CLIMBING THE GRAND HAS NEVER APPEALED ME, though it certainly does many of my friends and acquaintances. (One of my closest friend's husband is attempting it this next weekend.) It requires an advanced body of physical fitness and experience----in both high altitude hiking and technical climbing often on sheer rock and ice cliffs---than I care anything about getting. (Most mountaineers hire Exum Guides to achieve their bagging the summit aspirations.)
In addition to the best training and guides, climbers sometimes must turn back, correcting their efforts mid-course, due to sudden nasty weather rolling in causing a treacherous climb to become a deadly undertaking. Many climbers have chosen to forge ahead in such adverse conditions never to return to tell the stories.
Not my cup of tea by a long shot. There's plenty of fabulous hiking on high, dry, steep ground to keep me occupied here for decades to come.
This season with above average snowfall which continued well into May, many these ultra-difficult peak climbs are even more challenging than usual.
Over the past few days, two rescues by the National Park Service (NPS) of experienced hikers/climbers took place on or near The Grand. Thought it would be interesting link to the news source that details how these fortunate climbers got into and out of trouble. No one died and rescues were accomplished just before darkness set in--- 'pumpkin time'--- when helicopters and rescuers are required to ground their efforts until morning.
Both maneuvers involved dangling injured/compromised climbers from a 100' rope fastened inside of helicopters. I'm sure at the point you're rescued---often freezing cold, injured or very sick---being flown in a basket is an appealing prospect to the alternative. However, this possibility is another reason I have zero, ZERO I TELL YOU!, interest in climbing some of these peaks now or ever. Still I admire the brave, highly motivated souls who go for it.
BTW, most if not all these rescues are now billed to the hikers, rather than taxpayers, with tabs which can skyrocket into the tens of thousands of dollars.
Below, Are we having fun yet?