March 04, 2007

Exploring Jackson Hole...

Today I tried to cater for all of the members skiing with me, rather than just the stronger ones... As you may recall from last Sunday's posting I had allowed the Spirit of Jackson Hole to get into my repping a little too much last week and managed to have a member leave me quite early on as I was pushing him too hard. I didn't want that to happen today.

I only had two members today, one new one and one from last week. This was similar to how the group was made up last Sunday and I'd made the mistake of assuming that just because the new person could keep up with everyone else that they were also happy doing so...

Today I didn't risk that and cranked the pace up much more carefully. We started on Apres Vous, did a run down on the Symmetry and Werner to South Pass Traverse and Hanna. The runs were groomed nicely and the snow was grippy; ego snow. We skied at quite a restrained pace so that everyone was together and nobody was struggling (even slightly). Another run under Apres Vous and this time we took Moran to South Pass Traverse and Teewinot Gully. I increased the pace a little but the focus was still on control of speed and line and keeping everyone together. Next time up we took Upper Werner to Togwotee Pass to Casper chair. One run down on Lift Line and another on Sleeping Indian and it was time to go higher. But first we skied down to the base via Blacktail, Sundance and the Eagle's Rest Cutoff.

A trip up in the Gondola and it seemed like time for a coffee stop. Some time later we took the easy route to Thunder; the easy, on piste, groomed route, rather than last week's easy bumps and gullys route. Up to the top of Thunder and then down into the Laramie Bowl and down to Sublette. From Sublette we took Hanging Rock down to the East Ridge Chair and from there we headed to the top.

The weather today was glorious, sunny and pretty warm. It made a nice change from the days of snow and cloud and wind and what's more it wasn't even cold up on top... I know this isn't good for the snow, but it was nice for a change and I don't expect it to last...

One run down Rendezvous Bowl under the chair (our first ungroomed run of the day and it's nearly lunch time!) and then we took the Rendezvous trail to the drop into Cheyenne Bowl next to Bivouac Woods. From there back to the Rendezvous Trail, past the bottom of Sublette and onto the South Pass Traverse. We cut the final corner off of the Traverse and dropped down to the bottom of Thunder. The off piste snow was quite sun affected and a little hard and heavy. From Thunder we took the South Pass Traverse to Gros Ventre and from there we headed for lunch at Nick Wilson's.

After lunch we headed back to the top of the Gondola and played in the trees under the Gondola until we got down to the Solitude Traverse at which point I decided that was enough trees for now and we went back on piste and took Sundance and Eagle's Rest Cutoff back to the base. Another trip up the Gondola and this time we skied down to Thunder again (on piste again) and took the Elephant Tree run down and the dropped back to the Thunder lift. Next time up (pointing out Paint Brush and Tower Three Chute) we went down the Laramie Bowl again and back up Sublette (pointing out the Alta Chutes). From the top of Sublette we took the Tensleep traverse so that we could look up at Corbet's. Today there was a crowd at the bottom and we watched one guy enter cleanly and ski the rest nicely. It looked so controlled I actually fancied giving it a go, but that thought was put to rest by the next person in. The girl looked confident, jumped in OK and made the first turn but it looked like she let her inside hand drop back and her upper body twist. This and the speed and force of the entry and the softness of the snow up there caused some rotation to start and that eventually resulted in her spinning 180, slipping backwards and flipping end over end down 80' or so of the couloir. The snow looked soft and she lost a ski near the top and looked OK (up and waving)...

We took the traverse into Cirque and dropped down quite late, the snow was pretty sun affected and not that great, will be worse tomorrow when it freezes tonight... Hope it snows. Down to the lower traverse out of Amphitheatre and then Gros Ventre home.

I was pleased with today. Everyone was tired by the end but everyone was still with me, and they seemed to have had fun...


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Posted by Len at March 4, 2007 08:32 PM | Categories: Season 2 - Ski Days , Ski Club of GB Rep
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