Monday, August 3, 2009

Grand Teton Climb, Part III (The Summit)

We set out around 4:00 with our headlamps and started to climb, headed to the Upper Exum Ridge route.

Holly and Kathy in the wee hours.

That would be Jessica, our guide, at the top of this rope.

When the sun came up, I couldn't believe our stunning view - already we were looking down on the Middle Teton.

And when I saw how high we were, I did hug the cliff face, just a bit, until I got used to the exposure (the thousand foot and more cliffs/dropoff below us).

Holly taking up the rear of our team.

Holly and Michelle.


I'm not sure which pitch this is, there were about 13 pitches total.

The belaying was more tiring than the climbing (this is me again), after about the 10th pitch I thought my left arm would fall off.

The best part of the day, after cresting the last scary-*$$ (but exhilarating) pitch of the Exum Ridge, and having the summit in sight. There's nothing like it, here's Holly as she tops out.

Some awesome views from the top. Below, looking north at Jackson Lake and Yellowstone. If your timing is just right, you can see Old Faithful blow from the top of the Grand.

And that's what friends are for -- climbing mountains together! Kathy and Holly.

Wyoming women who rock! Michelle and Jessica sitting; Kathy and Holly standing.

This is an 120' rappell with a good portion of it free-hanging. It was a complete riot. (Michelle is rappelling here in the upper third of the shot, but you have to squint to see her.)
We went from the summit back down to the trailhead parking lot this same day.

Looking back at Wall Street, and part of the Exum Ridge that we climbed --- in the DARK!

Without a doubt, the best beer that I have ever had, thanks to Michelle's husband Jason. He met us in the Lupine Meadows Trailhead parking lot with beer and camp chairs.

And last but not least, here is my support team with a mountain of muffins for me! Scott made little stick figures climbing the to the top of the blueberry muffin heap.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Grand Teton Climb, Part II

Holly firing up the stove on the morning of our adventure. This is at the Climber's Ranch where we stayed before and after the climb.

The goal.

Yes Holly, you should definitely wear the glacier glasses. How cool are those!

And we're off, the Lupine Meadows Trail to Garnet Canyon to camp at the Lower Saddle.

The Grand comes into view.

After the headwall, Holly, and looking back at the valley.

Kathy, getting closer to camp.

We girls scored a sweet deal. Since there were only three of us (girls) we stayed in the little orange tent next to Exum's large sleeping hut. The hut can sleep 16 people, stacked like cordwood! That's a lot of snoring and testosterone.

"... and this is the cave where we make unruly clients sleep," says one of the Exum guides. Actually I believe that the guides hole up in these little cozy dens to get a break from clients!

Holly and Kathy with the Grand in the background. Discussing beef stroganoff and thinking it's very, very funny.

An amazing sight ~ the shadows of the Tetons on the valley floor.

Sunset looking toward Alaska Basin and Idaho. We'll be getting up to climb in a few short hours!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Grand Teton Climb, Part I

Climbing, learning knots, and gaining confidence ---
On a rappel near Jenny Lake, Grand Teton National Park

The Grand Teton at sunset.

Sinks Canyon, Lander

Kathy with Exum guide, Wesley Bunch, after a very fun day in Grand Teton NP.