Brigette and I ran the Teton Circumnavigation Route Tuesday morning. We started at Lupine TH around 9:30 am and ran the loop clockwise. Conditions in the morning were excellent, but the winds were very strong once we got above the divide.
We encountered two families of moose. The first encounter was on the climb up to Static Divide. Brigette rounded a corner to find a mama moose and her calf sprawled out in the middle of the trail. We didn't know what to do so we pulled out the route map on my phone and saw the trail switchbacked. We bushwhacked our way up to the next switchback. Though this was a bit of a time and energy suck with fallen trees we were thankful to have found a way to continue our effort.
We made it up to the divide and encountered cold, gusty winds all the way to Alaska Basin. We were making decent time and were happy to be warm again as we descended Hurricane Pass to Cascade Canyon. Six miles from Lupine TH, a bull with a full rack was standing smack in the middle of the trail with his calf up slope from him. We tried to go down to the river but found the mama moose with the other calf drinking water. We knew we were going to have to wait it out and that it would probably cost us our chance at the FKT, but there was nothing to be done.
We stood around for 5-6 minutes and were both surprised when the bull seemed to beckon his family up from the river to follow him up the scree slope. We had lost some time, but we still had a chance. Unfortunately, while we were waiting Brigette had consumed 6 waffles and had trouble for the next 30 minutes moving without stopping on the side of the trail to dry-heave.
She pulled it together during the last three miles and we cruised into the Lupine meadows trailhead.
It was a beautiful day to be out adventuring together, and we were grateful to be back running the route that sparked our interest in trail running a year ago!