At about 4am yesterday, Davide and I left our trailhead bivy spot and began the climb up the Grand Teton.
Sometime around midnight the sky began clouding over and what began as a cool, crisp night was warm and muggy when we started walking. Neither of us have spent much time in GTNP and so we had to study the trailhead map by headlamp just to get ourselves pointed the right direction. Luckily the trail is well-signed and route-finding is simple. By sunrise we were passing through the Moraines and after tanking up the camelbacks at the Lower Saddle, we set out to find a little notch between gullies that’d lead to the start of the Exum Ridge route to the top.
The weather was suspect. It was partly overcast and snow flurries fell from the sky a few times as we climbed higher. By 8am we were roping up but keeping an eye on the weather. We simul-climbed all but the first moves of the Upper Exum and made it to the summit in about two hours after a few wrong turns.
The skies had temporarily cleared and we had the summit of the Grand Teton to ourselves, so we lingered for a bit before we began looking for the Owen Spaulding route down.
The well-worn holds on the scramble down were easy to follow and soon we’d downclimbed and rappelled back to the Lower Saddle. As we passed down the Moraines, clouds covered the peak and minutes later we heard the first boom of thunder. Soon it was pouring rain and hail.
Man, we were glad we weren’t one of the handful of parties that we passed on the way up and who must’ve still been high on the mountain. Hopefully everyone in those groups was alright.
A few miles later we passed Nic, who was heading up to camp for the night before attempting the summit. Nic casually mentioned that he’d stashed a couple beers for us in the creek that we’d pass a few minutes before the trailhead. Score! Thanks Nic!