High Adventure – Tetons!

Last week I attended a Boy Scout high adventure camp. We went to the Teton High Adventure Base camp in Hoback, WY. It’s about 13 miles south of Jackson, WY. It is a great place for a trip and we really enjoyed our time out in the woods and in the water.

Day 1: We met at the church at 6am to head out in a caravan to Hoback. Our trip took us north on I-15 to McCammon, ID, where we pulled off and went east to Soda Springs. We popped out on Hwy 89 south of Alpine, WY. From there, we drove about 23 miles east up the canyon to Hoback. We got our assigned cabins and unloaded our gear. After that, we had river orientation — basically a “see how scared I can make you before you get on the water so you’re ultra conservative” session with the main river guide. After the orientation, we had a surprisingly good lunch followed by a trip north to Grand Teton NP. Our afternoon was filled with a fairly easy hike around Jenny Lake up to Hidden Falls. It’s 2.5 miles one way and we saw a moose and bear on our hike. It rained and hailed on us, but that really just kept us nice and cool.

From Teton High Adventure Base

We had a bit of drama on the hike back. We were all supposed to rendezvous at the bus at 5pm for the ride back to camp for dinner (again, surprisingly good). One of our guys decided instead of hiking to the falls and back he wanted to take the trail around the entire lake. That’s about 7 – 8 miles, so we were all sitting back at the bus waiting for this kid. He was about 45 minutes late and I wanted to wring his neck. Not only did he make us all late, but he didn’t tell anyone he was doing that, so he just took off and we were left waiting and wondering. Luckily, he had cell coverage and we were able to call him and see what he was doing.

Day 2: We spent the morning doing a “King Canoe” trip down the Snake River. Our group was big enough that we had to break up into three groups, so we had guys going down at 8:30am, 10:30am, and 1pm. I really enjoyed this ride. The canoes are so unpredictible on the river as you go through rapids and as soon as you take on any water in a canoe, you are exponentially more unpredictible. We swamped our canoe once after we got caught in a whirlpool and took on water. We didn’t tip; rather, we took on enough water that we just sunk the canoe. It was cold (!) water, but I’ve recovered.

From Teton High Adventure Base

During the afternoon, we did the Lower COPE course. This was basically a team building and trust exercise where the scouts fought through obstacles where thought was required. That’s a stretch for some of us! This was a good experience, but the boys weren’t terribly excited about it. Guess we need to foster more team spirit, eh?

Day 3: The morning activity was an extension of the Lower COPE course, but this one was tougher both physically and mentally. This was the Upper COPE course that took us up and helped us realize any fears of heights we may have. I’ve never really had a big fear of heights, so this was kinda exciting for me. The problem was that to get up to our elevated platforms and walking cables, we had to climb the “Giant’s Ladder.” I volunteered to go first like an idiot. I’d never seen anyone climb this sort of ladder and I didn’t know there was a technique that makes it much easier. It’s a ladder with rungs made of 4×4’s that were spaced about 5 feet apart. Oh, and the ladder swings. There is a certain technique that everyone else figured out after watching me do it wrong (you’re welcome!). The way I did it exhausted me and my arms and hands were basically dangling with no feeling left. Picture climbing a very small rope for 20 minutes straight. Suck. That don’t work for fat people like me! Anyway, I made it up and then got to have some fun traversing the cables and walkways. The payoff was a zip line ride that felt great.

From Teton High Adventure Base

During that afternoon, we had the highlight of the trip. We all got on a raft (14 of us plus a river guide) and took a float trip down the Snake River. I’d done this same float a few times with friends in college, so I knew what to expect. We floated down 8 miles of the river and hit some Class 3 rapids — nothing to wet your pants over but enough to keep you on your toes. We had a great run and had plenty of opportunities to get wet.

Overall, it was a great trip. I love that part of the country. It’s really some pretty country. I’d love to spend more time in Grand Teton NP — I’ve been there three times now but would love to spend a few nights up there tempting the bears to eat our dinners. And Jackson is a fun town to visit, too. We made a few midnight runs to town so the boys could stock up on pounds and pounds of candy to survive their three day ordeal of living away from home. It was truly entertaining. The entire photo album of 51 photos can be found here.

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4 thoughts on “High Adventure – Tetons!

  1. My favorite country in the world. It sounds like you have a great trip! I'm sorry I was so busy that I didn't get to ask you about it. I'd like to go up there, too.How about us planning a trip to Lake Alice – not so far away from there. I want to get up there before I die!

  2. It looks like the trip was really fun! You certainly had the bruises to prove it! Glad you were up and able to walk (and golf!) by the time we got there. I wish we'd had more time to come up and hang out with you and the girls though!

  3. Hey Jess, I always love your writing. Perhaps that could be a vocation. Sorry about the bruises. Didn't see them so I could just enjoy the fun story. You know we raft every year her in Oregon. We'd love to have you come go with us. I think we are planning for the end of June next year. Well, I tuned into Kevins page to see if there was info on the baby and saw your link to this. Hug my babies… GG

  4. I love the Tetons. One of the best things about living in Rexburg was that I could watch the sun rise behind the Tetons. I love that area and would love to move back to Eastern Idaho – but not necessarily Rexburg.

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