Last Saturday, the Inouye brothers, Brian Harder, and Jason skied the Grand Teton via the Ford/Stettner in near perfect conditions. The Inouyes had family obligations and ended up skiing back to the car in the rather fast time of just over 7 hours for Patriarch Jared. Sam hung out with JD and Harder for a while before staying true to his thoughtful character and skiing back down to spend time with his wife.
Stopping there would have fulfilled many people's lifetime goal. However, Jason and Harder kept going up the North Ridge of the Middle, down the SW Couloir, up the NW Couloir on the South, and then back down and out in the ridiculous time of 11:55 - approximately one hour shy of Jimmy Chin's record. The guys never really felt that much urgency, stopping to take pictures, eat, and take in the scenery. I think this "Teton Trifecta" will likely become one of the all time classic ski mountaineering traverses and am excited to see how fast it can be done. Unfortunately, work kept me grounded in SLC but I received text pictures to let me know what I was missing out on...
Which was this: (All text and photos from here on by Jason Dorais)
We've been talking about this one for a while now, The Trifecta. Myself and brothers Sam and Jared Inouye met Jackson local Brian Harder with plans of skiing the Grand, moving on the the Middle to check conditions on the North Ridge, and hopefully continuing on to the South. A 2:30 start had us skinning in the dark on firm snow. Other than getting lost once, the approach went pretty smoothly.
|Brian heading to Tepee Col|
We (except Brian, poor guy, his bindings didn't have the attachment mounted yet) stayed in ski crampons until just before Tepee Col and then booted the rest of the way.
|Jared above close to Glencoe Col, Tepee Pilar in the Background|
The Stettner, Chevy and Ford were filled in and unfortunately had very little ice. This made for a pretty causal group solo to the upper snowfield.
|Brian and Sam in the Stettner|
|Jared below a filled in Chevy|
We ended up finding winter snow all the way up the Ford to the summit. It made for a little bit slower travel but the skiing was fantastic!
|Jared Inouye skiing off the summit of the Grand|
|Brian skiing pretty quick on the upper snowfield|
|Sam on the upper snowfield|
|Brian and Jared in the Ford, more group skiing!|
|Brian down climbing the Chevy|
Jared said he was going to keep his race skis on and try to side step the Chevy and the Stettner. In retrospect it was probably a good idea he didn't, especially since I would have HAD to follow suit. After a fun group down climb and it was time to split up. Jared had to be in SLC around 3PM later that day so he headed home hopeful to make the car to car trip in under 7 hours. With out all the wrong turns he probably would have made it, still, 7:21 isn't too slow. The rest of us headed to the lower saddle and on over the the N. Ridge of the Middle.
|Traversing a little snow ramp over a lot of air|
After a little under 2 hours we were in the couloir with a clear shot to the summit.
|Brian on the summit ridge|
Once we were on top of the Middle we thought all the hard parts of the day were done. We sat and watched a party we bumped into earlier summit the Grand, pretty good view.
|On top of Middle Teton|
The SW off the Middle was ridiculous, it was filled in, fast, and soft.
|Brian in the SW couloir of Middle Teton|
Once off the Middle we skinned to the NW couloir of the South, headed up, and ate celebratory gu on the summit.
|Brian towards the top of the NW|
Turns out skiing the NW on the South was the sketchiest skiing of the day. It was steep, slightly runnelled and narrow but once through the choke, we found dry soft snow all the way out of the South Fork. We entertained thoughts of added a bit more on for the day but decided to head home happy with The Trifecta, next time...
Summits: Grand, Middle, South
Total Elevation Gain: 10,138? (my watch stopped working, I think that's what Brian had)
Ropes carried: 2
Ropes used: 0
Food: 12 Gu's, 2 Probars, 1 bag Juicy Oozers