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“Ain’t lost nothing up there”, but found a Grand Adventure

Date: 
Wed, 2014-10-15

The Los Alamos Mountaineers' October meeting wuill present a first-hand account of the club's first organized trek to the Grand Teton in Wyoming in more than a decade.

Speaker Michael Altherr will describe the trip preparations and results at the meeting, 7 pm Wednesday, Oct. 15, at Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos. The meeting offers, in addition to the featured talk, refreshments and casual conversation, as well as updates on upcoming trips and safety advice learned from outdoor adventuring.

 

The Grand Teton, the highest mountain in Grand Teton National Park, Is a challenging and technical climb not to be undertaken lightly.  Pioneer American climber Paul Petzoldt, while preparing to climb the peak in 1924 (others had reached the summit before), heard the Jackson Hole locals express their incredulity of the attempt by stating, "By god, I ain't lost nothing up there," so why would you want to climb it?

Since that time, Altherr noted, the mountain's popularity has grown and now dozens of people may summit the Grand Teton in a single day following a variety of well-established routes. Given that, and the need to establish a base camp high on the mountain's slopes, meant that "coordinating permits for a group of 20 climbers in a tightly focused window during the prime climbing season was the first challenge we faced," Altherr said. 

 

But, Altherr and the trip participants orchestrated a "permit fest," he said, and obtained a cluster of high camp permits in a little under a week's time and the trip was on.

"I will represent in my talk the trip participants and describe our summit routes on the Grand, planning, training, climbing opportunities nearby, and other adventures facilitated by the road trip," Altherr said. "What I had not anticipated in organizing this trip was the plethora of quality moderate climbs in the park in addition to the Grand, as well as the opportunities for adventure en-route." 

This meant that even if a participant could not summit the Grand, because of weather or other factors, there were other adventures to be had.

Altherr is already looking ahead to, and soliciting input for, a grand adventure in 2015 and the prospects of another LAM club outing.

The Los Alamos Mountaineers, founded in 1952, promotes a variety of outdoor-oriented activities.

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