Wyoming Climber Tops The Tetons
The Tetons are known for a “Grand Traverse.” The climb is breathtakingly beautiful, but physically almost unbelievable. A Jackson resident, Ryan Burke just did, and in one week, which Ryan says is a first. (That’s officially confirmed by Tetongravity.com.)
Before the total 102 miles over 50 major peaks, he was spooked right at the start by a bear in some brush, intimidating no matter who you are. Did we mention winds? They were 65 mph on the north ridge.
His legs were often scraped and cut by rocks, and he chipped a tooth somewhere along the way.
Burke is an endurance mountaineer, and also an addiction counselor, with a solid foundation for physical and mental challenges. What began with individual climbs – just wanting to impress a girl - grew to almost obsessive. To top the full 50 Teton pinnacles, he required more training with nutritional counseling. He got Mountain Athlete to help with a plan.
Speaking to Adventure Journal, Ryan makes the mental sound as tough, “When you are out there alone, you have this introspective time when you start thinking about why you would want to do this. It's a conversation with yourself.”
Burke pushed himself to 13 hours each day, sleeping for 10 hours a night. In the end he'd lost 10 pounds. And he said that he felt good on his route the whole time? When he’d stop, though, every time he sat down he’d fall asleep.
Once Burke is recovered from this, he'll start preparation for his next adventure, which is to hike between the Gros Ventre and Wind River Ranges, and do it in just three days.
If I was helicoptored to the top, I don’t know if I could get down in one week. I mean we all know it’s good for a person to keep setting goals, but maybe we can’t help thinking there might be something deeply wrong with this guy.