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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Eagle, Idaho
    Posts
    86

    Skiing the Cave Couloir (Middle Teton) for my 60th

    Yesterday, TGR posted an article and video of Owen Leeper skiing Powder on the Middle Teton on August 28th. Exactly 2 weeks earlier I was at the base of the Middle Teton, skiing the Cave Couloir on my 60th birthday. Now I'm wishing that my birthday had been 2 weeks later!


    Anyway, he had fresh powder and I had dirty snow, sun cups and big runnels. What I didn't have to worry about was kicking off a slab avalanche, like he did.


    The "Cave" was not my initial objective, but my partners ended up bailing and so I went with it because it is in full sight, and earshot of dozens, maybe even 100+ people that would be on the trail that day. I would have opted for the Teepee glacier on the Grand and finishing on the Dike Couloir below Disappointment peak if my partners had been there.

    Here is the photo/video TR

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    Headed out of the Lupine Meadows parking lot at 6:30 AM, just before sunrise.


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    This fat boy is packing it on for a long winter. He makes me look skinny!


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    This view never gets old for me. On of my favorite pieces of scenery. For those of you not familiar with the Tetons, this is shot from the trail as you "turn the corner" into Garnet Canyon. You've been trudging up a never-ending series of switchbacks on a well-worn trail, the pitch flattens out a bit, you come around a bend, and BAM; this is your view. You now start to get a sense of how "grand" this place really is.
    In this photo my target, the Cave Couloir snowfield comes into view!


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    This shot shows Disappointment peak. The Dike Couloir is just over the summit on the north side of Disappointment. The view of the Grand to the left is hidden in this photo by the large cliff that forms the east base of the Middle.


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    This is a shot down Garnett Canyon from about 3/4 of the way up the "Cave". The interesting thing about this photo is the shot of "The Meadows". The Meadows is entirely buried by the lower snowfield that you see. I have never seen that much snow covering the Meadows this late in the year, (August 14th). Even during the huge snow year in 2011, I was here on the day before my birthday and the area was totally snow free. Based on the debris that I saw out on the snowfield, I'm speculating that perhaps one or more huge avalanches may have hit the area harder than usual. ???


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    Nearing the top of the rollover. From here, it is an easy saunter up to my starting point at the tip of the snowfield.


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    Looking to my south at Cloud veil Dome. I had, at one point, entertained the idea of climbing up and hitting that snowfield in the notch just to the east of the peak and then picking my way over here to the "Cave". However, I didn't really start early enough and I did NOT want to be late for the BBQ that I knew the fam was preparing back in Wilson. Anyway the pickins seemed a bit thin, and I'm kind of lazy sometimes.


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    Ok, NOW I can see the top. It's not really that big of a climb, (somewhere between 4-4500 vertical), but it's the middle of the summer, it's smoky and I'm not in really good climbing shape this year. The Ellingwood Couloir is just around the corner, ahead to the right. And the ridgeline to the left on the skyline is the South Teton.



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    A look at the "Z", or Zoro snowfield before I had down. I guess if I was real "committed", I could give that one a go one of these times. Fortunately for me, I don't think I'll ever get that committed!

    GoPro footage of skiing the Cave Couloir


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    Well, that was fun. Total skiing vertical is right around 1000 feet. So, now it was time to transition to shorts and hiking gear.

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    Another view back up the canyon as I head down. This provides a closeup view of what the Meadows looked like that day.


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    This is a closeup shot of the "Platforms", the large boulder field that you hit shortly after entering Garnet Canyon. This shot is on the way down. When you are coming thru here with a day pack, or even a climbing pack, it isn't really a big deal. But with skis on and short legs like I have, it definitely presents some challenges. I much prefer this section of the canyon in the middle of winter or early spring, when you just ski right over all of this.



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    My goal for the decade of my "sixties" is to hit this area and get turns in every year on my birthday. It's my own little way of trying to defy old-age for as long as possible. When I get to 70, I'll reevaluate and see if I'm ready for another 10!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    In the swamp
    Posts
    5,800
    Sick!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    idaho panhandle!
    Posts
    6,194
    Wow. Phuck yeah! Well done!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Posts
    9,880
    The snow...okay, it wasn’t great, but that’s the way to get after it! Great trip and TR.
    I swear on my glass eye,

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    in the trench
    Posts
    6,630
    HBD! Way to have fun. Strong work

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    NCW
    Posts
    1,593
    Happy Birthday!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    835
    Nice work man!
    21° 12°

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Paper St. Soap Co.
    Posts
    2,055

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Vanity Fair
    Posts
    2,687
    Cool! Happy Birthday! More than enough commitment there.
    Ich bitte dich nur, weck mich nicht.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    North,NorthEast
    Posts
    1,998
    Way to get after it! Awesome

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The 8th best place in the LBP
    Posts
    2,158
    Like. Nice TR man.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    heart in terrace, ass in cowtown
    Posts
    2,863
    Nice work man, what a great B day present to yourself. Well played!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    tetons
    Posts
    6,396
    that was a quality TR! love it
    interesting on the meadows snowfield too
    skid luxury

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    128
    Dude hell yeah! This is inspiring

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    none
    Posts
    5,991
    Well done!

    I turned three days prior. I just speared some crawfish and drank a lot at Pete’s Pub.

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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Fresh Lake City
    Posts
    3,079
    Happy Birthday! What a bad ass way to celebrate, I hope to be skiing in the tetons in my 60s, thanks for the inspiration!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    37ft above the hood
    Posts
    16,391
    *mountaineering here
    Zone Controller

    "He wants to be a pro, bro, not some schmuck." - Hugh Conway

    "DigitalDeath would kick my ass. He has the reach of a polar bear." - Crass3000

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Squaw valley
    Posts
    2,149
    And I hope you will do it when you're 80. I certainly hope I will.

    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using TGR Forums mobile app

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Sonoma & Truckee
    Posts
    9,775
    Awesome and inspiring. Never too old to get after it!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tahoe City
    Posts
    561
    Happy 60th Eagle, way to go get your turns
    Like I told my last wife, I never drive faster than I can see, besides it's all in the reflexes.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    base of the Bush
    Posts
    9,407
    Happy belated B Day. Keep on trucking!
    www.apriliaforum.com

    "If the road You followed brought you to this,of what use was the road"?

    "I have no idea what I am talking about but would be happy to share my biased opinions as fact on the matter. "
    Ottime

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Calgary, Canada
    Posts
    849
    Well done!

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Between a rock and a soft place. Aberdare and The Brecon Beacons, Wales
    Posts
    2,637
    Way to thread the needle.

    Hope I'm up to it on my 60th

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    174
    That’s good stuff right there

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    9,300ft
    Posts
    16,734
    AWESOME

    Happy birthday
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

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