I was running solo yesterday so I thought I would take advantage of the track we put in to Garnett Canyon the day before. The Nismo was the only car in the lot when I left at 8:30 and I wondered where everyone was…this is the ski mountaineering capital of North America and all.
I stopped at the west side of Bradley Lake to shed my jacket and go potty. I was sure to cover up my mess so others wouldn’t have to look at it…always good etiquette. I made good time, since I was alone and stopped for some food just before I entered the shady canyon.
I was forced to break trail when I got the meadows. I kept the track close to the rocks as I skinned up the apron below the Hourglass Couloirs. After switching to bootpack mode, I hiked up the couloir. The snow felt mostly soft, so I knew it would be a fun ski down. A chockstone blocked the upper reaches of the couloir, but I climbed as high as I could. A cool wind formation had formed, and I dug out a platform to put my skis on.
It’s hard to go wrong when you are standing at the top of a couloir with views of the Grand and Middle Teton right in your face. The snow was great which was a treat. Most of the time this line looks like crap from below. I skied through some rocks skiers right of the apron…just for fun and then buzzed down the canyon on yesterday’s track, milking turns whenever possible.
I didn’t see a soul while I was out today and I breathed a sigh of relief as I got back down to Bradley Lake, psyched to have completed the Nez Perce Trifecta (Sliver, East and West Hourglass) this early in the season. Solo adventures seem a little different from those with partners, but I always feel great when they are over.