R & R on the Grand Traverse

R & R on the Grand Traverse

No, we’re not talking about rest and relaxation. We’re talking about two Jackson kids, Ryan Hargis and Reed Carlman, known as R & R by their parents. Ryan and Reed have been sharing adventures since they were 8, which isn’t all that long since they are only 11 now. But, have they ever packed some adventure into those three years! They met playing soccer, and have since played and competed together on the Jackson United teams. Last year, joined by another soccer player Charlie Brigham, they climbed the Grand Teton in 9 hours.

Ryan on the Summit of Teewinot  Photo: Exum Guide Dana Larkin Ryan Climbing with Silas behind him  Photo: Exum Guide Dana Larkin

Soon after that, Ryan came up with the idea to try the Grand Traverse, which should tell you a little about him. Add his natural athleticism to the ex-Marine/mountain guide personality of his dad and the competitive spirit of his mom, and the result is a driven kid who is in no way a typical 11 year old. Now add the prankster personality of Ryan’s 9 year old brother Brady, whose goal to climb the Grand Teton in a day during Ryan’s traverse, was secondary to his keen desire to “leap out from behind a rock and scare the poop out of his brother.” You quickly begin to see what life in the Hargis family is like and why this goal was not all that lofty for Ryan. Reed, who jumped at the chance to join Ryan on the traverse, is no closer to typical than Ryan. One of Reed’s training sessions was a 35 mile bike ride over 10,947 ft. Beartooth Pass to Red Lodge, Montana.

Reed Climbing  Photo: Exum Guide Dana Larkin Taking a Break  Photo: Exum Guide Dana Larkin

On August 18th, Ryan and Reed became kids that have completed something so big that most adults would not even consider it. They traversed 10 Teton peaks, climbing over 13,500 ft. in elevation, covering exposed technical terrain, and miles and miles of scrambling – all in 3 days, to complete the Grand Traverse. They climbed with Exum Guides Dan Corn and Silas Rossi. They climbed Teewinot and Owen on day 1. Day 2 brought them up the Italian Cracks on the North Ridge of the Grand to the summit, and then over the Middle Teton. Day 3 took them over South Teton, Ice Cream Cone, Gilkey Tower, Spalding Peak, Cloudveil Dome and Nez Perce in one long push. We believe they are the youngest to ever complete the Grand Traverse.

Ryan Climbing Hard  Photo: Exum Guide Dana Larkin Reed with Dan Belaying  Photo: Exum Guide Dana Larkin
Mt. Owen Summit  Photo: Exum Guide Dana Larkin Ryan in a Tight Space  Photo: Exum Guide Dana Larkin

Completing this adventure is bitter sweet for Ryan because it could be the last adventure he will share with Reed for quite awhile. His passion is soccer, and he hopes to enter middle school at the IMG Soccer Academy in Florida this fall. Reed will start middle school at Journeys and will continue to play soccer for JH United.

Another Rest Break  Photo: Exum Guide Dana Larkin Silas, Ryan and Reed  Photo: Exum Guide Dana Larkin
Ryan at Camp  Photo: Exum Guide Dana Larkin Tom, Brady & Ryan Hargis (note Brady's upside down sunglasses)  Photo: Exum Guide Dana Larkin

A note from Exum: The Grand Traverse is a serious undertaking and we recommend it for very fit and experienced climbers only. We especially do not recommend it for kids. As we said though, Ryan and Reed are not typical kids – they are elite athletes and they have grown up in the mountains. We wholeheartedly congratulate them on their accomplishment, and wish them the very best in their future pursuits; on the soccer field, in the mountains, or wherever life takes them.

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