There is little I had anticipated as much as I did while preparing to climb the Grand Teton in Wyoming. It's a premier climb, a frightening climb. And for me, a non climber, it was a completely foreign experience.
I want to preface the following by stating that I do three runs a week, about 6 miles long, hit the weights, and play basketball in between. But my body had not endured the kind of exhaustion that the Teton brought. Some of it was expected, and it made finishing the climb feel even better. There are endless youtube videos of people climbing the Owen Spalding or Upper Exum routes, and too many articles detailing fatalities every year, so I'll just provide some images of us on the Teton. Some quick thoughts:
1 . Wonderful experience to be up nearly 14 thousand feet.
2. Much more technical than expected.
3. Altitude sickness is real. I had a headache most of the way up the seven thousand foot climb.
4. Grateful to have climbed it with my awesome and brave wife.
5. Next time, I'm sprinting it up. Backpacking in on a Thursday to camp and trying to sleep before the following day's climb up was not ideal for me. I was exhausted when we camped at the meadows and was unable to sleep.
6. Most frightening thing I've ever done.