Teewinot: A Year In The Teton Range

  • Publish Date: 2000-06-08
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Author: Jack Turner
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  • Regular price $41.32

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Jack Turner grew up with an image of the Tetons engraved in his mind. As a young man, he climbed the peaks of this singular range with basic climbing gear friends. Later in life, he led treks in India, Pakistan, Nepal, China, Tibet, and Peru, but he always returned to the mountains of his youth. He continues to climb the Tetons as a guide for Exum Mountain, Guides, the oldest and most prestigious guide service in America. Teewinot is his ode to forty years in the mountains that he loves.

Like Thoreau and Muir, Turner has contemplated the essential nature of a landscape. Teewinot is a book about a mountain range, its austere temper, its seasons, its flora and fauna, a few of its climbs, its weather, and the glory of the wildness. It is also about a small group of guides and rangers, nomads who inhabit the range each summer and know the mountains as intimately as they will ever be known. It is also a remarkable account of what it is like to live and work in a national park. Teewinot has something for everyone: spellbinding accounts of classic climbs, awe at the beauty of nature, and passion for some of the environmental issues facing America today. In this series of recollections, one of America's most beautiful national parks comes alive with beauty, mystery, and power.

The beauty, mystery, and power of the Grand Tetons come alive in Jack Turner's memoir of a year on America's most beautiful mountain range.
Skillfully blending history, memory, and observation, philosopher-cum-mountain guide Jack Turner's Teewinot is a year in the life of Wyoming's Teton Range, as told by a true believer. Certainly he captures a sense of the mountains--not only their jagged rock, hidden valleys, and beaten trails, but the flora, fauna, and folks who inhabit them. He navigates this territory with the poise and purpose of a skilled climber--feeling for holds, finding one, adjusting balance, reaching out again in a different direction, pausing on those features whose nuances fit best, but never lingering too long. His narrative meanders between peaks, seasons, communities, periods of history, and moments in time. While lacking much of the intensity in tone and the invitation to controversy of his previous work, The Abstract Wild, Teewinot is still underscored by a deep environmental consciousness and concern for the future of the wild. Turner notes, for instance, the numerous and varied ways Homo sapiens have scarred his beloved wilderness: the trash left behind by campers, the wildlife pushed out of their usual haunts, the rash of development in Jackson Hole. But he also manages to skirt the role played by guide companies like Exum (his employer), noting only that "Exum, of course, is a part of the problem--a small part." Maybe this is denial, a practice he labels "the first line of defense." Or perhaps he relies on the climber's "prizewinning talent for dissociating emotion" to shield him. Whatever, he is content to leave these questions unanswered. Many readers will also be content to leave them as such--a worthwhile trade for a glimpse into a climber's soul. --Rene Henery

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