In early September, 2000, Dennis and I returned to beautiful Jackson Hole, WY, for a week of climbing and hiking in the Tetons. We spent two days in the Exum Guides' climbing school to fill out our skills. Although we've been vertical cavers for many years, our rock climbing skills have been previously self-taught. The Exum Guides' instructors are first-class climbers and the time and money were well spent.
We did several climbs during our week there. The photos below are from our 2-day trip to summit the Grand Teton (13,770').
The first day we hiked up to the Lower Saddle between Grand Teton and Middle Teton. Exum has a hut set there to relieve you of carrying up a tent and sleeping gear. You just bring your food, water, and climbing gear. We spent a clear, cold night on the saddle, with a beautiful view of Jackson Hole and an incredible starry sky.
At 3:30AM we awoke to a crisp morning. After a warm breakfast of oatmeal and tea, we headed for the summit. Our guide, Peter, had spent his climbing career in WY, CA, and South America. Our route was planned to be up Exum Ridge. But, there were four teams ahead of us and some ominous clouds were building to the West. Peter suggested the Owen-Spaulding route would afford us a better shot at summiting before the weather moved in. Disappointed in not taking the more spectacular ridge route, we agreed the weather would win, if we didn't move quickly. The trip up was still very invigorating and the view was great.
We reached the summit by 10:30 or so. The area around was still clear, but the clouds were moving in fast. We stayed about a half hour, then headed down. Within another half hour we were in the midst of a blowing snowstorm. About three inches fell quickly, making the rocks very icy. It added a surreal touch to the climb. We returned to the Lower Saddle without incident. Gathering the cooking gear we'd left at the hut, we hiked back to the valley floor. What a fine trip!
The hiking in the canyons of the Tetons was also really nice. The launch ride across Jenny Lake is just beautiful. Grand Teton National Park is a super spot to spend a week. It was another fine vacation in incredible Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Photos on this page were all taken by Gary, except one by Dennis (DG).