Grand Teton

Sunday, June 5, 2011

On Saturday, I skied the Grand Teton. I've been after this all year, and I'm happy that it's done . . . for now.


Grand Teton with the Ford, Chevy, and Stettner Couloirs visible. 

Just having returned from a trip to Baker and with some mandatory family stuff on Saturday afternoon, I wasn't intending on doing much this weekend.  But when I found out Brian Harder, Jason Dorais, and Brother Sam had something brewing in the Tetons, I couldn't stay away.  Initially, I resisted and told them I was out.  But by Friday morning, I had succumbed to the Teton gravitational pull.  My plan: get to Jackson late on Friday, sleep a couple hours, start with Brian, Jason, and Sam at 2 am, climb and ski the Grand, and then be back in Salt Lake by 4 pm on Saturday.


We set out to climb the Grand in our style: fast and light.  We wore tight clothing, some iteration of Dynafit's TLT boot, and no ski was wider than 75 mm.  Luckily, the conditions suited that style.  The skies were clear and at Lupine Meadows, the snow patches were hard and frozen.  The splits were roughly as follows:  Meadows at 1:50, top of Teepee Col at 3:__, top of the Grand at 5:15, bottom of the Stettner at 6:12, Meadows at 6:35, lost at 6300 ft at 6:59, Lupine Meadows TH at 7:21.


With ski crampons, I kept my skis on until the top of the Teepee Col.  From there, we switched to crampons and ice tools. The conditions in the Stettner, Chevy, and Ford were mostly breakable crust above top-of-boot to knee-deep snow.  Spindrift poured over and through us in the Stettner.  There were two small ice bulges in the Chevy.  The snow in the Ford was softer and deeper.  We all simul-soloed--climbed and descended without ropes.


At the bottom of the Stettner, I left my partners who were on a much bigger mission (Grand, Middle, and South linkup).


While I'm happy with the time of 7:21, I think that it could be done in closer to 6 hours. . . . something to dream about.


My favorite photos of the day:


Jason Dorais and Brian Harder climbing Tepee Col

First light on ??


Sam in the Stettner Couloir


The crew in the Chevy Couloir




Headwall of the Ford and nearing the top of the Grand Teton with the Tetons at our feet.



Sam, 30 feet from the summit.



Jason Dorais skiing off the summit of the Grand Teton.

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