By: randosteve|Posted on: April 26, 2011|Posted in: GTNP, The Tetons | 9 comments

While waiting for the bigger lines in the park to stabilize, I got out recently with Reed Finlay to ski a line on the north side of 25 Short that we have both both been eying for many years. Although 25 Short is a rather tame and low angle powder run, the lines on its north side often remain a mystery and are much more technical, steep and require quite a bit of route finding if you are skiing them “top down”, which I think most people do. I know many people probably look at this line when they exit Avalanche Canyon or from on top of Shadow Peak, and it was good to get it done and off the “hit-list”.

Randosteve uses a hand-line to get through the crux of the couloir.
Click all photos for larger image.

I’ve heard this run called numerous things, like Ulnar Collateral Couloir, Broken Thumb Couloir and/or Doc’s Thumb. The thumb reference is because during one of its descents, this local dude whose nickname is “Doc”, aired the crux and broke his thumb in the process. I’m not totally sure how much the crux of this line ever fills in, but even though we have had such a big snow year this year, it was still rather spicy and we employed a rope to sneak through it. Here are some photos.

Randosteve skis the upper portion of the line.

About 6 turns before this photo, a 10-12″ slab released to my right.
Luckily, it didn’t pull me down, but I will tell you…I am getting
a little bit tired of triggering avalanches.

Reed skis the main ramp section of the descent, with 4-Hour Couloir
in the background. 4-Hour Couloir was the location of this recent event.

Randosteve skis towards the couloir section.

Reed pokes his way further down.

We skied mostly where the slough from above had scoured
the slope, but it was still soft and quite edgeable.

Reed makes his way towards the crux.

Randosteve ropes his way through.

Reed negotiates the crux.

It was cool to be below, in a protected spot, and see all the
snow come whizzing by as Reed side-slipped through.

Reed skis the mellower terrain below the crux.

Randosteve attempts at making a smoke screen.

Exiting the couloir.

Reed skis mellow pow on the apron.

The crux section of the couloir. I think it probably fills in a bit more with
snow and ice as the temps warm up and snow begins to melt.
Then again…maybe not.