Cruising through the Jackson Town Square
Well maybe not just yet, but I didn’t ski at all this weekend, though I did try. On Friday afternoon, I went out on Jackson Lake to camp and make an attempt on the Sickle Couloir on Mount Moran. Though the first descentionists (Jeff Roads/Cory Flandrow) succeeded in skiing this route in June of 1992, I have failed twice conquering the Sickle in the same month. This year…and back in 2006. I blame both trips to poor planning and stubbornness, and luckily I have already made a successful descent of the Sickle in early May, 2002…or it would really be driving me nuts having failed on two successive attempts.
Sunset views of Bivouac Peak from Deadman’s Point
I think half of the reason why I have failed twice at skiing it recently, is due to the fact that I (and Reeders) had great conditions back in 2002, being able to ski all the way through the steep narrows at the bottom…never mind all the way to the lake shore. This time of year, the crux seems to consist of giant runnels, making it a difficult ski and a snow line at about 9000′. Not too big of a deal when you have a nice trail to follow, but throw in a burly bushwhack in the dark, early morning hours…and the odds begin to get stacked not in your favor.
I have a feeling this won’t be the end of my ski season, as I like to finish it off on a more positive note. Though the effort to get to snow line is getting bigger and bigger everyday, and most of the steeper lines are plagued by runnels, some good turns will no doubt last for a while in the high country if you stick to moderate angle slopes.