19 years ago college friends John Mitchell and Wayne Burnstein traveled to Jackson, to climb with us. John and Wayne spent 2 days in our Level 1 and Level 2 schools learning the basics and then headed up the Grand Teton. On the morning of July 18, 1993 they were standing on the summit of the Grand Teton.
Last week during the Summer Solstice, John Mitchell returned to Jackson with his 3 sons David, Lewis and Thomas. After 2 days of school for the sons and a refresher course for John, the family left the Lupine Meadows trailhead with Exum Guides Brenton Reagan and Mike Abbey. This adventure would build upon on a family journey that started 19 years ago.
It is a special time to be high up in the Tetons on the longest days of the year and for the first days of summer. With an excellent weather forecast everyone was in great spirits anticipating their summit day. Day one brought cloudless skies, no wind and an amazing solstice sunset. That evening the Mitchells took one last look at the Grand Teton before crawling into their sleeping bags.
With a predawn start and a beautiful first day of summer sunrise, the Mitchell family headed for the summit. It was just a few short hours later John Mitchell got to do something most people don’t get the chance to do – stand on the summit with his 3 sons.
It was nothing less that a spectacular site to watch this family enjoy an adventure together and then celebrate on the summit. All of us at Exum are extremely proud that the Mitchell family returned to climb with us. 20 years or so from now we hope to see a 3rd generation of the Mitchell family standing on top. Our certificate may change again by then but the experience itself will not change much.
Exum received an email from John Mitchell and he had this to say:
“Again, I would never consider placing my entire family’s lives in the hands of anyone other than an experienced Exum Guide. I thought that you were absolutely terrific and it was a pleasure and a privilege to climb with you. Thank you again for helping create a lasting memory for our family.”
John D. Mitchell, MD.
Every summer many families and groups of friends return to climb with us. Many more climb with us for the first time and hopefully begin a summer tradition. We invite you to join us too – come and see what it is that John Mitchell and so many others have experienced. We’re willing to bet that you too will be convinced to bring your family or friends back for the adventure.