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8-23-00 to 8-24-00
The cast of characters this time include Andy, Reeve, Dan, and myself. Dan and Andy drove to Jackson earlier than Reeve and I, unfortunately, neither of our vehicles was up to carrying 4 plus gear and a dog. We were to meet under a bridge that supposedly was a good place to bivy before the climb. Reeve and I drove later, getting to Jackson Hole after dark. A forest fire on a distant mountainside looked a lot like the lava flows in Hawaii. We got to the bridge in question, but there was nowhere inconspicuous to park, so we looked around a bit and parked in the visitor center lot. Then we crashed in a field beside the Snake river.
The next morning we got up early (before 5 am) and drove into the park. No sign of Andy and Dan. We ate breakfast and waited. At about 6:30 when we were going to give up, and start hiking (I was writing a note) they showed up. Turns out they went to sleep under the other side of the bridge after we were asleep, and a ranger saw their car and made them leave. oops. Then they came into the park after 6 am and had to pay the $20 entrance fee. (coming in early is the logical response to the "fee demonstration program")
We started up the trail shortly after 7. It went up and up in a series of steep switchbacks. (the guidebook said interminable). Eventually we passed out of the sparse trees and onto steep meadow, talus, and rock. Much of the year this climb involves a lot of snow, but we just hiked and scrambled up rock. There was a brief but convincing rainstorm to make us put on raingear and wet the rock. At one point, following some cairns, we got pretty far off route. Then we saw a guy off route on the other side. Dan thought he was on route and headed that way, but the rest of us went up a steep couloir.
Eventually we scrambled up to the rather impressive summit (12,325 ft). Unfortunately the higher peaks disappeared into the clouds, but there were still plenty of views to enjoy, plus I made a tuna-tomato bagel sandwich to savor. Then it was down down down.
At first the descent was a lot of delicate downscrambling, but soon enough it was just knee and foot punishing downhills. We returned to the car around 2 I think, and soon headed back to Lander. We saw smoke from at least 4 forest fires during our trip.
link to someone's pictures of Teewinot Peak (with more snow)