Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tetons - Part 2

In a place that literally translates to Big Nipples, you know some fun, wild shit is going to go down! As it happens, in Grand Teton National Park, some fun crazy shit did go down.

The Grand Teton itself!
Driving all night, I pulled us up into the park 2 hours before dawn, not aware of what adventures would befall us as we back-country hiked and camped up mountain canyon, peak and ridge. We had five nights planned. Two nights to go up Open Canyon and down Death Canyon. Spend the night in the National Forest, then back on the trails for another night up Cascade Canyon, and then over Paintbrush Divide and down Paintbrush Canyon.

First though, we wanted wolves. After a two hour snooze we awoke with dawn and scrambled up Yule hill where we had a wide vista. Sitting on the ridge, we warmed to the sights and sounds of the place. Bison and Pronghorn roamed the hills, and of course those pesky wolves. 4 black and grey beasts made an appearance as they wandered by.

From the vista of Yule Hill with the Tetons rising behind in the distance.
 In beer break news, this is the funniest description for a beer ever! My laughter echoed off the hills and mountains for a day!

On to the Mountains though. With bear barrel and permits in hand, we set out up Open Canyon making camp at nightfall after a good 5 mile hike up 3000ft. The next day it was up and over Mount Hunt divide and into Death Canyon. We peaked at about 9700 ft and were feeling pretty good about ourselves. We even decided to take a swim. At something like 9000 ft, Lake Marion presented the option of a bath after many days on the road, but also a challenge to tackle the icy frigid waters. Stripping down I went for it. The first touch of the water on my chest sent me howling. Icy hell! I screamed, scrambled out and put on warm clothes as fast as possible! Tim then tackled the frigid lake while I filmed the madness! Mountain men we may become yet. 

It was bloody cold!
Up some more, and over and down Death Canyon we went. One more night in the wilderness and it was back to the car by noon the following day. Many miles of spectacular scenery, solitude, and fall colours was jiving well with me. I was also wondering if Cascade/Paintbrush could top it. I was about to find out.

Taking a snooze at 10 000ft
A Pika!

Posing fro the cam
The high mountain pass

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