I motored back into Avalanche Canyon last Thursday in search of my Whippet that was lost in a slough avalanche incident while on a tour last winter with Brian Ladd…but to no avail.
The winter shut down pretty quickly here in the Tetons after the event and I remember hiking around Taggart Lake the day it happened due to the melting conditions of the ice. This kept my spirits up that it might still be lying on the slopes below Turkey Chute, off the back side of 25 Short and the site of the avalanche. Brian lost a ski and another ski pole, but was able to locate his ski a couple days later, but neither of the poles.
Granted, I should be glad just to have made it out for the incident unscathed, but like most of the ski gear I own, I had quickly become attached to this Black Diamond self-arrest pole. I had also spent a few hours modifying them with some recommendations from Andrew, so that made me feel even more attached to something that might really have saved my butt down the road.
At this point, I have a feeling someone must have picked it up while skiing the chute, but unfortunately doesn’t know it’s mine. Luckily, with the mods and sticker placements they are pretty identifiable if I end up seeing them around in the Tetons. I know it had at least one Smith and Planet Jackson Hole sticker. Anyway, just wanted to get the word out one more time in case someone found it, or may have seen them in a garage around town.
The one upside is that I still have another Whippet, and it’s got one of those highly coveted ‘telemarking is stupid’ stickers too!
NOTE: It’s funny how things work out sometimes. Not 10 minutes after I wrote this my phone rang…it was Brian Ladd. I’m sure you can guess what I’m about to say next. Turns out he ventured back to look for our missing gear on Wednesday (the day before I went) and found my Whippet. It was sitting in plain sight, like I thought it would be, and in great shape. Thanks Brian…looks like I own you a beer (or two).