Saturday, August 27, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things...

I had a random (and rare) day off in the middle of the week so I called up my friend Alex to do some hiking. We decided on the famed Garnet Canyon up in Grand Teton National Park. I'd been wanting to visit what is called "The Meadows" for a long time. It's the place where people climbing the cathedral peaks (aka the gnarly Tetons) camp before or after they make their summits. It's a 5-ish mile hike up to this spot, all uphill of course. What else would you expect out here? There is a little bit of scrambling in the end to make the final pitch up to the meadows, but nothing that a semi-athletic person can't handle. There is a huge forest fire burning in the Gros Ventres right now so the smoke settles in the valley in the mornings. It was a pretty weird day with near storm-like conditions early on and then bright blue skies in the afternoon. Here are a few shots from the trip:

Smokey Valley
Smoke in the valley.

Garnet Canyon Hike
The trail up into Garnet.

Middle Teton
The Meadows.

Garnet Canyon

Looking at the Saddle
Spalding Falls on the right, looking up at the Lower Saddle.

Mountain Art

View towards the Valley

For you, Middle Teton.
This one's for you, Middle Teton.

After a great day of hiking we picked up David and headed up to Shadow Mountain for a night of camping. The view was spectacular and it was amazing to sit up there and watch the sun set behind the Tetons. Aahhh....I love this place.



Monday, August 15, 2011

A Trip to Jackson Peak

Wow, finally our first backpacking trip of the year! Between mosquitoes, lingering snow, and ever-changing weather patterns, it's been a pretty difficult year to get out into the backcountry. For this first one I chose Jackson Peak, a triangle shaped mountain that I constantly admire from the road to my house. There is a ski cabin there that people visit in the winter and I guess it's pretty fun to rip down its endless bowls when the snow is good. As far as summer activities go, there is a little lake behind it called Goodwin Lake that provides great camping, fishing, and even swimming. Standing not too much further above the lake is the summit of Jackson Peak. Located in the Gros Ventre Wilderness, this peak is pretty easily accessed. The round trip hike to and from your car is just over ten miles, making it a nice day trip or a relaxing overnight trip. We drove up the rugged road into Curtis Canyon and were soon at the trailhead. A nice hike through the forest takes you to the little gem of a lake. There are lots of campsites, so it was pretty easy to get settled in. Once we had our tent pitched, we took a nice little jaunt up the ridge to the summit of Jackson Peak. It took less than an hour to get to the top, and the views were stunning. From the daunting ridges of Cache Peak to the vastness of the valley floor below, we were in awe. We added some rocks to the giant cairn at the top, did some yoga, took some photos, and sauntered back down to our campsite. It was a great night in the backcountry sleeping under the nearly full moon. I was so happy to get out of town and spend some quality time outside. I finished off the weekend with some solid pool time, a twelve mile run, and Teton Thai. Life isn't so bad, eh?

Here are a few favorites from the trip:

Goodwin Lake Trail
The trail to Goodwin Lake.

Little Pond
Pond along the way.


Hiking to the Top
David and the last push up Jackson Peak.

Sleeping Indian
Sleeping Indian.

The Cairn
Giant cairn on top of Jackson Peak.

David & the Tetons
David and the Tetons.

Goodwin Lake from Above
Goodwin Lake from above.

David & the Indian
David looking out at the view.

My Heart Melts for the Tetons
My heart melts for the Tetons.

Cache Peak
Cache Peak.

Little Yellow Flower
Little yellow flower.

Indian Paintbrush
Indian paintbrush.


Looking Up
Looking up.

Goodwin Lake Campsite
Cozy camp.

Moonlight Camping