Andy and I both have the week off so we headed up to Jackson with big plans. On Monday afternoon we pulled into the ever classy (seriously, it's pretty nice) Motel 6 with laundry baskets full of climbing gear, ropes, skis and started packing. A 2AM wake up found us at the Bradley Tagert trailhead on Nate Brown's bikes(thanks!), with huge packs, starting to ride over to Lupine meadows just after 3. The plan was to start on the summer trail until the junction and then head into Glacier Gulch. We've both been on that trail many times but for some reason we found ourselves lost 15 mins in. An hour later, after mashing through isothermic snow, we saw faint remnants of a trail and thought we were back on track. Turns out we made a full circle without realizing it and were stumbling across our own tracks from earlier in the morning. Good thing we woke up early...
We fought conditions for the next few thousand feet up to Delta Lake. It was nothing but slop. I had thoughts of pulling the plug but we figured it would get a little firmer up high. Unfortunately, we continued to have bluebird skies instead of the showers and thunderstorms which were 80% likely. The sun was not going to do good things to our already soft snow. At least we hit Glacier Gulch in time for a little golden hour, amazing.
|Just above Delta Lake|
|Morning light on the Grand and Owen|
|Andy down climbing to the notch above the E Face|
|Heading to the summit, photo by Andy|
|Andy about to enter the SE|
|A little farther down|
|Even lower, the chute continues. Photo by Andy|