Wednesday dawned clear and chilly, perfect for my first day in the Tetons. I had a small pack of water, food, and a jacket; it would be a solo mission. Destination: the biggest, Grand-est peak around. Leaving the trailhead just after sun's rise, I was psyched to be bathed in its first warming rays. The easy trail quickly gained elevation, and in no time I had covered the first four miles and entered the beautiful Garnet Canyon, where wildflowers and waterfalls abound. After a long summer of climbing in Yosemite and the Sierra, I was grateful to have been living at such high altitudes, and both my lungs and legs felt great.
The view from the Saddle looking West. Dad- (and other Teton Crest Trail veterans), can you spot Hurricane Pass and Schoolroom Glacier?
Dutch Oven cooking in camp. The Exum ridge is the left-side skyline of the the Grand, the highest peak visible.
A Grand summit photo.
Irene's take the central prow for six quality pitches of 5.7-5.9
After an easy descent, I was back at the base of the route, and I was getting hungry. The gentle trail made for a fast hike back to the trailhead, and I was back at camp making burritos by 6pm. All in all, it had been an unforgettable day in the mountains, and I knew my knees would be feeling the 8000 feet of vertical gain (and another 8000' of descent) and 12+ miles of hiking. I love the Tetons!