Jackson Chronicles – Day 2

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | March 25, 2006      

Got up early this morning, excited to watch the big Life-Link rando race, meet people, and absorb the ambiance of the Tetons. It always amazes me what goes on around here. Yesterday the East Ridge of the Grand Teton got its first ski descent, and other lines are falling as well. Up on top of the Jackson resort, you can look over at the Grand Teton and imagine how extreme it must be up there, then swing your gaze around to Cody and Noname, where lines such as Talk Is Cheap filter out all but the elite ski alpinists.

But the focus of today was the North American ski mountaineering race championships. The comp went well, perfect weather, on-time start, no hurts I’m aware of. Pete Swensen won the race in 2:01:45, with Jennie Wall number one woman at 2:19:53. The course included a number of transitions, and a final climb up Corbet’s Couloir, the famed Jackson Hole air-in run where the concept of hucking was probably born. The racers kick steps up Corbet’s to the final vertical section where they boot up a ladder that’s been tied in to the mountain with ropes. As the last obstacle at the end of max vertical, one can only imagine what that feels like.

Shrine Mountain Inn Backcountry Skiing
Winner Pete Swensen jams the final climb.

Poly Samuels-McLean is always smiling. As Mrs. Consistency, she’s got the number 3 slot tied up for the overall North American standings because of her commitment to attending all the races in the series. Of course, seeing Poly here begs the question, where is Andrew? We’ll let him tell that story, hint, it involves one wheel.

Dynafit bindings at backcountry skiing randonnee race start.
Ever seen this many Dynafits in one place?

Jackson Hole Tram and Grand Teton, where the backcountry skiing routes are.
The famed and historic Jackson Hole tram, to be removed this summer. Grand Teton in the distance, the original Briggs ski route takes the snowfield from the summit.


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7 Responses to “Jackson Chronicles – Day 2”

  1. Sean March 25th, 2006 7:32 pm

    Nice pics! I knew there was a reason I didn’t leap into that coulior when I was out there – it looks steep!

  2. steve romeo March 25th, 2006 10:17 pm

    Great to see you up in JH Lou!…and thanks for covering the races this season.

    It is really amazing to live in a place like Jackson with SO many hardcore ski mountaineers. Hans and Co putting a line down the East Ridge of the GT is super impressive and Mark Newcomb’s ski of Talk is Cheap yesterday(only the 3rd descent, his 2nd I think) is just awesome!! Guys like me are just a dime a dozen. It only took me 13 years to ski Central Couloir on Cody…luckily I finally got it last Weds. Here’s a shot from the ski area after the mandatory air at the bottom. First tracks…doesn’t get any better!!


  3. Dmitriy Yegoshin March 26th, 2006 11:50 am

    I believe a Wilson woman was the first to ski the Grand Teton back in Jan/Feb of this season. I am uncertain at this moment of the route used, but could try to find out.

  4. eric March 27th, 2006 12:18 am

    Was that your set of track on Central, Steve? Nice! I didn’t get it when it was fresh — but there were about 10 folks behind me. Yikes!

    Saw Newcomb at the base at the end of the day…on skis w/ Diamirs.

    I’ve never seen so many Dynafits at the resort as I did on Saturday.

    Anyone know how many descents Bird Brain has received? I’ve been eyeing it lately. (I’ve only read about the 1st descent.)

  5. steve romeo March 27th, 2006 4:55 pm

    Eric…yes, that was my track in Central…timing is everything, get it while you can!

    I’m sure Birdbrain has had plenty of descents. I did it somewhere around 2002(?). Anchors down and right!!

  6. Grant Guise May 29th, 2006 2:42 pm

    Hi Lou, I’m organizing a randonnee rally were I live in New Zealand, and was woundering if I could use the great photo of Pete on the final boot up corbets. It would be used in a magazine that is doing a small write up on the event. No one really knows what rando raceing is over here, and I think this photo would give people a good idea and get them exicted on the race. thanks, hear from you soon

  7. Lou May 29th, 2006 6:08 pm

    Grant, that would be fine, just make sure the copyright stamp is on it and that you mention this website somewhere in the writing.

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