Grand Teton Climbing Conditions - Owen-Spalding - May 30, 2016

 Memorial Day 2016

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 Meadows' Headwall

The snow was a little sloppy in the afternoon but stable. It was near perfect in the morning. The high temperature at the valley floor was 63°F.

The Moraines with the Lower Saddle

 Lower Saddle

You can see small loose & wet slides on the Middle Teton Glacier (left) and the Lower Saddle's Headwall.

View back down the North Fork of Garnet Canyon from the Lower Saddle.

Lower Saddle. Bear box and camping ring.

View toward the Upper Saddle from the Lower Saddle.

The Needle - center.

Lone skier at the Glencoe Spire's col.

Western side of the Needle

We hiked up the Chockstone Chimney.

Chockstone Chimney

Some of these images were captured during the descent, some during the ascent....

We bypassed the Eye of the Needle & the Briggs' Slab and went straight up the chimney.

Eye of the Needle - natural tunnel

Our path.

Looking toward the Eye of the Needle

Eye of the Needle.

Some variations above the Eye - just go wherever you feel comfortable.

Looking at the crossovers to the Upper Exum Route - access to Wall Street.

We took the RED route.

The green route had deeper snow but there is little difference between the two at this time of year. The higher route provides a little more safety if a big slide rolls from up top.

Looking back down the Central Rib & its bench

The BRC is above the smooth slab

 Central Rib Overview

We took the Upper Western Rib / OS Couloir on the way down. We placed this picture here to give you an overview of the area.

We took the Central Rib's Black Rock Chimney

This is the 'ramp' directly above the smooth slab - see above.

Black Rock Chimney

Upper Central Rib

View to the SE

The exit from the BRC

Upper Central Rib

Wall Street looked untouched by climbers.

Middle Teton in background.

Upper access to the Black Rock Chimney.

Main drainage to the west of the Central Rib.

The Enclosure - center left. Central Rib - far right.

The Patio just below the Upper Saddle.

Bootpack just below the Upper Saddle.

Three (?) climbers on the Middle Teton. Someone was moving around on the summit.

The Owen-Spalding Route above the Upper Saddle

 Upper Saddle

The Belly Roll is at the NE corner of the Upper Saddle. This rock is not the Belly Roll. We took the Red route to gain the upper eastern side of the Upper Saddle. The most common route is the Green Route during the summer. The green route is on the south side. The view from the top is shown below.

Upper Saddle

Route #1 is on the south side.
We took route # 2. View from top.

 Upper Saddle

This is the common summer southern route to reach the upper eastern side of the Upper Saddle. Too unstable for us.

Exposed southern route - looking into the Exum Gully.

Bootpack along the lower western side of the Upper Saddle.

Exposed northern side of the Upper Saddle.

Route to the Belly Roll.

Belly Roll

Ledge between Belly Roll & the Crawl.

We took the First Entrance.

First Entrance to the Double Chimney.
The snow acted as a step.

View back toward the Crawl from the First Entrance.
The thin rope is tied off to webbing. Everything is tied off to old pitons. This stuff might provide some slip protection but NOT fall protection. The webbing was first seen here in April and it was most likely here all winter. Most climbers just use an axe to provide stability at the exit from the Crawl when it's covered in snow. It helps to know what it looks like dry.

Top of the First Entrance - looking back down.

Looking down the Second Entrance.

The Tunnel variation is plugged with snow. The Open-V was showing some ice but it was easy to manage.

View from the top of the Double Chimney.

We're looking SE toward the scramble to the Catwalk. You can take the scramble or use the Owen Chimney to access the Catwalk.

View from the exit of the DC toward the Owen Chimney.

We took the Catwalk on the ascent just to check it out. We came down the Owen Chimney.

Owen Chimney

A view from the first opening in the Owen Chimney

Catwalk. Deep snow against the eastern wall.

This area may get you into trouble if you are not familiar with it when it is covered in snow. The Owen Chimney is usually safer when this area is filled in with snow.

Looking back at the scramble off the Catwalk from the Rap Overlook.

Main Rappel station.

The ledge system at the bottom of Sargent's runs from the Great West Chimney all the way to the top of the V-Pitch on the Upper Exum Ridge.

Sargent's Chimney.

The northern wall points toward the top of the Owen Chimney. The southern wall points toward the Main Rappel to the Upper Saddle.



View from SC

View from SC

Sargent's Main Chimney



Hidden Exit's NW corner crack is covered in snow.


SC - Hidden Exit's top

Middle of HE

The top of Sargent's Hidden Exit is about 20' north of the rap at the top of Sargent's

Notice the top of the Hidden Exit is a small chute.

It's a straight shot to the summit but many climbers zig-zag their way around some rock features.

We took a 'switchback' to the SE.



Summit View to north.

Summit view to south - The Horse.

Scramble just below the summit.

The Enclosure with Idaho in background.

Cascade Canyon.

Owen Chimney.  DESCENT

We took the Catwalk on the way up and the Owen on the way down.

View near the top of the Owen Chimney

Middle of the Owen Chimney

Owen Chimney. This is near the crux of the Owen.

A view of the first opening in the Owen Chimney

Double Chimney

This is the view from middle of the chimney toward the exits. We descended the 1st Entrance.

Open-V in DC.

Valhalla Canyon

Open-V in DC

Looking down the Second Entrance into Valhalla Canyon

Looking down the First Entrance.

The Crawl in front with a view of the access to the Double Chimney in the background

View toward Mt Moran and Jackson Lake.

Black Ice Couloir. North side of the Upper Saddle

View down into Valhalla Canyon

The Belly Roll as seen from above during the descent.

The Upper Saddle - view from near the Belly Roll.

Belly Roll

Secondary Rappel Chimney

Main Rap wall

View south.

Dartmouth Couloir - far right.
OS Couloir (main drainage) - left.
Upper Western Rib - center.
Central Rib - far left.


This is the view toward the Lower Saddle by the bottom of the Chockstone Chimney. Middle Teton in background.

Exum cleared the ground by the platform for their summer hut. The GTNP hut on the left is still packed up from its winter hibernation.

Lower Saddle sign

The Moraines

We just walked down the Lower Saddle's headwall. You can see the old loose wet slide.

This is the view toward the JHMG's summer hut by Teepe Pillar. Hut wasn't assembled.

East Face of the Grand Teton.

South Fork of Garnet Canyon.

Petzoldt's Caves, Spalding Falls area. We got hit with a few short snow showers.

S. Fork of Garnet Canyon.

Middle Teton - upper left.

Looking at the location of the summer climbers' trail by Spalding Falls.

Climbers' trail peeking through the snow next to the Meadows Camping Zone.

This wet slabby & loose avalanche took rock down with it.

Red Snow - Watermelon Snow