Angela Hawse is a jack of all trades. She has been guiding for over 25 years and is one of the most experienced female guides in the world. The current “AMGA Guide of the Year,” Hawse has been guiding in the Tetons in Wyoming this summer and took a bit of time out of her busy season to reflect on her time spent there.
Dominating the landscape, 7000 feet above the valley floor, the royal Grand Teton claims the attention of everyone passing through. This compact range packs a punch. It’s the youngest range in the Rockies, yet has some of the oldest rocks in North America. Thrust up boldly from the valley floor without foothills, it is one of the most stunning geological landscapes in the U.S. It teems with wildlife, coniferous forests and alpine meadows chocked full of wildflowers. This Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is the one of the healthiest and intact remaining on our planet. Grizzly bears on down the line to pine martens, pikas and peregrines are all present. Well above tree line, small glaciers are shadowed by summits that make up the brunt of the range with some the most unique alpine rock anywhere: The Grand, Middle and South Tetons, Mt. Moran, Mt. Owen and Teewinot.
For 12 seasons I’ve had the privilege of guiding here with Exum Mountain Guides. I look forward to it every summer and it never gets old or seems routine. The diversity of climbing in the range, good friends in a solid guiding community combined with frequent encounters with creatures large and small make everyday unparalleled. My guests range from experienced folks I’ve climbed with for many seasons to walk-ins that see the Grand for the first time and feel that unexplainable need to climb it.