By: randosteve|Posted on: December 19, 2011|Posted in: GTNP, The Tetons | 9 comments

Here’s is a little video stoke (it’s a little slow and mind-numbing) from skiing Okie’s Thorn Couloir last week with Reed Finlay. It’s a pretty obscure line, but the couloir sits directly skier’s left of the Dike Couloir, a popular descent on Garnet Canyon/Glacier Gulch loop-tours. It also runs below a sharp pinnacle, called Okie’s Thorn, on the southeast side of the Grand Teton. The line is best viewed from the top of Disappointment Peak, which is where I was the day before giving it a go.

We skinned up to below Teepee Glacier from Garnet Canyon. It was one of those magical mornings where the clouds moved in and out, with the mountain summit blazing in sun above. I can’t begin to count the number of times I said WOW…in amazement of how something you have seen countless times, can continually be so mind blowingly beautiful.

Anyway, we poked around for a sneak-in from the top of the Dike Couloir, but ended up skiing down the Dike about 1-200′, then making an exposed traverse and uphill sidestep to the skier’s left. Followed by a short down-climb into Okie’s Thorn Couloir itself. We then packed our skis and booted to the top of the skiable snow on the climber’s left. The snow was great, but the coverage was a little thin in the top few hundred feet and I nailed a few lurking rocks hiding under the powder. This kept the skiing pretty timid for the first half, but the bottom was more filled in, which gave the perception of safety and allowed for more enjoyable skiing.