I had a really big day. Not really all that ready to talk about what I did specifically, but I linked three big peaks in a day in the Tetons. I actually only linked two, considering that I had to bail 40ft. from the summit of the Southern Teton due to a series of thunderstorms. I down solo’d off the top as the thunder and lightning struck overhead, and my ice axe handle was just poking up out of my packs holder like a rod tempting the elements.
Benjamin was telling me about the ridge that he saw when he was coming down off the Middle Teton, and while I was happy with the two peaks I already bagged today, when I saw the Southern I just thought that the triple was so close that it would be foolish to pass up the opportunity. And yeah, I saw the clouds building. My feet were already pretty soaked and badly blistered, but I went for the low fifth class onsight nonetheless. Go figure that I would charge steadfast until I was forced by skittle sized hail and lightning directly overhead to glacade down a pretty serious slope to the talus.
I desperately scrambled down more skree and talus searching for some kind of shelter, and I just felt super exposed with that handle poking out right behind my head just waiting to get struck. I found a huge boulder and ran behind it to change the way my axe was strapped so it wasn’t so exposed when two guys under a rock cave hollered to me. I just left the ice axe in the open at the boulder and scurried over to them. I think that’s when I started to laugh because this situation was completely instigated by my own pride.
The storm passed briefly and gave us a short window to sprint down the snow slopes sliding and self-arresting in a desperate run to their camp. It was actually really fun. Thank you guys for calling out to me and sharing the shelter. That would have really sucked to weather the storm without that break.
After they made it to their camp we parted ways, and the storming resumed, and I found another sheltered rock cave to hunker in for a while longer while I waited for the rain and hail and thunder to calm.
My day started at 2am in Lander, and I just pretty much packed up and drove straight to Lupine Meadows Trailhead and after bear proofing my set up I just ran straight up to the Grand and started my link up. So when I got back to the car around 7pm Mountain Standard I was feeling pretty wrecked. I was, and still am, desperate for a good hot meal.
I have never been to Jackson before, and now that I am I can’t say that I was missing anything. What I am missing is the community and solitude and freedom offered in Lander. These two places couldn’t be any more different.
I’ll use this coffee to boost me up a tad bit, and I’ll go find or make food, and drive the drive to dirtbag in a place much further than I’d anticipated. It’s just so freaking crowded and hectic here!
Anyways, I’ll make do. Sometimes the challenges present themselves, and we must rise to the occasion, even when we’re tired from arrogantly charging into dumb situations. As somebody in Harry Potter said, “Constant vigilance, Harry!”