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zacrobinson


May 29, 2003, 6:17 PM
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Grand Teton  (North_America: United_States: Wyoming: Western_Wy_: Grand_Teton_NP)
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Howdy,

Im thinking about doing Grand Teton toward the end of the summer and I have some questions for yall

Ill probably do either the Owen Spaulding or the exum ridge route.... what I wan to know is if the OS route is any "good" climbing. Two of us climb 5.9-10 and the other guy is around 5.8 maybe some 9's. I just dont want anything that is more of a scramble than a climb.

Also what kind of protection is there on those routes. Is it all trad or is any of it bolted?

Any advice or stories about the teons would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks


Partner pt


May 29, 2003, 6:27 PM
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Do the exum- much more pure rock climbing, exposure, and fun. No bolts but you won't have any trouble if you climb 5.9-5.10.


edge


May 29, 2003, 6:43 PM
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I climbed the Exum in the early 80's with a Brit who was sharing gas and driving time with me on a cross-country trip. He was a runner, but had never climbed before, and the Grand was our first climb together.

It had not been summited for 2 weeks (according to the rangers) due to snow and ice on the upper mountain (mid April), yet we went up anyway and spent the night just below the upper saddle. The next day we went across Wall Street and once on the ridge proper, I lead everything in Nike Lava Domes (early approach shoes). It was only 5.4, plenty of natural pro, incredible position, and absolutely no bolts. We simul-climbed, and I only stopped once after the 5.4 bit to belay him. We did summit, even though we passed 4 parties descending who said it was too icy and they hadn't brought ice gear; it really wasn't hard at all.

Once at the summit I looked in the guide book for descent beta, and realized then that the standard OS descent involved a two rope rappel. I was all set to lower my partner and abandon some gear when we were met by another group who combined ropes with ours and helped him set up his figure 8 while I gave a fireman's belay. Rapping/descending over the OS, I was very glad that we had chosen the Exum; the OC didn't look nearly as fun and no where near as aesthetic. My only regret was that we hadn't gone for the Exum Direct. Definately one of the better mountain/alpine routes that I have ever done.

Due to my partner's inexperience, we arrived back at camp below the Upper Saddle just in time to eat and fall asleep, only to be woken up a couple hours later by a pika munching our food from a backpack. Oh well, he was cute...

If you want more of a climb than a scramble, then do the Exum Direct, but either way, DO THE EXUM! Except for the 120' rappel, you will also get to experience the OS on the descent.

I am jealous. Thanks for bringing back some great memories!


Partner chugach001


May 29, 2003, 6:51 PM
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I soloed the OE and have regretted not finding a partner for the Exum (top and bottom) ever since. Go with the Exum and give the North Face a look as well.


mesomorf


May 29, 2003, 6:57 PM
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In reply to:
Im thinking about doing Grand Teton toward the end of the summer...

Sounds like fun.

In reply to:
I just dont want anything that is more of a scramble than a climb.

Choose a route other than the Owen-Spalding or Exum then. Complete Exum, perhaps.

In reply to:
Also what kind of protection is there on those routes. Is it all trad or is any of it bolted?
I gotta say, this is a pretty funny question (unintentionally). The Grand is Alpinism. Leave the quickdraws down in the valley.


climber1


May 29, 2003, 9:47 PM
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I don't want to be sarcastic, but since you are about bolts, are you a sport climber? if you are, and don't lead trad, you will be in over your head on the Grand.


dukeclimber


May 29, 2003, 9:53 PM
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Along the lines of the original question, is snow and ice equipment useful in August in the Tetons? I have climbed on the Grand in late July and did not need an ax or crampons, but I am planning on going out again this summer and want to try some of the other peaks. Is there plenty of climbing that late in the season that doesn't require approaching on snow?


kinz


May 29, 2003, 10:12 PM
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i did the OS route last summer and it is more of a scramble with some short easy pitches thrown in. exum ridge would be far better if you want to actually climb. there is very little fixed gear on most of the routes so bring a solid rack with. enjoy the view


flamer


May 30, 2003, 11:51 AM
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You do not need 2 ropes to do the OS rappels. A single 60M works just fine. I soloed the upper Exum AND the OS in early July 2001. This was the first climbing I had done in the Tetons and I went Car to CAR in 10:55. I was the first and second person to the summit that day. Light and fast is the only way!
josh


edge


May 30, 2003, 12:49 PM
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That's pretty fast, Flamer, nice job. I did my climb in 1981 or something when all we carried was 165' ropes, a major step up from the 150 footers that were the norm a few years prior to that.

I personally would have loved to go faster, but I thought leaving a first timer to fend for himself on the Grand would be "bad form"...


elvislegs


May 30, 2003, 1:02 PM
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In reply to:
Also what kind of protection is there on those routes. Is it all trad or is any of it bolted?


Hahahhahahahah! Maybe you should work up to this one.


zacrobinson


May 30, 2003, 8:04 PM
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In reply to:
I don't want to be sarcastic, but since you are about bolts, are you a sport climber? if you are, and don't lead trad, you will be in over your head on the Grand.

yeah now I kinda feel like an idiot, but I was just hoping that maybe it wasn't all trad since I know I would be in way over my head. Oh well. We will be doing some stuff in and around Garden of the Gods and the Co. Springs area with my very experienced and knowledgable cousin.

Maybe the Teton next summer........


mike_ok


May 30, 2003, 8:12 PM
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I learned how to climb in the tetons with guys who did 5.8 trad regularly, and one of them was very cautious about doing the grand... its not just climbing you have to think about, but true alpinism.

That being said, I would add that all the climbs I did in the tetons were dry climbs... ie, I was there from mid may-august last summer working for the park, and we never had to ice-climb. You WILL, however, be hiking through snow on the approaches.


Partner mountaindoc


May 31, 2003, 5:09 PM
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I would consider what it is you want to accomplish. Do you just want to bag The Grand, or are you looking for a quality, memorable route in a beautiful setting. There are very few bolts on the classic routes, however, there are a number of fixed pins, nuts, and cams. O/S is a scramble with one pitch at the summit of 5.4/5.5 I believe. Upper Exum is much more exciting, most of the difficulty comes in route finding, as the route is lower angle and winding. The Direct Exum is probably the best mid grade route for less experienced climbers, which finishes out on the Upper Exum. You better make sure to bring an experienced trad leader though, as the exposure on the black wall is impressive, even though it is pretty well protected with fixed pins. One thing you must remember is you will be climbing consistent pitches of 5.7 above 12K ft. My advice would be to climb one of the valley climbs like Guide's Wall or Baxter's Pinnacle and see how you feel. If all goes well, you should have no problem with the Exum.

In regard's to some other posts, the snow fall this year is very heavy. I am planning a trip there the 3rd week of June, and we are considering using snow shoes above 8K ft. ad approaching at night to decrease avalanch risk. Hard to say when the Morraine will clear this year. But there are tons of climbs in the Tetons that will require no snow/ice equipment . The snaz, Irene's arete, Baxter's pinnacle, Guide's wall, Open book, most anything in Avalanch canyon, and most of the ridge routes on the Grand and Mt Owen.

Hope this has helped.


jhb


May 31, 2003, 6:59 PM
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Zac-

Without being redundant I would like to reiterate some of the other users comments regarding your goal for the summer. Judging only on the basis of your questions and profile, I would say you should possibly rethink your plan. Unless you or a member of your party has some pretty extensive multi-pitch trad experience (preferably at altitude), you will probably be in for a very rude and possibly deadly wake up call. In no way do I want this to sound condescending or come off as a flame, but I have been severly spanked before myself and would like to save you the experience. Getting up either one of the routes you mention requires some serious route-finding skills and alpine knowledge, not to mention endurance considering you'll be doing all this at 14,000ish feet. If you've never climbed at altitude before, I can tell you that alpine 5.8 is a whole world apart from a 5.8 crag route. If you want to start getting into some alpine stuff you should definately climb with a really experienced partner or greatly scale back your objective. Cheers.

josh


zacrobinson


May 31, 2003, 7:12 PM
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Yeah thats what I figured

I just got to thinking about it and I read up on it some on the net/magazines and was looking for some real info. I would like to get some multipitch experience somewhere if yall have any reccomendations.... I need something in the sport category cause I dont know how to set and can't afford any trad gear anytime soon.

We will be in the Co Springs-Denver area with a very experienced older cousin for a couple days.

Thanks again for the help


mike_ok


May 31, 2003, 7:25 PM
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almost everything in the park is trad... south of jackson there is a wall called rodeo wall thats bolted, but i wouldn't travel to the area for rodeo wall... its more of a locals hang-out and is nice since you can drive up rather than hike 5-10 miles. other than that, you really need trad gear for the tetons.


stickclipper


May 31, 2003, 8:28 PM
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Ah yes, the Grand is great. But competence is a must. The Upper Exum, for first timers is probably the route of choice, since it has a southernly aspect and therefore gets a lot of sun and is devoid of snow and ice when many other routes are not. The Upper Exum was nice when I was on it, and it took all day since I lacked the requisite experience simul-climb efficiently. Three of us were on the climb, starting at 8 (LATE!) from the Upper Saddle and we arrived at the top around 4-5 PM (LATE!!!). That's right, not only was it slow, but it was DUMB. The route was absolutely fantastic, but no amount of sport climbing will prepare you for the grandeur of alpine climbing. Friction Pitch was great...and it even has a pin!
Then, we had to find the descent, which took a while and by the time we got down to the Upper Saddle, it was 8 PM. Then, it took us until 3 AM to make it back down to the car. It was epic without a doubt. I swore that I wouldn't climb for several weeks...but to no avail. Nothing fuels the addiction like learning the hard way (and getting lucky).

A few lessons learned:
1. Don't belay each and every friggin pitch...simulclimb and move fast
2. Pack light
3. Make sure you're in reasonable shape
4. Show respect for the mountains or they'll make you their BITCH!


jhb


May 31, 2003, 8:45 PM
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When you're in Colo., if you're cousin wants to take you up some really good moderates go to Elevenmile Canyon. Haven't climbed there personally but several friends have told me that it's some of the best moderate trad around there. Also might wanna check out some of the Flatirons routes, really mellow fun stuff, if a bit run out in spots. Enjoy.

Josh


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