Teton Range, WY Report: High Speed Fun in Immaculate Powder Snow

Miles Clark | BackcountryBackcountry | Conditions ReportConditions Report

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Report from December 27, 2020

The Teton Range in Wyoming saw 15″ of new snow last night.

That new snow made conditions immaculate and pushed the avalanche danger up to HIGH above 9,000′ .

Today was definitely the best snow conditions I’ve skied all season thus far.

We walked a lot today, skied 3 chutes, and kept all our skiing below 9,000′.

We were overly-aggressive in our choice of the first chute.

Chute #1 = too steep.

It was too steep for today’s avalanche conditions.

I skied up to the entrance of the chute and realized it was going to avalanche in its upper elevations as it looked fat at the top.

I gave it a ski cut and a small avalanche about 8″ deep propagated from my ski cut and ran down the chute.

I then skied the chute and it was a challenging mix of grabby bed surface, perfect powder, and dense avalanche debris.

Chute #2 = less steep.

I skied this one fast and light and nothing moved and it was insanely exhilaratingly fun.

Chute #3 = medium steep.

I skied this thrid chute fast and light as well but there were a few spots where I had to dig in for speed check turns and on one of my right turns up on the left wall of the chute, I triggered a small avalanche that ran about 100′ and stopped and didn’t affect me as I was moving pretty quickly at that point.

Oh, and there was a bit of pillow popping in there somewhere…

Today was my favorite day of the season so far.

It’s gonna be a great, exhausting, and dangerous avalanche conditions week.

Please be safe out there.

Up to 15 inches of new snow has accumulated in the past 24 hours, and very dangerous avalanche conditions have developed at the upper elevations. Skiers and riders could easily trigger small to large wind slabs and loose snow sluffs in steep avalanche terrain at the mid and upper elevations, and natural activity will be possible. Much higher consequences are associated with large to very large persistent slab avalanches. These deadly slabs are likely to be triggered by backcountry travelers, and they have the potential of stepping down from a wind slab or releasing naturally. TRAVEL IN AVALANCHE TERRAIN IS NOT RECOMMENDED ABOVE 9,000 FEET. Between 7,500 and 9,000 feet, conservative terrain choices and cautions route finding will be essential for safe travel in avalanche terrain.

Avalanche Forecast:

image: JHavalanche.org, 12/27/20

Weather Forecast:

image: noaa, 12/27/20

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