Tuesday, August 21, 2012

TETON CREST TRAIL!!! AUGUST 2012 - aka, the most up-to-date post, yet it is not on top :)

21 August 2012

Sorry folks.  Bloggers' block hit us both.  Now that Robin is done with Year 30, maybe we’ll get back in the swing.  As our admirable friend Chunk reminded us, going to the local grocery store counts as travel.  With that in mind, we’re going to post a few random posts to sort of catch up and remember how this works.  Can’t promise the moon, but it’s only swiss cheese so there you go. 

Here’s a quick blast of our most recent trip:  we did a backpacking trip on the Teton Crest Trail.  We started on Teton Pass (Wyoming Highway 22) at the Philips Pass Trail and hoped to average 8 miles per day.  At 40 miles trip total, that worked out to four nights and five days in the backcountry.  We got a free permit from Grand Teton National Park visitor center in Moose, WY for our camping.  We also borrowed a bear canister there.  Our plan was to camp in the Middle/South Fork Granite Canyon camping zone for night one; the Death Canyon Shelf camping zone for night two; the South Fork of Cascade Canyon camping zone for night three; and Holly Lake in Paintbrush Canyon for night four.  We shuttled a car drop off to the Leigh Lake trailhead before we started and got a free ride to the Teton pass trailhead.  Here’s a photo blast of our trip.
Robin Descending the steepest part of the first day on Phillips Pass above Moose Meadows
Entering Grand Teton National Park, Day 1 Mile 8.0
Grant Retrieving water at first night's campsite, Day 1 Mile 8.9
Grant pointing to Housetop Mountain and Marion Lake beginning Day 2 Mile 9.8
Above beautiful Marion Lake Day 2 Mile 10.9
 Death Canyon Shelf Day 2 Mile 13
Campsite, 2nd night Death Canyon Shelf Day 2 Mile 15.5
Sunrise, Death Canyon Shelf Day 3
North of Mount Meek Pass, Day 3 Mile 16.5
Sheep Steps looking east at Buck Mountain, Day 3 Mile 17
Alaska Basin, Sunset Lake Day 3 Mile 20.5
Creek Crossing above Sunset Lake, Alaska Basin, Day 3 Mile 21
Grant, Wildflowers, Alaska Basin above Sunset Lake Day 3 Mile 21
Top of Hurricane Pass 10,400', Day 3 Mile 21.3 Looking NorthEast at Grand, Middle and South Tetons
Grant pointing out some Teton Features to PA college kid, Hurricane Pass
Grant & Robin Hurricane Pass with Grand and Middle Tetons
Robin celebrating the achievement of Hurricane Pass 10,400'
Grant Hurricane Pass looking at Grand Teton and Cascade Canyon below
South Fork of Cascade Canyon Looking North From Hurricane Pass
Schoolroom Glacier with lake and the Trois Tetons
Trail down to S Cascade Canyon with Schoolroom Glacier and lake looking southeast toward Avalanche Canyon Divide with South Teton (to left)
Table Mountain looking North from South Cascade Canyon, Day 3 Mile 23
Looking North from South Cascade Canyon Day 3 Mile 25
South Cascade Canyon Creek Day 3 Mile 25
North Fork Cascade Canyon Looking Southeast to Teewinot, Owen and Grand with Valhalla Canyon Day 4 Mile 27
Marmot, North Fork Cascade Canyon
North Fork Cascade Canyon looking Northwest
Black Bear eating lunch near Lake Solitude, Day 4 Mile 29
North Cascade Canyon Looking Southeast

Heading up Paintbrush Divide, Looking Southeast to wildflowers and Grand Teton
Cascade Canyon to Paintbrush Divide
Robin Pointing to Lake Solitude From high on the Paintbrush divide trail
Paintbrush Divide, Day 4 Mile 31.5
Grant & Robin on top of Paintbrush Divide, Looking ENE to Mount Woodring
Paintbrush Divide Looking Northeast to Mount Woodring and Mt Moran into Leigh Canyon
Robin on Paintbrush Divide 10,700'
Grant on Paintbrush Divide
Robin descending into Paintbrush canyon with Mt Moran in the background

Paintbrush Canyon From Paintbrush Divide Looking Southeast
Robin Fighting the snow beneath Paintbrush Divide
Upper Paintbrush Canyon Looking Southeast with Peakaboo Mt Owen
Upper Paintbrush Canyon, Holly Lake, with Leigh Lake and Jackson Lake in the distance, Day 4 Mile 33
Campsite Holly Lake, Day 4 Mile 33.2
Doe and Fawn, Holly Lake
Grant & Robin Holly Lake, Day 5 Mile 33.2
Paintbrush Canyon Below Holly Lake Looking East at Jackson Lake
Mt Moran above String Lake, Day 5 Mile 38
Grant & Robin at String Lake/Leigh Lake Trailhead, Day 5 Mile 39.4 
The Teton Crest Trail was a great backpacking trip and definitely worth the time and effort.  Contrary to public opinion, the trail does not lie upon the crest but in fact does a lot of ups and downs through the canyons and passes.  We were lucky to have perfect weather in that every night was full of stars and no wind or rain.  The elevated campsites, mostly above 9000', were quite warm considering mountain weather.  The only drawback from our trip was the intense amount of smoke in the area due to the wildfires in Idaho and the rest of the West.
Marion Lake appeared to be a fantastic place to camp if time and permits were available.  Alaska Basin also had wonderful places to camp.  We camped at the far North end of South Cascade Canyon Camping Zone because we knew the next day over Paintbrush divide would be difficult.  However, the campsites in North Cascade canyon were much better if you could make it that much further.  The trail over Paintbrush divide was a little more difficult than expected but again well worth the effort.
We had a great refreshing swim in String Lake when we got back to the car, and then to top off our day we went to Dornan's in Moose for a great Pizza and some beers.  We also saw a fox in the parking lot of the visitor's center when we dropped off the bear canister.  Great week in a great park.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Keep it clean. Don't be mean.