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17 April

“Ring of Fire” Training Week 2 – Northeast Shoulder of Teewinot

Northeast Shoulder of Teewinot Mountain

My goal for week 2 is ascend 25,300 vertical feet.  To kick the week off, I wanted to get into the Tetons.  I have always wanted to ski the East Face of Teewinot Mountain.  The weather forecast was a little discouraging, but it had also been wrong all weekend.  The forecast called for 6-8 inches in the mountains above 8,000 feet and clearing at 6am.  Before I went to sleep that night, I decided that if it did snow 6-8 inches, I would ski the Northeast Shoulder of Teewinot instead of going for the East Face.

Skiing Pow on the Northeast Shoulder of Teewinot

The forecast was actually right.  It did snow 6-8 inches over night.  Waking up to see snow on the ground, I decided to go for plan b, the northeast shoulder.  I had heard that it offered amazing skiing and decided it would be safer than skiing the East Face of Teewinot.

Alex Weston and I Boot Packing Up to the Highest Point on the Ridge

The weather forecast was correct on the amount of snow, but the skies did not clear at 6am.  Eric, Alex, and I spent the morning skinning up the mountain in pea soup.  It was hard to gauge where we were with limited visibility.  As we reached the top of the ridge, the clouds started to break up and the view was outstanding.

Alex Weston Enjoying the View Across Cascade Canyon

The morning stayed cold and we weren’t to concerned that the snow would heat up.  We hiked to the top of the ridge and enjoyed a snack while waiting for the clouds to lift.  The skiing down was awesome.  We skied 8 inches of pow down a steep forested slope.

Eric Seymour Enjoying the Snow

The snow at the bottom was a little thin and we had a few creek crossings by the moose ponds that added to a great day.

Creek Crossing in the Moose Ponds

The best part of riding your bike to Lupine Meadows is that on the way back to the Taggart Lake Parking lot, it is all down hill.

Alex Weston Pulling into the Taggart Lake Parking Lot

I would highly recommend the Northeast Shoulder of Teewinot.  The skiing was awesome, think 25-short on steroids.  It is also a safe alternative to the high peaks if you are concerned about the snow conditions.

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