Next to 25 Short, Wimpy’s used to be the only major peak in Grand Teton National Park tackled by regular skiers (as opposed to ski mountaineers). This was most likely because 25 Short and Wimpy’s have two of the shortest and easiest (relatively speaking) approaches of any ski peaks in GTNP. Seven years ago, you might have shared Wimpy’s with a handful of other parties. Of course, in the last decade backcountry skiing has exploded and it’s likely now you’ll see a dozen other parties on Wimpy’s with you. Maybe even more. And now skiers are also tackling GTNP summits like Maverick and Shadow Peak, which have longer approaches, but are worth the extra slog for their terrain and relative peace.
What Makes It Great
Wimpy’s is still very worthy though. Some of our best ski days have been laps on this peak. Also, the summit is beautiful. And there’s enough terrain on its eastern flanks that, even with a dozen other groups up there with you, you will still get fresh tracks. There’s a pinch into a gully on skier’s left near the bottom where you’ll probably cross tracks, but up higher, where 30-degree pitched fields of powder rule, you’ll get freshies.
From the parking area, the first section of the skin track is actually the small road that goes to the Death Canyon trailhead. This is about two miles long. Once you arrive at what, in summer, is the Death Canyon Trailhead, you follow the summer trail for about ¾ of a mile. Around the third bridge, you should see a well-traveled skin track (which doubles as the out track) heading off to your right. That’s it. You’ll go through trees for less than five minutes and pop into that quad-burning meadow mentioned above. From there, Wimpy’s is smack in front of you.
There are sometimes now dueling skin tracks that go up looker’s left and right of the central gully. Despite us having opinions on most everything skiing, we don’t have a clear favorite between these tracks. Both have a couple of sections that pass through sections ripe for an avalanche. It’s not always possible to make an up track 100-percent safe. Sometimes the right track has a nastily steep section just above the bottom meadow. If you go that way, know that the rest of the track is better.
Who is Going to Love It
The short and easy approach makes Wimpy's pretty accessible.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
To get to Wimpy’s turn onto the Moose-Wilson road at the Moose end. The road is closed to cars several miles up. At and around the metal gate blocking the road, there are a couple of small parking areas. Park here.
Like all backcountry ski terrain, Wimpy’s is dangerous and knowledge of how to safely travel in avalanche areas is essential. All season long, get daily avalanche advisories for the Tetons at www.jhavalanche.org/viewTeton. Call in an observation at (307) 739-2607. Tom Turiano’s classic book Teton Skiing: A History and Guide includes more details on skiing in the range.