We set out early the next morning, before dawn, on our climb of Teewinot Mountain. The day was clear and beautiful and things were going well as we hummed a few Elton John tunes on the way up. It was an unrelentingly steep climb, though! Through open, mature forests, we climb up, and up, eventually reaching a short bit of steep mountain meadows with beautiful wildflowers. Above us, the world turned to rock (and a bit of snow).
We gave Luke some basic snow-travel skills training on a small snowfield not far beyond where the trail petered out. From there, we climbed the small snowfield, then scrambled back and forth over ramps and small patches of earthy terrain. Farther up, a steeper and short 4th class section of rock was a bit more challenging.
Above this section was a small, narrow finger of a snowfield, then some more 3rd-class steep scrambling, presumably leading to the summit. I say presumably, because that's as far as we got. Luke took a short slip on the narrow snowfield, successfully, though slowly, self-arresting. This was an unnerving episode for Luke, and deflated some of the zeal he had for continuing to the summit. Above our heads and to the west, its approach shielded by the bulk of the mountain we were climbing, was an angry little thundershower. The sudden onset of booming and dark, malevolent skies were enough to drain any remaining summit enthusiasm. We turned and headed down.
Two climbers and an idol.
With having done 95% of the ascent of Teewinot, we vowed to return someday and scale the rest. Still, we'd had a fantastic day and a challenging outing. It was now time to move along......
Next on the agenda was a drive north to Yellowstone National Park, where we planned to have a quick look at the various geothermal features of the park; from there, we continue north, crossing into Montana (and its most excellent reasonable-and-prudent speed limit), heading for Glacier National Park, in the far north of the state.
Scenic driving at the Tetons
Yellowstone National Park