It’s Halloween weekend here in JH, but I don’t think I’ll be attending the big party at Snow King. Over the years, I’ve gone as a version of Elvis…like retro and flasher Elvis, but I’m not that much of a partier and sometimes it can get me in trouble. Rumor has it someone is going as RandoSteve, so if you see them, take a photo and forward it too me so I can get a laugh or two out of it also. Thanks!
I went to ski Table Mountain with Reed Finlay on Wednesday. I think the valley fog was keeping most people in bed, but it we rose above it quickly on the drive up Teton Pass. Teton Valley Idaho was fog-free. I asked Zahan Billamoria to join us, but he was too busy battling the ever increasing effects of this in Teton Valley.
We hiked ‘Teton-style’ from the trailhead on dry ground. After about a 1000′ of vertical gain, we got to a point where the trail levels off and there was enough snow where we felt good about putting the skis on and skinning. The early morning sun was lighting up the peaks to the south and got us excited for the winter season.
We made it to the 10,000′ plateau after not to long and for the most part we were supported by the sun crust that has formed. The snowpack was about 12-14″ deep here, but melting quickly with these 60 degree days. Still about a mile away from the summit of Table Mountain in this photo.
We skinned up to the summit block in our t-shirts over looking the south end of Cascade Canyon and the head of Teton Canyon. Here, Reed powers up the last few feet.
We shouldered our skis and booted for just a little bit to the top. The summit of the Grand Teton stays hidden from view on the way up and it’s always cool to see it as you top out.
When we got to the top, we were surprised to see that the bowl we had come to ski had avalanched wall to wall. It looked like it had probably started from a cornice drop and propagated across the slope.
Non the less, the views were still great and we chilled to have some food and soak it all in. Here is a pano shot…click here for the largest image I can give ya!
The north facing bowl is protected by some cliffs at the top. A few lines fill to gain access to it, but only one had enough snow in it to ski and we billy-goated our way in.
The snow as a little funky once into the bowl, but quite skiable non-the-less. Here Reed gets his first few turns of the year. Looking good brother!
We milked a couple more runs on the skiers right side and capturing shots like these are too hard to pass up. Hope you enjoy them.
We made as many turn as we could on our last lap. The sun was just at the right angle were you could watch yourself ski. It was cool!
After wrapping our way back to the south side of the peak, we began the descent back down to the valley. We made big turns and ‘thought light’ trying to avoid some shark-fin rocks just below the surface. I think we both escaped without getting bitten.
Getting one last glance at the summit of the Grand Teton and Table Mountain, we could just make out our tracks. FYI…all of these photos are viewable in a larger format if you click one of the thumbnails and follow the prompts. Not sure if I’m doing anymore skiing until we get some more snow. Have a great weekend and party safely!