Sunday, July 15, 2012

Day 4: Battleship and a campfire

Approaching battleship

 More (imposter :) ) lady bugs. They were this thick on all the rocks, it was near impossible to find a place to sit.
 The Grand! and Middle Teton
This was one of my favorite view points of the whole trip. 

We decided to forego sleeping on top of table rock (which ended up being a great idea, seeing as the wind rocked our worlds that night)

I finally had enough of being salty and gross, so an improvised shower took place. What you don't see is 3 feet upstream, this is all running straight out of a glacier. In other words, it was criminy cold! But felt sooo amazing.

Our last night at camp, we found a little geocache with a bunch of notes in it. We had a great time reading them and then hunkering down for the night.

Day 5, we woke up early and high tailed it out of there. Everyone fell asleep in the car with wet boots and pants after fording a river. 

It was an amazing trip, one that I hope to repeat again!

Day 3: Static

Did you know that cheetah print duct tape is actually cheaper than the plain ol' silver kind?
Because it is. And it prevents blisters like a dream.

Day three, we took our summit packs and headed on up to climb Static. There were tons of gorgeous streams, rivers, waterfalls and several sketchy snow bridges to cross.

The whole way up, Kugath kept saying how we weren't going to need ice axes because static was on the Southern side of this big saddle so it'd be getting more sun. So, we get to this saddle:

Here is what we were coming from:

Yes, those are wildflowers. The hike up was pretty mucky and muddy due to everything melting, so we were all excited to get some potentially dry ground.

This is what greeted us on the other side of the saddle:

Welcome to Mordor, yo.

Fortunately, we all made it to the top despite the fight against plummeting temperatures and fairly strong (we ended up finding out they were 40 mph gusts) winds.

One of the craziest phenomenons we saw while hiking in the Tetons, was what we later researched and found out to be convergent lady bugs:

On the tops of several of the peaks, we saw just stock piles of lady bugs. Apparently they all fly to an elevation that they deem good as a group and hang out there.

On the way back, Russ and I split from the group (it was planned, don't worry, we weren't just running amuck while everyone was worried or anything like that) and leisurely hiked back to camp.

 We were super glad to be heading back, I was pretty cold and I really don't warm up easily. So, we set up our tent (we had enough of getting rained on in sleeping bags. Been there, done that, moving on)
and just hung out:

Until our tent started to collapse from the weight of the rain. 
Russell ventured into the freeze and found us two sticks to finagle into place.

With the assistance of duct tape and a bra, of course.

We found out our tent is not water proof/resistant in any way shape or form, so we both scurried out to get our tarp out from underneath and rig it up above our tent. As we both got out of the tent, we looked up to see this guy:

He was only 5 feet away from us when we got out of the tent and actually started walking towards us, which (not gonna lie) freaked me out a little bit. I scared him off a little bit by sneaking back into the tent to grab my camera.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Day 2: The Wedge and Alaska Basin

That slightly ominous guy up there at the tip-top, that's the wedge.

Here's a better view:

We kicked a path into the snow (it was, honestly, a lot steeper than it looks) and scrambled up choss and made it to the top of the wedge.

On our way down, I had my first experience with self arresting with an ice axe. We were going to slide down a rather steep snow field that ended abruptly by a ton of rocks, when I started slipping down a lot faster than I had anticipated. Luckily we had gone over self arresting before this went down. I just didn't realize I was going to be applying the tactics so soon!


After hiking the wedge, we made a decent push to Alaska basin

We got to sleep on an awesome slab of granite and get rained on a lil bit.
Doesn't Russ look so refreshed?

As if getting rained on in our sleep wasn't chilly enough, several of us took a quick dip in the little alpine lake.

Fair warning to anyone who ventures into the Tetons; don't think you can escape the wrath of the mighty marmots.

The little sneaks steal everything and chew through anything salty (including harness webbing, learned that the hard way!)

We were, all marmots aside, rewarded with amazing sunsets all week. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I didn't die!

In case you were worried about me, I'm alive! 
I survived my first (extended) backpacking trip of all time!

5 days, 50 lb pack, and I came back having gained weight.
Yea, go figure.
Its all muscle folks, I promise. Nothing to do with Oreos and Swedish fish. 

Day 1:

We hiked into Teton Canyon and on up Devil's staircase until we found running water up there.

We camped in a little meadow next to a glacier. It was a rough night because, despite the cushy-looking-ness of the meadow, it was a lump fest.

A little coyote came into camp during the night and was tugging on the straps of one of the guys' packs. Unfortunately it skidaddled before anyone could snap a picture.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Pack it up, pack it in, let the hiking begin

Packed pack: check
Homework done: check
nervousness: check


Tetons here we come! Cya saturday friends!


If I don't die.