So after breakfast and witnessing the fall(s) of Lance during stage 8 of the Tour, I did some light cleaning up of the place, took the pooches out for a walk, caught the first half of the World Cup Final, and gathered myself together for a run up Darby Canyon to my main destination: the summit of Fossil Mountain.
For some reason, I have not stood on top of this peak during my entire (almost) ten years in the region and I actually feel sorta ashamed that it took me this long to do it. It's very accessible as the summit is only about 6 miles and 4,000ft up from the trailhead. The approach goes right past Wind Cave and the amazing waterfalls that are usually present. And it offers just about the most incredible views of many of the Teton peaks as it sits near the geographic center of the 40 mile long range.
Wind Cave with large amounts of runoff means access to the cave entrance is difficult and dangerous. Luckily, I was heading further upcanyon.
The entire Darby Canyon is riddled with limestone from top to bottom like all the rock you see here. This is the only canyon I know of in the Teton Range where limestone is so prevalent. Ain't it just a geological oddity... This mountain range has been known to keep geologists guessing.
It looks close, but it would take 45 minutes and 1,500ft of climbing to get to the top.
The final push to the top up the SW ridge. Again, it looks quite close, but would take 30 minutes of delicate clambering on a 45 degree slope consisting of loose, shifty rubble that seemed more interested in letting loose from its resting place and making friends with gravity rather than staying put and holding up a skinny guy.
This thing's just a big pile of garbage really. The entire peak seemed to be crumbling away. It really wasn't all that dangerous. Just kinda annoying and... shifty... and... sharp... and unpredictable. But I took my time. Safety first.
The major Teton Peaks from Fossil Mtn
Top of the tram at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR). If you look closely, you can see a tram car descending below the dark cliffs (Corbett's Couloir) on the left side of the peak.
Looking south over Fox Creek Pass and the Teton Crest Trail.