Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Darby Canyon / Fossil Mountain 9/19/10

I hiked past the Wind Cave and up to the saddle just below Fossil Mountain on Sunday. The scenery was awesome as usual in the Tetons. I have to say that it is not quite as spectacular as the South Leigh Creek area though. The views are limited unless one gets very high on Fossil Mountain. I opted not to continue to the top of this mountain because of high winds and low water supply.

Of note was the closure of the cave(s) in this area, and all of Wyoming as a matter of fact.

"Darby Canyon’s Wind and Ice Cave, like all other caves and mines in Wyoming, was closed last month by order of the U.S. Forest Service to assess the spread of white nose syndrome, a fungal infection fatal to bats."

Didn't seem to stop some folks from venturing inside them though. Rules must not apply to them.

Darby Canyon is fairly wide at the head, and one can use several routes to the saddle. I hung close to the west side, under the huge cliffs on the way up. Water (spring) was to be found between the Wind and Ice caves. None below or above so carry plenty if you go late in the year.

Fossil Mountain Hike

I sat at the saddle and debated whether or not to continue to the top of Fossil. Decided it was best to call it a day and hoof it back to the trail head. I descended right down the center of the broad "flats" bypassing the only water to be found, but enjoying the relative easy and open terrain. Passed a few hikers who were out for an easy stroll in the lower canyon.

Fall colors abundant in sections. Snow up high. Awesome.

Fossil Mountain

Fossil Mountain Hike

Fossil Mountain


Thursday, September 16, 2010

South Leigh / Granite Basin September 2010

Saturday Stroll up South Leigh Canyon and then up into Granite Basin. Long Walk!


South Leigh Canyon in the Tetons is very lush in places. Tall trees that block out even mid-day sun. While walking out of the canyon, the sun setting on the mountains and darkness gathering under the boughs, I happen to glance over to see rays of the sun light up a small patch of forest glade. It was a ways off and a bit misty, the leaves of the tall grass turning golden and bright while all else around was dull and murky. I could imagine wood elves pausing for a brief moment in their travels, resting a bit on a long journey I was immediately transported to this place..... just for a minute or so, though I would have liked to have stayed longer, Ahhh, were that possible.

It was very real and vivid. It is the only time I have experienced an event like this. Tiredness, perhaps even a bit of dehydration, and being at the right place at the right time - all factors I suppose. It was a beautiful, even a magical place to be and there are days that I would gladly go there and never come back.......