Home / Grand Teton, July 2010 / Day 4: Up to High Camp again, July 22 22

Short day: four more hours of packless hiking.After a leisurely and unremarkable buffet breakfast at the Teton Steak House, we threw ourselves back onto the mountain. We figured that we just needed to get back to the Moraines before dark, and, since we knew the way now, and we were carrying just water, it would be hard to be late. We picked up copies of that day's Jackson Hole News & Guide with more details about the "largest rescue in the history of the Tetons". Our first task was to get another overnight permit. After some discussion, we decided it would be best to play dumb and not look like we'd just gotten off the mountain: although it couldn't hurt, we couldn't see the benefit either. Since I'd signed in last time, Dave signed in this time while I wandered around outside the ranger station for a while. I did eventually come inside. Recall that there were two rangers the other day. We think it was the one who left; it wasn't the one who issued our permit. He didn't let on that he recognized us. Also, he issued us portable toilet bags for the Moraines, while the other one had told us to just dig holes. The deal with the toilet bags was that you could deploy them on the seat at the Lower Saddle. But you still had to cart out your crap. I opted to dig holes anyway. Upon arriving back at the trailhead, we chatted with another party of 2 coming off the mountain. I think they were staying at the Lower Saddle, had not summitted, and were totally OK with a lack of summit given the huge storm. They had a note on their car from the rangers asking them to check in and confirm that they made it back safely. We told them about what we'd learned about the rescue and suggested that they check the newspapers. While chatting, we transformed from jeans-wearing tourists to, well, synthetic-wearing weenies. Might think we were from Vancouver or something. The hardest part of the hike back up was to not go too fast. There was no reason at all to go fast, since all we had to do was eat and go to bed. We also encountered a dude running with a cellphone, and then a guided party with a twisted ankle at the Platforms boulders. Right, a guide summoning help. In the Northeast, I think gear would have been carted in (by foot) and he would have been carted out (by foot), but instead we got to watch a helicopter land nearby. The helicopter must have brought in rescuers, because it left right away, so they couldn't have brought anyone out, especially since the guy was on the wrong side of the boulder field. We arrived back at the tent around 5pm, or about 4 hours after leaving the trailhead. It was a reasonable pace for about 7 miles and 4000 feet of elevation gain. We were happy to see that the tent had not been molested by marmots and that our food was still hanging. Better yet, Dave's sleeping bag was relatively dry after being in the (closed) tent for the past 24 hours. There were still a couple of puddles in the tent, so my gloves were again helpful as sponges. So... we went to bed really early, like 7, so that we could get an early start. Then at, say, 7:30 another party comes and sets up right next to us (because it wasn't like there weren't 20 other places they could have set up). I thought they would shut up. But they didn't. They made supper and then chatted until late. Lame. I should tell people to shut up sooner.