While the Tetons are looking pretty thin right now, the rest of Wyoming is sounding pretty good. I got word that conditions out of Elkhart Park are prime right now. J-Holer’s Mike Calla and Kyle Steger were able to drive to the trailhead and then skin all the way to Titcomb Basin last week. They skied the North Face of Gannett. Here is Mike’s account:
Kyle contemplating our goal for the day from Bonney Pass
We arrived at Elkhart Park Trailhead expecting to walk for miles in hiking boots. Lucky for us we had to bust through some snow in the 4-Runner just to get to the trailhead. To our amazement we were skinning from the trailhead. Thank god.
Our first camp was at the northern end of Seneca Lake, and about 10 miles in. The next day we had a short day of 5 miles or so to the end of Titcomb Basin and a great grassy campsite. We awoke at 5 am the next day and continued further up the basin, to Bonney Pass, and down to the base of Gannett Peak. From there we skinned across the bottom of the East Face, and began booting up the North Face.
The North Face is a large snow platter, with a 50 deg roll over and a rock band across the whole face. We found a slight weakness towards the west end, and began up. We ascended a 60 deg, 2ft wide, rock and snow cleft that brought us to the North Face Snowfield. Another 500′ and we were at the top of Wyoming with skis on our backs. What a great feeling.
We skied the North Face in about 8 inches of nice dry powder, and worked our way through the weakness in the rock band one by one. It turned out to take us way longer than expected to get back to Titcomb Basin, a total of 10 hrs, but we’re no Randosteve. We expected to walk out a little that summit day, but we decided to spend the night at our already established camp, and walk all the way the following day. We slept great with satisfaction from the ski, and began our walk out the next day.
Eight hours later we arrived at the Elkhart park trailhead with dreams of the Bottoms Up Brewpub on our minds, but not before numerous face plant cursing sessions in breakable slush fields on the way out. Before we knew it we had beers and meat in our bellies and sense of accomplishment in our souls.
Thanks to Kyle Steger for sharing the same love of suffering as I do, and Steve Romeo for the guest trip report opportunity.