NOLS WOE Tetons Ski Mountaineering Expedition: Day 8 – Ski Touring

It’s true what they say about backcountry ski touring: you gotta work for your turns. Notes:

  • Slept fitfully in -20 degree C temperatures last night. Despite wearing 6 layers plus a -20 degree F sleeping bag, things were still chili. Everybody was a bit cold.
  • NeoAir Thermarest plus thin foam pad is working well as insulation from the snow floor. Using empty backpack as ground insulation for feet.
  • Oatmeal for breakfast, and a later than usual start on the day. Finally got breakfast wrapped up and the group assembled by around 11.
  • Keeping camp setup today while we skin up and ski down a small mountain on the other side of the meadow we’re camping on.
  • Jake is still sick with flu-like symptoms, so staying behind today. He needs rest to recover from illness.
  • Skin up was a great burn. No sleds and light daypacks so everythig was nice and comfy. Good workout going uphill kept me warm for a bit.
  • Great powder turns coming back down. Telemarking in deep backcountry powder requires a balance that I’m still perfecting – but its good fun.
  • Stripping off climbing skins from the bottoms of my skis and switching bindings from climbing to downhill mode is getting a lot faster. I’m learning how to keep the skin adhesive out of the snow and still work with it quickly.
  • Mike burnt out after 1 run and returned to camp. Rest of us kept going for a few more runs.
  • Carson fell going over a tree stump on the last run of the day and twisted his knee. Will probably stay at camp tomorrow to recover.
  • I made chili for dinner tonight. Rice, dried refried black beans, dried refried pinto beans, tomato powder, sauteed pepperoni, grilled chopped breakfast sausage, siracha sauce. Tasty and filling. Lots of calories to power us through the cold cold night. Currently -10 degrees C in snow shelter.
  • Tomorrow we’re leaving early to go find and recover food and fuel from our hidden cache a few miles away.
  • Layers I’m sleeping in: Ibex wool tshirt, Patagonia R1 half zip, ArcTeryx soft shell, ArtTeryx poof jacket.