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04-11-2012, 02:30 PM #1
TR: An early 21st Birthday Present. (Grand Teton TR) 4/9/12
The Grand has been on my hit list for awhile and I decided for my 21st I wanted to give it a go. Conditions looked prime 2 days before my birthday (Its today!) so I decided early presents are still great. Skiing it has only really been a possibility for the past 2 but irregaurdless it felt great to finally get up there and ski the big one. Thanks to my partner Adam as well as Coolstine and Randosteve for the beta. Couldnt have done it without you guys
After much planning, figuring, and guessing Adam and I decided we would leave Bradley/Taggart TH at midnight and plan to summit between noon and 1 o'clock. Neither of us was able to figure out how to sleep for a midnight start and I picked Adam up a little before 11:30. We hit the trail just a couple minutes before midnight. We found ourself skinning without headlamps under the (almost) full moon and clear skies. Once we crossed Bradley Lake we stashed out skins under a fallen tree, donned crampons and walked up the firm snow on the headwall of Garnet Canyon. Walking up the canyon and to the top of the Teepe Glacier under the moonlight was a truely special experience. Except for a few dark spots in the trees lower down in the canyon we hiked without headlamps for the entire approach. Words cant describe it fully, magical would be my best guess. Unfortunatly I havent figured out taking pictures in the moonlight so I have nothing to show for it but the images in my head which will not soon be forgotten.
We reached the Teepe Col as the sun was rising and we were relieved to be right on time. We made a short, exposed traverse/climb to the Glencoe Col as the sun finally came fully over the horizon.
The moon over the East Face/Glacier Route of the Middle
_Aaron_ traverses to the Glencoe Col
We put on harness, racked gear, and grabbed a bite to eat at the col. As we began the short downclimb from the col to the bottom of the Stettner Couloir and within 5 minutes of entering the couloir a small rock snuck quitely down and pegged me square in the face. I escaped with a small chip in my glasses, two small cuts on my nose, and a reminder that we were front and center in a shooting gallery. The Stettner was thin and we solo'ed over the a few mixed cruxes to the base of the Chevy Couloir.
_Aaron_ climbs the Stettner Couloir
Adam mixes it up
At the base of the Chevy we talked briefly and decided that the couloir was to thin to be the Chevy and continued upward and climbed a short rock pitch hoping it would lead to the Chevy. Once at the top of the rock we realized that the thin couloir must have indeed been the Chevy so we built a quick anchor and with a single rope rap and some down climbing found ourseelves at the bottom of the couloir once again.
Adam and _Aaron_ at the base of the Chevy (again)
Adam led the first pitch of the Chevy placing 2 screws and a nut on a slightly overhanging chalkstone before pulling into an anchor and putting me on a top rope. I quickly climbed the ice, cleaning the screws up to the chalkstone. At the chalkstone the moves and pick placements proved more difficult than I had anticipated and I took a short fall. Adam threatened to rig a quick haul system if I couldnt make it up on my next try. There was no way I was going to let that happen and by pure will power I managed to pull and beach-whale myself over the crux. It wasnt pretty but it worked. The next pitch looked pretty managable, albit equally thin. We opted to sumil-climb and myself being the weaker climber took the lead. The pitch was uneventful and we arrived at the bottom of the Ford. I was relieved since the climbing in the Chevy was the biggest question mark for me. As Adam coiled and stashed the ropes I began the final bootpack up the Ford Couloir.
Adam tops out the Chevy Couloir
I lead up the Ford and gained the SE ridge where I waited for Adam to catch up and took in the views of the valley. At this point Adam admitted he was feeling the affects of the midnight start and the almost 7k of elevation gain from the car. He stopped and grabbed a quick bite while I finished the bootpack to the summit, topping out a little before 1. The views extended as far as we could see in every direction and the wind I expected was nowhere to be found (What a treat!)
Adam gains the SE ridge
The views were mindblowing (these *should* stich together)
We downclimbed off the summit to the highest skiable snow and clicked in. With our comfort levels now reversed I dropped in first following our bootpack down the SE ridge where I waited for Adam. Adam AKA "King of the stem-christie" skied like a seasoned pro making nice small radius turns down to me.
_Aaron_ off the top
Unfortunatly my pictures of Adam sking came out really over exposed.I tired to photoshop save them for Adam but any help from the photo mags would be greatly appreciated
I took the lead again into the Ford proper and through the choke pulling up 20 or so yards above the second rap station (We didnt see the first one until we were clipped into the second) Adam, skied down to me, over to our gear cache, and into the rap station.
Aaron in the Ford Couloir
Adam through the choke
The snow at the rap station was very firm and made taking skis and boards off interesting. While Adam rigged our ropes (a 70m 8mm line and a thinner tag line) Istrapped my board to my pack and rapped first followed shortly thereafter by Adam.
For the sake of time and spending as little time as possible exposed in the couloir we sumil-rapped the rest of the Chevy and Stettner. By the time we reached the Teepe Glacier it had mostly refrozen into a breakable crust providing difficult conditions for tired legs. Luckly the snow below the Teepe was still soft and slushy for the most part as we skied back to the car. Around 630 we arrived back at the TH exausted and overjoyed. Adams girlfriend met us with beers (My last illegal drink!) and after a quick celebratory dinner in town Adam and I both got the sleep we needed.
I hope you enjoyed coming along as much as I enjoyed sharing
04-11-2012, 02:40 PM #2
excellent. well done and happy birthday.
04-11-2012, 02:44 PM #3
Well done and happy birthday!Twitter: @BeerMountaineer
04-11-2012, 02:50 PM #4
Very nice TR! Super photos! Ballsy climb and ski, sir.We own it!
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04-11-2012, 02:52 PM #5
04-11-2012, 02:58 PM #6
well played tetard! Happy Birthday!!The blues has always been about taking your problems and turning them into something you can dance to, drink to and fuck to.
We're certainly not a blues band in any kind of purest sense, but to me Rock and Roll has always had it's roots in that tradition.
Patterson Hood of the DBT's
04-11-2012, 02:58 PM #7
Awesome work guys! Can't believe I missed you getting nailed by yet another rock Aaron!If you're being rad and nobody's around to see it, are you really being rad?
04-11-2012, 02:58 PM #8
04-11-2012, 03:01 PM #9
Not a bad way to spend a birthday .
Seems like you've hit a lotta nice lines for 21! Keep it up.
04-11-2012, 03:03 PM #10
i couldn't wish for a much better birthday gift than sliding down the grand teton. very good work, sir!Live To Ski!
04-11-2012, 03:25 PM #11
04-11-2012, 03:34 PM #12
04-11-2012, 03:36 PM #13
Thats about as committing as any birthday I have seen. Nice work dude! You have just been killing it out there. Happy Birthday.
04-11-2012, 04:01 PM #14
and "irregaurdless" is not a word!!!
(seriously, nice work)
04-11-2012, 04:05 PM #15
yeah dude!Fun times in the mountains
DPS demos?----> sam at dpsskis dot com
04-11-2012, 04:09 PM #16
Kick ass, well done.
04-11-2012, 04:47 PM #17Registered User
- Join Date
- Dec 2009
- Frisco, CO
Very cool. I'm headed up on Tuesday to ski the Grand. Except I'm over 40 years older than you.
04-11-2012, 04:57 PM #18
oh hell yes. that is an amazing accomplishment.We heard you in our twilight caves, one hundred fathom deep below, for notes of joy can pierce the waves, that drown each sound of war and woe.
04-11-2012, 05:46 PM #19Registered User
- Join Date
- Feb 2010
awesome pictures! i'm stoked you got on the grand this year after our bailed attempt last spring. definitely high on my hit list. (andrew in denver)
04-11-2012, 05:51 PM #20
forking awesome! Way to go, the views alone must have been worth it!"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
04-11-2012, 05:58 PM #21
that shit gave me butterflies. well done!
04-11-2012, 06:10 PM #22
Fuck yeah! Very nice accomplishment.
Things look thin up there. Would you expect the Ford-Stet to be fairly brutal by May?
Edit: And HBD!
04-11-2012, 06:26 PM #23Registered User
- Join Date
- Oct 2006
Happy Birthday and great descent. Stoked to be up there soon.I can't believe you are a rando racer because I look so much better in Lycra than you.
People who don't think the Earth is flat haven't skied Vail.
04-11-2012, 06:26 PM #24
Way to go dude! Quite the accomplishment! Time to saddle up at a bar somewhere & claim full radnesso--/\
-/ .) ' \ go with respect, get to know your mountains
/' (. ' |'\
' ' .) ' ,'
04-11-2012, 06:52 PM #25
Very nice work...
And it couldn't have been on your list that long at 2140-14