By: randosteve|Posted on: April 12, 2011|Posted in: GTNP, The Tetons | 23 comments

While skiing this steep line in the northern range yesterday, a 12-18″ slab released
to my right on the fourth turn.  Luckily, it didn’t pull-out above me and I was able to ski
away unscathed.  You can see the crown lower on the ridge on the right, and if you look
close enough, the powder cloud about halfway down the slope.
(Click photos for larger image.)

With all the snow we have had in Jackson this year (606″ total), needless to say it has been a tough year to get out and ski the bigger, steeper lines. Some people have sneaked in some nice descents when the conditions have allowed, but the timing with good weather has definitely been a little tricky. I’ve been trying to keep the reigns pulled-in in an effort of self preservation for when the snowpack finally consolidates, but yesterday, I got a little overzealous I guess and got into some pretty steep terrain with some wind-loaded snow not quite bonded well enough with the lower layers and a slab pulled out. The slab wasn’t too big, but I’m sure it could have done some damage if a skier was in the right spot when it ripped. Luckily, I wasn’t. Here are some more photos from the day.

This was some interesting avy debris lower in the canyon. The sides were
completely vertical, like it had run through some sort of gully
and kept its shape after it exited.

Waist to nipple deep snow as we wallowed up the couloir.

Reed on the ridge seeking easier terrain…no dice!

This was the turn the slab released on…luckily, at the tails of my skis.

Hiding behind a rock as Reed skis the hang-fire.

With death avoided, it’s all sunshine now.

I’ll take another serving of this please!


Reed gets his own stoke in the couloir.