Did the bike-ski-bike thing in the park this weekend and skied the East Face of Teewinot on Friday with Bryan, Colin and Ty. We were on our bikes at 5am and watched the sunrise as we climbed the Apex to the bottom of the route.
Clouds lingered around the summit for most of the morning and we wondered if we would have good visibility for the steep descent. After cashing our skins about 200′ above the Apex, we enjoyed our lightweight packs of spring and moved pretty quickly upward towards the Narrows. With the big winter this season, they should be referred to as the WIDES, as they are pretty much completely buried right now.
We occasionally went up to our knees on the bootpack and the clouds around the peak continued to obscure the summit. As we got closer to it though, they slowly lifted and we were welcomed to the top with warm sunshine and a clear view to the valley below. The views from the top of Teewinot are just amazing and the surrounding lines looked awesome. The Hossack/McGowin continues to be one of the less skied routes on the Grand Teton and it looked as sick as ever from our vantage point.
We had some food in the sun and rallied our stuff together for the descent. This was my second time skiing the East Face, the first time back in the late 90’s…I think. Conditions, and my ability, were a lot different back then and I remember down-climbing through the Narrows. Today…it would be much different and we would easily be making turns though the crux of the route due to the above average snowpack. I lead off from the top on variable, crusty snow and technical terrain to the funnel above the Narrows.
After making a few more turns, I set up to take some pictures of the guys skiing through the constriction and onto the bigger face below. We found some decent powder way to the skier’s right, and continued downward. After passing the Worshiper and Idol, we grabbed our skins and ski crampons and dropped into the gully directly beneath the face for some fun corn skiing back to the valley floor.
The bike ride back to the trailhead felt great…especially since my pack and skis were strapped to the bike frame and not on my back…and the seemingly slight downhill grade makes pedaling a breeze…even in my Z-zeros!