Grand Traverse Attempt

It was a Sunday afternoon and I had just come down from my favorite hike in the Jackson Hole Valley-Avalanche Canyon to Lake Taminah, when I checked my voicemail. “Hey Hadley, it’s Brenton, do you think you could do the Grand Traverse Tuesday and Wednesday, call me back”

My mind started racing. I had been working 6 days a week all summer, training at Mountain Athlete at night and Core Pilates in the morning and frankly I was exhausted. Furthermore, my schedule did not allow for too many days hiking in the Tetons-Avalanche Canyon was my third trip into the Tetons all summer. Would I be able to summit 10 peaks, nine over 12,000 feet, with 20,000 vertical feet up peaks and valleys- in just two days?

Resi and I in Avalanche Canyon

After a tossing and turning all night I called Brenton (fellow Marmot Athlete and Exum Mountain Guide) in the morning and agreed. I kept telling myself that Brenton wouldn’t have asked me if he didn’t believe I could do it. I begged my very forgiving bosses for the days off (I can’t thank them enough for allowing me such flexibility), scurried around town for the right gear, and tried to get one last night of sleep.

At the ripe hour of midnight I met Brenton, fellow Marmot Athlete and Exum Co-Owner Mike Poborsky, and local photographer David Stubbs. We shuffled gear around and were hiking away from the Lupine Meadows parking lot around 1:00am. This is a glimpse at the next 20ish hours (not 100% accurate time wise, as most of it was a blur)

2am-Spotted a friendly fox who would follow us for the next few hours

3am-Becoming increasingly jealous of the fox’s endless energy up what seems like the steepest trail in Jackson

4am-The trail turns from dirt to rock as our amazing guides lead us through the darkness

5am-5,500 feet later, the summit of Teewinot, blanketed in wind and darkness

6am-The most beautiful sunrise I have ever seen. I am still not sure how to translate the beauty of it all without being incredibly cheesy, but I have never felt more inspired or more at peace.

7am-Repelling down towards the base of Mt. Owen

Can’t wait to ski the route to my left Photo David Stubbs

8am-Utterly amazed by Mike and Brenton’s comfortableness in the mountains.

9am-Remember that feeling of peace…it turned into exhaustion

10am-Questioning if my feet will move forward

Mt. Owen and Teewinot photo Hadley Hammer

11am-Pondering how we keep walking yet Mt. Owen seems to always stay the same distance away

12pm-Rejoicing in being able to drop our backs as we went for the summit of Mt. Owen

Mike, the ultimate guide, and I traverse the base of Mt. Owen, photo David Stubbs

1pm-Yes I would love to rewalk this knife edge again to take more videos

2pm-Summit of Mt. Owen

Brenton and Mike, Mt Owen Summit Photo David Stubbs

3pm-Fried Chicken

4pm-Climbing! Feeling rejuvenated and ready to use my arms to get my body up the mountain

5pm-Base of the Italian Cracks, 6 pitches to go

Italian Cracks Photo Hadley Hammer

6pm-Unreal exposure on the North side of the Grand’s belay ledges

7pm-Standing at 13,770ft, the highest point I had been in my life

8pm-The group and the sun descending down to the lower saddle, once again blanketed in a golden glow

Golden Glow Photo Hadley Hammer

9pm-The perks of an Exum guided trip is after all your walking, your next camp is stocked with water, food, and three sleeping bags

10am-Deep Sleep

Unfortunately, our next days plans changed a bit when we woke up. David had done a good amount of damage to his knee, and the second part of the trip postponed. However, instead of heading straight back into civilization, we stopped on our way down to climb the Corkscrew route. Although it would be a bit of a trek for a day climb, I highly recommend the route. During one of the pitches, I even caught myself giggling in delight.

We finished the route, cruised to the parking lot, scarfed hamburgers and all parted ways. I cannot wait to get back next summer for the complete route, hopefully not off the couch again.

I can’t thank Brenton enough for the invite, Mike for the inspiration on how to move so gracefully in the mountains, and David for the evidence of our hard work. Furthermore GU for the energy, Marmot for the clothes, and Smith Optics for protecting my eyes.

GEAR USED:

Marmot Zelus 25

Zelus 25 Women’s Backpacks Equipment

Marmot Minimalist Jacket

Wm's Minimalist Jacket Women’s Outerwear Waterproof Jackets GORE-TEX®

Marmot Rockstar Pants

Marmot Ama Dablam Jacket

Wm's Ama Dablam Jacket Women’s Outerwear Down Insulated Jackets Down

Marmot Variant Hoody

Wm's Variant Hoody Women’s Outerwear Synthetic Insulated Jackets Thermal R

Smith Optics Aura

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