The Grand Teton's Owen-Spalding Route - October 17th, 2015

The Grand Teton Climb

The Meadows in Garnet Canyon. Middle Teton on left. Spalding Falls on right. The Grand is in the background directly above the falls. The climbers' trail runs along the north side of the creek and up to the top of Spalding Falls.

The Stairs.

Part of the switchbacks heading up to the spring at the top of Spalding Falls.

The Meadows Camping Zone.

South Fork of Garnet Canyon in background. The Petzoldt Caves Camping Zone is by the trees.

East Face Grand Teton

Moraines, Middle Teton Glacier, & Lower Saddle

Fixed Rope at the Lower Saddle's headwall.

Ice by a seepage area on the Lower Saddle's upper eastern slope.  This is by the most eastern camping site and the drinking hose.

Lower Saddle as seen from the Black Dike.

The Black Dike and the Needle.

The Needle is the pointed rock feature at the base of the Central Rib in the center of the photo.

Middle Teton

 The Needle's Chockstone Chimney

Continue up the drainage to reach the Briggs Slab, etc, or take the Chockstone Chimney to gain the Central Rib's Bench. There are many many variations.

Mini Black Dike.

As you near the top half, before headwall, turn south to reach the Briggs Slab.

Eye of the Needle - natural tunnel

This is the view from the Briggs Slab toward the Eye of the Needle and the top of the Needle's Chockstone Chimney.

Central Rib's Bench - sloping bench

The Central Rib's bench is the elevated slope above the main drainage to the west. The Eye of the Needle is in the upper half of the center of the photo. The Lower Saddle & the Middle Teton are in the background.

 Black Rock Chimney access

The access to the Central Rib's Black Rock Chimney is by this smooth west-facing slab.

Black Rock Chimney - seen from above the slab.

Battleship Mtn & Schoolroom Glacier. Hurricane Pass runs by the glacier.

Main Rappel to the Upper Saddle.

Head further north (left) by the base of the rock wall to reach the Belly Roll at the Upper Saddle's NE corner.

The Owen-Spalding Climbing Route above the Upper Saddle

The Owen-Spalding's Belly Roll

The Crawl with the access to the Double Chimney by the snowy area.

1st Entrance DC
This is the view from the First Entrance of the Double Chimney - looking back down the crux.

View of the Second Entrance to the Double Chimney

We did not take the 2nd Entrance even though conditions were fine and it's often easier & quicker.

Mid-way into the Double Chimney.

You can see the Tunnel & the Open-V variations. The North Slot is directly above the tunnel and is used by a few climbers. There are several variations in the DC. Climbers can exit several ways.

Slabby exit from the DC.

Exit from the DC and approach to the Owen Chimney - center.

Exit from the DC - looking back.

Owen-Chimney Bypass Chimney
Closer to a big crack.

Owen Chimney

Catwalk - looking south.

Catwalk - looking north.

Scramble to the Main Rap Overlook from the Catwalk.

Main Rap sling. Bolt not seen.

View from Main Rap area toward Sargent's Chimney.

Two climbers on the Enclosure.

The Enclosure with the State of Idaho in the background.

The farming operations in Idaho are often responsible for the dirty skies as the wind picks up dirt during harvest or planting season. 

 Sargent's Chimney

The next photo below was shot from the same location from inside the bottom half of Sargent's Chimney.

Sargent's Chimney

Sargent's Chimney

Half-way up Sargent's before the chimney narrows into a consistent size, take an exit to the north - the Hidden Exit, or continue up the main chimney.

Again, the Hidden Exit is about half way up Sargent's main chimney. Just before the chimney narrows you will exit to the north-northwest by climbing a 7' corner crack.

Top of Sargent's

The Slabby Wall just below the summit.

A false-summit is directly above the wall (the Horse). We climbed the center crack but you can also switchback above the slab - head SE and then NE. The crack points toward the summit and back toward Sargent's.

View from summit toward Jackson Lake.

Cascade Canyon.

Delta Lake, and Surprise & Amphitheater Lake.

Bradley & Taggart Lakes.

Middle Teton.

Snake River

The Grand Teton's East Ridge.

Teewinot with Jenny Lake in the background.

Unnamed lakes to the northwest.

Unnamed lakes to the northwest.
Lake Solitude at the end of Cascade Canyon.

Lakes to the northwest.

Delta Lake. Directly east.

Snow field on the East Ridge of the Grand Teton


Sargent's Rap.

Sargent's main chimney (left of the wall).

On the other side of the wall to the right (unseen) is the alternate exit from Sargent's. They just parallel each other at the top.

Upper part of the Hidden Exit

The top of the alternative exit is a chute. About 20 ft to the south of the top of the Hidden Exit is the top of Sargent's.

The Three Stooges
During an ascent, continue straight up toward the Slabby Wall. Do not make a big right turn and head south on the ledges directly above or below the Three Stooges. You can 'switchback' around the Slabby Wall if you don't want to climb it's center crack. Wait until you are at the wall before gaining a switchback.

Sargent's main chimney

We're looking down Sargent's toward the Main Rappel. This is along the southern side of Sargent's lower chimney.

NW view from the base of Sargent's
We headed for the Owen Chimney on the descent.

Owen Chimney near top.

Owen Chimney

Owen Chimney

Owen Chimney near bottom.

This is a view of the first 'opening' in the chimney. It's used to access the Catwalk or the OC Bypass Crack.


Access to the Double Chimney - top.
Very sketchy when icy.

Open-V variation in the Double Chimney.

We took this going down and we took the tunnel variation when going up.

Vahalla Canyon

This is directly below the DC. Cascade Canyon is further above (north) & left (west) - north and south forks.

Double Chimney Second Entrance

View of the access to the Second Entrance.

View of the access to the 2nd Entrance.

Approach to the Belly Roll - descent.

Upper Saddle

The Black Ice Couloir runs from the lower western section of the Upper Saddle down to Valhalla Canyon.

View back toward the Double Chimney access.

Belly Roll

Belly Roll - go over or under. Easier to go under on the way down.

Access to the upper portion of the Upper Saddle on the eastern side of the saddle.

Approach to the Central Rib's Black Rock Chimney.

The Needle as seen from far above.

Wall Street. Couloir, Gully, and Slab.

Wall Street Slab.

Bowl-like opening in the Central Rib.

Access to the top of the Black Rock Chimney is at the southern end of the ' bowl' at a small saddle-like opening. Do not go down the drainage to the east. The top of the BRC will put you back on the western side of the Central Rib's ridgeline.

Black Rock Chimney

 BRC - lower access

The lower access to the Black Rock Chimney is by the smooth slab. It's a short chimney.

Looking back at the access to the Black Rock Chimney. Climb a short chimney two feet from the north end of the slab up to steppy ramp that run east. Turn north at ridgeline and climb the black rock just under the western aspect of the Central Rib's ridgeline. Follow the CR until you can see the easy access to the Upper Saddle.

Upper Crossover to Wall Street.

Lower Crossover to Wall Street - just 'behind' the Needle.

Eye of the Needle - top center

We took the Cracks of Death on the way down.


This is a variation between the Briggs Slab and the Cracks of Death. There are many variations to gain or leave the bench. 

Another look at the same variation above. It's harder than it looks.

Lower Saddle view toward the Grand.

View of the moraines, the Middle Teton Glacier, and Bradley Lake from the North Fork of Garnet Canyon atop the Lower Saddle.

The top of the Meadows' headwall.

The route marked with red dots is usually used when the are is still covered in snow but a few climbers will use the early-season route during the summer. It's best to stick to the dry summer climbers' trail.

The spring that feeds Spalding Falls.