The most amazing places in the world are the hardest to get to. Maybe they are even more amazing because of the effort it took to reach them. There is something about being on the highest point that you can see anywhere. I love the sensation! The effort has been worth it. Every single time.
The summit of the Grand Teton is a narrow rocky area with an incredible view. There is actually a little flat area, which seems impossible when you look at the peak from a distance. It looks incredibly sharp, especially from the north. From the top, the whole Teton Range is spread out around you. The Snake River sparkles in the sun as it winds along the whole valley. From the top looking down, you can see the tops of all the other peaks, rocks, snowfields and glaciers. Below them are lakes and forest at the base of the mountains. The glacier valleys look amazing from above.
It was freezing up there at nearly 14,000 feet. It’s surprising how cold it got as we went higher, and my climb was in July. I had on gloves, parka, and a hat but was wishing for long johns.
We didn’t spend too long up there. It’s impossible to ignore the coming descent. It took us just as long to get down as to climb up. The high peaks are dangerous in bad weather. Always keep a close eye on the weather, and don’t forget that you still have to be cautious in the difficult terrain. You aren’t going to be able to make a quick get-away. You still have to down-climb carefully and safely. Part of the route down was a long rappel. All the down routes funnel to that point, and there are a couple of fixed anchors to connect to.
We got back to camp about 1pm, and by about 3pm, a storm had moved in with lightning, rain and hail. We were really glad to be back under shelter. That was why we started climbing at 3am. Totally worth it! I hope to climb the Grand again and again!