The plan for the day was to start at the top of Teton Pass and finish in Teton Village, then stick it to the man by riding the lifts as rogue village-going imposters. Cody Pitz, a new neighbor and ski partner, accompanied me for the day. Its nice to have a partner who is waiting in your car at the exact time you agreed to meet, and can move around the mountains as swift and skillful as anyone, all with a broken hand.
Teton Pass was nearly empty at 7:15 when we rolled in, a shocking sight for a winter morning, no matter what the conditions. No cue for for days old crust–Hallelujah! We did the Glory boot pack in 39 minutes, a very respectable time, no matter what the plans are for afterword.
We clicked into our skis and swung north, following the ridge the best we could, traversing low around little peaks we had no reason to top out on. We clicked out of our skis for two short boot packs, which enabled us to keep the high ground. We dropped into the bowl above of Ski Lake for some nice pow turns, and thin-skinned into the Moose Creek drainage. We were closely following the summer trail at this point and were just below Phillips Pass at one point.
We made quick work of an icy, rocky scramble to the west ridge of Rendezvous Peak thanks to some firm boot packing conditions. On the ridge the wind was howling, but it was a pleasant walk with killer views in every direction. We got our first view of the tram, and felt like we were over the halfway point.
I’ve long looked at Rendezvous Peak, which occupies an awkward middle ground between the Pass and the Village, and have always wanted to stand at the top. It is far and away the most eye catching peak in the southern Teton range, and I was happy to finally check it off the list.
The crux section was the north ridge of Rendezvous Peak towards No Name Peak. One section in particular posed some tricky route finding, and ultimately a bit of scrambling. It was a two part move, starting with a down climb on rock, and ending with an exposed traverse on snow. In the end it was easily doable, although required us to slow down a bit and think about the maneuvers we would have to pull. Cody conquered both parts with a broken hand, an incredibly impressive thing to witness.
After the windy and rocky ridge traverse to Name Name, which made my new boots look like they were 10 years old, we stopped for a snack and put our skis on to ski No Name. At this point the light was flat. And when the snow varies between boilerplate ice and breakable crust, that’s not such a good thing. But it was still fun to ski a new line and realize we were close to achieving our goal for the day.
We skinned to the top of Powder 8 face off Cody peak and immediately locked onto a route that would take us to the bottom of Rendezvous Bowl with minimal fuss. We pointed our skis to the bottom of the cliff band that Space Walk, Zero G, and M&M couliours slice through and, other than one 50 foot bootpack, were able to achieve the resort boundary at the top of R Trail.
We ended the day with 9.76 miles, 7,736′ of elevation gain, 6,575′ of descent and clocked in at about 6:32. It was definitely a longer day then I had anticipated, but it was still easily doable. But someone in less good shape and/or nursing a hangover might not want to take this one on.
Overall I thought we were incredibly efficient, moved quickly, and made consistent progress, even when the going got a bit trickier. We ate and drank on the fly mostly, although barely. The only real stop we took was at the transition to ski No Name, already 5 1/2 hours in, and even then we probably only stopped for 10 minutes. Route finding was straightforward. We both had a good sense of the area, and combined with an innate sense of how to read the mountains we had no difficulty finding our way. Overall it was a super fun and successful day at something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. It wasn’t the craziest mission, nor did it come with tons of awesome skiing, but it was cool to link up two Jackson landmarks that really aren’t that far the way the crow flies, plus explore the stuff right behind our home. I would highly recommend it for someone looking for a something a bit different. Plus you get to go up hill on cushioned seats when you arrive!