|How do I look?|
|Garnet Canyon Boulders|
|Garnet Canyon Meadows Camping|
|Garnet Canyon Meadows early Alpenglow|
|I wonder why they call that Shadow Mountain? Oh, wait...|
|A little early for the gear?|
|Did I tell you I don't like snow?|
|Victory! What do you mean it was the long way?|
|Snow again? Really?|
|Slightly (ok, waaayyy) off-course in South Garnet Canyon|
|Looking East-SouthEast from high in South Garnet Canyon|
|Icefloe Lake from the Middle/South Teton saddle |
|Our high point (approx 11,800') with the Middle Teton Southwest Couloir in the background|
|The (safe) descent of defeat|
Fatigue - we had not slept well due to the lightning storm the night before. This delayed our start as well. By the time we turned around we had been scrambling steadily for about 7 hours but our progress was slow. We still needed many hours to backtrack to our campsite. We were starting to fatigue rapidly.
Weather - when we turned around there were some threatening clouds building in the sky. Mountain weather can change rapidly and we did not want to be caught at high elevation in worsening conditions. We were still a little skittish about lightning from the previous night's storm.
High Altitude - despite spending time at 6000' and hiking to 8000' a few times, we struggled with the high elevations. Altitude can have detrimental affects for anyone. Some are fine at altitude and some really struggle with the change - a physiological trait. We definitely felt the effects of the altitude.
Time - not only did we spend too much time just to get where we were, we also had to descend back to our campsite safely. The effort it takes to get back off the mountain is often overlooked. We knew we had a long way back down to safety. To keep going up and attempt the summit would have further complicated our descent. The snow fields become harder and more difficult to cross as the temperature drops after the sun sets. We did not want to be out on the snow fields after dark. We also would have been even more fatigued, anxious to be done, and unable to give the descent the clear and concentrated attention it required.
Could we have summited? Yes, I think so. But the risk was not worth the reward. We were exceptionally cautious. Many others could easily have made the trip with no problems in much faster time, but we recognized our limitations and despite our disappointment were able to turn around and go home safely.
|lots of snow to cross|
|There's where we didn't go|