Make It A Double
Summiting The Grand Teton Twice In One Day With Mountain Hub
Jake Urban, a friend of Mountain Hub and a guide with Jackson Hole Outdoor Leadership Institute, hatched up a fairly crazy scheme last summer with long-time training partner Meredith Edwards and Jason Schlarb. Meredith and Jason are both accomplished ultra runners training for the upcoming Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc trail race. This involves a grueling 103-mile orbit around Mont Blanc on rugged and variable terrain. Last summer Meredith and Jake were throwing ideas around to keep her training regimen interesting. As she gazed up at the jagged peaks of the Teton Range, she asked Jake if the Grand Teton had ever been summited twice in one day. As the answer was no, she and Jake began plotting. Jake humbly admits “The motivation was to make Meredith and Jason’s training for the race fun and in the process try to do something that hasn’t been done in the Tetons before.”
With the 2017 UTMB race coming up in late August, Jake, Meredith, and Jason picked a Saturday in July to attempt their feat of a Double Grand 50k. “The focus was on Meredith and getting her one step closer to the podium of the UTMB race. It’s just one piece in the puzzle of her training program,” Jake says. Their hope was to summit the Grand Teton via free soloing the Owen-Spalding route from the valley floor twice in one day. No biggie, right?
This feat was well-planned and involved a great deal of preparation. As the Jackson Hole Outdoor Leadership institute is a partner of Mountain Hub, we provided Jake with early access to our brand new trip tracking feature on the Mountain Hub App. Jake helped us collect invaluable data and test the new Mountain Hub tracking feature on his Double Grand adventure. To accomplish summiting the Grand Teton twice in one day, the trio knew they should aim for a sub-7-hour first lap and a 9-hour second lap with a 30 minute transition between summit bids.
About the trip, Jake reveals: “Mountain Hub was helpful with pre-trip as we were able to use the trip planning capabilities of the application to help us identify total distance, vertical rise, segment lengths, slope angles and estimated times. The combination of these factors helped us wrap our heads around where we would be running or speed walking and where we would be forced to crawl upwards on all fours. The tracking also provided great perspective as our day unfolded.”
In looking over the stats from the group’s Mountain Hub trip track, the magnitude of their feat begins to sink in. Though everyone had watches to record their activity, all three experienced battery issues and Mountain Hub was the only device that successfully captured their data. The beauty of adventure tracking on Mountain Hub is that you can collect data, even while offline. As long as your phone has sufficient battery, your adventure will be recorded.
In the midst of their day, Mountain Hub’s tracking function helped the trio match up their expectations with the realities of the day. This function ultimately kept them on their expected time frame, nearly to the minute! Their actual times were 6:55 on the first lap and 8:34 for the second lap. Jake states: “On the way up, I kept saying ‘We’re too fast, too fast;’ we were going to set a personal best to reach the summit. We got up to the lower saddle on our first lap and made a conscious decision to slow down. It started to get a little real when we completed the first lap to the car in under 7 hours. On starting the second lap, it was incredibly hot, the parking lot transition was really stressful. We just wanted to get OUT of the parking lot, and the realities of battling the heat settled in. Jason was definitely our cheerleader through these tougher lower sections as we suffered until reaching higher elevations. Meredith kept chanting: “We’re doing this, right? We’re doing it.” This became our mantra as we made our way towards the summit for the second time.”
Of his experience with the newly updated software on the Mountain Hub app, Jake gushes “It’s the complete package, it does everything the three other apps I was using combined!”
Mountain Hub extends hearty congratulates the group on an incredible accomplishment. Follow both Meredith and Jason on Instagram as they continue to train for the epic UTMB trail race. Check out Jake’s feed to experience the wanderings and adventures of an incredible mountain guide and outdoor enthusiast.
With this Double Grand 50k, we are incredibly excited to announce the release of adventure tracking on the Mountain Hub app! Big thanks to Jake, Jason, and Meredith for helping out with testing the newest version of Mountain Hub and taking us along on their legendary day in Grand Teton National Park.