Friday, July 22, 2011

Warm Nights and No Hights

For some reason this month I was given about 7 days off in a row and REALLY wanted to go do something big and fun. I've been dreaming about a number of routes in the Tetons and of course this WAS the year for it. Unfortunately the best skiing in the range happens to be during our summer vacation where we frolic in other countries. So last week was the first time I really had available to go for it. (In reality I should be well focused on my running schedule, which I'm behind and seems to be going rather poorly)

I had a strong partner queued up and ready to go and after scotty generously covered my last remaining shift we where loaded and ready to fire, until we talked with friends and climbing Rangers in Jackson. Turns out just 10 short days ago the snow was excellent and the ski descents where pilling up. But as summer can, things changed drastically. The nights stopped freezing causing the snow to become unconsolidated from above, and the geo-thermal heat from below caused it to start rotting from below. This is devastating to the snow pack. Most of the routes we wanted need the snow to make them safe, and when the snow isn't safe then the route isn't safe, and also no fun.
So in desperation I turned to Alaska, but based on my limited knowledge, at this time of year you need to be flying into the big glaciers up North if you want to ski, which is expensive and very time consuming. Plus, Oklahoma has family in town and I don't really want to tax his time any more than necessary because he is my only good AK connection, and of course a good friend.

Another dear set of friends was spending a few days in City of Rocks, but the biggest problem is, I'm not really in the cragging zone this year. More like fast alpine. So I just couldn't get psyched for that either. So what do you do when everything falls apart? Well, I went to work for three days. Dumb, I'm not sure there's a proverb anything like: 'if you can't find anything fun to do then go to work.' Oh well. So here is an excellent photo blog from someone who didn't go to work. Doing a route I'd like to do, with some good people from SLC.

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