Nice to Get That Out of the Way

Randosteve skis the Cave Couloir in Garnet Canyon.
Click all photos for larger image.

Getting ready to and going out skiing for the first day of the season can sometimes be a bit of a junk show and rather stressful, so it’s always nice to get it out of the way and dial things in. Usually, getting ready for that first day entails lots of running around the house, looking for goggles, deciding what gloves to bring, wondering if it’s prudent to bring avy gear and cringing at the thought of trying to cram my flip-flop accustomed summer feet into tight fitting, unpacked-out ski boots.

Chris Onufer skis below Zorro Face.

At what elevation will I be able to start skinning? Do I need my rock skis? Do I have the right skins? Whippet or no whippet? How many clothing layers do I need? Are all things that run in and out of my mind as time leads up to that first day and always pleasant feeling of floating and turning on snow. Sometimes, if your first ski day is on Teton Pass, or some other tame location, these things aren’t quick as big of a concern, since it’s all pretty close to the car. But, if your first day of skiing involves hiking with your skis and boots on your back for hours, to ski an old swath of snow surrounded by expansive boulder fields, making sure you have your ski kit figured out becomes more important.

The reality of skiing in October in the Tetons.

One would think that after nearly 40 years of skiing I would have these things dialed, but once summer really kicks in and I have succumbed to the fact that I won’t be doing anymore skiing, the ski gear quickly gets shuffled around, tucked into far corners of the house and crammed into drawers and cubbies that don’t see the light of day for 3-4 dry, hot and tourist infested months. But, after that first day, it seems like things start to figure themselves out and all it takes is more snow in the forecast to get the routine of skiing everyday going again. Let’s hope that forecast comes sooner…rather than later. Live…to SKI!!!

Randosteve skis towards Spaulding Peak and Gilkey Tower.


7 Responses to “Nice to Get That Out of the Way”

  1. 1 Christian Oct 9th, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Another great article, thanx. For me the hardest part of early season skiing is crevasses – what rope to or two ice skin roped or not… And of course unpacking all the summer gear from the car….

  2. 2 randosteve Oct 9th, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    yeah christian. well, we brought our skins and crampons…and didn’t use those. and i pulled the ice axe off the pack at the trailhead. so we are not that different. :)

  3. 3 Derek Oct 9th, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Good to see the white Teton photos again!

  4. 4 Jim Oct 9th, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Looks to be a big snow year. Hope so. La Nina. Sierras got couple feet I heard.

  5. 5 Brent Oct 10th, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    I hear “big years” (for CA) now associated with both El Nino and La Nina it seems. Long term forecasting: hang two options on the wall, throw dart, done.

  6. 6 randosteve Oct 11th, 2011 at 7:12 am

    yeah brent. let’s hope it is a big winter. a bit of rain up here lately…a few degrees colder and it would be snow. :(

  7. 7 Mike T Oct 11th, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Good one..Always fun with a bit of adventure to get those October turns!

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