Super Gully

>We’d been planning a 3 day ski tour along the Teton Crest trail for the weekend. But with each forecast it looked more and more like it may not be the best touring weather there. So as a plan B , Dave mentioned that’s he’d never skied Super Gully. We decided Lost River Peak might be a good consolation prize.

Dave, Mike, Jason and I drove to the trial head and started hiking about 6:30. A fairly easy hike led us into the lower part of Super Gully. We found about 4-6 inches of new snow on a firm base. It looked like it was going to be a fantastic spring powder day. It was an easy skin up to the narrow portion of the gully, and there we switched over to crampons and continued up. The new snow had bonded really well to the old layer and things were looking good.

At the steepest, narrowest part of the gully we made a disturbing find. There must have been some local wind loading that had deposited about 18″ of new snow. As I was breaking trail through that, Mike stopped and did a quick shovel sheer test. I believe his exact words where “Whoa, I’ve never seen that before”. Not good. He found a highly reactive layer at about 10″. We decided we’d have to play it really safe on the way down.

The remaining climb to the false summit was brutal, but we made it. At the top, nobody had enough energy to scramble to the true summit, so after refueling we strapped on the boards and started the decent. We found pretty much what you’d expect for the Lost Rivers in spring. Some really good powder, some edgy hardpack, and some bumpy old debris.

When we got the narrow part, we took it safe and skied along the edge of the gully on skiers right. It was tough to pass up all of that deep, fresh powder, but we figured there was a reason Super Gully is filled with avalanche debris every spring.

After the angle eased off, we were able to turn loose for some really fun skiing. Plus my epic face plant confirmed that the new snow was bonded really well. There is still plenty of snow in the range and it looks like it’s going to last for a while.

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4 responses to “Super Gully

  1. >One thing i've learned about the Lost River Range in all my years of exploring it is that you should never say it's over until July!Conditions looked awesome! Nice job on playing it safe.

  2. >Way to go Eric, Mike, Dave and Jason…taking what the mountain has to offer! We also found those deep, wind-blown deposits but ours stayed stable, however they sure made for some thrashing on the way up!It's kind of funny how the camera makes the slope angles in both our set of pictures look so mellow but it's anything but that! Click on the photo of Mark (in our Breitenbach log) on the ridge and you get a better idea of the slope looking over his left shoulder!! Super Gully is similiar.

  3. >Nice shots boys. I also admire the safe choices. Scott and I skied the lower half years ago finding bad conditions in the narrows turning us around. Skiing it from the false summit earlier this year we found mainly boilerplate up high. A "Super" ski indeed…

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