Trying to Backpack in the Gros Ventre Wilderness

I made the mistake of heading west without snowshoes or an ice ax, a decision that would come back to bite me a few times.

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My plan was to hike over a pass from the south side of the wilderness, camp near treeline and explore the alpine areas.

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The steep mountains and narrow canyons reminded me a bit of the Wimenuche Wilderness Area in Colorado.

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I knew there would be some snow but I thought I could posthole through it.

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As I got higher the snow got a lot deeper and keeping up with the trail became a problem.

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Eventually I stopped.  Much as I hated to turn around I didn’t see the point in going farther.  I wasn’t going to make it over the pass before dark at the rate I was going even if it was safe.

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In the past I’ve pushed trips past the point of fun and safety to meet a goal.  This time I decided to be smart for a change and turn around.

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I headed back down the way I came.  Not seeing any attractive campsites I hiked all the way back to my car and got a burger. Since hiking without snowshoes didn’t seem practical I went back to packrafting .


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