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The Grand Teton via Upper Exum Ridge

July 23, 2010

July 21, 2010. The Grand Teton has been on my to-do list for a few years now.  I’ve had a couple opportunities that fell through, but last week Jeremy, Steph, Ryan, and I decided that we were finally going to climb it.

We decided to do the Exum direct route – 5 pitches of 5.7 followed by a lot of 5.4 climbing and scrambling to the summit.  We met Ryan just outside Teton National Park at 10 am Sunday morning and split up all the gear between us.  We were on the trail by noon.

The approach. You can see Jeremy and Steph in the bottom right corner. Photograph by Jacob Buckner.

Ryan and Jeremy. Photograph by Jacob Buckner.

We made camp on the lower saddle, ate dinner, and discussed our plans for the next day.  We decided that we would probably not have time to do the Exum direct, so we planned instead on doing just the Upper Exum.  While the sun set Ryan and I watched climbers coming down the snow field from the upper saddle.  I felt content and excited for the upcoming day.

We woke up at 5 am, put on our harness and helmets, and starting hiking.

Almost to the Upper Saddle. Photograph by Jacob Buckner.

From the Upper Saddle we scrambled up fourth class terrain and across an icy patch of snow until we reached Wall Street.

Ryan coming up Wall Street. Photograph by Jacob Buckner.

Ryan belaying Steph. Photograph by Jacob Buckner.

After Wall Street, we climbed the Golden Staircase, and then simulclimbed most of the rest of the route.

Ryan leading the Golden Staircase pitch. Photograph by Jacob Buckner.

Jeremy belaying Steph and Ryan. Photograph by Jacob Buckner.

Ryan, Steph, and me crossing snow on the summit ridge. Photograph by Jeremy Henderson.

Group shot on the summit. Photograph by Jacob Buckner.

We were on the summit at 2:45 pm.  We enjoyed the view for a while and then started the descent down the Owen-Spalding route.  The descent was long and uneventful.

Jeremy downscrambling on the descent. Photograph by Jacob Buckner.

Everyone waiting for another party to finish the second rappel. Photograph by Jacob Buckner.

Jeremy throwing the rope for the rappel. Photograph by Jacob Buckner.

Steph on rappel. Photograph by Jacob Buckner.

We made it back to camp at 6 pm after 12 straight hours of climbing.  After eating dinner and packing up camp we hiked the ten miles back to the car and then drove home.  I was in bed at 4 am, 23 hours after waking up.

It was a great day out.  We had perfect weather and the route was excellent.  We are looking forward to doing some more difficult routes on the Grand soon.

One Comment leave one →
  1. mama-face permalink
    July 24, 2010 8:57 am

    jeremy throwing the rope-amazing photo.

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