Grand Teton (aka The Tetons Big Dog)

The Tetons!

Since my first trip to the Tetons in August 2001, I'd thought of climbing Grand Teton. When in summer 2006 Rick Kent and Mike Cressman told me they'd be interested in tackling her, that was all I needed.
Influenza Mike eager to start...!

Setting out over a long weekend, Mike and I drove up to meet Rick, who'd flown in from Bakersfield. Already scoring our permits via the reservation system, we set out the next morning and hiked up to our camp at the Lower Saddle. A beautiful approach on a good trail (with one short steep section, aided by a long rope dangling) brought us in short order to our camp. I think we were the only unguided group there.
Influenza Mike suffering...!

Having traveled lightly, with me opting for a simple bivy that night, I felt good and strong and enthusiastic about the climb. Rick was tired, as he'd carried a heavy pack and was moving slowly, and Mike was ill with the flu.
Flat(tish) lands to the east

Starting before dawn the next morning, we had a few minor difficulties finding our way to the start of Wall Street, the starting point for the Upper Exum Ridge. With me leading this first pitch, Rick and I swapped leads on the rather easy but amazingly enjoyable route.
A large and stunning waterfall

In what seemed like no time at all, we found ourselves on the crowded summit of the Grand. There were fine views from the top of this classic, alpine summit.
South along the Teton crest

Before the big crowds found their way to the top, we decided to begin our descent. Easily hiking down toward the top of the Owen-Spalding route, we did a couple of nice rappels down to the Upper Saddle, then hiked the use trail down to our camp.
75% of the way there

Breaking camp, we hiked out under beautiful weather. Eventually arriving back in Jackson, Rick and I enjoyed a hearty dinner while Mike (whom I can't believe actually did the climb while feverish) napped for hours in his hotel room. The next morning, it was time to head home and back to work.
CP on the summit


*Photos courtesy of Rick Kent