A Grand Time

What’s up lambs?

About a week ago, Bryan and his two good pals Jeremy and Cody decided to make it their new tradition to go up the Grand Teton each 4th of July weekend. With the crazy amount of snow we got this winter (818 inches), they boys set out at 11 PM last Saturday night to climb the mountain on Sunday to avoid any avalanche dangers.

Elevation: 13,775 feet

Grand Teton is the high point of the Teton Range, and the second highest peak in the state of Wyoming. No big deal.

Climbers scale this mountain in various lengths of time, anywhere from 2 days to 3 hours and seven minutes (the newest record).  In order to attain such fast times, climbers actually run up the  mountain and free-climb (meaning no ropes) when the terrain gets technical.

Bryan’s PR? 5 hours, 55 minutes, car-to-car. UNREAL. Anything sub-six hours is considered expert.

Here is Bryan’s account of their climb, last Saturday. Enjoy kittens!

So this weekend we once again climbed the Upper Exum Ridge of the Grand Teton on the 4th of July weekend, a new tradition. We started off on a beautiful starry night/morning on Sunday, July 3rd. With the enormous amount of snow we received in Jackson Hole this winter we knew we were in for a long day of climbing on snow and ice but the temperature was perfect and before long we were watching the sunrise from the rocky, wind blown Lower Saddle. We filled water bottles, consumed energy bars, enjoyed the scenery, and prepared for the climb.

When we approached the Wall Street Ledge we noticed from the undisturbed snow that no one had climbed the Upper Exum anytime recently, perhaps not since last season. With the sun now warming our faces we began the climb.

My new La Sportiva Boulder X shoes made for great climbing on the grippy granite rock. The climbing was easy yet exhilarating as we made our way toward the summit. There was quite a bit of snow and ice but we were able to avoid most of it and stay on rock, sometimes doing fun split-like moves between the rock.

A few hours later we were on the summit ridge and eager to rest and take in the view.

At 1:00pm we had reached the summit, basking sunlight we were elated and marveled at our surroundings. The sky was indescribably clear and the snow-capped mountain ranges of Western Wyoming glistened in sunlight.

Before long we started to make our way back down the mountain, through the snow, to the Lower Saddle where we had stashed some beers in the snow earlier in the morning. We glissaded (slid on our butts) down the snow fields and were soon on dry ground at another location where yes, we had stashed a couple more beers. By 5 we were approaching the parking lot and looking forward to seeing our girlfriends and enjoying the warm early evening on the deck at Dornan’s. It was a long but deeply satisfying day with good friends on one of America’s most iconic peaks, The Grand Teton.

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