Fox Creek, Teton Range

regehr

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Yesterday my son and I needed a relatively easy exit from Death Canyon Shelf -- I got sick and didn't want to continue along the TCT. There are plenty of options for bailing from that area but we wanted to head to the Idaho side since in that case a friend in Victor could easily pick us up. Fox Creek looked relatively short and interesting. When we got to Fox Creek Pass, a sign warned that the trail is mostly gone in many places, a detail not found on any of the maps we had along. If we'd known this earlier we'd most likely have walked out S Teton Canyon instead, but since we'd already walked a few miles, we figured some bushwacking wouldn't kill us.

Fox Creek is a really spectacular drainage and we had it to ourselves -- not a single person and not a lot of signs of recent traffic. The trail is indeed not easy to follow and there's a large amount of pushing through swampy vegetated areas that pretty much scream "bears here." Decent amount of bear scat on the trail too. There are also a lot of easy but bridgeless stream crossings (this canyon is almost certainly impassable during runoff) and plenty of deadfall to climb over. It took us about 5 hours to descend from the pass to the trailhead, but this included quite a bit of route-finding since we'd not been in this canyon before, and numerous rest stops since I really wasn't feeling good. Distance might have been 8 miles (this is what the sign at the top says) or might have been 10 miles (according to the sign at the bottom).

Anyway, I'd totally recommend Fox Creek for folks who find themselves in Teton Valley and don't mind a relatively difficult route. A day hike to the pass and back would be pretty epic.
 

regehr

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didn't take a lot of pics but these are in upper Fox Creek
2021-07-22 11.20.37.jpg
2021-07-22 11.20.28.jpg
 

regehr

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Also the TCT felt pretty blown: just a lot of people up there, probably a dozen groups walked past our campsite on the north end of Death Canyon Shelf the other afternoon. Marmots are fat and bold and abundant; we hung almost everything but one of them chewed a hole in a platypus bag I had though was safe leaving on the ground, argh. Fox Creek was a really nice change.

I had hoped for a Gros Ventre trip but the unsettled weather this week made a less remote, lower trip seem like the right thing to do.
 

regehr

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gpx that pretty closely approximates the trail, such as it is
 

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scatman

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Upper Fox Creek looks nice. Run into any wildlife in the canyon?

Not feeling well in the backcountry is never fun. I hope that you are feeling better.
 

regehr

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Upper Fox Creek looks nice. Run into any wildlife in the canyon?

Not feeling well in the backcountry is never fun. I hope that you are feeling better.
We saw no wildlife in Fox Creek, but a few hours of yelling "hey bear" might have had something to do with that :)

We did see a moose in Moose Creek a couple days earlier, naturally. Big old cow did not seem super impressed with us, she moseyed off the trail and gave us some side-eye until we went out of sight.

I think altitude was exacerbating something else, such as a stomach flu, since I felt better as we descended. Altitude on the shelf was only like 9500' and I've spent plenty of nights higher than that, so I don't think altitude was the only factor, unless it's possible to lose the ability to cope with altitude as one ages (sure hope not).
 

scatman

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We saw no wildlife in Fox Creek, but a few hours of yelling "hey bear" might have had something to do with that :)

We did see a moose in Moose Creek a couple days earlier, naturally. Big old cow did not seem super impressed with us, she moseyed off the trail and gave us some side-eye until we went out of sight.

I think altitude was exacerbating something else, such as a stomach flu, since I felt better as we descended. Altitude on the shelf was only like 9500' and I've spent plenty of nights higher than that, so I don't think altitude was the only factor, unless it's possible to lose the ability to cope with altitude as one ages (sure hope not).

I was wondering if age played a part in my bout with altitude sickness on my hike in the Oquirrhs back in May, but I haven't had a problem since then. I have noticed as I get older, that my wheelhouse is getting smaller and smaller. :)

So how hot was it on the TCT?
 

regehr

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So how hot was it on the TCT?
oh man I kinda wish you hadn't asked this, it was depressing. I mean, the days weren't bad -- normal sunny high-elevation sweaty summer weather, but the nights were unreal. weds night I got into my bivy around 9pm and (not even sticking my feet into my sleeping bag) lay there sweating for an hour or so. by morning I was using my bag as a quilt but I never zipped it up, even a little. I put on a light fleece in the morning not because it was cold, but rather to keep the mosquitoes off me.
 

Bob

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We saw no wildlife in Fox Creek, but a few hours of yelling "hey bear" might have had something to do with that :)

We did see a moose in Moose Creek a couple days earlier, naturally. Big old cow did not seem super impressed with us, she moseyed off the trail and gave us some side-eye until we went out of sight.

I think altitude was exacerbating something else, such as a stomach flu, since I felt better as we descended. Altitude on the shelf was only like 9500' and I've spent plenty of nights higher than that, so I don't think altitude was the only factor, unless it's possible to lose the ability to cope with altitude as one ages (sure hope not).
Altitude sickness can affect you different on every trip..... can not have it forever, then BAM...you get a touch of it....... not unusual
 

regehr

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Altitude sickness can affect you different on every trip..... can not have it forever, then BAM...you get a touch of it....... not unusual
it's a good point and I'll be more cautious about this in the future -- but in this particular case, after coming home last night, I was still a bit nauseous and unwell today, so I think this particular case was more than just altitude
 

Bob

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It can take up to 48 hrs to get to normal from it... But usually is gone within about 6 hrs after dropping down about 2000 ft.
 

regehr

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It can take up to 48 hrs to get to normal from it... But usually is gone within about 6 hrs after dropping down about 2000 ft.
gotcha-- but I also felt a bit off going into this trip. would you say that the effects of altitude can precede going up by up to 48 hours?
 

Bob

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gotcha-- but I also felt a bit off going into this trip. would you say that the effects of altitude can precede going up by up to 48 hours?
Lol.... That would be great... Then you'd know not to go so high , or get meds.....
 

oliverdavis

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I was having a conversation with a friend of mine yesterday and he told me similar things about sleeping bags. I just want to start hiking but can't choose a good sleeping bag. What do you think of the Kelty Cosmic Down 20?
I was just looking for the top sleeping bags and this one was there. And I read this article about it kelty cosmic down 20 review . They wrote about its benefits, of course. But if you've used it or know people who have, I'd be interested to hear your advice. I'd be happy to hear back from you, thank you.
 
Last edited:

swmalone

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I was having a conversation with a friend of mine yesterday and he told me similar things about sleeping bags. I just want to start hiking but can't choose a good sleeping bag. What do you think of the Kelty Cosmic Down 40?
I was just looking for the top sleeping bags and this one was there. And I read this article about it kelty cosmic down 20 review . They wrote about its benefits, of course. But if you've used it or know people who have, I'd be interested to hear your advice. I'd be happy to hear back from you, thank you.
You might want to post on the gear sub-forum. You would probably get more responses.
 

RyanP

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I was having a conversation with a friend of mine yesterday and he told me similar things about sleeping bags. I just want to start hiking but can't choose a good sleeping bag. What do you think of the Kelty Cosmic Down 20?
I was just looking for the top sleeping bags and this one was there. And I read this article about it kelty cosmic down 20 review . They wrote about its benefits, of course. But if you've used it or know people who have, I'd be interested to hear your advice. I'd be happy to hear back from you, thank you.
I have one but I personally much prefer my hammockgear econ burrow which doesn't cost that much more.
 
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