Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Grand Teton-Upper Exum

Grand Teton stands 13,770 feet above sea level. It doesn't even rank in the top 50 tallest peaks in the U.S. but this unique peak attracts thousands of climbers every year. The thing this peak has to offer is its unique silhouette. It is a steep tower with plenty of exposure. I was invited on this trip just last week and made the necessary arrangements. Before I knew it, another peak that I had dreamed of climbing was being made possible.

We spent the night in Rexburg, ID at one of Kristopher's school buddies houses. We awoke early the next morning to make the drive to the trail head. As soon as we were on the trail my feet began to give me some issues. The approach was long.... really long. Even though it was six miles we were pretty done hiking by the time we got there. Next time I will do this one light and fast.

In the parking lot we ran into SLC SHERPA and his brother were just getting back from a "run". They ran up to the saddle then went to the summit via Owen Spalding Route. They made it to the summit and back in just over four hours. What would take us two days they did in a few hours. I might need to start running.

We settled in for the night planning to wake up at 5 a.m., when in reality we should have been up and on the trail by 4. a.m. As soon as we were above the saddle the terrain ramped up. I have never been around that much exposure, at some points it seemed like thousands of feet on each side of you. The climbing was good and we all had a great time. It was a never ending climb and every time we thought we were close we realized we still had a long way to go.

For some reason I became really gripped on the friction pitch. We were simulclimbing and I mentally wasn't up for it for some reason. As soon as we were through it I was fine, and I don't think there would be a problem if I were to go back. After what seemed an endless ascent we made the summit along with some other parties. It was a good feeling, but we only stayed up there for a couple minutes before starting back down.

The descent off of the summit went fast until we hit the lower slopes... the rest of the way down was a miserable haul. My shoes were again giving me problems and slowed my pace. We eventually made it back to the car and spent the rest of the night driving back home. Grand Teton was an amazing climb, but we were all pretty miserable at the end of it. Lighter and faster will be the theme of my next voyage.
Sunset on the drive up.
From Rexburg, ID to Jackson, WY
An amazing feature

Looking up at Middle Teton

A wild fire was burning in the background as we settled in for the night.
Good morning
Teton's shadow in the distance

It was a tiring day... Here we were on wallstreet

The Golden Staircase. Parker takes the lead.
 Summit Photo: Kristopher, me, Austing, Parker

Kristopher on his way down.

1 comment:

  1. Nice job guys, heavy pack suck. Great photos!