Teton Range - Backpacking Sept 2014

9:42 p.m. on September 17, 2014 (EDT)
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Hello fellow outdoor people,

I was fortunate enough to pull a fantastic trip last week with Trailspace Moderator Gonzan (whom I've backpacked with several times over the last few years) and his friend Jonathon (whom I got know on this trip).

It was an amazing experience with great company and like my trip with Lambertiana last summer, I benefitted from the detailed planning of others and got to turn my brain off for a fabulous trip!

All kudos to Gonzan for a tremendous route plan and overall logistical mastery. Impressive coordination and Well done my friend.

The Teton Range is spectacular and rightfully popular.

The next thing to say is that you have to respect those mountains; the ambient temperatures swung wildly nearly every day (30 - 40 degree variances), serious winds are on tap, clouds blow in white and get dark over the mountains producing various types of precip....great fun overall but it keeps your attention.


Enough talk; straight to the video and pictures.....




Starting out on Leigh Lake




The Holly Lake bear





More depth than my camera can show.....






Easy but wonderful peak-bagging views from Paintbrush Divide
















Wildflowers and snow is wild




Mid week lunch spot....










Into the Basin






I'm not really a fisherman and I learned a great deal from Caleb and Jonathon who were kind and patient enough to help me out. I caught my first mountain lake trout and it was delicious! So orangey and good...mmmm





Mountain Brook Trout, freshly caught, cracker breaded, fired in olive oil / butter mix and served at 9400 feet above sea-level. Amazing.









Camping on Death Canyon Shelf







Gonzan found time to paint.....but it was barely 20 degrees F that morning. That is a dedicated artist.









These horsemen are actually professional guides on the way to pick up some clients for a riding/ camping excursion.







Last trail dinner of the trip enjoyed on a canyon edge with outstanding views.







Hope you enjoyed the report!

Happy Trails!

















12:23 a.m. on September 18, 2014 (EDT)
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That first photo is un friggin believable...


And I wanna see gonzan's paintings.......

Glad y'all had a good trip...

4:28 a.m. on September 18, 2014 (EDT)
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Looks like you had an amazing trip! You also took some great photos! About how much gear were you carrying up those peaks? Also I'd love to see those paintings, do you know if they are anywhere on the internet?

6:55 a.m. on September 18, 2014 (EDT)
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Hey thanks guys!


TJ, well I brought way too much food by mistake and a tarp for a cook shelter in addition to my tent. I wound up with the heaviest pack I've had since last winter; it weighed in at about 47 pounds including 2.5 liters of water and the weeks food. Of course three pounds of that was bear canister which is required.

I forgot to add a peak bagging photo; this was after dropping our packs at paintbrush divide and scrambling up the northern peak:



8:02 a.m. on September 18, 2014 (EDT)
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Great views but knowing that area I know you had to put some work into it :) Add in some tasty fish and good company it looks like another grand adventure. Thanks for making us all jealous sharing!

10:03 a.m. on September 18, 2014 (EDT)
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:evillaughing:..........I have a feeling Patman that you will soon become a resident of the western states if you continue taking these awesome trips!

11:37 a.m. on September 18, 2014 (EDT)
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Wow. Very VERY jealous, as I continue to nurse my sprained ankle...

Thanks for sharing Patman, and great job Gonzan!

2:24 p.m. on September 19, 2014 (EDT)
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Awesome report, Patrick! Your pictures and the video are really amazing. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

Did those bears bother y'all? Hopefully not!!!

 I have to get up there and see that trail sometime. I hope y'all had an amazing time (it sure looks like you did).

Did you get to spend any time in Jackson or make it over to YNP?

3:56 p.m. on September 19, 2014 (EDT)
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Hey thanks all...

Rob, yeah you know...if this keeps up i may need to relocate just to mitigate the travel expenses! The flight from East TN to Western states is not cheap.


Sean, thanks much....get that ankle right and come join me in the Smokies!



The bear in the tree in the middle of the video actually huffed and spit at me which caused me to get the heck out of there! I fought the urge to run but did a "fast walk" for about an 1/8 of mile....think "old folks power-walking at the mall on Sunday".

Caleb had to network with the art gallery vendors and such for business right after the trip but Jonathon and I rented another car and did a fly-through tour of Yellowstone. It was fantastic also; i just didn't inlcude as part of the backpacking trip. There was a bridge out so we did a lower loop tour. I saw the big lake, the mud pits, the YS Grand Canyon (upper and lower falls), Old Faithful, and the prismatic pools. Lots of bison, elk, and one of the coolest things (but only saw through binoculars) a bald eagle eating the carcass of a bison!

Because of the bridge out we came back through Montana and Idaho on the west side and that was neat to see some of the Targhee wilderness; I got the impression that if you don't hunt or fish you have no reason to be in that part of Idaho! lol

3:59 p.m. on September 19, 2014 (EDT)
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we ate (and drank stout) at sidewinders right after the trip but otherwise I did not see much of Jackson.

I did get to see the National Museum of Wildlife Art with Caleb just before my flight home and that was really cool too.

5:04 p.m. on September 20, 2014 (EDT)
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This looks like a fantastic trip! Thanks for sharing it with us (even if we might feel a tad jealous).

We loved the Tetons when our family visited a few years back. Your pictures and Gonzan's paintings are excellent stand-ins for being there in person.

9:24 a.m. on September 21, 2014 (EDT)
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Not sure when you all were here but wished I known and maybe we could have met in Jackson. I have been here since March 1st. Looks like you had a good time hiking though! My favorite hike is the Teton Crest Trail from Teton Pass to Paintbrush Divide and down to Jenny Lake which you hiked part of.

1:58 p.m. on September 21, 2014 (EDT)
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I've Been waiting for this trip report.Since Gonzan posted about it on FB and by the way I highly recommend you friend him to see his wonderful art..Yes a true artist,Thanks for sharing this great trip you all took..Look forward to more in the future..

9:52 p.m. on September 21, 2014 (EDT)
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Patrick, thank you for sharing this trip report. The Tetons have been on my Bucket List for a few years. I think I might have to move it up a few places on that list.

Your video work is tremendous.

It looks like you were in the Tetons the same days I was in the Boundary Waters. I love the month of September to be outdoors!

1:23 p.m. on September 22, 2014 (EDT)
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Thanks much!



Yeah thats why i commented in your trip planning thread. I was sure you had already left for winter migration. dang it...I would like to have met you in person....



Thanks and yes i did go see those...very nice. Caleb is an amazing artist....I wish I could send him clients but i don't run in the circle of people at the income level that can buy his work! lol



You're welcome and thanks for the nice comments. I had anticipated spending many hours sorting through the video clips (took almost 60 little videos -only a couple were longer than 30 seconds. ), but with a busy work schedule I went through it quickly with Windows Movive Maker and spent about 2 hours total on video choices, edits and soundtrack selection. So Like anything I guess you get better with practice. Those Litewater Dinghy videos were my first ever attempts and now that I've done a few it goes pretty quickly.

Can't wait to see your Boundary Waters report! ....which is also on my bucket list. hah

4:58 p.m. on September 22, 2014 (EDT)
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I almost have a panic attack when I just SEE a bear, I can't imagine how you felt when it was huffing and spitting at you! Thanks for the visual, though! :)


It sounds like y'all had an amazing time! I am really glad you made it to YNP. I hate to ask, but can you please do a TR from there, too?? I would LOVE to see what I missed and what it looks like when it isn't covered in snow. If there are Targhee pictures, I'd love to see them, too!

8:28 a.m. on September 23, 2014 (EDT)
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Well my plans changed Patman, I am now taking a bus to St George  and then hitchhiking to Zion to hike and camp then to the Grand Canyon and then on to Tucson.

3:05 p.m. on September 23, 2014 (EDT)
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Amazing trip report, thanks for sharing it with us.  The fields of wildflowers really strike me as something awesome to see.  I have to say though, those packs looked heavy (like steamer trunks strapped to your backs)!  Thanks Gonzan and Patman.

10:34 p.m. on September 24, 2014 (EDT)
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Your Leigh Lake picture looks professional! If it has the pixels, you should blow it up and frame it!

11:20 a.m. on September 28, 2014 (EDT)
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Glad you got back okay Patman!  Did you need a full winter kit for conditions?  Did you have enough layers?

It's always nice to have another notch in the pistol grip and another place in the little black book we keep of backpacking locations.  What's next?

8:29 p.m. on September 28, 2014 (EDT)
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Nice!  It looks beautiful there.  Some of those scenes look similar to parts of of the Sierra.  

The packs did look big - but in the video it looked like you were all moving right along at a good clip :).


9:40 a.m. on September 29, 2014 (EDT)
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Thanks much... I didn't bring the full winter kit but it would have been justified for sure. The last couple of nights were near single digits....I had just enough layers ....used everything except the wool base layer bottoms and that was close.

Just got back from a paddle trip with Kevin Umberger on lake Santeetlah...and the weekend I did a solo overnight to the smokies so technically up next was Smokies and Santeetlah, lol.


I just saw your Citico trip on smugmug and it's starting to get that prime-time look to it!



I think it was all the "walking away" video that we did, but I've gotten the comment about how big the packs were from several folks now. Mine was only 47 lbs (we weighed them just before starting for fun) fully loaded with all food and 2.5 liters of water, including partial winter kit, extra 10x12 tarp (additional to tent), bear canister, fishing gear, etc... I did have three pounds of food left over even after trying to pawn off as much as I could to my partners. So I could have gone a little lighter but maybe only 6 pounds or so.....




11:15 a.m. on September 29, 2014 (EDT)
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Great shots and wonderful video!
I started watching the video at the size it is embedded, then did myself a huge favor and watched it full screen. Beautiful scenery and I know the camera only captures only a small portion of everything - colors, magnitude, depth of field, etc. 

One question as it relates to shooting/editing the video: have you tried slowing down (either when filming or while editing) the panning landscape shots? Those shots are a little dizzying and just thought maybe slowing that down a little bit would alleviate some of that. Not certain of that though. 

Again, great TR.
Fresh alpine trout…you're a lucky guy!

2:49 p.m. on September 29, 2014 (EDT)
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thanks Kiwi, that's good advice and I should have been more careful in that regard. as it turned out there was very little useable video of an area that i really wanted to include so i used the best of what i had.

I post a lot of pictures (and now video) but believe it or not most of what I have is not much more than a "best effort" after-thought. I get so excited and caught up in the experience that I more often than not don’t even remember to take pictures. I must admit that the best parts of the video were the places Gonzan encouraged me to film and I was like "oh yeah I brought a video camera!"

3:20 p.m. on September 29, 2014 (EDT)
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My 6yo daughter also enjoyed your video.

She was very curious about the fish you caught for lunch, which is interesting since she generally doesn't eat fish when we give it to her.

6:43 p.m. on September 29, 2014 (EDT)
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Hmm, well, not sure if this well be a help or hindrance in any efforts to get a person to try a dubious food but here is what the brook trout looked like up close before preparation:

[Click to enlarge and see the fascinating pink and yellow spots]



I didn't do a report but if still interested, I just posted some of the pictures from my blaze through drive of Yellowstone in my albums here on Trailspace:


I also didn't take any photos of Targhee as I what I saw was from the car and we didn't have time to stop and explore at that point.

10:37 a.m. on September 30, 2014 (EDT)
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12:58 p.m. on September 30, 2014 (EDT)
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This was such a fantastic trip, and I am so glad you were able to go out there and hike it with me! Of course, having my friend Jonathan along was great, too :) 

I'll post some photos of the paintings I did out there in Wyoming shortly. Most of my supplies and the paintings themselves should arrive back here today, fortunately. 

I also got some great video and photos, which I hope to have time to edit and post soon as well. 

Thanks for making and posting such a great video and report! 

12:10 a.m. on October 1, 2014 (EDT)
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Wow, great trip!

I have always wanted to check out the tetons, maybe some day...

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