Neither Julia Niles, a 26-year-old Jackson Hole Mountain Guide, nor Lisa Van Sciver, 27, had climbed the route or skied the peak before. Starting at 4 a.m. from the Bradley-Taggart parking lot, the pair lugged skis, ice tools, and ropes to handle the technical challenges. Slogging through snow and climbing ice, the duo encountered variable conditions in the Stettner and Ford Couloirs. "We post-holed the entire way," said Niles. "We were less than 300 feet from the summit and still switching out every 20 steps to break trail. Our skills and strong-points complimented each other so well. On the way up, I was a little bit more comfortable, and on the way down, Lisa was more comfortable." Once on top, the pair switched to ultra fat boards. "It was never really scary, but, you are skiing off the top of the Grand, the top of the Tetons, and you hit a rollover that's 50 degrees, and it's glazed over with a crust," said Van Sciver. "It's a little gripping, for sure." When they reached the Chevy and Stettner couloirs, they rappelled before donning skis again. Conditions deteriorated from a one-inch-thick crust to boilerplate. "I did three big traverses in the Ford trying to find the softest snow," she said. "Then, I realized there was no soft snow…but it was the best girl day I could ever imagine."
- Snow Reports