The Last Good Day

“There’s no way of knowing that your last good day is Your Last Good Day. At the time, it is just another good day.”

— John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

You could feel it coming.

As the Coronavirus crisis was mounting in the US, we were in Southeastern Utah, near Moab, rock climbing the impressive desert towers that dot the area.

My climbing partner was a Swedish woman, Anna, a full-time climber who lived on the road. A “dirtbag”, we say in the climbing community. Without a permanent home, remote desert was about the most socially-distanced she could be.

I had a home; but amidst the mounting anxiety, I’ll admit: I wanted to escape. Lockdowns had not yet begun in the USA. But I read the news everyday. Italy closed. France closed. That omnipresent graph, always growing. It was coming.

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Sarajevo Rock Climbing

Rock Climbing at Dariva, in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Last month I took a short trip to Europe to see my buddy Shawn. After three years living in Budapest, Shawn’s finally moving on. But he wanted one last little European hurrah, so we planned a climbing trip.

But not to Spain or Italy or Greece or any of the other world-class Euro climbing destination. Nope. Shawn chose Bosnia.

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Climbing the Tetons

Climbing Grand Teton National Park

The Grand Teton. There is perhaps no mountain more aesthetic in North America. It dominates the landscape, sharply rising more than 7,000 feet above Jackson, Wyoming.

The Grand is a worthy prize for any American mountaineer.

With two weeks to play with, my climbing partner Jose and I headed for the Tetons, with the ultimate goal of climbing the Exum Ridge.

But first, we had some training to do.

We were lucky enough to have a pair of tremendous hosts, Teton locals who housed us for two weeks and were more than happy to help us get up to speed on the approaches, rock quality, and general character of the range by showing us some of the better climbs in the Park that weren’t on the Grand Teton. (It’s always a good idea to do your homework in the mountains).

Without further adieu, here’s a two-week itinerary for climbing in the Teton Range:

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