I managed to get out for some more mini-golf type couloir skiing before work on Friday. The objective was Moon Walk Couloir which drops into the south fork of Avalanche Canyon from Devil’s Ridge between 25 Short and Peak 10,696. Surprisingly I’ve never skied it before, so was pretty jazzed to get ‘er done! The original plan was to go solo, but friend Bryan Feinstein decided to join me last minute.
It was nice to see the morning temps in the single digits, but I soon was working up a serious sweat…obviously overdress for the sunny conditions. There were a few cars in the lot when we left and imagine many people were going for big objectives. I wish I were too! I did hear of a military group trying for a winter ascent of the Grand Teton over the last few days…I wonder if they made it. Anyway, looks like the big H has settled over the Tetons for a bit, I just wish I had the time off to take advantage of it. Oh well….I’ll be back in March I guess.
We kept the pace up since I had to be at work around noon and only stopped a couple times to suck down some water. The wind was dead calm when we reached the top of 25 Short and a nice track was already set out towards 10,696. You can see the top of Moon Walk from the ridge and even though it’s not a major couloir, the entrance into it still looks a bit intimidating from this angle. I poked around trying to get a better eye on the crux when we got to the top of the couloir. It felt so good to be out in the sun and began to get a little gitty about skiing Moon Walk…I think Bryan was too!
The snow was sustrugi at the top from the wind and I made a couple quick jump turns to get my legs going before side-slipping further down where you are forced to the left, through a narrow slot. Basically, you don’t want to mess up and fall skier’s left at the top of the couloir, but luckily it’s not outrageously steep. The snow conditions were more of my concern and it was at it worst at the narrowest section. I was glad I had my Whippet and I admittedly put my hand down as I side stepped down, before being able to turn to the right and into the gut of the couloir. Bryan followed me down.
I let Bryan have at the line first since it wasn’t like first tracks weren’t that much of a concern to me. The snow was decent I would say…kinda chalky…kinda sloughy…kinda what you would expect for this line under the current conditions. We finally got some softer snow on the apron at the bottom and all the way down to the fork of Avalanche Canyon. I was surprised we had to punch a trail out the canyon to Taggart Lake and finally took a few minutes to eat some food and recharge.
Round trip was under 3:50 and I made it to work with time to spare. I was bummed I had to go to work on such a nice day, but since I’m off to Europe for a couple weeks…it’s the least I could do.