Part of the joy of my photography hobby and Pinedale Online are all the acquaintances I have made from all over the world. Every once in a while one of my photography friends will write a narrative which is really quite amazing (and humorous). The following account, spanning several pictures, if from a friend who lives in Lousiana and visits western Wyoming quite often, but this summer spent several days on the west side of the Tetons.
He and his wife and son climbed to the top of Table Mountain, by all accounts a long and very vertical effort of over 4,000'. Bob and Laurel Barrett from Pinedale have done this trip several times and have contributed several photo's to this short album. So, to follow, taking up several photo's in this gallery is the account from Steve Hughes of his ascent of Table Mountain./djb
We had a great summer. In July, we flew into Jackson, but did not make it down into Pinedale. Instead, we stayed on the Idaho side of the Tetons, I did some hiking up there with my wife, Melinda, and Wyatt, our 14 year-old son. Some really nice trails go into the hills from that side. We did the Wind Cave trip for the first time - really neat to go back into the cave for a ways, but you better have a sweater and flashlight in your pack! Made a couple more "warm-up" walks, then hit the Table Mountain trail, listed as "not for beginners" in the guide. No problem - we're not beginners, right?
Now Dave, I assume you're in pretty good shape considering the photos you take - I know where you were standing for a lot of them. You likely would have enjoyed a leisurely stroll up this trail. It was a little rougher for me, however, considering I live at elevation 63' (that's sixty-three feet) and "drink" my air for the most part. Further, I was carrying about forty extra pounds that I really didn't need (not in my pack, either). After a couple of raised eyebrows and knowing looks from a few natives we had questioned about this trail, we decided to "bulk up" the night before. A small mexican place on main street in Driggs offers some huge smothered burritos and right tasty margaritas that are apparently designed for hikers to "carb up" with on the eve of a big hike.
Next morning was a little of a slow start for us. I had hoped we would be walking within an hour of daybreak, but we experienced a few delays. We were sluggish and lethargic getting ready for some reason. About when we were finally ready to leave the cabin, I felt the need to remove more excess carbs, so another delay ensued. Finally we left and made the trailhead about 9:00 am.