July 30, 2013

SL Twin Peaks- via FC

Scott and I got an early start on Saturday as we both had family commitments to be at in the morning. This summer has been loaded with my boys' baseball games, church youth activities, lots of work and backpacking with my sons.

While folks were at the Speedgoat, Scott and I were lonely in the high hills. It was a nice morning, threatened by rain the whole time. We moved at a steady pace and had a great time.
Muscles and upper FC

The mighty Deaf Smith

Ridge to Black Horn

Scott and summit of Black Horn

Top of Twin East after tagging Twin West

July 25, 2013

Middle Teton- A New Generation July 19/20, 2013

In 1994, while coming off the Grand Teton and descending into the Lower Saddle, I saw this dad and his young son, maybe 15 years of age just arriving at the saddle with big packs. I remember as I walked away with the Exum Ridge fading behind me, how neat their experience will be together on such a wonderful mountain. The Tetons have been a part of my life since I was 13 years old when I first saw them. I began climbing them in 1990 and haven't stopped.

Now with a 14 year old son of my own the time has come to indoctrinate the next generation with the gospel of the Teton Range. His first experience had to be expedition style, not the fast and light way I have grown accustomed. So last Friday we loaded our Ospreys with over-night necessities and with permit in hand Alex and I headed for the Meadows at the base of the mountain we would ascend, the Middle Teton. The hike in was nice, a bit hot but beautiful with wild flowers all around us. Alex with a full pack hiked strong, arriving at the Meadows in less than 2.5 hours.  The Meadows unfortunately has become a busy place, but we were able to find a great spot.  As the sun tucked itself behind the hulking Middle Teton, we ended our day.
Alex and his objective, is he happy?

Alex and the boulders
At 345 AM, after some oatmeal and hot chocolate (gotta fuel the young one) we headed up South Fork in the darkness of a star laden sky. Crossing solid snowfields, Alex got to use crampons and an ice axe for the first time. We were stoked to be in such a massive setting together with Nez Perce, Cloudveil and the unveiling South Teton surrounding us.  The sun began to burn the horizon as we reached the last remaining snowfield. On the saddle Alex had the chance to make one last decision, go or no go. There wasn't even a question in his mind. "Let's roll Dad."

Up the Southwest Couloir we went, through the shooting gallery of loose rock and then up to the Summit, arriving at 722 AM. The setting opened his eyes quickly as the north and east aspects of the summit block fall away precipitously. He immediately sized up the Grand which was now staring him down. Looks like we have a trip planned for next year. I was so proud of him!
Alex on the last snowfield

Alex in the shooting gallery of Southwest

Alex, Summit Middle Teton!!

Old man and the 14 year old, and the GT- self portrait as no one was around yet

Bundled up Alex!

Alex cautiously moving off the top, Middle's shadow background

On the descent we practiced more self arrest techniques on the snowfields, as we watched folks with out helmets move by us. We even got to see one guy that was using a knife instead of a ice axe.
Alex and Shoulder of South Teton


Proud Father for sure