Grand Teton Climbing Conditions - Owen-Spalding Route July 9th, 2016

Saturday afternoon sunset hike up the Grand Teton

 Saturday afternoon July 9th

Left Lupine Meadows at 4:28pm
Arrived at the summit at 8:42pm
4 hours 14 min walking at a fast clip.

We stopped for about 16 minutes to take 195 photos before reaching the summit. That's 5 seconds per picture. 

None was climbing Saturday evening even though it was warm and the winds were mostly calm. Several climbers were spending the night at the Lower Saddle despite the threat of bad weather.  About 4 inches of snow fell between Sunday & Monday at the Lower Saddle. The rangers & the Exum guides were at their huts. We did not take an axe or crampons nor did we need them on Saturday.

The Grand Teton's Owen-Spalding Route Overview from the Upper Saddle to the summit. Click to enlarge.

Lupine Meadows Trailhead


Looking back at the First Boulder Field.

There are many boulder fields but only two locations where the trail really disappears in boulder fields. This is the first location by the Platforms Camping Zone & Garnet Creek.

Garnet Creek & stone path

Looking back at the Meadows Camping Zone. Empty.

There are some years when the Meadows Camping Zone is completely covered in snow in July as we roll into the high season.

The Stairs. Spalding Falls in background.

The Moraines between the Middle & the Grand.

The Fixed Rope at the Lower Saddle's headwall. An auxiliary rope was placed over the snow which was slick.

Fixed Rope

Climbers headed for the Fixed Rope from the Lower Saddle.

Looking toward the Upper Saddle from the Lower Saddle

We came down the Briggs' Slab route. We went up the CC & through the EOTN.

The Eye of the Needle - a natural tunnel

Looking back down the Chockstone Chimney

Access is by the Smooth Slab.

Looking over at the main drainage by the Upper Western Rib. View from the Central Rib by the Smooth Slab - see above.

Looking back at the Central Rib's Bench (it slopes but sits above the drainage to the west).

Central Rib - left side. MT background.

Access to the Central Rib's Black Rock Chimney

CR's Black Rock Chimney

Black Rock Chimney

Upper exit from the Black Rock Chimney

Wall Street as seen after exiting the BRC

CR's Black Rock Chimney - upper access

Central Rib - on right

Wall Street Couloir at far right

Access to the upper eastern side of the Upper Saddle. This is along the southern exposure above the Exum Gully (WS Couloir)

Looking up at the Main Rappel to the Upper Saddle

Cascade Canyon

View from the bottom of the Main Rap area

Access to the Belly Roll at the NE corner of the Upper Saddle

Belly Roll

Ledge between Belly Roll & The Crawl

View toward the Crawl

Double Chimney access

Northern side of the Upper Saddle

Double Chimney access area


1st Entrance of the Double Chimney

Looking back at The Crawl

2nd Entrance of the Double Chimney

2nd Entrance at far left

Looking down the 2nd Entrance

Middle of the DC. The tunnel variation and the Open-'V'. Still icy in the tunnel.

Tunnel - usually considered the easier variation when dry.

Stemming to access the Open-'V'

There are many variations in the DC.

View from the exit of the DC

View toward the Owen Chimney from the DC

Owen Chimney

We took the Catwalk on the way up. We downclimbed the Owen Chimney on the way down.

The two ways to access the Catwalk

OC Bypass Chimney / Crack

Catwalk - looking southish

Running water on the Catwalk

Catwalk looking back to the N-NE

Looking E-NE toward Sargent's Chimney from the Main Rap Overlook.

Main Rap Overlook

Main Rap area

Looking back toward the Main Rap area from the base of Sargent's

Looking up Sargent's Chimney

Sargent's alternative exit

Corner Crack at the Hidden Exit

Just above the Corner Crack & part of the Hidden Exit route

Another corner crack in the chute to exit the Hidden Exit. See below.

Walk a few feet to the south and you'll be at the top of Sargent's main chimney after exiting the alternate route out of Sargent's Chimney

It's mostly a straight shot to the summit after Sargent's but many climbers zig-zag their way around the rock

Climb the Center Crack or 'switchback' to the SE and then NE to bypass the Slabby Wall.

'Switchback' scramble to the SE to bypass the Slabby Wall

Slabby Wall

Ledge above Slabby Wall

Just below the summit which is to the NE of the Slabby Wall.

East Ridge

Descent via the Owen Chimney on the way back down........

Owen Chimney

Owen Chimney

Near the bottom of the Owen Chimney

Water refill at the Lower Saddle.

Enjoy Safe Climbing