March 27, 2016

Easter 2016 - Grand Teton National Park

Andrea and I skiing in Grand Teton National Park - March 26, 2016

I'm not even sure how to type words to describe our first time skiing in GTNP. We love the Tetons, and have made some fantastic summer trips to this mountain range. There is something magical, though, about seeing these iconic peaks covered in snow and traveling through this terrain on skis. The combination of the company, scenery, hero snow, and sunshine made this one of my most memorable ski days since I took up this sport lifestyle eight years ago.

On March 26th we skied a couple laps off a peak called "25 Short" - one of the more mellow areas in a region dominated by gnarly terrain. It was a perfect day...

I typically start clapping on the drive into the park when we get to this point

So happy to be here in winter for the first time

The most iconic mountain skyline

Taggart Lake trailhead

Making the approach

Up up up

Andrea on 25 Short

Andrea skiing our first lap into the main bowl / slide path


Back up

Unreal. Look close and you can see me on the ridge to the left.

Again, unreal. Look close and you can see Andrea.

Up to the top for another round

3300 feet down to the valley floor

Heading back to Taggart

We spent three days in Jackson over Easter. The rest of the trip is documented here: 

Easter 2016 - Jackson Hole

Grand Teton National Park - March 26, 2016

March is delivering the goods! Winter has returned to the mountain west, and even though we will be skiing for a few more months, some of the resorts will start closing down the lifts over the next couple weeks. Since we had two days of lift tickets on our Mountain Collective pass for Jackson Hole, Andrea and I made the drive up to Wyoming for 3 days over Easter weekend. I've been dreaming of skiing in the Tetons for years, and the weekend did not disappoint.

Wednesday March 23

Gotta start here with the "warmup" - another good early week storm (18") in the Wasatch gave us some after-work powder runs in Big Cottonwood Canyon on Wednesday afternoon...

Lower elevation trailheads are starting to present some challenges, even though the snowpack above 8000 feet is bomber.

Thursday March 24

We drove up to Jackson Hole after work and encountered a couple spots with challenging driving conditions. All good though - we are happy to drive slow if that means the next day will have fresh snow.

Friday March 25

A lift-served day at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. What an awesome ski area - tons of challenging terrain. It snowed about 6" overnight, which was enough to soften up the turns.

Saturday March 26

We spent Saturday backcountry skiing in Grand Teton National Park. This day gets its own post: 

One of my favorite days of the year... actually, of all-time.


Sunday March 27

We went back to JHMR on Easter Sunday to ski with our friends Rachel and Greg. The resort was empty and we enjoyed a full day of skiing fast groomers in spring conditions before driving back to SLC. We didn't take any pictures on Sunday, but this one sums up the whole weekend:


March 20, 2016

Classic Spring Skiing in LCC

Andrea at the top of Little Pine Chute on the first day of spring

We experienced every aspect of spring skiing in the Wasatch over the past 5 days, skiing everything from cold dry snow to rollerball slush... lapping ridge lines to booting up steep couloirs... all while having lots of fun and soaking up plenty of Vitamin D.

Wednesday March 16th

The mountains got 20-30" over the course of a Mon/Tues storm. We got out for a few hours after work and skied fantastic powder in Grizzly Gulch. The extra long daylight hours definitely make post-work ski touring a lot more possible...

Friday March 18th

Another post-work afternoon ski tour. We skied laps in the shade off Twin Lakes Pass, the snow was still dry and soft.

Saturday March 19th

By the weekend the sun was getting strong and the air was getting warm/HOT. We figured there was still some dry snow out there and found in on the East facing, wind sheltered areas off the top of the Pink Pine ridgeline. The turns off the top were deep and soft, and as you got lower it got creamier and creamier...

Sunday March 20th

While skiing Pink Pine on Saturday, we kept looking over at Tanners Gulch and Little Pine Chute. Both looked great and we knew we wanted to ski one of the big lines on that side of the road on Sunday.

We decided to take a crack at Little Pine Chute, it is a beauty...

Notes from The Chuting Gallery:

After booting up the chute, we hung out at the top for nearly an hour while waiting for the sun to warm up the snow. The ski down had a little bit of everything. Our turns certainly didn't earn us many style points at times, but we racked up A LOT of adventure points!