About once a month, someone suggests that I put together an updated Teton Range backcountry skiing guidebook. Some big time publishers included. IMHO however, with Tom Turiano’s: Teton Skiing, A History and Guide and Select Peaks of Greater Yellowstone, as well as Jackson and Ortenburger’s: A Climbers Guide to the Teton Range, I feel like there are already enough text-based guidebooks to quench the thirst of any ski mountaineer. To put together a guidebook describing every bit of skiable terrain for the Tetons would be a very daunting and time consuming task.
That being said, it is nice to see some smaller projects emerging from some familiar and unfamiliar faces around Jackson Hole. The most recent is Conor Miller’s creation called, The Black Book. And considering my bros and I have nicknames, like “The Koran”, “The Bible” and “The New Testament”, for the other guidebooks, Conor’s choice of title needs little modifying, and with the help of former Alpinist editor, Christian Beckwith, Conor has put together quite a nice collection of photos depicting selected ski routes in the Teton’s.
So…is it a guidebook? I’d have to say…no…more of a picture book…for skiers. Though many of the ski lines are mentioned in the book, there is little in the way of descriptions of routes and terrain. However, Conor’s ability to capture the beauty of the Teton’s, especially from a skiers perspective, is more than worth the $32 to get one. Contact Conor at firstname.lastname@example.org for details and to order a copy.
Thor Peak’s Hidden Couloir…in the spotlight.
For those that aren’t familiar with Conor Miller, you’re probably not alone. Conor moved to Jackson after graduating from Colorado College in 2005, and did a stint working for Alpinist Magazine. Conor compares his style to that of photographers John Scurlock and Bradford Washburn. “By looking at their pictures and trying to articulate what makes them so powerful, I try my best to do similar tactics”
Conor’s inspiration for the project was the lack of photos representing Grand Teton National Park in the Jackson Hole Ski Atlas. “It hardly covered the Park, the pictures were anything but inspiring, and it was expensive. I really wanted to see a better version for the Park, but there wasn’t one…surprisingly. So I bought a better camera, had a long list of lines (Amora Vida and Fallopian Tube were added due to some websites I had seen) written on a big piece of cardboard tacked to my wall, and started checking them off one-by-one.”
The Middle Teton it’s Dike Pinnacle. How many ski lines do you see?
The result is a very cool addition to the Teton skiing collection that any skier and/or mountain lover would enjoy. I know with winter slowly approaching, I’ve been glued to its pages when I’m not glue to the computer monitor. One thing to note is that the pictures in The Black Book were taken during one of the snowiest winter in the Teton’s, so the faces and couloirs are as filled in as ever. Also, some of the mountains in the book are closed to human travel for most the winter months, so be sure to know…before you go.
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