GRAND TETON ROUTES:

Yellow: Owen-Spalding
Red: Upper Exum
Green: Lower Exum
Blue: East Ridge
Violet: Petzoldt Ridge viewed from the Middle Teton
Run Up Exum
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 aren’t 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 hadn’t 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 Sargent’s Chimney. Once above Sargent’s Chimney, there were a 
lot of route options up various slabs and ledges. Most folks angle to the left toward the summit."        
                                Owen Chimney



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.