Sunday, February 20, 2011

Once again, the Teton country

A glorious scene, well worth working toward

Jim Heckel awaits turn on ridge line climb

Getting to the ridge line meant taking off our skis and post-holding

The snow is best in the Teton River high country, so why not return for the third time in two weeks?
This time we skied up the road north from the ski area and accessed the hilly, rocky country --- the east ridgeline.
We did what amounted to a long loop and climbed that ridgeline high above the North Fork of the Teton canyon trail.
The views, though muted by persistent, light snow, were stupendous;  the Front at its best.
Once again, we were in the Fool Creek burn remnants from 2007, the black stick country.
We realize that our opportunity to enjoy this area depends on how long these blackened trees can stand.
For now we are able to use them as slalom gates to telemark between.
The weather was brutally cold.  It was well below zero when we left Great Falls and about 1 below when we started skiing..
The snow was not as deep in this area as we found adjacent to the Teton Pass Ski Resort trails two weeks ago.
But it was sufficient for the turns we were making.
It was thrilling to approach and then ski along the rocky outcroppings of the ridge, and to find that one break which we used to climb to the top.
We managed to ski a beautiful loop, telemark a very long run from the top, and to yo-yo several runs not far from our car.
That was the surprise of the day; how close the telemark country is to where we parked.
I'm sure we'll return.

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