I’m not gonna lie or try to sell you on some sort of mythical backcountry ski land of GnarNia where the powder is untracked, the people are friendly, and a hot springs soak can be had after every tour.
What i am going to tell you about is a backyard of bliss.
You’re gonna laugh when i say “Kelly Mountain”… but it’s true. I’ve had so much fun skiing the side country from the Kelly Canyon Ski Resort. Yes, i know, it’s not Grand Targhee side country, or Teton Village side country, so it must be lame, right? Right.
With lines like “The Baugher Special” its gotta be kinda lame; besides who is this Baugher guy and why is he so special? I once heard a story from this one guy who told me that this mythical Baugher character has climbed Kelly Mountain over 500 times. Ha… right, you might as well tell me there could be an avalanche at Kelly’s.
Someone once told me this one tele-skier gave up backcountry skiing because he got addicted to ice climbing. Then someone else told me that he hasn’t ice climbed much this winter and spends all of his time layin’ tracks down AT Hill on his “A”lpine “T”ouring rig. Hmm, sounds pretty unlikely to me… how could alpine touring be more fun than ice climbing?
See what i mean… that doesn’t look like fun.
Sometimes it gets pretty crowded on Kelly Mountain and to keep it real, i step out of the skin track to make my own skin track. Notice the Snake River valley in the distance? I bet you folks from Idaho Falls can see your house in this picture?!?
Another boring powder shot.
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard that avalanches don’t happen at Kelly Canyon. If this is true, can someone explain to me how it was possible for me to trigger this soft slab today that ran some distance down slope and piled debris in the trees several feet deep?
Luckily, Heather and I like to ski slopes one at a time and stop in safe zones (not ot mention wearing beacons and carrying avalanche rescue equipment with us). She stopped on high ground left of our line to wait for me. Thank heavens she did! I felt the slope pull away and escaped left to her location and watched the slope move down hill for several more seconds. Yeah, avalanches don’t happen at Kelly’s and Baugher has never set foot on Kelly Mountain.
…and what’s with this Middle Earth place? I hear it’s the home of the Turbo Yeti? Obviously Heather isn’t scared as she charges into a land of mythical meaning.
It’s as true as any story teller will tell you. Kelly Mountain can be a place of magical moments and beautiful untracked deep powder. It may fall extremely short for others and their expectations of side country terrain, but for me and Heather… it is simply backyard bliss.