West Piney (Girls’ Camp Bowl)

Skiing the trees north of the Girls' Camp Bowl

Skiing the trees north of the Girls’ Camp Bowl

Looking at the avalanche forecast was a little disconcerting this morning. Problem layers, sun, etc. We skinned up the “normal” approach to the main bowl, but were pretty determined to stay off of it. Dug a pit where the trail hits the open slope the first time. 38 degree slope angle, NE aspect, ~125 cm total snow depth. There are a couple of newer snow layers down to the first melt/freeze crust at ~40 cm. Then another stout crust at ~50 cm. Total facets and ice crusts below that. We did an extended column test and got propagation at 13 hits. But even wailing on it, the block didn’t release until we levered it out. It failed at the 50 cm layer.
We decided to play it pretty conservatively and skied the more treed lines. First, was the line of open trees just north of the skin track. Fantastic. Hit the skin track and went back up to ski the edge of the bowl south of the main bowl where we were able to have some more anchors, a little lower slope angle, and no huge rocks lurking underfoot. That was a great little slope, but the ski-schwack exit left something to be desired. But searching out “powder” stashes at Kelly Canyon has prepared me for a little brush battling and I had a blast on the exit gully I’m naming the “it doesn’t have to be fun to be fun” gully.

Layne on the good stuff above the brush

Layne on the good stuff above the brush

Mike gets the goods

Mike gets the goods

We headed back up again under the full force of the death star. Lots of roller balls on the southerly aspects. We had a couple of spooky whoomphs near the top of the skin track.

Mike on the skin track

Mike on the skin track

We skied another run south of the main bowl, which was super fun and had a nasty exit. We emerged with minor abrasions and contusions, but grinning from ear to ear.

Paul enjoying the fat skis

Paul enjoying the fat skis

Beautiful views of the Tetons

Beautiful views of the Tetons

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