Ascent of Grand Teton on 2022-09-12

Climber: Grog Supervolcano

Date:Monday, September 12, 2022
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Grand Teton
    Elevation:13770 ft / 4197 m

Ascent Trip Report

Heading into this summer there were four peaks that Ben needed to complete the Ultra list, and after success on Olympus and Cleveland all thoughts turned toward the majestic spire south of Yellowstone, The Grand. Gazing at this chimerical pinnacle from the summit of Younts Peak, Josh proclaimed to me "You gotta climb that thing one day" and that's exactly what I did. We started Sunday afternoon at the outlandishly busy Lupine Meadows trailhead towards Petzoldt Caves to camp, at one point taking the wrong junction and almost reaching Amphitheater Lake. The next morning began by headlamp as we grunted towards the Lower Saddle, amazingly finding our way through the maze of use trail with incredible efficiency. Lights shone all over the basin and even high up on the wrong ridges from parties not really having a clue where they were going. I was grateful to attempt this climb on a Monday as this is no place for a weekend destination. One notable scramble with a fixed rope separated us from the Lower Saddle, where we worked hard to get precious water from the hose.

Steep hiking through the black dike led to the Chockstone Chimney, Eye of the Needle and then a loose scramble up to the Upper Saddle. I expected the Eye to be longer so it was an underwhelming feature yet still unique. From here on was the culmination of studying Wyoming Whiskey and other sources of beta and there were no surprises for us the rest of the way. Instead of hoofing one giant rope up the mountain, we carried a 40m rope each since we only pitched out one section yet had plenty of length for the rappel. We roped up through the belly roll and crawl towards the access to the double chimney. The traverse was not challenging but very exposed and nearly impossible to hear your climbing partner. Navigating towards the second entrance of the double chimney was slightly sketchy but worthwhile as the first entrance held a nightmarish overhanging pullup that I wanted no part of today. Exiting the tunnel to gain the catwalk was one of two crux moves on this route, as I sort of stemmed and rotated to get out of there. Ice on the catwalk was camouflaged to much dismay but we navigated a narrow dry path through it.

We were forced to wait a while for a slow party of two downclimbing Sargent's Chimney which I was not happy about, but that was the only party we saw on the Owen Spaulding route all day, an experience of solitude on the Grand that I'm sure most cannot relate to unfortunately. Sargent's Hidden Exit held a couple initially steep moves that I would consider the second crux yet was a quality variation that spat us out upon easy scrambling towards the summit. I opted for the fun Slabby Wall while Ben took a variation off to the right, then suddenly I was on top of the Grand Teton. While smoky, the day was gorgeous and the sensation on top of the Grand made up for the lack of views. The landscape all around is so far beneath you it's almost intimidating. Mount Owen, although way lower, is a spectacular shaped peak in its own right and I cannot wait to one day attempt that monstrosity. We had the summit all to ourselves for several minutes and the vibration was pure joy. A lot of research went into this climb and it felt amazing to be up here under our own willpower unguided. The overhanging rappel was only my second rappel ever and dropping off that edge was substantially thrilling. What an astonishing mountain.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:7330 ft / 2233 m
    Total Elevation Loss:7330 ft / 2233 m
    Round-Trip Distance:17.4 mi / 28 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Rope, Headlamp, Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:7180 ft / 2188 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 7030 ft / 2143 m; Extra: 150 ft / 45m
    Loss on way in:150 ft / 45 m
    Distance:8.7 mi / 14 km
    Start Trailhead:6740 ft / 2054 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:7180 ft / 2188 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 7030 ft / 2143 m; Extra: 150 ft / 45m
    Gain on way out:150 ft / 45 m
    Distance:8.7 mi / 14 km
    End Trailhead:6740 ft / 2054 m

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