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Summer Skiing in the Park | UNITED STATES, WYOMING | 06/23/2008, by powderjunky
June, summer is finally here, pools are open, tourists swarm town like flies on poop, and oh yeah, backcountry skiing is still on!!! In light of the longest day of the year, this Friday we left the Lupine Meadows trailhead around 7pm and made it to camp around 10pm, just as the last light was fading. We had some pretty heavy packs filled with camping, skiing and climbing gear.
In order to coax my fiancé into going on these ‘silly excursions’ ( her words, not mine) I usually have to bear most of the load. So like a retired, past his prime pack mule I was loaded up with two sets of skis, tent, sleeping bags, pads, clothes, ice axe, water, and a bear container filled with only the most nutritious snacks Albertson’s has to offer (more on this later). Getting the pack on was the crux of this whole adventure, and once up and walking I was sure not to squat to low as I may never have been able to get back up.
Like an old man in a rocking chair, we had no real agenda. But we knew we wanted to be in the heart of the Tetons and do some skiing. Waking up fairly late for the mountains on Saturday , we decided it would be a good day to cruise up the south fork of Garnet Canyon and just see how everything is looking.
Snow coverage is still just amazing up high and there ain’t too much dry ground around. We headed towards the saddle between the South and the Middle Teton, but got distracted at the nice snow fields directly below the Ice Cream Cone, just east of the South Teton. We booted up and had lunch on a nice outcropping and watched the snow on the south aspect of the Middle Teton shed like fat from a soccer mom on Atkins.
We hiked a little further up to about 11500 feet and decided it was getting late in the day and should start our ski descent back to camp at the Meadows.
The turns were great, and surprisingly not too slushy. We steered left as we headed down the canyon and caught the Cave Couloir in great conditions! It is always awesome when you can ski quality snow in your t-shirt, shorts, end of June, and at 2pm.
We skied back to camp and feasted on Swedish fish, licorice, gorp, and bacon. Meal of champions indeed! We still had about 7-8 hours of daylight left and really just enjoyed sun bathing and doing nothing. When was the last time anyone had 7 hours to just do nothing? Pretty awesome. The Middle Teton continued to give us a fireworks display of snowfall and avalanches. The noise that echoes off the canyon from these releases is just heart stopping.
However it was at this time I realized my dislike for twin tip skis. Sure they are great for rappelling, skiing backwards, and generally boosting one’s awesomeness by 10 percent. But I could not sink my tips into the snow very deep to make a lounge chair, and that’s just not cool.
I think I went to bed around 7pm and slept like a drunk baby till 8am. Pretty plush, considering we were camping on snow.
Stay tuned for day two of skiing in the Tetons with exclusive amateur video!