August 30, 2016

Pushing Limits

As I shared in Yesterday's Post, I am spending part of this week in Jackson Hole, WY. My +1 and I are here to celebrate our 10th anniversary. I will be posting next week about all my favorite restaurants, shops, etc, but until then I thought I would share with you some details about yesterday's adventure.

My husband is a competitive runner. He competes in endurance trail running races and sky running races (he'll be doing one on Saturday), and is in incredible shape. I love to hike, but climbing big mountains has never been something I've done. When he said he wanted to climb the Middle Teton I was a little nervous.

Here is a photo...the base elevation is about 6,000 feet and the summit caps out at 12,804 ft. The climb is about 15 miles.

Now you know why I was a little nervous. I read some reviews that said it took hikers/climbers 12 hours. I knew that seemed long for us, but the idea of being on my feet for even half that seemed daunting, especially since the longest hike I've done was about 14 miles and 5 hours with very little elevation gain (in New Zealand).

So despite my inner skeptic we started out around 8 a.m. yesterday. The first 4 miles of the trail was easy, by our standards. The Middle Teton in the background. Notice I'm still smiling.

Here's where it started to get a bit tougher.  

This was the most technical and steepest portion of the climb. It was more rock climbing than hiking with about a 45 to 50 degree angle to the summit. 

Notice I'm still smiling, but I had my moments. This was really technical, and as I said, not something I have done a lot of, so it really pushed my comfort level. We hiked this type of terrain for about an hour.

And, after about three and a half hours we made it to the summit, and it was worth every step!

You can see the Grand Teton in the background of this picture.

The views from the summit were amazing, but we didn't stick around too long as we didn't want to get caught in a traffic jam of hikers.

I got in a little snow running on the way down.

The whole adventure start to finish took nearly 8 hours (around 6.5 real moving time) and was the longest I've ever been on my feet. Surprisingly, I felt pretty good at the end. 

This climb definitely pushed my physical and mental limits and my comfort level, but I am so glad that I did it. There were times that I wanted to turn around. I wanted to find a reason not to go to the top, but my husband kept encouraging me, and we made it. He was the best climbing (and life) partner I could ask for. 

We still have two more days left here, so I'm sure we will be bagging more peaks, assuming I can still walk. 


  1. That's awesome! I just got back from Jackson Hole a week ago. We didn't conquer that summit, but did tons of hikes around the lakes. It's much more level and only around 3 miles, but the hike to Phelps Lake on the Rockefeller Preserve is just stunning. The water was not too cool and we were able to wade in. I'd highly recommend it! Not sure where you're staying (we were at Four Seasons in Teton Village) but taking the tram up in the village was really cool and there are tons of hikes that can be done from that area.

    1. we hiked into Phelps Lake this afternoon after our big hike this morning. It was the perfect way to "ice" down my legs! :)