Tag Archives: 25 Short

Turkey Chute – 25 Short

Location: GTNP, 25 Short, Bradley/Taggart Trailhead, Avalanche Canyon

Elevation, gain/loss: 9960, 3625’ gain/loss
Distance: 10.5 miles RT
Difficulty: 2+ stars
Time:  4-6hrs

Trip Report:

Date: 12/28/2015
Snow Conditions: Powder, Packed Powder, Consolidated Powder

After a successful trip up the Sliver Couloir the day before, Tristan and I decided to head into the park Monday to take a look at Turkey Chute off 25 Short.  We had seen two tracks in the line the day before and a track out of Avalanche Canyon-across Taggart Lake.  With this in mind, we knew there was a good chance we could tackle this objective with relative ease.  We left the Bradley/Taggart Trailhead at 8:45am and made quick time up to the skiers summit of 25 Short (for full details on the route up, look at a previous post).


We looked around at all the ski lines in Avalanche Canyon for a bit, making mental notes on all the routes that looked good to go.  There are at least 4 lines in this zone that I have been looking at for a couple years and hopefully this will be the year for a few of them.

We then worked our way over to the entrance of Turkey Chute, making sure to not pass it (directly South of the true 25 Short summit).  We took a little time transitioning over to ski mode and scrambled down into the chute.

Looking at the entrance of Turkey Chute from the South.
Looking down the line from the entrance.

Once in the line, we dug a few hand pits and didn’t see anything of concern.  We decided to ski the upper portion of the line in one stretch and then have some fun in the lower section.  The snow was very good: deep, supportive, stable and fluffy.  We milked the turns all the way down, letting the skis run towards the bottom, keeping an eye out for hidden rocks.

Trist giving the thumbs up after digging his pit.


After making it down safely, we made some fun turns to the canyon floor and began the traverse out of Avalanche Canyon.  It wasn’t that bad, considering how awful it can be and only took us 30minutes to Taggart Lake.  We decided to skin from here and made our way across the lake.  It was in great shape, completely frozen and quick to cross.


We made it back to the truck in 4hr 26min, already thinking about the next objective.  All in all, Turkey Chute is a great early adventure or introduction to GTNP backcountry skiing.  We were pleased with the day and great conditions!

Turkey Chute

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Turkey Chute


2014-12-16 12.22.58-3

Location: GTNP, 25 Short
Elevation, Gain/Loss: 9975’, 3,573’ gain/loss
Distance: 6 miles RT
Difficulty: 3 stars
Time:  4-5 hours

Trip Report:

Date: 12/16/2014
Snow Condition: Chalky, Powder, “Bouncy Snow”

Skiing at JHMR can be a blast, with lift accessed powder fields in every direction, but after a week of high pressure and 6 inches of light snow on a crusty layer, I was yearning to get back into the park.  We were not sure what the conditions would be like, but after a few runs in Granite during the past couple of days, we decided on something north facing.  Dane, Trist, Casper and I chatted over coffee on the ride up to GTNP and settled on Turkey Chute off 25 Short.  It has a relatively easy approach, with a fun 2200′ shot down to the canyon floor.  I was also excited to get into Avalanche Canyon to see what the out was like and how the snow was holding up in the canyon.

25 Short from the valley floor.
25 Short from the valley floor.

The skin up 25 Short is still a little jumbled, with ski tracks crossing the skin track and numerous options up the mellow face.  We made it onto the skin track (lookers right ridge of the main gully) we were attempting to find after a few moments of uncertainty due to all the options, but once on the track, we made great time. At times, the skin track was a little slick, but most of the time the new dusting gave us great grip and we were on the summit in just over 2 hours.

25 Short Summit.
25 Short Summit.

Once there, we skinned south along the ridge towards 10,696, under an outcropping of rock to our right (Casper’s Cliff?).  Turkey Chute is just south of this on the right, detectable by a large boulder at the entrance of the couloir.  We passed the large boulder at first, because the thin coverage caused us to cross the ridge much lower than usual.  We quickly realized this and made our way back to the rock outcropping and Turkey Chute.

View from the large boulder at the entrance to Turkey Shoot.
View from the large boulder at the entrance to Turkey Chute.

Once at the entrance, we got into ski mode and began the downclimb into the couloir. Looking down into the run, we noticed it was a little wind effected, but were confidant that the lower half was holding some fluffy snow.  We progressed down to a snowy area where we could put on our skis and got ready to rip the chute.

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Dane and Tristan downclimbing the entrance to Turkey Chute.
Turkey Shoot.
Turkey Chute.

We skied down the steeper (35+ degree) section in groups of two.  Once down to the mellower apron, we gave each other some room and enjoyed some great “hippie” turns.  We were impressed with the snow, all wishing for deep turns the whole way down, but satisfied with chalky powder up top and deeper snow down low.

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Dane finishing the upper section of the run.

At the bottom of the apron, we worked our way right to a small, fun shot down to the traverse out to Taggart Lake.  The snow was a little thin in here, but we made the most of it and had our share of powder turns in this north facing, protected pocket of Avalanche Canyon.

Last turns down to the traverse out.
Last turns down to the traverse out.

The traverse was not as bad as we expected.  It defiantly had some blind corners, small drops and fast sections, but there was good coverage all the way to the lake. Once at the lake, we delayered and made quick work of the push across Taggart and to the trailhead.

XC Skiing across Taggart
XC Skiing across Taggart

The total trip took us just under 4 hours, which was much faster than other trips to Turkey Chute.  It was a fun day in the park and got us all thinking about another line we want to attempt in the coming weeks, the Nugget Line.

The Nugget.
The Nugget.

25 Short

Location: GTNP, Avalanche Canyon, Bradley/Taggart
Tags: Backcounty Skiing, Skiing
Elevation: 9975′, 3350′ gain/loss
Distance: 6 miles RT
Difficulty: 3 stars
Time: 4-5 hours

Trip Report:

Date: 11/25/2014
Snow Conditions: With about 28″ of settled new snow and more coming, the conditions were deep powder, with an upside down layer beginning to form on the surface.  At times, the snow was almost too deep to make turns.  Towards the bottom of the run, the snow pack was starting to feel the effects of the warming day and began to feel very heavy at times.

And so it begins, the winter of 2014/2015.  After a brief trip to San Francisco, I returned to winter in full force here in Jackson, WY.  With over 40 inches of snow in the past 3 days, Dane and I decided to do a little early storm skiing in the park.  We decided on 25 Short, an excellent early season tour, or beginner run in the park.  While moderately low angle, there are numerous terrain traps and a few steep avalanche paths that you need to be aware of.  We started at the Bradley/Taggart trailhead around 9:30am, beginning the skin by working out south by southwest across the field directly west of the parking lot. Usually there is a nice track that takes you to 25 Short, or Mavericks, but today we were greeted by untouched snow and a faint skin track buried under 14″ of snow.  We made our way south, keeping the moraine on our right and ventured towards an obvious “end point” of the field.  Here, the track usually forks, with those venturing to Mavericks going left and 25 Short right.  We were greeted by a family of moose here and had to divert left to stay away from the angry bull moose and eventually worked our way right to find the skin track of 25 Short.

A family of moose at the intersection of Mavericks and 25 Short
A family of moose at the intersection of Mavericks and 25 Short

We continued breaking trail up the drainage, but eventually missed the normal left turn that would have brought us to the standard approach, instead we trudged along the “runout” path to the north until we noticed our mistake. After this, we just kept going up until we reached the obvious avalanche path on the north side of 25 Short. Here we broke trail left and worked our way up an agonizing 2500′, working our way slightly left. We eventually found ourselves on the bench near the top of 25 Short, but decided not to continue the 200′ up the summit ridge to the true summit, because the wind was whipping and we weren’t planning on skiing the east gut of 25 Short given the avalanche conditions. We made a quick transition and decided on a relatively safe route down the mountain.  The snow was DEEP, making it difficult to make smooth turns, but we were able to link a few pitches together to make for an enjoyable run down the 3000′ run.

Making some fun turns
Making some fun turns
It was pretty deep for November
It was pretty deep for November

Once down the run, we were encountered with some downed trees, stream crossings and heavy snow to work through.  Eventually we worked our way left to the moraine that separates Taggart Lake and Avalanche Canyon from 25 Short.  Once we found our skin track, it took us about 30 minutes to get to the truck, but on a normal day, it can be as fast as 15 minutes.  We made it to the truck in just over 5 hours, not bad considering we set the skin track.  As far as first days out go, I would say this has to range very high on the list, hopefully it is a sign of a great winter to come.

Not a bad way to start the season.
Not a bad way to start the season