Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Climbing Grand Teton

Just north of Jackson, Wyoming you  drive into Grand Teton National Park. Wandering around the bulk of the park is fairly flat and easy.  If you want a challenge, you go climb in the mountains.  If you really want a challenge, you climb Grand Teton itself.

Most people do it in two days, but those people are sissies.  The one day alternative is to get up at 1:30 am and start climbing by 3:00.  It is a 7 mile start, up 5,000 feet of vertical.  This is roughly like hiking straight up a blue or black ski run for 7 miles.  Then you do a few hours of roped-in technical climbing to reach the summit.  Then come back down it all, which for most of us is worse than going up.  You start in the dark and finish in the dark.
This isn't anything I have done. It was my seven year old next door neighbor Hannah and her parents.  If you read this blog, you know Hannah is a soon-to-be Olympian in something.  She is already running 5k races in under 8:00 miles.
Much to my dismay, this incredible little girl was able to make to all the way up to the West Summit in a one day push.  She is simply astounding.
At the end of the day, when I would be laying collapsed in a heap, she was showing people that she could do cartwheels. I wonder how much more we could all do if we didn't place so many mental restrictions on ourselves.

Two more pictures I just got.  This is the 3:00am departure photo.  Time to start the climb.
 And Hannah and her mom Sally at the West Summit.  How cute are they!
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