Analysing terrain data
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The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.
Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.
Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.
High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.
Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.
If one chooses to camp at Alaska Basin, day two of the Teton Crest will be nice and relaxing! An allure of camping in Alaska Basin is that it's located in the Jedediah Smith Wilderness Area, meaning a backcountry permit is not required.
This is key given that obtaining permits for the Teton Crest Trail can often be quite difficult.
Another plus is the beauty of Alaska Basin.
There are numerous little alpine lakes surrounded by big peaks.
A few of the lakes can act as swimming holes, too! Where you decided to camp along the Death Canyon Shelf for night one will determine exactly how far you must travel to reach Alaska Basin.
Regardless of where you start, the trail features open vistas throughout, letting you take in the spectacular views around you.
Rushing through this part can be tempting given that every step brings you closer to the Grand! The scenery changes dramatically as you finally depart the Death Canyon Shelf.
Once you pass Death Canyon, the views of Alaska Basin open up.
This area is a thing of beauty.
The Basin is nestled beneath huge peaks and feels like a lush wonderland.
Camping options are plentiful in Alaska Basin.
Most campers choose to camp near Basin Lakes or further on at Sunset Lake.
You cannot go wrong with either spot.
Camping in the Basin is awesome as you will likely get to see the evening alpenglow on the peaks surrounding Basin Lakes.
Given the large size of the Basin, you may encounter others camping in the area.
The spots are pretty spread out, though. Another plus of camping in the Basin is the opportunity to explore the side trails that depart from the area.
One popular side trip is to Static Peak Divide (documented in a separate FATMAP Adventure).
This is one of the highlights of the Teton Crest Trail.
It'd also be worth it to come back to this area and use Alaska Basin as a base camp, and then explore from there! Overall, day two is not as long mileage-wise as the other days, but it still packs in the views.
Leaving Death Canyon Shelf is tough, but Alaska Basin quickly compensates for the beauty! The trail only gets better as you make your way towards Hurricane Pass and the Grand.