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John B

Another Tetons September 2018

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John B

I also just finished a (short-3 days 2 nights) backpack in the Tetons September 16 thru 20.  Did the classic loop of ascending paintbrush canyon, and descending via cascade canyon after going up and over paintbrush divide.  I had planned to do this trip last September, but plans were thwarted when the Tetons got 4 feet of snow 2 days before our trip.  Undaunted, I decided to try again this year, obtaining permits thru recreation.gov this past January.  The original permit allowed for 5 people, but friends work schedules were such that it ended up just being two of us.  Watched the weather anxiously as our dates approached, and it appeared that my penance to the mountain gods in 2017 was to be rewarded--weather was going to be perfect.  We left Montrose, CO (western CO) where I live 7am Sunday September 16 for the 9 hour drive to Teton NP.  Arrived late afternoon, and camped in the forest service area just east of the park, with a great view of the Tetons to enjoy after dinner, and as a great wake up.  Picked up our permits at Colter Bay ranger station Monday morning, hiked up to our first nights camp at Holly Lake.  We were treated to deer wandering thru our campsite after dinner.  Some nearby campers indicated that a mother bear and her cubs had been spotted near the campsites an hour or so before we arrived; however we never saw them that night, nor any bears during our trip.  Tuesday it was up, broke camp and had about 1400 vertical up and over paintbrush divide.  A friend had done this loop 3 years prior to us, and had regaled us of gale force winds at the pass--we were blessed with not much more than a light breeze, which allowed for a nice long snack break to enjoy the views.  We continued down (1700 vertical descent) to solitude lake, where we had a long lunch break and enjoyed the scenery.  Another hour saw us to our campsite in zone 3 (north cascade).  We had an awe inspiring view of grand teton and mt owen from our campsite.  Wednesday was our easy day--up at our leisure, and a hike of 7 miles down cascade canyon, and then back to our vehicle at the leigh lake trailhead by 1pm.  We were treated to a meeting with a bull and cow moose half way down cascade canyon--they appeared to have great interest in each other (it's mating season!), but were uncomfortably close to the trail.  We skirted past them--only got a couple of pictures as they were pretty skittish--don't want to cross an angry moose!   We decided to drive part way back to Colorado, and camped for the night just south of flaming gorge recreation area.  Arrived back home Thursday, September 20 by lunchtime, and reflected on a great trip which was blessed with perfect weather.  Permits for this area of the park can be obtained at recreation.gov after January 1 for anytime in a calendar year--suggest you get on the site ASAP in January if thinking of this trip as it fills up incredibly quickly.  Here is a link to all pictures:  https://qq0u.app.link/e/wZCZHENjnQ    Below are a few of the better shots: 

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