Alex who is now 17 years old a few years ago climbed the Middle Teton with me. Upon reaching the top, the youngster got his first glimpse of the Grand Teton's magnificent south ridges. "Dad we gotta go there someday!" he quietly said, with the summer sun pouring morning rays over both of us.
On August 10th, we departed the car at 2:25 AM, hiked in at a good pace reaching the Lower Saddle by 5:45 AM. Our route of choice was the Upper Exum Ridge of the Grand, one of my favorite classics in the range. We simul-climbed a good chunk of the route, except for belaying the Golden Stair, Friction and V pitches. We arrived on top at 9:05 AM. After enjoying the summit to ourselves in heavy winds, we headed down the rappel.
Upon reaching the Lower Saddle, nestled between the Middle and Grand Tetons we hid from the wind and reflected on the spectacular morning. After some photos we then descended, arriving at our car just after 4 PM that same day. It was a journey I shall never forget and I hope Alex carries it with him always too.
|Wall Street and Exum Guide Silhouette|
|Morning light and the Golden Staircase|
|Friction Pitch and wind spinning the cords|