Sunday, September 30, 2012

Falling into Place

In the past month, a lot of things have been falling into place for Derek and me. Whew!

I've picked up some regular babysitting gigs and some office work at the Outward Bound Town Office. Derek was also able to get some fall work instructing with NCOBS as well as some guiding work through both Peregrine Climbing Guides and Granite Arches.

We were able to get off-season housing with Outward Bound by  being Winter Caretakers of the base camp with one of our rock star coworkers. It should be a pretty fun fall, winter, & spring as we are all excited to get out climbing together.

I just finished setting up our off-season home in one of the bunks on base. Knowing that we'll be there for at least six months, I enjoyed making it super homey & cozy - a luxury I didn't have in our previous bunk. Here are some photos of our winter home...

 This love seat was left behind by a previous staff member. I covered it with a quilt my mother made from my father's old jeans.

 A view of our downstairs - we have some built in shelves and enough space for the love seat, gear, and books.
 The view when you first step into our bunk. It's just enough space for us :)
 Looking up to the loft from the bunk entrance. Derek and I hang out laundry to dry in the open space by the loft, and I have our backpacks hanging from the railing to keep the mice out!
 The built in shelving upstairs with our clothes.
 Extra storage space in the back corner - with more furniture left by previous staff.
 A real bed!!! We inherited a full-sized mattress with the room - woohoo!!
 My climbing gear and ice tools. Getting ready for the winter! Or a zombie attack.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Summiting the Grand Teton

I just got back from an awesome trip to Wyoming with my friend and business partner, Chris Latham.  We flew into Jackson Hole on Sunday with the intent to climb the Grand Teton later that week.  Upon arrival, our first mission was to find some white gas for our stove so that we could cook dinner.  Much to my surprise and chagrin, this process took over an hour and visits to 7 different stores before we finally found the much-needed fuel.  Finally successful in our mission, we then proceeded to the American Alpine Club's Grand Teton Climber's Ranch to crash for the evening.

View of the Tetons from the Climber's Ranch.
Monday saw us up relatively early to meet the rangers at Jenny Lake Ranger Station for our camping permit to be used later in the week.  After filing our paperwork and getting a bear canister, we hopped the shuttle across Jenny Lake to the Symmetry Couloir for an acclimatization hike.  After hiking to 10,000 feet, we decided to head back down due to building afternoon weather.

On the way up the Symmetry Couloir.
Jenny Lake, as viewed from the Symmetry Couloir.
On Tuesday it was time to start the hike up Garnet Canyon to the Grand.  In an effort to travel a bit lighter, we cooked dinner ahead of time while we ate our breakfast at the ranch, thus saving ourselves from having to carry a stove and fuel on the 5-mile, 4,000 foot hike to camp on the Middle Teton Glacier moraine.

On the way up Garnet Canyon, Nez Perce on the left, the Middle Teton on the right.
Chris below Spalding Falls.
The Middle Teton, from the Upper Exum Ridge
We began our day the next morning at 3:15am for the summit push.  Our plan was to hike to the Lower Saddle, climb the Upper Exum Ridge (III 5.5) to the summit of the Grand Teton, descend the Owen-Spalding route, break camp, and hike all the way back to the Lupine Meadows trailhead in time to grab dinner in town.  Needless to say, we needed to get moving early.

Chris approaching the base of the "Friction Pitch"
After a little tricky route-finding in the dark, we made it to the base of the famous "Wall Street Ledge" in time for day break.  A few hours later, we were lucky enough to have the summit to ourselves!  The climb was truly awesome, and the pizza and beer that evening never tasted so great.

On the summit!