Table Mountain – Teton Mountains

Our first day playing in the woods after finishing up in Boise happened in Jackson Hole, Wyoming which is located on the in the shadows of the Grand Teton and Grand Teton National Park. Originally we planned on going into the park for a day or two and then heading up to Glacier National Park in Montana for a 5 day backpacking trip. Well… while I finished up getting our back country camping permit for Teton it just occurred to me to ask about the dog, which is when the Park Ranger informed us he was not was not allowed anywhere in the National Park that an automobile couldn’t go. While this came as a surprise, it is understandable when you think of the Parks as a museum that you can loot but not touch. So Plan B it is!

Tetons from the Park Road
Tetons from the Park Road

After that,  we ran into Teton Mountaineering in Jackson, WY, to pick up a map and a couple necessities (like shoes for Lindsay, who sold hers for drug money in Anchorage) and decided on a 12 mile day trip on the back side of the Tetons to a peak called Table Mountain. We started nice and early, waking near the crack of dawn which allowed us to get to the trailhead at a brisk 11am. The first couple miles were a pretty easy nature walk through to forest… until we arrived at 1.5 miles of switchbacks, starting at 9,000ft above sea level. Coming from sea level in Anchorage and sitting in a car for four weeks we were in less than stellar 11,0000ft mountain climbing shape. Nonetheless, after a pretty brutal trip up the hill we ended up at a breathtaking (bad pun… I know) view of the back side of the Tetons.

Lindsay and the backside of the Tetons from 11k'
Lindsay and the backside of the Tetons from 11k’

As opposed to the view from the park road, we gained an additional 4,000ft and had a “backstage look” of the awe inspiring Grand Teton and his fellow compadres to the left and right. We sat on the plateau of the Table Mountain summit, only a half mile of horizontal distance to the Grand, for all of ten minutes before a storm quickly came rolling in on top of us with an unpredictable broil of high altitude showers and hail. We ran straight to the trail that lead from the summit down the face and dropped 2,500ft(+) in just over a mile, basically a controlled fall to the parking lot. This was great an all… except the 68 year old couple we met on the way down kept chasing us down the hill and a little bit of pride kept us from taking a break. Yep, they were 42 years our elder and chased us down a 1 mile scramble, kudos to them, I guess…

Last 1.5mi of open bald trail from the summit
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Last 1.5mi of open bald trail from the summit
Hunter impatiently waits for his bipedal counterparts
Hunter impatiently waits for his bipedal counterparts
Clay and Hunter at the peak of Table Mountain
Clay and Hunter at the peak of Table Mountain
Storm clouds swallow up the Grand Teton
Storm clouds swallow up the Grand Teton
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2 thoughts on “Table Mountain – Teton Mountains”

    1. A lot better than we did! The biggest change with the pooch was how much he was eating. Basically 2x as much food as he does normally when we are backpacking. Next time he gets a pack on his back to slow him down!

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