Grand Teton Grand Teton
13,777, 4199 meters
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The Grand Teton is the highest peak in the Teton range. I summited on September 5 . My motivation for this one was to hone my technical climbing skills as it has 5.6 to 5.8 rock climbing as well as some serious rapelling on the Alan on the Grand Teton summitdecent. I used the Jackson Hole Mountain Guides (JHMG). Click here for some pictures.

We left the Lupton Meadows parking lot around 10:15 Monday morning September 4. After a six hour hike with an elevation gain of about 4,000 feet. JHMG's High Camp is 400 feet below the lower saddle. We ate dinner and went to bed about 8:00.

After an extremely windy (gusts over 50 m.p.h.), but clear, night we left High Camp at 3:15AM. The first three to four hours were spent reaching the real climb. Scree and easy rock made most of the early part of the Grand. After the "Eye of the Needle", we started to rope up and continued up the Owens-Spalding route. The more technical Exum route was deemed dangerous with ice and snow from two nights ago.

The climb continued with some serious exposure before the final 300 foot scramble to the summit. Tuesday, September 5 was absolutely glorious - clear with bearable wind and moderate temperatures. The view from the summit of the Grand brings unobstructed views of Jackson Hole and Idaho. Other than a huge packrat, we had it all to ourselves for about half an hour.

We started down about noon. The two rappels we took were fun and a welcome break from the down climbing. The second rappel is about 200 feet with 100 suspended in the clear air- fantastic! With the rapelling being the highlight, we continued back to High Camp and down to the parking lot - a nice 15 hour day.

My overall impression is that The Grand is worthy of it's label. It is demanding and tricky. I found myself "leg weary" several times and the trek from the summit to the car was long and demanded careful attention to avoid a serious mistake. There are many spots of impressive exposure where you are clinging to a 85 degree rock wall with nothing to stop you for a few thousand feet. To think it was first climbed in 1898 is remarkable and even more amazing is that on a nearby peak of 11,000 feet, remains of a spiritual structure built by Indians has been found. To think they climbed these mountains in moccasins makes me feel completely unworthy.