The 1,600-foot climb up Glory Bowl and then descending Twin Slides is among the best quick hits in the valley. There are people who do it, car-to-car (assuming their car is parked at the top of the pass), in 30 minutes. For mortals, it’s more like an hour. Sometimes, if you go up with friends wearing alpine boots and carrying a resort set-up it might take three hours.
What Makes It Great
Now that there’s no longer a hut at the top of Glory to pop into and get out of the wind, which is almost always raging at the summit, you’ll want to hike with the slowest member of your party. What’s the hurry to get to the top and stand around in the wind?
Not that we’re the Emily Post of Glory Bowl, but, since we have your attention, it might be nice to pass on what was once shared with us as good Glory bootpack etiquette:
1) Dogs are cool. Dog shit in the bootpack is not.
2) Be aware of people coming up behind you. This is especially true if you’ve got both headphones in and are rocking out hard. As someone approaches, it’s always nice, when it’s possible, to step off to the side and let them pass.
3) Be aware of people in front of you. As you catch and want to pass someone, it doesn’t take but a second to get out a, “Hey, can I slip past you?”
That out of the way, time for details. The hike up Glory Bowl is not technical, but there are several spots where it crests wind lips that it does get very steep. These sections never last for more than 10 feet. Starting up from the bottom, when you reach a small promontory that is the first very obvious rest spot, you’re a little more than 1/3 of the way. The section between this and the giant movie screen-looking thing about 600 feet above is where most of the steep pops are. From the giant movie screen to the summit is about 10-20 minutes, depending on your pace.
What is nice about Twin Slides is that you don’t have to go to the summit. Twin Slides, as shown in Angus Thuermer Jr’s most excellent Jackson Hole Ski Atlas, is the slide path immediately to your right as you ascend the ridge to Glory’s summit. You can’t really get a more straightforward north side run.
Since it is immediately next to the bootpack, if the wind is just too much or you’re working on building up your fitness, you really can stop at any point, step into you skis and start the trip down. Minutes later you’ll be back at your car. Since the final push from the movie screen to the summit is flattish, many people set on skiing Twin Slides stop just above the screen and begin their descent from there. Doing this, you won’t be missing many turns.
Descending, it’s best to stay on the skier’s right arm of the slide path. The left arm gets really narrow. It’s ski-able all the way to the road, but a definite terrain trap. If you veer right at the very bottom, you’ll come out just across from the parking lot.
Who is Going to Love It
If the wind is just too much or you’re working on building up your fitness, you really can stop at any point, step into you skis and start the trip down.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Get to the summit by hiking up The Bootpack.
As with all backcountry skiing, you don’t want to do this without proper avy gear and training. And even then, please use your head. All season long, get daily avalanche advisories for the Pass at www.jhavalanche.org/viewTeton. Call in an observation at (307) 739-2607.