...For my birthday this year, I asked to climb Grand Teton. I’ve been training now for 4 months. There’s lots of hissing going on in my household. Lots of ice packs flying around. Lots of short trips and parties being turned down. Lots of lactic acid pumping through my veins. I’ve done without sweets for weeks upon weeks, chocolate included. My life has been consumed by the preparation. My husband reminds me frequently his life has been indirectly consumed by it. I gave him permission to say bad things to me the next time I throw out an idea that will so voraciously inhale 5+ months of our lives.

 Grand Teton. It stands at 13,770, with an ascent of 6,700 feet which requires a combination of hiking, climbing, and rappelling. It’s the highest mountain in the Teton Range (part of the Rocky Mountains). The most popular route up the mountain is the Exum Ridge (II, 5.5), a 13-pitch exposed route first climbed by Glenn Exum. This route takes the south ridge of the mountain to the summit and the direct start (Lower Exum Ridge, III, 5.7) is considered a mountaineering classic. The North Ridge (IV, 5.8) and North Face with Direct Finish (IV, 5.8) ascend the dramatic northern aspect of the peak, and their inclusion in Steck and Roper’s Fifty Classic Climbs of North America has helped maintain the fame of the peak in the climbing community. Since the first ascent, 38 routes with 58 variations have been established.

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  • Tammie Dooley

    I’m an explorer who happens to write and maintain a camera on my person at all times. Foreign travel is exotic but doesn't happ…

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