On Sunday I decided to go for a fishscale tour to Jenny Lake. The Taggart Lake trailhead parking lot was only about 2/3 full, the winds were calm, and the clouds were gradually clearing. I hate skiing the road in to Jenny Lake and so chose the usual route on the west side of Cottonwood Creek.
Just past the old Fabian Ranch buildings, the existing track started curving west toward Burnt Wagon Gulch. I was surprised to see that nobody had been north to Jenny Lake. In a civic-minded mood I went ahead and started breaking trail; the snow was about a foot deep but not particularly heavy. However, it wasn't clear to me that I wanted to do 2.5 miles of it!
Heading north from the Fabian Ranch, there is an open area about 1/2 or 3/4 of a mile, and then the usual route jogs east into the trees and then north along a wide shallow stream that is usually frozen in midwinter. Unfortunately, the route along the edge of the stream was blocked by two new downed trees; very large downed trees, as in I couldn't find a way around them. I spent about a half hour trying to find a way through the trees and deadfall, and eventually gave up. I did "X-out" my ski tracks, hoping that nobody else tries to follow them into the trees. Maybe there will be a passable route after there is more snow, but for now it appears to be deadfall hell.
Back in the parking lot, I saw Tim and Sarah; they had just come down 25 Short. They said conditions were excellent, they skied the center avalanche path all the way down (conditions are stable for now, good thing) to the Valley Trail and didn't have any problems with thin cover.