Activity Type: Ski Mountaineering Date of trip: May 19, 2012
Level of Difficulty: D12, estimate based on Lou Dawson’s rating system.
Mountain Range or Region: Tetons State: WY Country: USA
Skiers: Cody Feuz Guide: Aaron Dahill
Total vertical gain: 5,153 ft. Total skiing vertical: 4,027 ft. Buck Mountain summit: 11,948 ft. (source-Google Earth)
Equipment Used: Rossignol Scratch BC’s 185cm with G3 Onyx bindings, Dynafit Areo boots, Grivel Air Tech Light, Camp Ice Axe, and Osprey pack.
I did it! I have now summited and skied my first of the Teton’s Seven Summits. In my last post on the Teewinot Quest, I indicated that was it for the ski mountaineering for the year. But when Aaron emailed me a week ago and said that Buck Mountain was skiing “really nice”, I couldn’t resist. So, we were on!
This trip was a success in every way; achieved the summit ahead of schedule, (barely), had a great ski down and had a great day in the mountains. Aaron’s knowledge and expertise were invaluable in getting me to the top, which is my weakest area. This climb was right at the edge of my physical limits as far as strength and endurance are concerned. My key take-away from this is that I need to focus on training and nutrition over the next several months in order to be in “fighting shape” for next winter/spring. We began the climb at 4:00 AM and summited at 9:30 AM. The video contains most of the footage from the upper part of the descent, and just some highlights from the lower part of the ski descent until we run out of snow.
GPS Data: (Note; I forgot to turn my GPS unit on at the trailhead, so the data starts a “little ways up” the trail, but it does finish at the trailhead).
Key learning points:
- Fitness, Fitness, Fitness. Being in top shape is crucial to having success in big mountain skiing and I need to improve!
- Weight is the enemy! In order to complement the increased training, diet and nutrition will be crucial. I need to drop an additional 10-15 lbs.
I’m glad that we made this somewhat impromptu trip. It has sharpened my focus, and I know that it will benefit me not only for more ski adventures to come, but it will help me personally and professionally as well.