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Topic: Teton Trip Report, Cascade Canyon< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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MidwesternGirl Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 17 2012, 1:31 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi all,

I never post, but I read this forum a lot.   I have been to YNP/GTNP quite a few times, but never had backpacked there.  The last time I was there, several years ago, I hiked up to Lake Solitude (as is tradition), and declared that on my next trip, I was going to go backpacking in Cascade Canyon.  So I was ready to make good on that promise!  I'm a very experienced hiker, but am new to backpacking for various reasons (as in, just started this year), and this would be my first backpacking trip in the mountains.  After much perusal of maps and this site, I decided on doing the Paintbrush Canyon loop, split into a 3 day/2 night trip, with intended stops at Holly Lake (hopefully) and the north fork of Cascade Canyon.  I thought that the distances were short enough that I could just relax and enjoy the trip, plus it was a popular enough route that I'd see some other people out there (definitely a bonus for me as I was heading out alone).

The best laid plans...   Upon my arrival in the Tetons, I hit up the backcountry permit office to chat with the ranger about conditions, etc cetera and asked if there was anything of concern in my planned route.  Why yes, she said, there had been very active bear activity at Holly Lake, with bears boldly going into camp and looking for food.  There were also reports of bears entering camps at Upper Paintbrush.

Hmm...  While it seemed unlikely I would get chomped even with the increased activity, we agreed that there was no point in taking unnecessary risks, and I couldn't really imagine having a fun stay at a site where I knew a bear was almost definitely going to drop by at any moment.  She gave me several other options and we discussed mileage and elevation gains on some of the trails I hadn't looked at before.  I spent the day tossing aside my hours of careful planning and working out a plan B and C.  Oh well, I have always felt that a flexible attitude is the key to a good adventure!

After much (well, some) contemplation, I decided to head into the south fork for 2 nights.  I'd be in a new part of Cascade Canyon (to me), and this way I could day hike Hurricane Pass and a little bit into Alaska Basin.

I had a GREAT trip.  The south fork was gorgeous, and the trail to Hurricane Pass was breathtaking (coming and going).  I spent so much time taking pictures I did not get very far past Hurricane Pass, just enough to look into Alaska Basin, which was awesome.  I saw no bears at all in the canyon, just at Jenny Lake hiking in... fine by me!  As a new backpacker, I was a little worried I would not enjoy the experience of backpacking in the mountains all that much, but my strategy of keeping my mileage low and my goals sensible made it a really enjoyable experience.  It's a great feeling to finally do something you have wanted to do for years- and have it be just as fun as you always imagined!

I'm looking forward to coming back and getting to do that Paintbrush Canyon loop another time - and much more.   Thanks to everyone on here who has shared their knowledge and experience in various posts- it helped me out a lot when I was planning!


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out in the open, wherever I look and upon everything that I see, is an unwritten page to an unfinished book of an ongoing history ~carbon leaf
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bumknees Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 17 2012, 12:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Glad you had a nice time.  We crossed Hurricane Pass and descended into the upper South Fork Cascade, and we all thought the scenery was spectacular.  Holly Lake can be saved for a future trip.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 01 2012, 12:30 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Good tale on being flexible and considerate of local conditions as they change.
For bears, whatever bears, that are cruising on a regular basis must mean some one has rewarded them. It is freaking reckless.
How about a link to some of your photos?


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 01 2012, 3:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sounds like a successful trip by any measure.  I'm glad you enjoyed your first mountain trip so much.  
The bear issue is irritating to me.  My family has been backpacking the Tetons for four generations, and I've not known of aggressive black bears being an issue until the last few years.  Like Blue Sage, I blame irresponsible hikers. I wish there could somehow be better enforcement/accountability.  In any case, I'm glad you were able to be flexible with your plans so that problem didn't cause you unnecessary stress.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 04 2012, 12:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Midwesterngirl,

Thanks for a great report and thanks for coming here for the first of your bountiful and beautiful backpacking steps.

You will hear most folks here declare the Winds or the Beartooths are the pinnacle of backpacking. Wherever we are, at whatever time in our lives, anywhere has the possibility of being the "best" place and the Tetons certainly fit into that mind frame for me and many others. Over lots of years I've sat at places like Rimrock Lake, Lake of the Crags, Avalanche Divide, Moose Basin Divide....and never have I thought any other place could be overflowing with nearly as much mountain magic.

One thing I always suggest to Teton Backpackers is that if they have at least 4 nights that they not abbreviate the "complete" Crest Trail. Among other things there's great Wildlife south of Mount Meek Pass.And the Range North of Mt. Moran is simply exquisite.Combining the Crest Trail with the Old Skyline Trail in one shot has been a dream of mine for a long time.

Thanks again for the report and keep you stick on the ice,

John


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2012, 2:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the nice report.  I love that trail up to Hurrican Pass.  We did have a bear in camp, but all our stuff was in the bear box, so no problems, he just walked on by the tent.

Glad you got out, and I'll watch for more of your reports.


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”Every tree was dripping and the creeks had swollen. It occurred to me that I had achieved a rare thing: I was living at the center of my heart’s geography. And I knew it.”- Bryce Andrews, Badluck Way
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MidwesternGirl Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2012, 11:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks, everyone, for the kind replies!  I am already looking at routes for my adventures next year.  :)  There are so many great places out West- I could spend a whole summer just exploring the Tetons and barely scratch the surface, much less the thousands of miles of trails elsewhere... Guess I'll just have to come back again, and again, and again...  

Here are a few shots (if I can get them to link...)









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out in the open, wherever I look and upon everything that I see, is an unwritten page to an unfinished book of an ongoing history ~carbon leaf
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2012, 11:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the report.  Glad you had a good trip.  The Tetons really are hard to beat as far as scenery is concerned.  My be is that you'll be back.

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"Too often I have met men who boast only of how many miles they've traveled and not of what they've seen."  -  Louis L'Amour
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7 replies since Sep. 17 2012, 1:31 am < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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