Well, I guess it's game on now. Nate Brown from Jackson set the "official" time standard on the Ford-Stettner route on the Grand Teton going 7:15:33 car to car this weekend. Nate did this after not really skiing for a month and spending the last two weeks as a tourist in Turkey. Not exactly all guns blazing for him. Still, the local cognoscenti have declared Nate's effort as a starting point for the "game".
Successful ski mountaineering outings are born from a combination of planning, conditions, the right partners and technical ability. A ski descent link-up of the Grand, Middle and South Tetons has been on my radar since I first heard of Jimmy Chin completing it a few years ago. He was not the first, however, as local legends Mark Newcomb and Stephen Koch successfully climbed and skied all three peaks several years before that. The stars aligned and we got it done last Saturday.
Here is a trip report on a recent trip in the Tetons. My crude attempt at a video is at the bottom for those who can't handle my story telling. Enjoy.
Like any ski mountaineer, I have a list of objectives to ski in the Tetons. The North Face of Buck Mountain holds two of the more compelling lines in range, the Newc and Bubblefun Couloirs. Seen from the north, any skier's eyes are immediately drawn to them.
Once in a while, it's nice to get out of town and travel to other ranges to be reminded just how sweet the Tetons are. My wife and I traveled to Northern California last week for both business and a holiday. I skied in the Ruby Mountains of Nevada early on the trip and we rode our bikes a lot in Sonoma County toward the end. In between was a three day stop in Carson City/Lake Tahoe to ride and ski there.
Terminal Cancer Couloir. The first time I saw a picture of this ski line I couldn't look away. It's one of the most striking runs anywhere. I wasted an hour googling it and watching YouTube videos. Terminal Cancer quickly rose to the top of my hit list.