Trip Report: Climbing the Middle Teton's NW Ice Couloir, Part 1

Because I breathe through gills in my eyelids reminiscent of the cephalopod in Men in Black, rest was unnecessary after the 2 day, 20+ mile, 15,000+ foot, climb of the Grand Teton.  Instead of the reenergizing period that humans refer to as “rest,” I decided to skip that step altogether, simultaneously rescinding any humanistic traits that may have remained after the arduous hike out from the Grand Teton.

Bryce had rolled into Jackson–or what I like to refer to as “The Town Without Women Without Chacos“–the same day I returned from climbing “the Grand”.  Originally, this Jackson Hole trip was entirely in the celebratory spirit that Bryce’s birthday invoked, thus allowing me to relish in a guidebook’s worth of route planning.  But Bryce’s trip to Jackson was cut super short due to some weird obligation that I’ve never heard of before.  If I’m not mistaken, it started with the letter j and rhymed with the name “Bob.” Whatever.  We were forced to make an attempt on some kind of less-than-standard-and-less-than-safe route in the time we were given: exactly 1 day.

With only a day’s rest, Bryce and I crashed at the beautiful cabin of our good friend Meghan, a Grand Teton National Park ranger from SLC, nestled in the woods on a huge chunk of ranch land in the National Park.

At 1:30am, we woke up.  Well, in all seriousness, I slept in Meghan’s bed, soundly, for a few hours while everyone else stayed awake.  Bryce crashed on the bedroom floor, going to bed at who-knows-when, and I almost stepped on Meghan, sleeping on the floor of her own living room, as I left her house in the middle of the night.  So, um, thanks, Meghan.  Within a few minutes of shuffling around in the dark and tripping over questionably-alive bodies, Bryce and I were out the door, driving to the Garnet Canyon trailhead in the light evening rain.

Arriving at the trail, a vague sense of déjà vu took over. I couldn’t quite figure out why, exactly, I felt as though I’d been there only 36 hours earlier.  Oh, I quickly realized, it’s because I literally just hiked in and out of this stupid, onerous, 50-million-mile trail the day before yesterday.  Sweet.  It’s 2am and I’m already miserable.

In the calm rain, under the shouldered weight of far lighter packs that those of days prior, Bryce and I took off up the heavily-trodden trail lit by nothing but the dim light of our dying headlamps (or torches, as the Europeans call them (at least that’s what they call headlamps in all of the climbing books (but, then again, they also call backpacks rucksacks (idiots)))).  Somehow, the soreness that had taken control of my body for the previous 2 days subsided with my first step on the trail, and my energy level skyrocketed.  I surprised myself with how ready I was for another steep, long, miserable day.


About @brodyleven

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2 Responses to Trip Report: Climbing the Middle Teton's NW Ice Couloir, Part 1

  1. Pingback: Trip Report: Climbing the Middle Teton’s NW Ice Couloir, Part 2 | brody leven

  2. Pingback: Trip Report: Climbing the Middle Teton’s NW Ice Couloir, Part 3. | brody leven

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