As I was ascending the Cave Couloir on September 1st, it became obvious to me that the descent was not going to be easy. There were two technical issues that I was dealing with to figure out how best to approach the descent;
First, I noticed that the runnels were getting pretty deep and went across the whole width of the Couloir.
Second, although there was still some fresh snow left over from the storms earlier in the week, it was thin and the snow underneath it was firm and crunchy.
I wouldn’t say that I was worried, but let’s just say that it definitely had my attention.
After getting to the top of the snow field, I quickly readied myself for the descent and clicked in. The first part of the run is pretty mellow, but then it hits a big rollover and that section is pretty steep. Plus, the further down the couloir you go, the more you have to deal with a double fall-line. So, although I would say that most of the couloir is in the 30+ degree range, with a max around 45, it seems more like 50 degrees in some of the steeper areas due to the double fall line.
This is a Teton classic, and it is a great training run to help keep your skill sharp for those bigger objectives in the coming months. My skiing wasn’t pretty on this run, but I got down without incident and that is sometimes as good as it gets.
As I stated in the video, I give a shout-out to my daughter, Rachel for coming along and helping out on this climb. She didn’t ski, and part of the reason that she was there was to see how she handled herself in these mountains, (there is a few boulder scrambles on this hike/climb). I think she did awesome and she is even talking about getting into the backcountry skiing with me this winter. I’m always excited to get a new recruit!
GPS Data of September skiing in the Teton Range: