The clouds finally parted yesterday and showed us what has been happening high in the mountains during all the rain storms we have been having here in Jackson over the past month. What did it show us you ask? Well, it showed us that the snow/rain line was very high at one point and it must have at closet to 12K’, as there is a ton of icy smears all over the east side of the Grand Teton and neighboring peaks.
An icy Grand Teton yesterday as the sun finally broke through the clouds.
For about the last five weeks, the jet stream has literally been parked directly over the Tetons, with a pretty constant and steady flow of moisture coming in all the way from southeast Asia. It’s been particularly hard on me (trust me…I haven’t been fun to be around lately) and I have literally canceled the same trip for the last four weeks in a row because of bad weather. Last weekend I think it rained well over 2 inches and one 24hr period recorded 1.3 inches of water coming out of the clouds. What would be ecstasy at 22°, was plain and simple torture at 55°. I think I have gained 10lbs in the past two weeks alone from sitting around looking at weather models and only getting out for some trail running here and there. That strawberry/rhubarb birthday pie sure didn’t help with this, but it sure did taste good!
Continuous flow of moisture from southeast Asia all the way to Jackson Hole.
With all the rain and high elevation freezing levels, the rivers here in the valley are way up too and the Snake River is very close to flood stage. The water was cresting over the barrier at my personal lunch-spot here in Moose yesterday and with Jackson Lake nearly being at 100% capacity already, flows out of Jackson Lake dam most likely will increase and make some million dollar second-home owners wonder if their trophy houses will still be here for their token 4th of July visit this summer. Oh…what a pity!!!
Water lapping over some barriers at my lunch break spot in Moose.
By the looks of things, the remaining snow appears to be in great shape and relatively smooth…at least for the time being. I’m sure there is still some great skiing to be had if you choose your line wisely, and I bet its prime-time on the Grand Teton for those late season aficionados! (But remember, it is June, and the sun is very strong when it decides to shine, so being early is imperative for a safe decent.) I’m sure some of the alpine ice climbs here in the Tetons, like the Black Ice Couloir, will most likely be in this year too. I’m no expert on this stuff, but seeing how it was actually supposedly back in shape last summer, it can only be in better shape this year with all the moisture we have been getting this spring.
Anyway, it looks like I’m on the road for a little bit this weekend for personal stuff, but I hope to finally get that trip that I’ve been planning in next week. Or at least I’m keeping my finger’s crossed that the weather will let me try.
Back in Vermont we called this the Shame Spiral Season, were it feels like our lives are in an endless downward spiral…
All that moisture mostly fell as snow in the Sierras. I got about 2k a day at Sonora Pass this past weekend. Further south, the Corn cycle is just starting now that the weather is a bit better. On another note, you never published any pictures of your time in the Pallisaids (sp). I’d be interested to see what you did in there.
2k/ day? I don’t get out of bed for any less than 5.hahahahaha!
that’s great Mark…the spring has been sorta anti-climactic around here…at least for me. in the pallisades, se skied a north facing line on norman clyde peak. very beautiful in that area and i will definitely return to investigate further.
ha d! maybe he meant meters…and not feet. 😉
You’ve eloquently put the whole morass into words Steve. The cliff notes version reads: hide the ammunition.
speaking of prime time on the grand teton. I hear there was a pretty substantial avy up that way just before this rain started. Caught some experienced people unawares. Surprised we haven’t heard anything from the rangers or in the media – you’d think it would be information of benefit to all. (even though that particular piece of in depth snow stability info has probably now been rendered moot by the major changes in weather and precip since then..)
tony…i spoke to a ranger about it. a jenny lake ranger got slide as they were on the lat headwall to the lower saddle. though they went for a ride, they were fine and i was told that it wasn’t big enough (or at least the debris pile wasn’t deep enough) to bury anyone. from the top of the saddle to the middle teton glacier is only about 500′ so the slide path probably wasn’t longer that that. needless to say, they called it for the day after it happened and celebrated the rangers safe return with some whiskey at lupine meadows.
BTW, congrats to scott guenther…for being appointed as the NEW renny jackson.