Home in the Tetons

A holiday ski tour of the lower 48

By
December 31, 2013, 12:54 pm
Mike Leake

Mike Leake walks a ridgeline during a spring 2013 trip into the Alaska Range, near Telkeenta.

It is always good to get home to the Tetons and that is exactly what Michelle and I were able to do the first part of December.  After a quick stop in Denver for Thanksgiving Boyd style, we shot up to Teton Valley to hang with my fam and get our pow legs in tune for winter.  And, of course, to hit up the annual Powder Pig Party for the Targhee Ski Patrol Avy Dogs.

I find it pretty ironic that our early season routine as Alaskans has been to get a couple of days in the backcountry prior to Thanksgiving, and then head down to the Tetons to really get our shred on.  If you cannot beat’em, join’em, and this always seems to hold true for Wydaho and the Ghee.  Honestly, it says something when people not only consistently make the pilgrimage over from Jackson Hole and up from Colorado, but all the way down from AK too!

This year, our timing couldn’t have been better.  After getting hammered with winter storms throughout October and November, the Tetons experienced a pretty big lull in the weather patterns in late November.  However, that changed just in time for us to touch down in Eastern Idaho, as the snow began to fly.  New snows, short and cold high pressures, followed again by more snow, we certainly found what we were looking for.  Thank you to Mittsy for the not to aid in setting a particular boot pack and thank you to Jason for the snow pack beta.  Here is a short vid edit of the results……

 

Gear Highlights:

Scarpa’s Freedom SL is probably the most diverse boot to hit the freeride touring boot market yet.  It is quite stiff for it’s incredibly lite weight, and really allows you to power a ski.  Touring, boot packing, or just shredding around the resort; these activities and more are all well within the wheel house of this boot quiver in one!

Marmot’s Great Scott Jacket is a new addition to their line of stylish shred wear.  This jacket is light enough to take into the backcountry, but heavy enough to provide warmth while lapping your favorite lift at the resort.  The price is right too!

Volkl’s Two is a new addition to their big mountain line and it is playful!  Stiff enough to drive through turns and stomp landings, but carries the pop and shape to accompany your bag of tricks for sure.  And let me not forget to mention the float in pow!!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Editor’s note, this blog originally appeared at tetonfreeride.com.

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Mike Leake
Mike "Mikey" Leake skis for Marmot, Scarpa, Grand Targhee, Alyeska Resort, Marker, GoPro, and Smith. His skiing takes him around the world, but he has roots in the Teton Valley region of southeastern Idaho and western Wyoming. He writes about skiing, riding, and gear for The Rocky Mountain Post in his Teton Freeride blog.
Mike Leake

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