We are moving into January with snow, some rain, and atmospheric rivers pushing average snowfall above average for this time of year. Perhaps what is not average are three mainstream stories in as much as a week in The New York Times.
The first story is titled, “On an Iconic Wyoming Peak, Ski Mountaineers See a Test.” Little imagination is needed to render this iconic peak as the 13,775 foot Grand Teton. In 1971 Bill Briggs made the first ski descent and unleashed the dreams of ski mountaineering aspirants.
This Teton-based piece lands in the Travel and Sports section of the Times. The story also notes a guided descent on the Grand costs $3,175 per person through Exum. That likely skews towards those with bigger budgets. For the tight budgeted or non-guided, you’ll have to drop coin on gas money, potentially lodging (it’s cold there in winter and sometimes in spring too), food, and likely post-descent beverages in downtown Jackson.
Next, also running in the Tavel section, was “The ‘Best Spring Skiing Anywhere’? Try Crete.”
The “best” may be subjective. But, from a cultural experience lens, skiing in Crete with views of the Libyan Sea does look dreamy. This type of trip looks a bit spendier than a Teton road trip but appears to take fewer sharp pointy things to move about than ascending the Grand Teton. This story, too, focuses on the human-powered element of ascending. We see an image of folks skinning, and readers can find the essential “How-Tos,” meaning where to stay, go, who to hire.
Are splitboarders considering a Greece trip? In the comment section from this story, we find this thread:
The last story, which appeared on January 5, is a Q & A titled “Meet the Women Who Helped Set a Speed Record on a Classic Alpine Ski Route.” The story features Valentine Fabre, a trained physician who, along with her ski partner, France-based-American Hillary Gerardi, set the record on the famed Haute Route. According to the article, the Chamonix to Zermatt route was more than 65 miles and topped 26,000 in vertical gain.
“It’s a ski route that connects the two capitals of French and Swiss mountaineering, Chamonix and Zermatt, going through the high mountains and over glaciers. The itinerary we took was 107 kilometers long (about 66 miles), with 8,100 meters (26,500 feet) of positive elevation gain. There are several variations, but we took the pretty classic high route,” states Fabre in the story.
For about the price of a burrito at Taco Salsa here in Bend, you can buy a film on the project for $8.99 or rent it for $4.49.
It’s not exactly a slow news week for the NYT. Human-powered skiing making a three-peat in short order at the venerable paper is news.
Jason Albert comes to WildSnow from Bend, Oregon. After growing up on the East Coast, he migrated from Montana to Colorado and settled in Oregon. Simple pleasures are quiet and long days touring. His gray hair might stem from his first Grand Traverse in 2000 when rented leather boots and 210cm skis were not the speed weapons he had hoped for. Jason survived the transition from free-heel kool-aid drinker to faster and lighter (think AT), and safer, are better.