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.
Steve, Sam from Black Diamond Equipment in Salt Lake city here. A couple of us are considering coming up to ski the Grand this weekend and were wondering what the snow is like up there? Any info would be appreciated.
I have a friend trying for it today…via Wallstreet. Shoot me an email and I’ll try to get you some first hand info when they get back.
Whats with the boat engine? That will ruin the clean ascent, I would figure for you guys would be rowing or paddling. On the other hand, I guess we all drive to the trailheads. Good effort anyway
The first (and only) time I skied the Sickle, we biked from Bradley/Taggart TH…and then skied to camp on Jackson Lake. Tough to beat that…unless you ski all the way from Taggart…or ski across Jackson Lake mid winter. However, the Sickle probaby wouldn’t be as filled in that time of year either…IMHO…but I may be wrong.
The positive note to the end of the ski season was sounded at 10 a.m. on Saturday when KB and the Real AT pushed off from the summit of the towering (10,304 ft.) Cache Peak on the 30th annual ski leg of the Cycle, hike, ski, hike, cycle expedition. Among the accomplishments; the consumption of 100 oz of St. Marty’s Holy Water (Scotch Ale), hauled to the campsite for the time-tested bivouac. (See JH Daily cover 7/1/08)