Along Cascade Creek
The crux ended up manifesting itself as a 500ft snow field. Climb it, and cash in on an easy cruise downhill to Driggs. Fail to... Well, who knows, but here I was up in Grand Teton National Park, off trail, alone.
Problem was, the snow was not the same Montana stuff I've been tromping in for the past 7 weeks. This was different. No easy kick steps. Slippery. Icy. Steep.
Funny thing happened though, my mind never engaged in it's usual argument between "Come on, push for it, you'll be fine" and, "You shouldn't be here Ohio boy, your gonna die." I don't think it was just that I knew I didn't have the right equipment (crampons). There was something else there. An intuition not to go further. After realizing how firm the snow field was, I just thought "It's cool. Today's not your day. No big deal."
And that was that. No hesitation. No debating. Not bummed. Actually felt uncharacteristically peaceful about the decision.
Backside of The Grand
I know it has something to do with a certain little girl coming to visit for the summer. I pick her up in 10 days from SeaTac, and the last thing she needs is for her dada to be missing in the Tetons.
Stephane Brosse's death this past weekend was a stark reminder of how fast things can go wrong, even for the most experienced. I love being in the mountains, and on one hand, think there's little tragedy dying doing what one loves up there. But on the other, Stephane's kids will never see their dad again, and that's a hard one to swallow.
Me and Tula playing in the mountains. Summer 2010.
On the playlist: A.A. Bondy - Killed Myself When I Was Young
On the playlist: Elliot Brood - If I Get Old
Inspiration: POV Shorts II, Nate Tyler, Part 2