I wanted to sleep in and recover from skiing The Grand yesterday, but I’m back to work today and down to SLC for the Outdoor Retailer Trade Show this weekend…so I have to ski while I can. Luckily, my bro Dustin Lemke charged ahead with me to work out the lactic acid in the legs.
We got an 8 AM start amongst valley fog with the idea of skiing the Chouinard or Ellingwood Couloir on the Middle Teton. We cruised up the trail that is now a highway to Garnet Canyon to scope out the lines. The Ellingwood looked thin with a few extra chocolate chips poking though, but the Chouinard looked much more appetizing.
You could tell that the sun was affecting all of these more exposed aspects and we got rained on by snow and ice falling from above the entire way up the couloir. Maybe we should have been there earlier. I hung back and let Dustin do the work breaking trail. He owed me from yesterday on the big one. I thoroughly enjoyed it! Thanks Dustin.
The couloir narrows after about 1000′ and steepens as well. It looked surprisingly well filled in and we climbed to the highest point we could ski from. It looks like in bigger snow years you might be able to ski from higher up though. My watch read close to 12,500′, so not much higher to the summit of the Middle Teton.
We were psyched to be skiing again and the snow was quite good. We skied the couloir at about 1:30, but I think it would have been better at about noon, when it had more sun on it. On the way down we hugged the left side for corn and the right for more powdery snow. These are the conditions that I love in the mountains. The pow/corn combo!!!