Teton Range, WY Report: Fun Chute, Big Smiles, & Great Tree Skiing Powder

Miles Clark | BackcountryBackcountry | Conditions ReportConditions Report

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Report from December 29, 2020

Rich & I went for a walk in the Teton Range, WY yesterday.

We skied a fun little chute then some happy trees.

The chute had clearly avalanched on either Dec 28th or Dec 29th.

Happy Rich! image: snowbrains

The avalanche appeared to be what we’d been seeing on those dates:  a 4-8″ deep wind-loaded pocket located at the top of the chute.  This old avalanche appears to have been a bit different as it propagated quite a ways down the chute on the east side of the chute.  This was a small avalanche at about size 1.

After the chute we skied an endless tree run that was a hoot.

Avalanche size ratings.

Dangerous avalanche conditions continue at the mid and upper elevations of the Teton Area. Avalanche problems include both wind slabs formed during the past weekend’s storm and persistent slabs that involve deep weak layers that were buried on December 11th. These older slabs, if triggered, can be quite large and carry severe consequences. Yesterday a snowboarder was caught when an east facing slope at an elevation of 8300′ failed near the ground. He was carried down the path and partially buried without injury. Smaller slides were also triggered yesterday. Cautious route finding is essential today as the deep problem is widespread and it is becoming increasingly difficult to predict which slopes may or may not fail. The best course of action is to avoid steep avalanche prone terrain. Below 7500 feet, avalanches are unlikely today except in steep isolated terrain features.

Avalanche Forecast:

image: JHavalanche.org, 12/29/20

Weather Forecast:

image: noaa, 12/30/20

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