NOLS WOE Tetons Ski Mountaineering Expedition: Day 6 – Into The Backcountry

Today was my groups first day in the backcountry. The group consists of people with varying amounts of experience living outside in the winter, so for the first day, we took it nice and easy.

  • Woke up early morning at NOLS-TVB base and after a quick breakfast packed up the truck with our packs, sleds, skis, and poles.
  • Drive from Victor out to the trailhead was about 2.5 hours, broken up by a nice stop in downtown Jackson. Good to see the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar again!
  • Trailhead wasn’t really a trailhead in winter… More like a road pullout next to a hug e snowbank made by the plows.
  • Hoisted gear off the trucks and onto the snow, and got moving.
  • Ski touring while dragging a heavy sled is a different beast. Lots more to consider as you move over the snow dragging a sled. Balance, steering, and manouvering around obstacles. Ski kick efficiency is also reduced when pulling a sled. Speed goes down, and everything takes much longer.
  • Camp was setup at the edge of a small meadow about 3 miles in. We”re using Black Diamond Megamids as shelters. Since we’re setting ip on snow, we can dig out the inside of the shelter to provide more floor space and a bit of insulation from the snow.
  • Dug out of the snow a kitchen area, complete with counter space, an insulating refrigerator, and shelving storage space.
  • Made mac and cheese for dinner, with questadillas as an appetizer. Also, melted a ton of snow for drinking water.
  • Did a few basic classes on sleeping on snow, and now going to bed. Tomorrow early wakeup for 0900 departure
  • Ski touring is great! I love living out in the snow… Living deliberately.