The Teton Crest Trail spans 80 miles of stunning mountain terrain, dipping back and forth between the Jedediah Smith Wilderness and Grand Teton National Park. The trip will culminate with a summit attempt of the Grand Teton which, at 13,770’, is a hallmark American alpine climb.
Students enrolled in the Teton Expedition will spend their first two days on the TVRC ranch preparing for an 11-day backpacking trek. Students will actively participate in all aspects of trip planning: determining the route, coordinating logistics, organizing and checking necessary equipment and gear, developing a nutritious menu, and packing food.
The route will ultimately lead students from one end of Teton Crest Trail to the other, which spans the range from south to north. They will summit Teton peaks, cross high mountain divides, splash in glacial alpine lakes, and witness some of the most spectacular views in the country. They will also form strong relationships with each other and their trip leaders through challenge and adversity.
After the Teton Crest backpacking portion is complete, students will return to the TVRC ranch to unpack, clean up, and prepare for their next adventure.
The following day, the group will head to Jackson where they will meet with the Jackson Hole Mountain Guides (JHMG), who will lead the group on a summit attempt of the Grand Teton over the next four days. The group will spend some free time in the town of Jackson, and spend the night at a local campground.
The next morning, the group will drive to the Lupine Meadows Trailhead in Grand Teton National Park, where they will begin their ascent up Garnet Canyon to the JHMG High Camp, which is nestled comfortably in a boulder field below the Grand Teton. Students will spend day two of this trip learning the basics of alpine rock climbing under the tutelage of four expert JHMG guides, in preparation for the first summit attempt the following morning.
If weather and other conditions permit, the group will awake around 3am on the third day to begin the approach of the Grand Teton. They will split into smaller groups for the ascent, one JHMG guide with each group. With a combination of skill, hard work, and good fortune, groups hope to peak the Grand by mid-morning, and enjoy 360 degree views of the mountains and valleys below. They will return to JHMG High Camp, relax for the rest of the day, and hike out to the trailhead on the fourth and final day.
Should weather or other conditions prohibit a successful attempt on day three, the group will have one more summit bid on the morning of day four. After which, they would hike all the way out to the trailhead. Due to a huge range of variables, including weather and health, a successful ascent of the Grand cannot be guaranteed. There are a variety of scenarios in which TVRC TL’s or JHMG guides may decide to abandon a summit goal with the health and well-being of the group in mind.
Students will return to the TVRC Ranch to clean up and reminisce about their amazing journeys. All will depart the following morning to share their stories with friends and family back home.