Teton Crest trail. ...Doug and Anita Tour 2015...final chapter!


Jan 23, 2014
20150902_195539.jpg No sleeping in today! This was another big day that we had been dreaming about for months. Today we would climb up over Paintbrush Divide. But it wasn't going to be easy. We could make out the trail from our camp, as it climbed steadily along the increasingly steep mountain slope. No switchbacks could be seen, but we were trail hardened by now and welcomed this challenge. We made our way back up to Lake Solitude and true to my word, I proceed to whip the water into a frenzy, catching a few trout and missing many more. I hated to leave, but destiny awaited high above. 20150903_120015.jpg So we started up and up and up. It's just amazing the things you see when you climb. Hidden peaks with hanging glaciers and high alpine lakes appear. We could see our previous nights campsite far below us now.20150903_131136.jpg We finally did hit a series of steep switchbacks and a long climb over boulders and talus up to a high saddle below the divide. 20150903_131142.jpg We had sunny skies the whole time but there was a sinister looking cloud bank inching ever closer. We had been warned of the dangers of high country lightning so when we seen the first flashes followed by resounding thunder, we froze. But we had no where to go on this exposed slope 20150903_142047.jpg so we hunkered down by the biggest boulders we could find and here we sat, still in the sunlight for 30 minutes as the storm slowly slid off to the east. We felt it was safe so we continued on over a few long sweeping switchbacks over talus fields and small stands of stunted trees. 20150903_123041.jpg We made our way up to a very windy Paintbrush Divide with more incredible views in every direction20150903_134051.jpg and a panoramic view of stunning Paintbrush Canyon. 20150903_150500.jpg You could catch a glint of Holly lake, our camping spot for tonight, and towering Mt Woodring right in front of you.20150903_144759.jpg The Jaw, Mount St John and Rockchuck Peak rising high above the narrow canyon.20150903_132138.jpg After many photos braving 40 to 50 mile winds we started a incredibly steep decent, almost forcing you to run at times. It continued that way all the way to Holly lake. As we were scouting out the campsites, the storm we had dodged earlier had returned with a series of showers. We were bit melancholy as we had lunch. We had left our beloved high country.20150903_151321.jpg The peaks and passes were behind us now. A hot shower and a soft bed invaded our thoughts. We decided to forgo our last night at the beautiful Holly lake albeit grey and rainy now.
We had beer and wine and Cheeto's in the car, only 5 short miles away. So that's it. We made our way down for the last time through occasionally heavy showers and a muddy trail that finally lifted as we crossed between Leigh and String lakes up to the parking area and, Yuk!, reality. But hey! We got beer and we just had the times of our lives hiking
Grand Teton National Park.20150903_192759.jpg

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Wow, I have been wondering what our first trip in the Tetons would be... that has to be it! Great report! Many thanks for sharing!
These were great reports that I reread during my lunch today. They made the office a little bit more bearable. Thank you.

Last month I got invited by a neighbor to join him and a couple friends in the Tetons next summer.... nearly a year away, but reports like this keep boiling up the excitement.
A great report and fabulous photos. Thanks for sharing. It's on my list!!