  North40 Realty

 

 

 

 


Edited by Bob Peters - 5/17/2009 at 10:06 pm GMT


Edited by Bob Peters - 5/17/2009 at 10:07 pm GMT


Edited by Bob Peters - 5/17/2009 at 10:12 pm GMT

 


Edited by Bob Peters - 5/17/2009 at 10:13 pm GMT


Edited by Bob Peters - 5/17/2009 at 10:14 pm GMT
post #2 of 12

Great shots of a great day!

post #3 of 12

Great story and great shots. There must be quite a few Fish Creeks in Wyoming. I first thought you must be referring to the Fish creek that comes out of the Absarokas near Kelley that we encountered a few years ago on our drive across Union Pass.

What a great place!

post #4 of 12

Wow what a great variety of pictures!

Luv the pink jacket & hat, the colors on a cuthroat, the spread of an osprey's wings & the perky ears on the moose.

Thanks,

JF

post #5 of 12

Once again..Bob Peters is the man.  

post #6 of 12

You live in an amazing place for sure! Nice pics.

 

What time do you think I'd need to be at the top of the Skillet in the next few days to get corn? The forecast looks like a hard freeze and cooler temps wed. night into thurs.

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zion zig zag View Post

You live in an amazing place for sure! Nice pics.

 

What time do you think I'd need to be at the top of the Skillet in the next few days to get corn? The forecast looks like a hard freeze and cooler temps wed. night into thurs.


This time of year, the Skillet is getting direct sun first thing in the morning.  On Saturday, the sun first hit the highest peaks at about 5:40.  If there's no wind and VERY clear skies on Thursday morning, I would think that you would want to plan to start skiing from the summit no later than 9:00am.  You might even want to plan to be on the summit by 8:00 just to be safe, and then you could monitor the progress of the softening.

 

We were at an elevation of about 9,200 when the snow on the boot up started to go to crap.  That was at 8:15am.

 

Good luck if you go.  The conditions should be about as good as they ever get. 

 

If you're still around Jackson on Saturday morning, come out to Teton Village and ride the 9:00am tram with us and we'll do a little skiing.

 

Bob Peters

Me on Twitter

Jackson Hole, WY  North40 Realty

post #8 of 12

Bob:  Want some corn on your plate

Me:  Yes Please!!!

 

Bob, thanks for sharing your recipe for Corn as a main dish!

post #9 of 12

Bob, do you cook cutthroats or is it "catch-and-release"? 

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by apeyros View Post

Bob, do you cook cutthroats or is it "catch-and-release"? 

 

Don't tell any of my friends, but I *have* been known to eat one now and then.   I'm probably 99.97% catch-and-release, however.

 

The politically-correct answer is that when I eat trout they're typically from smaller mountain streams where they tend to have large populations of smaller fish.  Even at that, I normally wouldn't eat cutthroats as they are our only "native" trout here in northwestern Wyoming.  That means that cutthroats were the only true trout here before European immigrants started introducing other trout species into our streams during the last century.  Now, we have rainbow trout, brown, trout, and brook trout in many streams and these other species often out-compete the native cutthroats.

 

It's a big controversy and topic of debate around our neck of the woods. 

 

I can tell you from personal experience, however, that all of those species taste good.

 

btw, that reminds me of a saying my wife likes.  When she goes clothes shopping, she'll often buy several items, bring them home from the store, and decide what she actually wants to keep.  Then she returns whatever she doesn't want.  She refers to this as "shop and release".

 

Bob Peters

Jackson Hole, WY  North40 Realty

Me on Twitter    http://twitter.com/bobpetersjh


Edited by Bob Peters - 5/21/2009 at 02:33 am GMT
post #11 of 12

 

Quote:

She refers to this as "shop and release".

 

Good thinking!

post #12 of 12

My wife does that too! 

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