Well I didn’t try too hard to find a partner last night, so I was skiing solo in the mountains today. I got on the trail before sunrise and was once again amazed by the alpenglow of the morning sun. I seem to have seen a ton of awesome sunrises this year.
I had decided to go back up into Garnet again, maybe up to Teepee Col on the Grand…after some kind of redemption for the past two days of sort of just ‘poking around’. It was only -10 F this morning (feels balmy) and once the sun came up, I was quickly down to my base layer and making good time. The Meadows came in under 2 hours and I followed my ski tips towards the headwall up to the North Fork of Garnet Canyon.
I found a bootpack and used it to gain elevation quickly. The tracks would come and go and I wasn’t sure if someone else was up here or not. The southern aspect felt nice and I cruised up to the JHMG camp and into the basin below Teepee Glacier. As I got closer, I saw a bootpack continue up to the col…how convenient.
It looked like the boot tracks were definitely from early this morning and I wondered who else was on the mountain. Where they skiers? If they were going for a ski descent, I bet they had good conditions. The sun was warming things up nicely and there were pockets of good snow to be found, on top of a hard surface. Good…safe, conditions.
I was skiing from Teepee Col today, though I wish it was from the summit. I felt a little bad poaching these guys bootpack and then taking what little fresh there was on the glacier…but not for too long. The snow pack felt bomber and I was pretty relaxed. The first few turns were really nice powder…that sloughed down behind me. I continued to turn down the slope and I was able to cut left, just as the slough passed by. The fresh snow was nice, but most of the way you were skiing the firmer surface below. The slough was predictable.
I made it back to the rig and the trip logged in at 5.5 hours…car to car. I began to think of Jimmy Chin’s 10hr assault last winter might be within reach. Teepee Col sits at about 12,000 ft, leaving only about 1800′ remaining to the summit of the Grand. Seems ‘doable’…assuming no lines at the rappels!