This morning my update comes from my lonely room at the Parkway Inn in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Yesterday at noon, I dropped the boys off at the trailhead that leads towards the base of the Grand Teton. They took on an 8 hour approach, hiking up towards the Lower Saddle of the mountain, where they planned to camp for the evening. If all went according to plan, they should currently be strapped into their climbing shoes and be crag climbing up towards the treacherous summit of the Grand – yes, the same summit that killed two climbers this week.
I am a nervous wreck. Yesterday wasn’t bad; I enjoyed an hour of relaxation in my hotel’s sauna, then explored the Jackson Hole town square for a few hours. I fell asleep with Niko’s smelly pillow cradling my head. I was a little tense, but otherwise relatively calm.
This morning is a different story. Today they take on the more dangerous section of their ascent. They will be taking on a climb that none of them have previous experience with. Every time I glare at the giant face of the Grand Teton, it seems to taunt me, saying, “Hey there, I’m about to devour your boyfriend.”
Not to mention the fact that they were entirely unprepared for the climb. The entire upper half of the summit is drenched in soft snow, and the boys’ idea of snow gear is duct taped shoes and a sorority windbreaker that we stole from Jeff’s frat house. The more I think about it the more I wish I had stopped Niko from going. I have the worst feeling.
The boys won’t finish their descent until later this evening, so my plan for the day is to clean out the messy Jeep, then check out the local rock gym, The Enclosure, until they call me to come scoop them up. I don’t know how I’m going to climb though, I’ve transformed into a nervous bucket of anxiety. I just want to know that they’re alright.
Send good vibes their way. I’ll post a quick update as soon as I hear from them.