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NOLS WOE Tetons Ski Mountaineering Expedition: Day 15 – Touring

A spectacular bluebird day leads to powder turns down untracked backcountry terrain. Notes:

  • Woke up early morning before the sun. From our high camp, it’s possible to see out across the valley, across Jackson Lake, to the lights of downtown Jackson, Wyoming. A spectacular, and eerie view from deep within the backcountry.
  • Also, on a cold, clear, high pressure night like last night, the biew of the stars is truly awesome. Standing under the bright stars in the cold of the -18 degrees C night makes it feel like you’re in space.
  • Not a cloud in the sky today, and very cold temperatures.
  • Quick breakfast, and then climbing skins on the skis and we’re immediately skinning up to the top of the peak.
  • Since we’ve seen a bumch of layers of snow deposited since we’ve been here, climbing into steep terrain is a great opportunity for more avalanch science. We stopped periodically to look at snowpack and assess terrain features before moving across it. We also noticed a few avalanche runout paths from slides triggered last night.
  • Had a great day skinning up and skiing down pristine terrain. Telemark turns in waist deep powder is a true pleasure.
  • Overall, covered about 3500 vertical feet on skis today
  • Early dinner tonight watching the sunset behind the Tetons.
  • Tomorrow is a rest day to let bodies and blisters heal.
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