When Jason Dorais and longtime ski buddy, Lars Kjerengtroen tackled the the Grand Teton this spring, they lucked out with near perfect conditions for ski mountaineering. The snowpack they encountered while cramponing up Tepee Glacier and then to the Glencoe Couloir proved to be stable in the early morning. But as they reached the Stettner Couloir, the bright sun was causing snowmelt, increasing the chance of wet slab avalanches, so the team increased their climbing pace to reach the summit before conditions became too dangerous.
As Jason and Lars reached the Ford, snowmelt was no longer an issue as a slippery ice runnel became their main concern. Luckily, they made it to the summit by 9 a.m. before clicking into their skis to descend the Ford. The upper section skied well, with softer snow but farther down they hit the ice runnel, had to dismount their skis, and down boot it.
After skiing the Ford, they made their way to the Stettner Couloir and Tepee Glacier. Temps were in the upper 70’s but fast climbing gave them just enough time to make a few slushy turns down the Stettner and Tepee.