The east face of Wyoming’s Taylor Mountain has been the scene of avalanche tragedy and avalanche controversy. Folks have died on this face, and one of the more fractious debates in a community known for its fractious debates raged about a year ago when a Jackson local intentionally kicked off a slide that propagated into much more than he bargained, ripping across the slope and burying parts of the Coal Creek drainage, including the skin track from a nearby trailhead. Nobody was caught in that one, but it could have been ugly. Taylor sports a big face, with lots of opportunity to get into trouble, and the area sees a lot of traffic.
Ah, but look at it. There’s some sweet lines to be had here. In fact, though it’s almost impossible to see them unless you view the image at full resolution, there are tracks going down the obvious bowl on lookers left, plus some in the gully just left of the treed spine in the middle of the face. Oh, and if you’re doing forensic route selection, those middle tracks came from a party of five who placed a diagonal traverse smack in the middle of the central bowl, some 100 yards across and right over the top of the bulge. I can’t recall the snowpack that day, and you might not agree with me, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have placed 100-yard ski cut in the middle of Taylor.
Photo by Steve Casimiro