My flight got in late on Saturday night, so we decided to sleep in a bit and do a shorter climb on Sunday. Here's Anna approaching the final belay on Guide's Wall, a 5 pitch 5.9, the way we did it.
Teeniwot Mountain and Mount Owen.
Looking down the route. The fifth pitch went up the nice crack on the left at 5.8 fingers. I meant to take a lot of photos of Anna on this climb, but was shut down by poor belay positions. This one was taken on rappel. It took four double rope rappels to get back to the base.
Back at the base of the route, looking up. The route followed the round arete, turning the obvious roof on its left side. The first two pitches were mediocre, with steep 5.7 steps punctuated by 4th class climbing. The third pitch was very long, with a fun 5.8 crux in a thin finger crack. The fourth pitch was the best, a splitter 5.9 crack, .5 and .75 sized, with no feet. I was psyched to send it. The fifth pitch was also very good, 5.8 fingers and face climbing.
A closer look at the 5.9 splitter on pitch 4. It's the crack on the right, under the roof. The wider crack on the left is 5.7, and was the original line, but you'd have to have a pretty good excuse to do that rather than the 5.9 variation.
Monday was a "rest day" in preparation for an attempt on the Grand Teton on Tuesday. We took the tram from Teton Village to the top of Jackson Hole ski area. This is a photo of the Grand, from the top of the tram.
We hiked down to the top of Corbet's Couloir, a ski run infamous for its mandatory twenty foot cliff-jump entry and steep lower section.
Looking down Corbet's (twenty foot cliff hidden).
This was our true objective. Fun limestone sport climbing, with routes from 70 to 90 feet in length.
Saxifrage, a fun 5.9, climbs the obvious black streak.
The Lower Wall, home to 3 fun 5.11s and a bizarre-looking 5.12. The climbing was very technical pocket-pulling and edging, just less than vertical. It reminded me of Cochiti Mesa.
Our alarms went off at 12:30am, and we left the Lupine Meadows trailhead at 1:35am to climb the Grand Teton. We hope to climb Upper Exum Ridge, a classic 5.5 route. All told, it would be about 17 miles and 7100 feet of elevation gain.
Sunrise on the Middle Teton
Wall Street is the obvious ledge near the top of the photo. You follow it to gain Exum Ridge, the obvious skyline. We felt the hardest move on the climb was the exposed step from Wall Street to the ridge proper.
Anna on Wall Street (crux just around the corner).
Knowing we had a long day ahead of us, we tried to move fast and thus there are very few photos on the technical section.
A summary: I soloed the exposed "leap" move to get from Wall Street to the ridge, and dropped a rope for Anna. We then proceeded to simul-climb for the next 600 feet or so, until the point in this photo. I coiled the rope (poorly) and we soloed to the summit.
Here are some climbers atop the "V pitch", which is given 5.4. We soloed it without much trouble.
Typical terrain: lots of class 3 and 4, with a few class 5 sections, all on solid rock.
View from the top. The Grand is the obvious monarch around here even though Gannet is the highest peak in Wyoming. I couldn't spot Gannet from the summit, but then again, my vision is poor.
Me flaking the rope on the summit, regretting my earlier decision to just stuff the rope in the pack.
Summit shot. Mt. Moran is visible in the background, on the left.
The descent, down the Owen-Spalding route (5.4) involved a couple of rappels. Here climbers are setting up for the longer one, a perfect 35m.
The Eye of the Needle, a "key" landmark. Actually, you can totally miss it and be just fine. Missing it adds about 30 feet of class 4, which shouldn't be a big deal if you are up for climbing the Grand.
Anna heading down to the Lower Saddle.
The Grand from the Lower Saddle. Upper Exum ridge is the high right skyline.
The Lower Saddle from below.
A fine piece of rock, but I don't know of any routes that climb it. I'm sure some routes exist, though.
Irene's Arete, a classic seven-pitch 5.8.
The Middle Teton, with a bizarre chimney/gulley feature.
The Grand, from near the parking lot.
The Grand, as seen from the drive back to Teton Village. All in all, the climb took us just under 16 hours, with 45 minutes of lounging at the top.