Sunday, March 29, 2009

From Shadow Peak to the Dike Snowfield

Skied on Teton Pass today with Cat, Neil, and Neil's friend from Denver Ryan. One of the best days of powder skiing this season. We took two laps on the NE ridge. Thirteen inches on this mornings avy report, but more had fallen since then.

Here is a report from skiing on March 12th.

With a bit of high pressure setting in Christian and I thought it would be a good time to check out the Sliver of Nez Perce. Matt B., Paul, and I skiied the Sliver last year in close to perfect conditions and I was hoping from pretty much the same. Christian and I planned on skinning up Shadow Peak and skiing the NW couloir on our way to the Sliver. Last year we went up Garnet Canyon and the Platform couloir to access the Shadow Peak Cirque. I think I liked skiing over Shadow better than the Garnet way.

An early start gave us a great sunrise on the way up.

From the top of Shadow Peak the NW couloir drops in to the Shadow Peak Cirque. At that point you get a great view of the Sliver.

The Sliver looked like it had taken a toll from the sun the day before, more that we had planned. Someone had already skied the lower half and it looked like conditions were grim. Since we didn't like the idea of survival skiing in the 1,000 foot, 50 degree couloir we began to think of other options.

Our other idea for the day was the Dike Snowfield in between the Grand Teton and Disappointment peak. Since it was still early and we were making good time we decided to ski into Shadow Peak Cirque, down the Platform couloir, and into Garnet Canyon heading for the Dike Snowfield.

The ski in the NW couloir was bit firm, but skiable.

Shadow Peak Cirque with the NW couloir in the background

The Platform Couloir was some of the best snow of the day.

We made it up the north fork of Garnet Canyon and Spalding Falls just as the sun was really beating down and starting to warm the snow surface. Another hour or so and I wouldn't want to be on that slope. We were beginning to see the first of the small pinwheels coming from near the base of the Middle Teton.

We headed for the Tepee Glacier and did a bit of bootpacking where the snow was really firm and wind scoured.

A low helicopter was flying around the Grand, and passed over us a few times. We think they might have been out looking for Bighorn Sheep.

The top of the Dike Snowfield was sastrugi, but soon became a bit better. Overall the skiing was pretty variable.

The ski out was pretty good powder in the sheltered mid-elevations of Glacier Gulch. The lower elevations were getting pretty sun baked, so we decided to pass on the Burnt Wagon Gulch exit and did a long traverse back to Bradley Lake saving some time.

Although we didn't ski the Sliver, we had a great day, covering plenty of ground and skiing about 7,000 feet.

No comments:

Post a Comment