Friday, June 26, 2009

Tetons - Stunning Sunset

I just thought you should see the sky over Grand Teton and Mount Owen tonight. Wow!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tetons - Workin'

I don't care who you are or where you're from, swingin' an axe and splittin' wood could be the manliest endeavor a man can partake in. Well, my man "ness" has been thoroughly called forth from the depths. I just finshed splittin' four logs for winter firewood, and I'm one tired cookie. It probably didn't help that on my lunch break I ran "around the block" (a six mile hiking trail around the Climber's Ranch).

From Sunday until this coming weekend I will continue to do whatever manual labor the ranch manager can come up with. I suppose I'm earnin' my keep around this place. The week of work is also paying for my four friends who have come to visit me here in cabin 3 during the month. Quite a bargain really. I'm also using the time to write, read, edit photos, and dry gear as I prepare for our final week of climbing out here. The scenery's not too shabby, huh? (the tallest mtn in the center of the image is Grand Teton)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Tetons - Middle Teton

Paul, Jonathan, and Sarah Hassell on the summit. What a family!

On the north ridge. Photo by my amazing brother Jonathan Hassell.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tetons - Life in WY is Beautiful

Austin and I started this grey-sky day over a hearty breakfast with some great friends in Jackson. After dropping Austin at the airport, I joined the local climbing gym--The Enclosure--and climbed until my hands could cling to plastic rocks no longer. This place is state-of-the-art. There's quite a culture of climbers out here, and I'm getting hooked more than ever by the wild world of climbing.

At 12:30pm I got a call from Seattle, WA. It was my friend Jeremy, and he invited me to join the "Climb for Captives" expedition up Mt Ranier later this summer. I knew already what this involved and promptly responded, "I'm in!"
As the August 14-16 date approches I will post much more information about this exciting adventure. We'll launch the Climb for Captives website around July 4th. Stay tuned.

Now I'm off to the airport again. I'll pick up my sister now and my brother tomorrow. Together we'll embark on a spectacular week of climbing in the Tetons. Stories to come.

I am a very thankful man... for dreams fulfilled and those to come, for my family, this abundant life, and the adventure we are in.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tetons - Lower Saddle

(click image to see larger view)

Today, we kicked up to the Lower Saddle between Grand and Middle Teton. Started at 5am. Long, long day. Cloaked in fog and showered with dip-n-dots most of the morning. By noon we had some gorgeous views as sun peaked through whispy clouds on our barren white landscape.

Not today, but we're coming back for Grand!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tetons - Glascading

- arrived back at the ranch from Breckenridge, CO (10 hr drive) at 1:30am.
- slept in. rented some gear for Austin Church.
- hiked up to Amphitheater Lake with Zampini and Austin. amazing day teaching the art of traversing snow.
- i got to teach both of them to glascade. this is a glorified word for "sliding rappidly for 20 minutes down the snow bank you so laboriously kicked steps up for several hours" while steering with your ice axe.
- i also tought the basics of "self-arresting." fun to pass on these skills.
- ate Ramon noodles from the ads of my ice axe (we forgot utensils... again). okay, maybe on purpose because this does look really cool.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tetons - Climbers Ranch

After just 30-hours straight in Zampini's little red Mazda III, we're here in Jackson, Wyoming.  Two summers ago, after summitting a prominent peak in the Teton range, I resolved that I must return to the Tetons to mountaineer these beautiful peaks for the month of June.  This was just after hearing about a climber's ranch located at the base of the mountains just south of Jenny Lake.  (This photo was taken that afternoon - June 10, 2007).  I heard you can volunteer your labor during "work week" and stay the rest of the month free.  Probably too good to be true, but I thought I'd check into it further.  That was two years ago.

We arrived tonight!  This stunning establishment commonly (and formally) known as "The Climbers Ranch" will be our home for the month of June.    The common denominator among the community here is obvious--passion for mountains.  This year a vibrant guy named John is running the ranch.  He said if I work 6 days during the month to help out at the ranch, he will allow me (and my long list of guests) to stay free.  
Are you kidding me?  Bargain!  This place is gorgeous.  I'm just wondering how they've kept this place such a secret.  The cabins are old wood with famous climber's stories creeking out of every floor board.  Zampini and I have our own cabin, and it's right at the base of Grand, a 13,770 ft mountain.  Austin will join us 5 days next week.  After that my older brother and sister will arrive to make the climb up Grand.  There's a story surrounding that week that I will elaborate on in future posts.  Grand is a narly looking peak, and today dustings of snow were falling on it while the summer showers swept over us down in the valley.

"Daybreak" - Moonset over Mt. Moran at Oxbox Bend - August, 2005

Monday, June 1, 2009

Mountaineering Grand Teton

We will leave tomorrow morning for Grand Teton and spend all of June there mountaineering.  All of June's blog posts will be devoted to our adventures out there.

Your friend,