With all the precipitation lately, looks like I’ll be skiing powder in the Winds.
I’ve had a lot on my mind lately and I wasn’t sure what to talk about today. I thought about how I’ve been getting the shop opened up for the summer, or how I’ve got a week long trip in the Winds coming up in just over a week…weather permitting. Or I thought I’d talk about how it snowed at the shop today, or that I heard there was 6” of snow at The Meadows in Garnet Canyon yesterday and that you can now drive to the Lupine Meadows trailhead. Or even maybe mention how I had SAR swift water training last weekend in anticipation of the potential for high water over the next few weeks. BTW, the Gros Ventre looked huge on the way home from the park today. Or even still there is the family of foxes that have shacked up along side Snow King Avenue and Bear 399 sending her cubs on there way…virtual celebrities of the Jackson Hole valley.
To tell you the truth, what I’ve found most interesting over the past couple days is the resurgence of the idea of “Freeski Mountaineering” being a new genre of our sport. There’s been some recent talk on the TGR Forum and here’s a link to some stuff on Biglines last year in reference to Chris Davenports, Ski the 14ers project. Now, I’ve got nothing against Chris Davenport. I’ve met him a few times…and he’s a great guy…and I would be psyched to ski with him again some day. He has achieved goals that I can only dream about…at least for now (wink), and his ability to get the job done is very impressive. But, I have to say his thoughts on his style of skiing being classified as a new thing just doesn’t sit well in my head.
Chris states, “I call what I do “Freeski Mountaineering”. Traditional ski mountaineers never focused on high-performance skiing, rather simply getting down the lines. We try to ski the most difficult lines on each peak, and with fast and big turns, and sometimes even airs and all on modern fat skis.”
It seems weird to me that the width of my skis, stiffness of my boots and way I ski the line would dictate what type of skiing I’m actually partaking in. I mean for a gear guy like me…really…the snow conditions dictate what gear I’m going to use…and hence, how I will be skiing a line. Whether I make fast turns on the Grand using my 190 Verdicts in deep powder, or make tentative jump turns on 55 degree icy crust using 170’s…to me…it’s all the same. Yeah…the experience is different, but is it really a different genre because you scored a line in good conditions with your alpine gear. I’m not so sure. You?
Hey there. There was 3 inches fresh and wet at the 191 turn off to the Big Sandy Openings at 5 30 this morning. It melted fast down low but I can tell you after a day of off roading the road into the BSO trail head is still not open it is drifted high as hell. The cluouds havent lifted of the peaks but I have a feeling a good amount of snow fell up high. where are you headed and where are you leaving from. Good luck and ski one for me I will be sitting at this desk. 🙁
Thanks for the BSO beta. Headed to Gannett area via Cold Springs trailhead…first week of June.
Agreed, the decent is dictated generally by the conditions and the line. When you know you plan to have blower pow with room to rip, I’d grad the fatties, no doubt. Otherwise, I’ll take the smaller lighter in the icey narrows. No question.
As far as taking airs, well that’s personal judgement and ability, but usually you put yourself and the people you are with at risk when you start hucking in high alpine terrain where you are far away from everything and everyone.
10″+ at mid-mountain Targhee (9000′) in last 36 hrs
You’re right, you plan according to the conditions. Gear is just one of the variables to consider.
I’ve got more respect for someone who skis a hairy line on lightweight touring gear instead of a full alpine setup. A matter of taste.
I felt kind of embarrassed for Dav after reading that article.
I agree with your take on this one, Steve. Dav’s assertion is rather outdated and offers up a limited view from someone who’s been heli lifted to the top of many peaks in his life…
Steve, couldn’t agree with you more. I suspect that a good deal of the comments reported relate directly to keeping the sponsor / promotor happy, and flogging off a few more DVDs and isn’t really meant for the “educated” ski mountaineer community.
i’m with you on that!
Good topic for discussion. Good luck in the Winds……taking the Voodoo’s or Stig’s?
Haven’t decide yet. It dumped a bunch in the mountains here over the past week…which makes me want to take the Voodoos. But if I feel like it’s going to get nice and corn up…I’ll take the Stigmas.
Gear decisions….could be worse!
Next will be first backwards descents, including skinning “switch”. Besides, how can it be free ski mountaineering if he’s getting paid? Do it for the love. Keep the crass hollywood business bullshit out of our hills, posers.
The guy has to make a living somehow and if he can do it skiing, well good on him.
What grates with me is the comments about “free” ski mountaineering being a new sport because everyone else before was sking easy lines! I’d be willing to bet that as good a skier as he un-doubtabley is, he wouldn’t be willing to ski those same lines in cutting edge 1960’s gear!
Nice pic of Zach and I. Thanks!