Words: Michelle Smith
Photos: Chris Onufer
With the high and dry weather we have been having in the Tetons it has been a little more challenging to find good snow than usual. I find that a dry cycle is a great excuse to get out and explore an area in the Tetons I haven’t ridden before. A couple of friends and I decided to go out and do the Garnet Canyon/Glacier Gulch tour by skiing down the Dike Couloir. I had always wanted to do this loop, and after reading about a pretty rad mission that Steve Romeo of Teton AT did in that area last week, it looked as though the conditions up there were good enough to give it a go.
Our frigid -8 degree start in the dark was well worth it by the time we made it up to the notch above the couloir. We were able to comfortably hang out in the sunshine before we dropped into the line.
The entrance to the couloir was a little thin, but other than that it was fun to make some wind buffed/kind of punchy turns down the line. Getting out of Glacier and Burnt Wagon Gulch also meant picking our way through some thin conditions. However, none of us were all that phased by that after having such a great day of making the most of our current conditions in the Tetons!
As a splitboarder I’ve had trouble finding decent poles. I just got a pair of the new Compactor Poles from Black Diamond and they are awesome. With the super cold temps from the day I didn’t have the standard freezing issues that plagued previous poles. The Compactors have the folding Z-Pole technology – with one minimal flicklock you break em down or bust em out in a manner of seconds. To top it off, they are completely bomber which make it easier for me to push out of approaches in snowboard mode.
They can be found on backcountry.com