July 24, 2020 - THE APPROACH: 16M RT/7000' ASC from Lupine Meadows TH and Parking to Summit and Back From Jackson, Wyoming, drive north 12 miles on highway 191 to Moose Junction and turn left (west). At Moose Junction, drive about seven miles to the sign for Lupine Meadow Trailhead. Lupine Meadow trailhead is the jumping off point for most routes on the mountain. Expect a lot of cars at this trailhead. From Lupine Meadow Trailhead (6732 ft) follow the trail up through Garnet Canyon. At 1.7 miles the trail forks. Stay right and continue for 1.5 miles where the trail forks again. If climbing the Owen-Spalding, Exum Ridge, or Petzoldt Ridge, go left, following the signs to Garnet Canyon. After 1.1 miles, the Platforms (8960 ft) campsites are reached. Shortly after, the trail crosses a moraine field and reaches the Meadows (9200 ft) camping area after another 1.0 mile. At the Meadows, a small log bridge will greet you to the left. Stay right and follow the trail as it begins to switchback up toward Spalding Falls. Above the falls, the trail continues climbing until reaching the Lower and Upper Moraine campsites. Above the Upper Moraine campsites the Lower Saddle headwall will appear directly to the west. Use the fixed rope to ascend the class 3/4 headwall section. A short hike above the headwall will end at the Lower Saddle. The Lower Saddle divides Grand Teton from Middle Teton and sits at 11,600 feet. 360 degree Panorama from just above the Lower Saddle DESCRIPTION: From the Lower Saddle, hike north toward the obvious black dike. The trail will split in a couple of places. Stay left and end up on the left (west) side of the dike. A tall feature called The Needle will greet you just past the dike. Engage in class 3 for short distance until reaching a slight headwall and a large chockstone chimney to the right. Climb slabby terrain for 100 ft to the right until reaching a ledge. The next obstacle is the Eye-of-the-Needle, which is a tunnel-like opening in the rock. Continue through the Eye, then traverse north along a ledge until reaching a large boulder which you must climb around with a little exposure. Head up into the couloir and follow the climber's trail to the Upper Saddle. At the Upper Saddle (13,160') , the Enclosure will be to the left, and the west face of the Grand will be on the right. At the Upper Saddle, the entire west face and the bottom of the OS route will come into view. Take a minute and note features and the route. Also, look behind you and remember which of the two couloirs were used in the ascent. You will want to use the center couloir for your descent. The westerly couloir is the Idaho Express and is easily mistaken for the descent route. From the Upper Saddle, the object is to traverse north across the bottom of the west face before ascending up to the summit block. The standard route does the complete traverse. Climbers generally rope up before beginning the traverse. Begin the traverse with the Belly Roll Pitch. This is an easy section, but you will want to be roped due to the exposure. Afterward, the Crawl Pitch is done by doing a hand traverse over fantastic exposure. It is a ledge not more than 18" wide with an overhang above. The exposure here is very exciting. Continue traversing around the ledge about 15' to the Double Chimney, the technical crux of the climb, where the upward ascent to the summit block continues. This chimney (5.4) climbs about 20 feet to a large ledge. From the ledge, look directly up and right into the obvious Owen Chimney which angles up to the right. The route from here goes north east to a third, very large chimney called Sargent's Chimney. From the top of Sarg's, continue up and to the left. Pay careful attention to your assent path from Sarg's, you will need to find it on the down climb and it isn't obvious! From here and to the extreme right (south) the Original Route continues along The Catwalk slabs. Either ascend the Owen Chimney or go to the right along the Catwalk Slabs. Either way will put you on a large ledge below the Sargent's Chimney. The Owen Chimney (5.4) usually contains some degree of ice. Warmer years may yield less, but the right-hand side of the chimney is almost always in shade and is icy. Good pro can be found in the Owen Chimney which is approximately 80 ft. Exit the chimney on a good belay ledge with great anchor points. After exit, look for the large chimney system to the left (east). This is the Sargent's Chimney and is about 80 ft. Also, look to the right and locate the rappel station for your eventual rappel to the upper saddle. Continue up the Sargents Chimney and look for rap slings at the top. Pay careful attention to your assent path from Sarg's, you will need to find it on the down climb and it isn't obvious! After the chimney, go left (north) and traverse along a narrow ledge and slab. At the end of slab, go right (south) until reaching the obvious class 3 blocky terrain to the summit. DESCENT: From the summit, descend the blocky terrain. Go right (north) until intercepting the slabs, then go south along the slab until reaching the top of Sargent's Chimney and the rap station. Rap to near the top of the Owen Chimney. Go left (south) and look for the slings and rap station which will get you back to the Upper Saddle. The rappel to the Upper Saddle is 120 ft. Most use two ropes; however, a tricky rappel with a single 60 meter dynamic rope is possible if done correctly. First, tie knots on the ends your rappel rope. Next, throw your rope to the rappeler's right (south) of the rappel station (or....to your left when facing out over the cliff). The bottom of the rappel has a significant down-slope to the north, so if you throw your rope to the south, a 60 meter rope will reach the bottom with rope stretch. Stay to the south during your rappel. Update: A new rappel station was installed 50M North of the standard rappel station in Aug '04. This will surely alleviate congestion at the standard station, but definitely requires 2 ropes. At the Upper Saddle, head for the descent couloir taking care not to use the westerly Idaho Express couloir by mistake. A faint climbers trail and occasional cairns will help guide the way. Retrace route to the Lower Saddle. Rap down Sargent's Chimney CLIMBING NOTES: "Having scouted the route up the gully the prior day, I had a pretty good idea of the easiest way to go. Up the ridge to the base of the main gully, then take a hard right up the obvious chockstone couloir, over the chockstone, up through the eye of the needle, then along the east side ledges to the top of the gully. We reached the upper saddle by about 10 am, and fell in line behind the other climbers who were in the process of roping up for the Owen Spalding route. It was cold and windy, so we layered up while waiting our turn to start. First a group of two, next a group of three, and then it was our turn. The first pitch is called the belly roll. The moves arent difficult, but Chris placed a couple pieces of protection for me since a slip here would result in a quick 2000-foot drop into Valhalla Canyon far below. Next was the belly crawl, which was again pretty easy, but still a ton of exposure. I hadnt made any conscious decision ahead of time, but I never looked down during this part of the climb. The next pitch was the double chimney. We took the second chimney, which I felt was one of the harder sections of the climb. The first challenge was getting up off the ledge into the chimney. Higher up was a second awkward move over small angled crack and slab. We let another group pass us who had taken the other chimney. The next pitch was the Owen Chimney. This had arguably the crux move of the entire climb, which was a long reaching pull up an over a short vertical section. Beyond that, it was basically a very steep scramble up the chimney to a large belay area below Sargents Chimney. Once above Sargents Chimney, there were a lot of route options up various slabs and ledges. Most folks angle to the left toward the summit."
PACKING LIST: All day rock/approach shoes 35-55L alpine pack, tent, bag, stove, food Bullet pack for day climbing Harness, Gloves, and Helmet Ice Axe and Trek Poles 2 - 60 meter 8-10 mm ropes ATC Guide or GriGri2 6 featherweight quickdraws 12 full length, 3 double ultralight runners 15 locking and ultralight carabiners Single rack of cams to 3" CAMPING PERMIT: Online Application Apply January 7 - May 14 $35 BEAUCOUP CHIMNEY IMAGES: Bing key in Double Chimney Grand Teton Owen Chimney Grand Teton Sargent's Chimney Grand Teton the Final Rap A Run up the Exum Ridge
2011: Tech Climbing the Grand
2012: TK and KJ 2:05 Ascent / 1:18 Descent
Interview : Jornet FKT = 2:54 covering 12.5M and 7428 vertical feet
This image shows a climber right before starting up the Double Chimney. Note the Belly Crawl and long Rap at right and Catwalk and Owen Chimney at top.