Early season turns on Avalanche Bowl.
Photo in Jackson Hole News and Guide.
Cuz if there’s snow on the ground…I’m gonna damn well ski it. Really, it’s still pretty thin out there, but there’s plenty of snow to get the skis on and get some good skiing under your belt before the season really kicks in. It’s also a great time of year to organizes your gear and hunt down those items that you lent to your bud last spring.
More turns from Avy Bowl.
Looks like a lot of people are seeing the light on the Pass…but few are actually committing to gravity in search of the turn. And I don’t blame them. However, the classic spots, like Avalacnhe Bowl, have just enough coverage in spots to link together a couple hundred feet of vertical. The warm and wet temps seem to have made the shnow a little more bouncey too! Helping you stay out of the weeds.
Trav hikes up Stewart draw
For the more adventurous types (and those with more disposable gear) the park is shaping up…at least for lots of skinning. I attempted to ski Static Peak the other day with my split-boarding friend Travis, but was shut down by pretty low visibility. The good news is that we were skinning within about an hour of the car in Stewarts Draw.
Bootpacking towards Static Peak
It was pretty easy finding enough snow to skin up to Static, but crossing some of the creeks and waterfall areas were a little sketchy. Most of the snow seemed relatively stable, but some serious wind slads (up to at least 12″) have formed in isolated areas. The summit of Static never showed itself that day, adn we opted to hit this little sidebar chute off the shoulder instead.
Hiking up the chute
IMHO, I thought the actually skiing was pretty dicey, hitting multiple rocks and submarining my skis under the thick and solid snowpack on the descent. But Trav seemed to be able to handle the conditions much better on his snowboard…leaving me wondering if I could actually ski anymore. Needless to say, I played it safe and put the skis on my back once we were back into Stewart Draw and walked the rest of the way down. Can’t win them all I guess!
Into the pea soup.
How far down avey bowl are you skiing to?
Not quite to the normal early-season turn around point. Did you see today’s picture in the paper???
What am I waiting for??? How ’bout a snow pack. I really don’t need anymore broken kneecaps coming through my office. The season is long. It only takes one hidden something and a subsequent encounter with a rock and the season becomes a lot shorter. And for what? 20 turns off the pass? Patience young Jedis.
18″ soft slabs up high predicted by Weds night….and 65 mph winds. Kinda cool the afternoon avy forecast is running again.
You know it’s early season when you’re skiing before the avy forecasts are getting posted!
I always thought late-Sept through late-Nov was a good time for ice climbing -it’s cold up high- until it gets buried by the snow, in which case you ski the snow! That’s the Colorado way at least…Any of that happening up there?
Didn’t your old lady get worked last season after hitting some partially buried lurker?
I have spent many early season days farming turns …until i had my first hard impact, it did not hurt me, but the horrifying twisting told me I had narrowly gotten away with something. No way that some shitty early season turns are worth missing a 600 inch year….
Hamish…some of the ice climbs are in right now…but it’s also been on the warmish side….so alot of them have come down.
Gringo…Yes…the Kitty got injured early season last year (Dec 20-something)…but the underlying cause is unknown. I think if you play it smart…you can ski early season…but you gotta have the willingness to put the skis on your back when things get dicey. And it’s well known that Avy Bowl is a great spot to ski with a light snowpack.
ahhh…steve, looks like you have discovered the exact reason many of us hung up our boards in favor of, well, a board…floaty turns. while snowboard s can certainly be a pain in the ass certain times (the flats mainly) , surfing through the pow on a cloud of air is a feeling that can ‘t be beat. and it doesn’t hurt that variable snow conditions and rocks pose a little bit less risk due to the fact the we stay on top most of the time. anyhow, kudos for mixing it up. trav is a very solid snowboarder and mountaineer, and i have always had a great time riding the steeps with him.
as to the poster trying to blame early season conditions for steve’s lady getting hurt last season, i think you need to look at the numbers. jh avalanche reported a 61″ base as of december 20, 2007 and it looks like (not surprizingly) it was dumping all week. thats a 5 ft deep base, hardly what i consider early season conditions.
Yeah Trav’s set up was lighter than mine too…rocking Koflachs and all.
As far as Kitty’s injury goes…I think she may have been susceptible to ‘lock-out’ syndrome (as opposed to hitting something buried under the snow)…since she was without the supervision of a Dynafit master that day and still new to the binding.
so what your saying is that you were responsible for her injury since you got her into the dynafits and off the tele gear? =) j/k
fwiw, my split setup weighs in the neighborhood of 12lbs or so with binders.
Ummm…NO…that’s not what I’m saying!!!
I think skis and binders run about the same weight as a split set-up…as long as you’ve got Dynafit bindings. It’s the boots where us ATers heft more pounds…though I know a few splitters that like the AT boot/Dynafit combo with their boards.