Day 43 – Taylor

Distance: 4.7 miles

Vertical: 2784'

Looking for some straight up and straight down skiing today. Taylor is a good choice for that. Park, climb up the escalator for 3000′ and then ski down for 3000′. No approach. Not a boot track but as close to it as you can get with skins on.

Skiing down, the snow between 9700′ and 8700′ was almost perfect: 12-15″ deep and soft. Below that, the new snow depth was between 6-10″ with a breakable crust below that.

This has been an unusual winter. Lots of snow in November, almost no snow in December and early January. Then it started snowing again at more normal levels.

Also, many of our storms come in and go out with lots of wind. Of course you would expect wind with storms, but we’ve been getting lots of storms with 40-60 mph wind. That makes a mess of the snow. I know the expression: “There is no such thing as bad snow, only bad skiers.” But us bad skiers prefer deep, light powder.

Snow amounts are also unusual. There is a huge difference between the amount of snow that falls at high and mid elevation. Again, more snow depths at high elevation is not unusual. But this year, the difference is so great you start to think the resort reports are pumping the numbers.

The reports this morning for both Targhee and Jackson were around 18″. But as we started up Taylor, there was only 5″ of new snow. It wasn’t until we had climbed 8500′ that the new snow depth got deeper. At around 9000′, there was about a 12″ of new snow. Based on my experience of skiing in the Tetons for 39 years, the difference in new snow fall between the mid (8000 – 9000) and upper ( above 10,000′) elevations is unusual this year.

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