Monday, May 30, 2011

Hiking On a Snowy Day in the Grand Tetons

I actually had Memorial Day off, so packed up and hit the trail around Emma Matilda Lake. This is across the street from Jackson Lake Lodge. Friends warned me of snow pack, and it was snowing now.
Bear spray, fire starter, rain gear, snacks and water bottle, camera and hiking poles I head out for a memorable trail.
At first its wide open, no problem finding or navigating this sagebrush and pine tree habitat. Plenty of Elk, plenty of moose, geese and male grouse drumming for females.
I headed around the north, more remote, side of the lake. Swinging around the east edge, I slogged through meadows and crossed foot bridges made of huge logs cut in half. But, little did I know what awaited me.
The snow pack and few footprints made travel slow. Post holing and frozen feet aren't so bad if you at least know you're on trail.
Once the trail became totally snow covered and no foot prints or trail markers were found, I decided to maintain the westerly direction, the lake on my right shoulder, the sun at my back. It was early,
 just 11 a.m.

I sought the most open path, and finally came across other footprints. Who ever created those prints seemed to have a good sense for the trail because every so often a portion of earth tread way would show.
All day I took photos, sang, and hiked. Periods of sun, sleet, rain and snow made things interesting.
Back home at the dorm, after a shower and downloading of photos, I calculate the hike of 11.5 miles.
A wonderful way to spend the day off work. 

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