Middle Tit?

Middle Teton/ Nez Perce    GTNP                     April 30, 2014

The last few seasons I have nibbled at Grand Teton National Park, but never taken
a full bite.  I finally got a mouthful.  
Rolled into town on the heels of a larger storm (2-3′).  Sam Phillips and I decided to head
up Garnet canyon because of all the options and check things out.  Plan A was Middle
Teton Glacier Route, but if conditions were too sketch for steeps then other options
would be explored.
The Middle Teton plastered in snow.  Glacier Route is lookers right obscured by mountain.
It was nice to have Sam guide through the low lands in the dark.  Things down low were set up
and firm.  Further up more of the same.  Things looked good so far.  We were making good
time when we switched to booting part way up the Glacier Route.
Sam in the trench.
The booting was deep, very deep.  At points it was chest deep.  Ordinary steps would not
work.  I had a system that worked, but it was very slow.  Some Verts or BillyGoats
would have helped.  From where we started booting I figured we would finish the last
vertical in an hour, 2 at most.
Sam’s turn to break trail, not so deep.  But that was short lived.
At the top of the Ellingwood Couloir we talked to a group that was passing on summiting,
because of the deep snow and there line was getting direct exposure to the sun.
Sam and I decided to head on since we like wallowing up hill.  
Ski the gut or ridgeline?  Ended up in the gut.
Well that last 800′ of vertical took about 3 hrs.  Somehow.  So, pleased to be at the notch
between the false summit and main summit we called it time to shred.  The results of an
aggressive ski cut were pleasing to both of us.  The snow was great, with minimal sluff
produced.  Slayage ensued.  Conditions lower down consisted of fresh wind wip.  Our skin
track had already disappeared during our ascent.
Sam lower down on the Glacier Route.
After shredding down to Garnet Canyon we stopped to eat lunch and enjoy watching the wet
slides roar down.  With no reason to head back to civilization and beautiful weather we
decided to go up West Hourglass on Nez Perce which was not affected by the sun.
Looking up West Hourglass on Nez Perce.
The Middle Teton and The Grand Teton.
The hike up was mellow and an old boot pack helped.  As a plus the wind had erased previous
tracks.  After what we dealt with earlier in the day this hike was a breeze.  We enjoyed the
shit out of it.
Sam near the top with the Middle in the background.
Evening pow.
Pockets of pow were enjoyed by us both as we finished the run down to the mouth of
the canyon.  The lower mountain was in refreeze mode which made the exit fast.
Overall this mouthful of a day tasted great and I’m looking forward to the next
mouthful of Teton.
You may have noticed it’s not April anymore or even May.  I have some fun
ski days left to share from this season that will trickle out during the summer
when everyone’s mind is far far away from skiing.  So, to all 5 people who
enjoy summer stoke, it’s on the way.  Eventually.

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