This summer turned out to be a very eventful one for me. I moved to Colorado during the first week of August and two days after getting out here, it was off to Wyoming and Grand Teton National Park.
My friend Joe and I left early in the morning and arrived in the park at around 8 p.m. We took our time on the drive up. We stayed at the American Alpine Club Climbers Ranch. Staying there was a lot of fun; we meet a lot of friendly people and even took the free rental bikes around the park. A few days later we picked up my friend Tim and began the process of trying to get a camp site in Garnet Canyon.
We ended up getting a one night permit for the Meadows camp sites. This would put us just a bit shy of the Lower Saddle. That afternoon we set off at the Lupine Meadows trailhead so that we could reach our camp site before sunset. When we got there we cooked up some dinner, drank plenty of water and bouldered around the camp site. The weather reports for the next day predicted clear skies and a very low chance of any storms rolling in. This meant that we could sleep in just a bit more than usual. We left camp the next morning and began to move up into the lower saddle. We crossed the massive snowfield and got to the saddle in pretty good time.
Once there we refilled water and set off once more, this time for the summit. The climbing was quite interesting. It was very cold up on the mountain, it had been all season. There was ice jammed in cracks all over the climb, this made placing pro and keeping a solid pace a bit difficult. Soon, however, we were standing on a big ledge just below the summit block. We unroped and scrambled the remaining 100 or so feet to the summit. It was a short celebration on top.
I had a drink of water and a quick snack and then we began our descent. We scrambled down from the summit, made one rap, and then another which took us to the upper saddle. From here we hiked into the lower saddle, descended the snowfield and some rocks, and then we were back at camp. Everyone packed up the tents, and all our gear and we began the hike back to the trailhead. Six miles later we were back at my truck. It had been quite a full day. We ate a full hot meal that night, found a free campground and went to bed.
The next day we rested and bummed around Jackson. The day after that it was time to return to Colorado. Joe had to leave right away, so I took him to the airport. Tim was staying in Colorado for another week to do some more climbing. Tim and I ended up spending a few days climbing in Eldorado Canyon before he left. Summer of 2011 turned out to be quite a success. I am very excited for my first winter climbing in Colorado and hope that it turns out alright as well.