Grand Teton Climbing Trip,
Direct Exum Route
July 31st - August 5, 2010
(Jim Juritsch, Tom Haines on Grand Teton, August 4, 2010)
|Jim Juritsch and Tom Haines
decided to tackle the Grand Teton in 2010. Grand Teton National Park is located in
northwestern Wyoming. We spent most of our time in the
center of the park, near Grand Teton. Our
original plan was to climb the Upper Exum route on our own, with me leading
the rock pitches. However, after arriving in Jackson Hole, and considering the lack of
familiarity of the route and our very limited climbing training prior to the
trip, we prudently decided to hire a professional guide.
Exum is the premier guiding service
in the Tetons, and we were lucky to land a very experienced guide for our
summit attempt. His name is
Bean Bowers. Everybody
we ran in to regarded Bean quite highly, as he has been guiding for many
years and is know as a hard man.
We opted to do a checkout climb with Bean on Monday, August 2. The purpose of a checkout climb is familiarize ourselves with common techniques and communications, and to just get to know each other. Of course Bean would be getting a read on our skills and competence as well. Bean recommended we climb Baxter's Pinnacle. Baxter's Pinnacle is a classic rock climb in the park, is about 600' high and sits next to Jenny Lake. You actually take a boat shuttle across Jenny Lake in order to get to the trailhead. It's rated 5.7 and is done typically in 6 rope pitches. Bean indicated that Baxters would be similar to the Lower Exum route, which he recommended we do on summit day. (Our plan was to do the Upper Exum only) Lana and Jim had climbed this arete (minus the pinnacle) in 2004. Here is our trip page. Tom and I had a fun time on the route, even though some of the pitches were quite challenging. The last pitch, the Pinnacle, is the crux of the climb. It starts out as a very exposed lateral move with nothing but air beneath you, then after pulling up on a pinch hold, you gain a ledge for a long lay back move. Once on top, we rappelled off the back into a rock strewn gully for our descent.
After a fun and successful checkout climb, we were ready for our two day Grand Teton summit trip. We met Bean on Tuesday morning at the Exum guide office for the required paperwork and gear checkout, and shortly after we headed off to the Lupine Meadows trailhead for the start of our adventure.
And the adventure begins.....
|First view of the Teton Range|
|Close up of the Tetons|
|Snapped this pic of a plane over the summit while coming in for a landing.|
|Close up of Grand Teton|
|Tom Haines on Baxter's Pinnacle.|
|Jim climbing up the 1st pitch of Baxter's Pinnacle|
|Tom and Jim at the start of the 2nd pitch|
|Tom climbing one of the tougher pitches|
|Jim having a good time|
|Looking back down towards the 1st pitch|
|Jim and Tom taking a break on the summit of Baxter's Pinnacle|
|Jim, Tom and our guide Bean on the summit of Baxter's Pinnacle (8/2)|
|View of Baxter's Pinnacle|
|View from high up on Baxter's Pinnacle, looking at Jenny Lake. We took a boat shuttle across the lake to access the start of the climb.|
|8/3 - The start of our Grand Teton trip. Our plan was to hike the 5 miles or so from the trailhead at 6700' to the Lower Saddle at 11,500'. This is a picture of Middle Teton, and an interesting rock formation in the center of the mountain.|
|Looking back towards the trailhead. We're about 1/2 way there by now. Weather was warm, and we were wearing shorts and t-shirts. The sun was strong though and we needed to make sure to wear sunscreen.|
|A babbling brook. Actually it's glacial and snow melt water.|
|Looking back again on the ascent.|
|Closer look at the igneous rock formation on Middle Teton. We were close to the Lower Saddle.|