Grand Teton. We have discovered why it is called the Grand Teton. Unassuming and meek it is not. It is grand in a grandiose way, with its spires spiraling upward to the heavens. As we approached the Grand Teton National Park, I nearly had a heart attack. The Grand Teton is better than advertised. The awe, shock sensations swept across me and then slowly dissuaded away. What replaced it? Yup, you are right. The sheer burn, desire to climb the mother of them all! Grand Teton! My heart sang musically, along with the fireworks of the July 4th.
But alas, it never meant to be. Sad but true…we have no knowledge of technical climbing. How to belay, rappel, and make pitches. We discovered, to climb the Grand Teton unroped, is nuts. Nuts enough to put us into an asylum in fear of public’s safety. We tried to find a guide or teacher who could educate us the intricate (is it really?) art of extreme mountaineering but they were hard to find. The only chance we had was to hire a guide and it would cost us more than 800 bucks apiece. Even our SSI wouldn’t cover that. Damnation. Seven hells, I will return someday with the necessary repertoire and scale the Granddaddy of them all.
Sometimes in life- barriers create opportunities. We were dejected, sitting around in a shocked and listless way with our eyes having the “thousand-yard stare.” This went on for a while, until the ever-birdy Bobby chirped the idea of hiking the Grand Teton Crest Trail, 35 miles in all. We would slug it into the formidable backcountry of GTNP, and take in the scenery. It ended up being the best hike we have had the honor of undertaking on this otherworldly trip. Maybe Bobby and Scott will tell you about the scenery, the animals we saw, and the hike itself when you ask them about this hike. However, if you ask me….I would blabber senselessly about the glorious joy of GLISSADING! It was simply the glissade lover’s paradise. Wyoming is pretty chilly in general, so there was plenty of snow when we were only at 8,000 feet. Every time when we had to descend, without fail- I will scurry around and seek the perfect snowfield to glissade down. Bobby sometimes would join, but Scott is more of a skier, skiing down with his hiking shoes.
In our trip, we have hiked for over 230 miles, scaled eight mighty mountains, and visited more than 10 National Parks. Our bodies are different, transformed if you will. Our legs are stiff as a wood board, with muscles bulging here and there (bobby’s veined calves for one). Scott was guilty of not exercising prior to the trip and weighted in at 198. Now he is at ramrod 183. We haven’t shaved adequately for a long time, with hair sprouting from every angle on our faces. When we came from the 2 night 3 day backcountry trip of Teton Crest Trail, many visitors looked us in an askance manner. We were filthy, lean, and strong. We have this feeling where we could conquer any terrain- be it rocky, snow, and scree. Miles don’t matter anymore, 10? Sure. 15? Why not! It is indeed beautiful to be young, and have the ability to will your body to change under the circumstances. Ah but I digress.
Meaning for this blog post would be lost entirely if it didn’t have a video to vaunt. Remember how I embellished the joy of Glissading? Good news! Here is one with me in action!
(editor’s note: please don’t do this at home without the snow as the deed is fraught with unseen dangers)
The first video was an exemplar example. Bear Gryllis would have approved of that. However, in the second- I went a tad bit crazy. I think the sheer forces of high altitude and my love of glissading had collided quite violently. But ahem, you can see how excited I was.