Brian Harder contemplates the skin track line through thinly covered slopes.
I went skiing in the park yesterday with Brian Harder…kind of a welcome back tour. We wanted to get away from the crowds on Teton Pass, where the parking lot was full at 7:30 this morning, and ski untracked, untouched powder. We were able to power the van all the way to the Death Canyon summer trailhead, while seeing some burning slash piles and saving about a mile and a half of flat tracking up the road.
On the approach, we skinned up slopes covered in about 6” of new snow on top of zero base until about 8500′. A nice crust started to form beneath the fresh snow and we hoped we would be able to ski to this elevation on the way down. The skinning was slick and tricky, but I treated it like a skills course to clean out the cobwebs. As we ascended, the new snow got deeper and shooting cracks in the snow would develop with every step. A sure sign of sketchier avalanche conditions to come.
Things finally started to fill in nicely as we reached the upper slopes and I felt as though I was getting my rhythm back. We reached the top and though still snowing pretty hard, there was no wind…which was nice. This was going to be my first run on my new 190cm Verdicts and I was interested how my Z-zeros would handle them. I wasn’t really worried though, cuz it was obviously going to be blower conditions. Here’s my first run on them…with some face shots to boot.
We did another lap up high and then played it super cautious on the thinly covered slopes lower down. I not only didn’t want to trash my new skis, but also didn’t want to blow out a knee or anything at this point in the season. At about 8500′ the base disappeared, and we had to walk back to the trailhead…which wasn’t a big deal. Dealing with some stuff at home today, but getting back out this weekend. Ciao for now!!!!!