Teton Crest Loop Day 1 – Bears and boobs

With hubby safely returned to his natural urban habitat after our Utah adventures, I headed up through the beautiful wide open spaces of Idaho (resisting the temptation to visit the potato museum) to the Teton National Park (named by early French settlers as the mountains look like boobs – trois Tetons = three boobs).

The plan was to spend four nights in the backcountry but I was a little bit worried by the recent snowfall, the forecast of subzero temperatures (minus 10), and of course the Bears!!!  This was my first foray into bear country

The ranger reckoned I would be OK and gave me bear canister for my food (very much like the expression ‘don’t shit where you sleep’, in bear country you don’t eat where you sleep).  

hmmmm, I’m not so good at following rules

I went for a run that afternoon and broke all the rules on this sign!  But I did manage to get some bear spray before I hit the trail for real!   

I didn’t get off to an auspicious start, as with my usual crap urban navigation skills, I couldn’t find the trail head in Teton village.  I had wanted to leave the car there as it was safer.  But after 5km of wandering past McMansions, and meeting multiple construction workers who didn’t know where the trail was, I gave up and drove to the trailhead at Granite Canyon.   

granite canyon trail

For the first seven miles I didn’t see anyone and was worried I would run into a bear at every corner.  I contemplated holding the bear spray in my hands and going around every corner like a cop in a cheesy 80s sitcom but suppressed the urge (I felt less bad about this two days later when I ran into a guy doing precisely that).  I eventually encountered some humans –  a couple and then two guys, so no longer think I am completely nuts to be here. 

Marion Lake

After 15km, I reached the gorgeous Marion lake, and then shortly after traversed the Fox pass at 3000m to arrive at the Death Canyon Shelf which stretches above a deep canyon for 5km.  This was where my permit allowed me to sleep tonight (long story, camping here requires permits which can be a pain but means it isn’t overcrowded or overused).   

the back of the Tetons from Mt Meek Pass

It was too early to stop so I continued over the Mt Meek pass and found a divine campsite 6km on at mirror lake!  I cooked a lovely dinner and have now put every item of clothing on that I have and am in my tent hoping no bear comes to visit.  Still at 3000m so have a bit of a headache but the view is worth it.

the beginning of the sheep steps (the snow line at the bottom of the cliff) to Alaska Basin
 

From Teton Village to Alaska Basin via the Granite Canyon

Total distance = 32km; Ascent = 1600m

the view from my tent at Alaska basin



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