It’s only -5 F…balmy! I’m going back up into Garnet Canyon today, solo. I think I will ski the East Hourglass Couloir…might look at the Ellingwood on the Middle Teton. Here is a TR from yesterday’s tour.
Minus 16 degrees (F) does not rally you to get out of the warm house too fast, but Dustin and I where able to get to the Bradley/Taggart Trailhead and on the trail by 8:30 yesterday. The plan was to ski The Sliver…an aesthetic line that begins from the col between the main summit and East Peak of Nez Perce.
We ran into some friends who were sporting some of new skins from www.climbingskins direct.com. They looked very light and supple…and they only cost $100! Within the first few minutes skinning, we passed a skier heading back to the car. Not knowing what to think, I asked him what was up? He said he and his partner where headed for the Sliver, but his partner’s skins weren’t sticking in the sub-zero conditions. I felt bad and asked if he wanted to join us….since we were now going to rip his line. It didn’t take long for the sun to warm things up and we were soon shedding layers
As we skied towards Bradley Lake, we saw a yearling moose tramp across the trail. The mother (?) wasn’t too far away and we passed her within about 15 feet. It is always a little sketchy dealing with moose, but this one seemed to know the drill. Good moose! Surprisingly, we ended up braking trail across Bradley Lake and Brian caught up too. I would have thought someone would have been up in Garnet this past weekend…but I guess not…hmmm.
I have had a few days off (from skiing) so I felt pretty strong today. I broke trail most of the way to the Platforms. We then climbed the couloir that brings you into Shadow Peak Cirque. Most of the time I bootpack the last 100′ or so feet, but today I was able to skin the whole way. Nice.
We took a quick break in the Cirque, cuz it’s a cool place, and then we skied around the corner to the Sliver. It looked in great shape…maybe a little thin at the bottom, but at least there weren’t any tracks in it. We skinned into the couloir…holding out from booting for as long as possible. I gave up the lead to Dustin as we got to the top of the couloir. The snow was loose as the slope steepened near the top, but Dustin powered through. Early season conditions showed with the big rock still showing at the top…a sure sign.
The crew leaped-frogged down the couloir, searching for the softest line. The Sliver isn’t too steep, but it is fun ski. I’ve probably skied the Sliver 5-6 times, but I think this was the best snow I’ve had in it yet. There was a thin crust here and there, but you could ‘feeler turn’ your way through. The sun had defiantly affected the lower section but we had fantastic snow on the apron below.
We spent the rest of the day in the shadows of the mountains, as we skied into the cold of the valley. We saw some slide actively in lower Garnet and it is still a bit of a pain dealing with the boulders. When I got to the car I noticed that both of my Click-Clack heel adapters had broken. This is the second pair I have broken…definitely coming off tonight.