For example, to do the traverse in under 7 hours means you probably have to climb Teewinot in less than an hour. All the other key linkages, peak-to-peak, feature-to-feature, must be done in a pretty specific time frame, and fast. Plus, you have to know the terrain. The GT has a few tricky sections that you want to nail correctly the first time or you could waste time recorrecting your steps.
To add insult to injury, a few years ago my Dad did the Grand Traverse, at 65 years old. So, I now had the added but friendly pressure of my Dad (officially the oldest person to ever complete the Traverse) telling me how great it was, how I should finally do it, etc. Argh!
With this history in mind I had a friend whose goal it was to do the Traverse in a respectable time and he was kind enough to ask me to come along. Since there is plenty of info on the Traverse itself, I thought it would be more interesting to post our actual point to point times along with a few photos. We didn't do it for speed, and took our time on each summit, but the lesson I learned here was how quickly one can move through complicated alpine terrain (great partner included).
The Grand Traverse:
3:18 am-----leave Lupine Meadows trailhead
5:00 am-----reach top of the Apex trail
5:34 am-----gearing up for the day at the start of Teewinot's technical difficulties
5:50 am-----start up Teewinot
7:19 am-----summit Teewinot
7:39 am-----begin traverse to Owen
9:33 am-----summit of East Prong
11:36am, traversing the second snowfield on Mt Owen
12:06 pm---summit of Mt. Owen
12:29 pm---headed for Gunsight Notch
1:30 pm-----climbing out of Gunsight Notch
2:40 pm-----base of the North Ridge, Grand Teton
5:30 pm-----summit of the Grand Teton. Yeah!
6:24 pm-----top of the Upper Saddle
7:08 pm-----Lower Saddle Hut. This man ate lip balm for dinner.
6:50 am-----left Hut for the Middle
7:22 am-----start of North Ridge of the Middle
8:24 am-----final steps to the summit of the Middle Teton
8:34 am-----start descent to South Teton Col
9:12 am-----arrive at Col
9:25 am-----head up the South Teton
10:02 am-----summit South Teton, the Grand in the background
10:36 am-----descend Middle and summit Ice Cream Cone in 34 minutes, psyched!
11:30 am-----summit Spalding Peak
11:56 am-----final moves to summit Gilkey Peak
12:28 pm-----7 minutes before the summit of Cloudveil
1:35 pm-----begin ascent of Nez Perce
2:15 pm-----summit Nez Perce
3:10 pm-----back at base of Nez Perce
6:42 pm-----At Lupine Meadows trailhead