From Jackson, Grand Teton National Park is just a short drive to the north. I didn't have a climbing partner for this phase of the trip, so I settled on a fun scramble up Teewinot Mountain in lieu of a climb of the Grand itself. It was way less crowded to boot! I set off at 0330, intending to beat any potential afternoon storms. I tried to pace myself for the 5,600ft climb, but the last month living at higher altitude and all of my climbing thus far had left me in better shape than I expected. I hiked much faster than I planned on and had to don all of my extra layers and huddle in the lee of a boulder for 45 minutes waiting for first light so I could better find my way through the tricky part instead of relying on my headlamp alone. Good views of the Grand Teton from the airy and exposed summit.
|The Grand Teton from Teewinot|
|Good morning Jackson Hole!|
The storm cleared that night and I got up super early the following morning to capture some sunrise shots that I had scouted a few days prior, just waiting for the right conditions. Hard to beat a crisp, clear morning with a cup of coffee in hand, watching the alpenglow move from the tips of the summits down the mountains into the valley.
|Tetons from Schwabacher's Landing|
|A few hours later I floated this portion of the Snake River|
Teton adventuring complete, I picked up Coast Guard buddy Tim Ozimek from Jackson. I had done some of my very first mountain climbing with Tim and his dad when we were stationed together in Washington. Tim has since transferred to DC and I was able to stay out in the Northwest, gaining enough experience to start leading the climbing trips myself. We planned a weeklong trip in the southern part of the Wind River Range, climbing in some of the most picturesque places in the country but hoping to avoid the notorious crowds with our post-Labor Day timing.
|Wayward calves creating a Wyoming traffic jam|
|Tim crossing the Continental Divide at Texas Pass|
|Tim on the East Ledges|
|Tim making the final approach to the summit. Lonesome Lake beyond.|
|The Cirque of the Towers from the summit of Pingora|
|Descending the South Buttress|
|Warbonnet Peak lords over Tim's shadow and the top of Jackass Pass|
|The entirety of the Cirque of the Towers from Jackass Pass|
|Deep Lake Cirque and East Temple Peak|
|Gaining the ridge to East Temple Peak. Deep Lake behind and Haystack Mountain right.|
|The amazing view to the northwest from East Temple Peak|
|The diving board. Don't drop your camera!|
Pingora and East Temple Peak were the primary objectives of our trip. But with continued good weather and an extra day of food, we roped up again for a "bonus" climb up Haystack Mountain. It was windy and exposed, giving it a definite "alpine" feel, but the climbing was easy and straightforward, if a bit longer than expected. Tim and I wanted to rename the peak "Energizer Mountain" because the number of false summits made it appear that it kept going and going. We eventually made the top and enjoyed the views.
|The summit of Haystack Mountain. East Temple behind, left.|
It's on to Colorado for me (#46), checking out Rocky Mountain National Park and picking up yet another Coast Guard buddy in Denver for my final drive across the country to finish all fifty states!