The Grand Teton's Owen-Spalding Route
A few trip reports for April through October
July 17th, 2016 (UXM) PNG Variation
Detailed Look At Specific Route Features
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Don't go up anything you can't get down.
Climber by 1st entrance
Climbers downclimbing in the Crawl - The Double Chimney access is behind them.
When dry, this is a nice way into the 2nd Entrance.
Climber on lower ledge
His feet are more likely to go out from under him in this position but he still manages to work his way to the 2nd Entrance without any issues. When we see climbers slip in this area, they usually recover by using the friction of their body against the rock. The handholds are also stellar when dry so that keeps climbers from falling a half mile into Valhalla Canyon. As climbers get closer to the 2nd Entrance, the footholds are thinner & mostly friction and climbers have to make a transition from outside handholds to inside ones. Sticky shoes make this transition relatively easy. Climbers have indeed fallen from the Owen-Spalding's exposed areas. Lighting, high winds, wet rock, ice, & snow make this area pretty sketchy.
This group of climbers had ice tools and crampons. They went for the 2nd Entrance of the DC. That was too risky for us so we went up the 1st Entrance which, while slick, was the safer option given our lack of gear. Crampons don't make a purchase getting to the 2nd Entrance but they will provide friction against the rock and they may be able to get a point atop a tiny hold if you're lucky - snow hides holds. Good body position is critical if you are headed for the 2nd Entrance under poor conditions. This lead climber knows the mountain very well and is an accomplished climber. After the DC, we took the Owen-Chimney Bypass Crack and they took the Catwalk to reach Sargent's. Above there, the climbing was pretty nice.
Looking down at 2nd Entrance from the top of the DC
Entering the 2nd Entrance
This is not a spot to get in a game of Twister with fellow climbers.
This free-soloing climber in green did choose to play Twister with the climber setting up a belay at the 2nd Entrance. Of course, this is not a great place to set up a belay; nonetheless, if you can free-solo this hill, you can probably make it up the 1st Entrance and stay out of the way of other climbers.
See that ice below the Open-V, it makes for a dangerous move into the middle of the DC. This usually raises more red flags for us than the access to the DC.
The Tunnel Variation
It's short but sweet. This is not a 5.4 exit.
It's one of the reasons that this area is dangerous when slick.
Climber headed for the North Slot
We clean the exit from the DC when it's icy so that the descent is easier and safer. There are several variations that can be used to get out of the DC. The 5.4-easy exit is off of the rock that the climber in green is sitting on. The Tunnel Variation is just to his south. To the north of the climbers is another exit variation via the upper-half of the DC Bypass variation. You can also climb out of the Open-V by climbing its eastern wall. It's not the easy way. Most climbers exit the Open-V by heading north - over the exit from the tunnel variation.
When we descend, we often head for the Open-V and stem across the walls to get into and out of the Open-V. This can be a little difficult for non-climbers, and short climbers. If you can safely drop into the tunnel variation when it's dry, then that will be the easiest option.
Rope coming out of DC
Use the first opening in the Owen Chimney when this area is sketchy.
Enjoy Safe Climbing