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Work week: a climbers’ ranch tradition

Posted on: July 2nd, 2009 by guest

Cross-post from Jackson, Wyoming’s 22Local (thanks Chris!):

For the last forty years, the Grand Teton Climbers’ Ranch has served as an invaluable resource to climbers around the world who make the pilgrimage to the Tetons in search of mountain climbing and adventure.

With rumors of the annual “Work Week” floating around, 22Local sent correspondent Chris Dickey to check out the scene. Flying relatively under the radar locally, the ranch’s work week draws volunteers nationwide to clean up and repair the iconic climbing base camp from wintertime havoc. The volunteer brigade consists of an eclectic miscellany of young and old, east coasters and westerners, male and female—all brought together by a common love of mountains, climbing AND a little added incentive. In return for a full week of volunteerism, workers were granted free room for a month to climb and unwind at the bucolic base camp.

Because many of the Ranch’s buildings were constructed in the 1920s and 1930s, the annual upkeep is extremely important for the preservation and continued usage of the property. As Robert Hyman, a 17-year Work Week veteran from Washington DC, put it: “ You just never know what’s going to happen when you turn the water back on.”

Photo by Robert Hyman

Photo by Robert Hyman

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