We love to hear trip reports from our customers but we also get after it ourselves. The following is a trip report from our Sales and Events manager Gabe’s trip to the Tetons. Good stuff, Gabe.
The interior of the Tetons is a place that is very dear to my heart. It is a place of inspiration, solitude, energy, divinity and synergy. It is a place that reminds me of why we started Klymit in the first place.
There is something that happens to me here, and it is so much deeper than the affectations of the obvious aesthetic majesty. Having felt overwhelmed at the post summer tradeshow season workload, I felt the familiar itch of wanderlust gnawing at my psyche. Kailey and I decided to do something different this Labor day weekend. Rather than our usual triathlon training and constant movement, we decided to be lazy Friday and Saturday….so lazy, and then go crazy for the last two days in the hills. We did just about nothing on Friday night, and made it as far as our local movie theater Saturday. We are never like this. It was lovely, and cathartic, but come Sunday morning it was on! We left early and made it to the Tetons about lunchtime Sunday for the off trail Teton blitz. I had never taken Kailey through the Tetons, and wanted her to see them from my favorite perspectives.
We made the summit of Table Mountain about 5 pm, did some yoga and stretching, and proceeded to camp at one of my favorite little spots on a boulder sheltered cliff precipice at the edge of Teton National Park. We broke camp early and navigated down a very steep and dangerous scree and cliff band to the east side of Battleship Mountain. Here we lingered for hours, drinking the delicious glacier water, eating breakfast, and letting the morning sun burn some of the mist away to get some good shots of the Grand and Mt. Lewis. I have never seen another soul on this shelf. It has a small pine forest and huckleberry patch on the North side, 3 small glaciers that create several small glacier pools, and the most breathtaking view of the major peaks of the Tetons that I have encountered. Come the zombie apocalypse, you now know where to find me.
We traversed for a couple miles around to the main Trail that goes through the Tetons. I call it the Teton Highway. I had seen several pheasants, deer, sage hen, a healthy grizzly momma with her cub(first time I have seen one in TNP), a mountain goat, and plenty of raptors and rodents. This section of the Tetons used to have game trails traversing the region. They were no longer there. What we did find, on maybe the 1Ž2 mile that we spent on trail this trip, was about 15 hikers carrying massive loads and trudging along. We had some fun conversations, shared some stories, and disappeared off trail to a secret lake for lunch and then headed back over hurricane pass and off trailed it until we met 1 mile of the South Fork trail and got back to the car around 4. I don’t know if I have had a better 28 hours in my life.
Here is my Teton guide: Get lost. Get off trail. Don’t buy a new trail map. Navigate, orienteer, and be mature and go back if you get stranded atop a cliff band(This will absolutely happen in the Tetons). Find an old, musty, smelly Tetons climbing book that aptly describes the approaches to the gnarly peaks in the Tetons that were used before the guides took over. You will find trails that are no longer on maps. You will find solitude. You will also be finding the spirit of the untamed Tetons; The déjà vu you get when you see that perfect glacier lake that you have only seen in your dreams; That unusual reflection where the sun seems to be filtering its warmth straight into your soul; That moment when the majesty of your surroundings impresses upon you the pentameter of the universe, and your experience is filled with the soul’s own music.
I have been to the Tetons so many times, but sharing this with Kailey, the awesome pace we kept over 10,000 feet of vertical gain, and the ideal weather, clear views, and untouched and inspiring terrain we covered made this a special trip. It will be with me for forever. In truth, I was working, testing the Air Beam Pack Frame in a new configuration with a new pack manufacturer. I can’t tell you exactly which pack, but I will tell you that Steve from Figure 4 makes some of the best carrying packs I have ever encountered.
I am not so eloquent to describe the peaceful elation that this allows me to bring back to the Klymit office and go after it to spread Klymit love and enable people to have the same energetic experiences in the mountains that I enjoy, so I’ll let my main man John Muir finish this blog entry off:
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”
Gabriel K. Rhoads