“Jackson Hole, Wyoming is a like an amusement park for the 20-somethings,” Matt said after a week exploring the region. Upon arrival, we filled our time here with family, friends, mountains and rivers. Although this was considered our “break from field work,” we exerted ourselves to fill every moment.We began with a day of climbing at Blacktail Butte with old friends Stephen Snell and Kaylie Grey. The following day, we were blown off our attempt at climbing Guides Wall in Cascade Canyon by a massive storm that coated the Tetons in a veil of snow.
On Tuesday, July 28th I was honored to present my research at a talk hosted by the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance. What a wonderful experience. I began the big day with a fly-fishing float through Grand Teton National Park with my old coworker Nick Farney. The Snake River cutthroats on my line, eased my nervousness.
Hesitant at first, I believe the event went great and was well received. The small conference room soon overflowed, every chair was occupied, and intrepid listeners sat on the floor and peered in from outside. I felt so much support from my community.
The Pinnacle of our time here was of course the summit of the Grand Teton. Matt, I and my fellow Lewis and Clark College friend Ian Voorhees topped out at 13,775 feet at 11am on Saturday, choosing the 5.6 Whittich Crack as our route. The weather could not have been more perfect, as we enjoyed a full moon on the Lower Saddle, camped at 11,600 straddling Idaho and Wyoming. My second time on top of this peak, I was overjoyed.
Today we leave Jackson, and head North towards the Beartooth Mountains of Wyoming and Montana, eventually landing in Glacier National Park. Halfway complete, our adventure continues and I could not be more alive.