Chris Cawley and I both had Thursday off so we decided to head up to Jackson for a quick go at the Grand. Chris got off work Wednesday evening and we had hoped to head up to the best Motel 6 in the country. Unfortunately this fell through (expensive in the summer!). Lucky for us, Nate F. Brown was kind enough to let us intrude on him and his family.
A full 8 hours of sleep and we were out the door by 7:30. One benefit of jogging the majority of the way is the "lazy alpine start." Another is the lack of gear needed for a short outing. We left the trailhead with a liter and a half of drink, a hand full of gels and a light wind breaker. The plan was to keep it conversational, take a few pictures, and enjoy running in the mountains. Apart from a few moments of heavy mouth breathing, I think this was achieved.
|Heading up the switchbacks|
|The fixed lines below the Lower Saddle|
We hit the Lower Saddle at 1:48 and kept moving at a relaxed pace. I'm still not sure of the fastest way to the Upper Saddle but we found a pretty good line that avoided most of the loose trail. From the Upper Saddle we followed the traditional OS route (Belly Roll to Double Chimney to Cat Walk and up Sargent's Chimney) and topped out in 2:49.
|Approaching the Upper Saddle|
|Chris looking down the Black Ice|
|Starting the Owen Spalding|
|The Belly Roll in fine style|
|The "crux" Double Chimney move|
|Working our way down|
|Leaving the Upper Saddle|
|Leaving the Lower Saddle|
Dynafit Effex Tee
Dynafit React Dry Short Tights
Dynafit X4 Dy.N.A. Pack
Outdoor Research Helium 2 Jacket
Outdoor Research Radar Visor
1.5 liters Gatorade/Gu roctane drink mix