Every summer, City Kids’ senior JETs have the opportunity to climb the Grand Teton, the tallest peak in the Teton range with its summit standing at over two and a half miles above sea level. Last summer, the JETs slated to climb were unable to do so because of COVID-19. When the opportunity arose for JETs to climb this year, three brave seniors, Emily, Shamaari, and Jordan, accepted the challenge.
In an effort to prepare for the climb, a week beforehand, all three Grand Climbers took part in a six-day backpacking trip on the Teton Crest Trail. While most days of their trip were filled with rain, that didn’t stop the JET’s from cracking jokes and having fun on their last CK trip as campers in Wyoming.
On the evening of August 10th, the three climbers set out on a six-hour hike to their basecamp at the foot of the Grand Teton. The JETs were joined by Max, a City Kids counselor who has been with this specific group of CK youth all seven years that they’ve been part of the program.
Halfway through the hike, Emily had to turn back and was unable to complete the climb. The other two set up camp with the guides and got as much sleep as they could before they had to be up at 3:00 am to start the summit ascent. As they climbed, Jordan and Shamaari used their positivity and humor to propel each other to the top, officially summiting at 7:00 am on August 11th.
After a long day of ascending and descending, all of the City Kids campers and staff gathered on the ranch to celebrate the three newest climbers. They shared stories of Shamaari’s jokes lifting the mood, Jordan’s endless positivity during tough treks, and Emily’s reminder that the climb is just as important as the summit. To watch the full celebration click here.