Trip Reports: Winter Camping On Hurricane Pass - Tetons, Wyoming - March 2010

This last weekend of March I went winter camping again, this time for two nights up on Hurricane Pass, on the west side of the Tetons. Hurricane Pass is pretty close to Table Mountain where I went camping in January, but it has a very different perspective of the Tetons. Like the last trip, this one also involved a grueling suffer-fest of a ski in through deep sticky powder with a heavy pack. This trip was a mixed bag - the first evening was incredible, with a beautiful sunset, calm weather, and a nearly full moon. The second night was the opposite - tentbound and hellishly windy.

alpenglow, Tetons, Wyoming, winter, sunset, hurricane pass, Grand Teton National Park, Grand Teton, photo

Tetons Winter Sunset

Sunset alpenglow on the Grand and Middle Tetons, as seen from near Hurricane Pass. 

Battleship Mtn, Tetons, Wyoming, sunset, photo

Battleship Sunset

Sun sets behind Battleship Mtn. 

sunset, snow, Tetons, Wyoming, photo

Blue Snow Sunset

Sunset over Idaho, as seen from the western side of the Tetons. 

Hurricane Pass, Tetons, Wyoming, camp, night, Grand Teton National Park, Grand Teton, photo

Hurricane Pass Moonlight

My camp on Hurricane Pass, on a gorgeous calm moonlit night.  In the background are the Grand Teton, Middle Teton, and South Teton. 

tent, Grand Teton, Middle Teton, Tetons, Wyoming, Hurricane Pass, Grand Teton National Park, photo

My tent on Hurricane Pass, with the Grand Teton and Middle Teton towering overhead.

Hurricane Pass, tetons, wyoming, wind, photo

High winds on Hurricane Pass.

On the second afternoon the wind really started picking up. The western horizon seemed to promise only more stormy weather, so I built a four foot high U-shaped wall of snow blocks around the windward side of my tent.  That night I realized why this pass is called "Hurricane Pass" - the wind was raging! I think that without the windblock I had built, my tent probably would have been ripped apart and blown away.  Even so, the tent was still getting pounded in some of the worst wind I've ever experienced. In the morning my wall was almost eroded away by the wind - just a skeleton of barely-connected blocks was still standing!