Day 77 – Targhee Ping Pong Ball

Distance: 4 miles

Vertical: 2500'

Woke up to more rain. More rain than Seattle. That’s Teton Valley, Idaho in the spring. Not for the feint hearted or for people with Seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Checked the Pass cam. Snowing. Checked Targhee cams. Snowing hard. Time to gather ski gear and stop being SAD.

Even with all my gear put away for the season, I was ready in 15 minutes. I figured I needed to get there as early as possible before the snow turned to oatmeal, always a good idea in the spring.

I got to Targhee parking lot about 8:30. It was very quiet and still snowing hard. There was about 3-6″ of new snow. Trail breaking was quite easy. Up into the dense fog, a typical condition at Grand Foghee.

The fog and lighting conditions got worse halfway up the mountain. In the winter, I often wish the lift stopped about the halfway point, the point at which you can still see. From the midway point, there is a beautiful run to the south, and it was covered in nice snow. I decided to take a run.

The snow was very heavy, but skied ok. But the flat light was so bad that I could hardly see, even with trees on both sides of the run. I climbed back up the run. When I got to my high point, I decided to do the run again. My track would make skiing it again much easier, plus, I had adjusted to the heavy snow. The second run was much nicer.

I should have done a third run, but greed got the best of me and I went to the summit. The fog and lighting conditions were even worse. There were two other skiers at the summit. After they went down, I tried to follow their tracks, but the fog and light was so bad that even with tracks I could barely make my way down. What a shame. The snow was pretty nice, but I’m one of those people who can’t ski if they can’t see.

The light improved for the last 500′. I was glad to get out without getting hurt.

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