Location: GTNP, 25 Short, Bradley/Taggart Trailhead, Avalanche Canyon
Elevation, gain/loss: 9960, 3625’ gain/loss
Distance: 10.5 miles RT
Difficulty: 2+ stars
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.
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.
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!
For some more info checkout my Movescount page.