Alicia, Matt, and Sarah geared up and ready to earn some turns
After skiing from the lifts at Jackson Hole for the first three days, we decided to get a taste of the region's famed backcountry terrain. For the final three days of our trip, we skied knee-deep powder off Teton Pass. There are countless opportunities and endless terrain just off this pass alone.
Sarah poses next to a memorial to those who have died in avalanches while skiing in the area. Expended casings which had been used for avalanche control were fashioned into a wind chime, and like many other skiers we saw, we brushed our ski poles through it. This was a very sobering reminder to use caution while traveling in avalanche terrain, and I imagine the sound of the chime carries a powerful meaning to the friends and families of those who had died.
Sarah and Alicia heading up the boot pack to the top of Glory Bowl
adjusting layers underneath a resilient tree
Alicia and Matt pushing into the cold, thick air
Andy and Sarah posing in front of a frosty tree
Sarah, Matt, and Alicia waiting at the top of the ridge to make their first turns of the day
Sarah enjoying the soft snow
plenty of fresh powder for everyone
The following day, the skies were a bit clearer, so we were treated to great views of the surrounding peaks.
looking up Edelweiss, our first destination
Christmas Tree, Edelweiss, and The Nose (L to R) are three popular runs off Teton Pass
looking up the lower pitch of Edelweiss before we started up the skin track
As we were putting our skins on at the bottom of Edelweiss, four, super fun, French-speaking women from Quebec showed up and decided to join us. Given that Matt had stayed in the hotel with a 24-hour flu, I was the only guy in the group. "Great success!"
starting up the skin track to the top of Edelweiss
After skiing Edelweiss, we headed up a nearby drainage to the top of a ridge above The Claw. My poor route-finding skills took us along an extremely circuitious path, but we eventually got there.
my harem posing for me on the summit
Mary, Sarah, Jen, Alicia, Sarah, and Sandy (L to R)
Loads of untracked powder awaited us.
Alicia and Sarah getting ready to ski
Sarah waits underneath a tree after skiing the top pitch of The Claw
Sarah working the great snow in The Claw
looking back up the upper pitch of The Claw
looking back up the lower pitch of The Claw
sharing a few laughs with our new friends while waiting at the lower trailhead for Alicia and Mary to hitchhike back up to the top of the pass and retrieve our vehicles
For our final day in Jackson Hole, we revisited Teton Pass for a third time. Matt was feeling better and was able to join us. He was stoked to try out his new S7's which he had bought from a local the previous day. Score.
looking across the Teton Pass road toward Glory Bowl, where we had skied our first day up on the pass
Alicia and Matt emerging from the trees to the bottom of the skin track for Edelweiss
Andy nearing the top of the Christmas Tree run
Andy posing on the broad summit with the top of The Nose in the background
Matt skiing from The Nose into Edelweiss
After skiing The Nose (Matt and I) and Christmas Tree (Alicia and Sarah), we headed back up the same skin track for a second lap.
Sarah posing next to the namesake of the Christmas Tree run before we all skied Thanksgiving, a run off to the side of Christmas Tree
After skiing Thanksgiving (background), we again skinned up the nearby drainage to the ridge above Avalanche Bowl (and The Claw). This time, Sarah took the reins and set the skin track along a much more direct line that got us there in half the time than the previous day when I had led. So much for a sense of adventure.
We were really careful when skiing Avalanche Bowl, so we didn't get any photos. This was a parting shot looking up the lower pitch of the line. The ease of access, endlessness of terrain, and plethora of powder make Teton Pass an absolutely amazing place for backcountry skiing. We really, really enjoyed ourselves here and hope to be back soon.