Grand Teton Climbing Trip, Wyoming
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.

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