The four, shot from a distance. To be fair, Molly, in the back of the line, was most often leading the pack.
The day's gang.
Got out with some old friends and some new acquaintances on Sunday for a hike to Desolation Lake. Relatively uneventful, although in a group setting, I’m always reminded that everyone has their own speed and motivations. Being in the mountains need not always be about squeezing another second off one’s ascent time, although setting goals is not a bad thing in any way..
Along the way, we saw about a dozen mountain bikers descending – and only three ascending, plenty of day hikers, some snow, and the Incredible Continue reading ‘Desolation Lake hike’
Owen Spalding’s finger of snow from the Lower Saddle. Grand Teton is to the right, the Enclosure is to the left. The Needle is in the center of the photo.
Once again partnering with David Yogg for what would turn out to be another icy ski descent in Grand Teton National Park, I was reminded that wind, ice, and cold seem to attend when we pair up for Teton mountaineering. Aiming to ski the Owen Spalding, we found it chilly and windy immediately upon arriving at the Grand’s 13,160 foot Upper Saddle on June 21, 2010, and my first move was to find a wind shelter behind a large rock. Soon, I was shivering in my Rei Mistral softshell pants and Cloudveil Serendipity softshell jacket, neither of which I’d paired with much underneath – only a short-sleeved wool shirt between the two, for all practical purposes. These two pieces of outerwear coupled with well selected base layers keep me warm while moving in virtually any conditions – however, motionless, I was quickly beginning to freeze. The day’s plan as conceived – Light and Fast – had not called for Continue reading ‘Owen Spalding (from the Upper Saddle) on the Grand Teton’
The north face of the Middle Teton from the Grand, near sunrise.
I’m in Jackson and will soon be drinking in one of my favorite views, from a slightly different angle than I’ve seen it before. Snow coverage high on the mountains looks good, and I might just get a weather window between the frequent, recent rain, snow, and lightning storms to pull off a Light and Fast mission. More on that afterwards!
It’s always a shock to my system to transition into mountain biking from the alpine ski starts of spring and early summer. By simply changing sports, one can have a decent amount of sleep, a leisurely 3 minute breakfast, and even pay a few bills before meeting up a pal and heading out for a ride. Although weather can play into a mountain biking day to an extent, it’s largely a question of avoiding the worst of Continue reading ‘Mid-Mountain Trail, Park City’
Ford Couloir with ski tracks. Photo by Mike Calla.
If there is a ‘problem’ with successfully skiing something as aesthetic, mind-numbingly exposed, and technical as the Ford Couloir on the Grand Teton, perhaps it is thus: an endeavor such as this changes what one sees as possible to descend on skis. It widens one’s ski horizons Continue reading ‘Ford Couloir on the Grand Teton via the Upper Exum’
Shortly after moving to Jackson Hole in 2002, I took a hike to Amphitheater Lake in Grand Teton National Park, a lake which formed at the bottom of a cirque beneath Disappointment Peak. Looking up at what I would learn was the Spoon Couloir, I saw ski tracks, and felt a yearning to ski this gem. Having previously lived in Colorado, I’d seen plenty of backcountry tracks in the snow. Most often, there were hundreds, each overlaid upon others. It never looked all that pretty, appealing, or fun. Perhaps this is the definition of aesthetic appeal then – as I gazed up at that solitary signature Continue reading ‘Disappointment Peak & Spoon Couloir’