My buddy Adam and I left Salt Lake at 10:00 pm Saturday, July 16 without even a definitive plan what we were going to climb.
We settled on Irene’s Arete in GTNP. This is a bit out of my range right now with still easing back into climbing and returning from repeated shoulder injuries. We wanted an adventure and we got one.
We started the trail at 9:15 am Sunday morning in fast and light style (lol). Had a great pace through Garnett Canyon. Lost some time the last couple hundred yards looking for the start. By 2:00 pm (can’t remember exactly) we were off to the races. Adam ended up leading the whole 1,100 feet to keep us going. Super impressive.
The Tetons are definitely warmer than usual. By Pitch 4 we ran out of water. Route finding had its challenges but the last pitch threw us a ringer. We couldn’t locate the last 5.7 pitch and we ended crawling our way through a stout 5.10. We lost all our time we had on that last pitch and now had to descend down Disappointment Peak trail in the dark with no point of reference and vague beta.
Neither one of us have ever been so dehydrated. After getting lost several times, we found a path down with Google Maps that took us to a quick rap to a climbers trail down the lake. Stagnant lake water never tasted so good. Then we had 5 more miles out to the car. We reached the car at 4:30 am Monday morning. 19 hours car to car. A heaven and hell type of adventure. Some of the best quality rock climbing I have ever touched. The aesthetics, exposure, everything was just incredible.
We had two choices to turn around. Right at the beginning and again at Pitch 3. After that, it was the point of no return. You needed to finish. It was tempting to turn around but the thought kept running through my head, “You don’t real know where the limit is until you test yourself.”