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#175360 - 02/26/13 06:19 PM Teton Crest Trail in July -- too cold? Too dangero
apachemd Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/27/11
Posts: 7
A few buddies and I tried to get permits for a 4-day,3-night backpacking trip on the Teton Crest Trail for the first week of August, no dice. We are able to get one for the first week of July. I am told that there is still a decent amount of snow. Questions:

1. Will it still be cold? Would it be more enjoyable to wait and try to get permits for late August or even Sept instead?

2. I was told by the Ranger I spoke to that we MUST have ice axes and be experienced with self-arrest skills, as some passes will be very dangerous -- e.g. Paintbrush Divide. We are novice backpackers and this scares me a bit.

Thoughts?

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#175364 - 02/26/13 10:07 PM Re: Teton Crest Trail in July -- too cold? Too dangero [Re: apachemd]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2745
Loc: California
Just having an ice axe is not good enough. you really need to know how to use it - and that means more than a few hours of trial and error.

Ice axes are great tools for experienced mountaineers. Less so for backpackers. Doing a self-arrest with a full pack on your back sometime is not even possible.

It is hard to say what condtions will be like in July 4. Too early to tell. You could just go with the idea that if you encountered snow you would turn around and retreat. Early July is more "post holing" snow than ice or hard surface snow. (except for early morning- the snow softens by noon). Regardless, you really need to have experience on snow before you do this route early season of anything but an extremely low snow-pack year.




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#175366 - 02/26/13 11:24 PM Re: Teton Crest Trail in July -- too cold? Too dangero [Re: wandering_daisy]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6391
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I agree. Ice axes are not only useless but quite dangerous if you don't know how to use them! You need to have instruction (available through a number of mountaineering clubs as well as professional guide services) in snow and ice safety and self-arrest before attempting the hike that early, unless there's an unusually low snowpack and early melt-off this coming spring.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#175375 - 02/27/13 08:55 AM Re: Teton Crest Trail in July -- too cold? Too dangero [Re: apachemd]
topshot Offline
member

Registered: 04/28/09
Posts: 242
Loc: Midwest
I'd also recommend you ask for route and timing help on the Backpacker forums as there are a couple guys that live in the area and could offer alternative routes rather than those of us that can just generalize on things.

It's purely conjecture here, but perhaps you could try a different trailhead or reverse direction or plan your route to camp only in the neighboring NF (permits from them should be far easier to obtain) since the crest follows very close to the park boundary. For example, my son and I are hiking into Yosemite from Inyo NF since permits are much easier to get and avoid the hassle of Half Dome permits to boot (at least for this year).

Even in good weather though, I think the TCT is very aggressive for "novice" backpackers. Surely you're not planning the whole 60+ miles in 4 days/3 nights? How much experience do y'all have with mountain hiking?

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