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.
My plan was to hike over a pass from the south side of the wilderness, camp near treeline and explore the alpine areas.
The steep mountains and narrow canyons reminded me a bit of the Wimenuche Wilderness Area in Colorado.
I knew there would be some snow but I thought I could posthole through it.
As I got higher the snow got a lot deeper and keeping up with the trail became a problem.
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.
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.
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 .