The Sliver is a line that I have looked at for years. I can see it from my house in Kelly, WY and it is always calling my name. The Sliver is located on Nez Perce in the Grand Tetons. Our party of four left the parking lot at 7:30 and skinned up the ridge of Shadow Mountain. The views north were gorgeous. We summited Shadow Peak at 10:32 am. Just to the south of Shadow Peak is a ramp that we skied to the base of the Sliver.
A quick ski across the basin and we were ready to boot pack. It took us approximately an hour to boot pack to the top of the Sliver.
The summit is tight and we were really happy their was only four of us.
All I wanted to do was “Ride the Tram, and Ski Bowl.” I have been skiing a lot in the backcountry lately, due to high pressure that has settled into Jackson for the last week. I was feeling like I needed to ski fast and get my legs in shape as opposed to hiking for powder. My friends had different plans. When I arrived at the tram dock with my Mantras (my Jackson Hole hard pack ski), the boys looked at me and said Jess go get your Shiros. We were going for a hike. When I reached the top of Cody Peak, I definitely didn’t regret our decision. The view of the Grand Teton poking out of the inversion was a view that you rarely see in Jackson Hole. It was breathe taking!
Winter in Jackson Hole has started off in a big way. With almost 100″ of snowfall so far, there is more snow than we are used to seeing in December. My goal for the winter is to ski at least one day in Grand Teton National Park. Yes, I am a “Village Rat.” A term that is used for skiers who spend every day of the winter at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. And I’m not ashamed to say that I am “Village Rat.” Who wouldn’t want to ride the Tram, 4,000 vertical feet every ten minutes. It’s like having your own personal helicopter. With that said, I would like to spend more time getting know my back yard.
The goal is to something in the park at least once a week. I am always nervous for my first park ski. It is always a long day. We started at 7:30am from the Taggart Lake Parking Lot. Our objective was the West HourGlass, but more importantly to go see what was happening in the Tetons. We summited the West Hour Glass at 1:30pm.
The snow in the couloir was good. I wish I could say it was powder, but it was more like smooth chalky skiing.
There is nothing like a little adventure once all of the powder has been skied up. Horseshoe Couloir is one of my favorites ski lines just out of bounds of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Horsheshoe always makes me a little nervous because you never how big the mandatory air will be. Horseshoe looks a little like an hour glass. The entrance is steep and funnels down to a mandatory air in the middle of the couloir. The exit is always great skiing.
What makes the butterflies dance in your belly, is that you never know how big the mandatory air will be. Sometimes it is 5 feet and sometimes it is 30 feet. Always bring a rope your first time. You just never know.
It is that crazy time of year again in Jackson Hole when the temperatures drop below freezing and the snow begins to fall out of the sky. There is a buzz of energy in the air. Some locals are hustling to get the last bit of their firewood chopped and stacked and others are dusting off their ski and snowboard gear.
Somehow November flies by like a dream that I can almost recall. It is vivid, but happens so fast that I can’t quite remember what happened. The next thing I know, I am once again slipping my feet into ski boots, clicking into my bindings, and it is winter.