The Mountain Goat Gallery

Lake Solitude in October

Posted by Jim Steele on November 8th, 2009 filed in Grand Teton National Park

Every year, I am determined to drag out the summer as long as possible. Hiking through snow? No problem. Biking in a coat? Sure, if that’s what it takes. I’ve been to the Shoshone Geyser Basin on the first weekend of November. I’ve hiked up Signal Mountain on the first weekend in December. And last year I biked into Spalding Bay in mid-November. It’s always interesting to see what you find in the backcountry in the “shoulder season.”

Lake Solitude on October 17, 2009.

Lake Solitude on October 17, 2009.

This year’s first experiment was a trip to Lake Solitude in mid-October from the north end of Jenny Lake through Cascade Canyon. I hoped that Lake Solitude hadn’t frozen and wanted to get to the north shore and photograph the lake in front of the snow-capped Tetons.

The view of the snow-capped Tetons on October 17, 2009, from upper Cascade Canyon.

The view of the snow-capped Tetons from upper Cascade Canyon.

There was much more snow than I bargained for. Cascade Canyon before the forks was manageable – any snow was bootpacked. But I ran into quite a bit of snow past the forks, and by the time I got to Lake Solitude, there was easily a foot and a half.

Lake Solitude on October 17, 2009.

Lake Solitude on October 17, 2009.

The lake, however, was unfrozen and the setting was absolutely gorgeous. I had the view of the pristine, crisp lake, surrounded by snow in front of the snow-capped mountains, all to myself. If I would have known how much snow there was, I would have brought snowshoes so I could get to the north shore. It wasn’t a good idea to go any further, so I enjoyed the spectacular scene from the south shore.

I hope you’ll enjoy my pictures.

I’ve written a full description of the Paintbrush Divide – Lake Solitude loop here.

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