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Grand Teton via Owen Spalding, June 9-10


Original Post
Garrett Clark · · Boone, NC · Joined 29 days ago · Points: 0

Hey all,

Looking for a partner to climb GT via the owen spalding route in June. I will be roadtripping out from NC. I've done some east coast multipitch climbing thats decently harder than this route, really looking for a partner because I don't have much alpine experience and I'd like to err on the side of caution. I'm planning on knocking out the approach hike day 1 (tentatively 6/9) and camping at the saddle, summiting and hiking back down the next (6/10). I'd especially love if I could get someone to do it with me who's done the route before or has climbed in the tetons. If you're interested you can email me at Clarkgp@appstate.edu or text me at 704-534-6828. 


Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,145

Do realize that in early June there is typically a lot of snow above and below the Lower Saddle. The OS the may well still be iced up as well as above. As such, if you have not used crampons and an ice axe before it is not really the place to learn as more than one person a gone down the Idaho Express.

NathanC · · Logan, UT · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 10

Second what Allen has said.

I took the photo below from Middle Teton on July 1 last year, showing the Exum ridge & approach to lower saddle.  Several climbers at the AAC ranch were urging caution on the Grand due to ice, snow, & verglass.  Now shave three weeks of melting off.  Maybe someone has an early June conditions photo, so you don't have to imagine as much.

Without knowing your snow/ice experience...the warning is this - in dry/clear conditions it's a fun route to cruise.  In less than great conditions, it's a looooooooong way down into Valhalla Canyon.

Garrett Clark · · Boone, NC · Joined 29 days ago · Points: 0

Thank you guys for the info, might change my plans accordingly. I imagine august is prime time?

Teton Climber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 3

Here are pictures of the OS on June 5th, 2016.


I don't know what I'm doing in June, but I'm happy to take anyone up in June if I'm not busy with other stuff and if the weather is nice.


Here's a 'classic' video which, if I remember correctly, was filmed in June. The action takes place in Garnet Canyon - Middle, Grand, etc. It has a famous cast of climber-filmmakers, and a great backstory. It's a little bit of a chuckle at times though not made to be funny. It does highlight June conditions - ice, snow, flushing, dry rock, rockfall, etc. Early June is more popular with skiers than climbers. Mid-June starts to see more and more climbers. It's also when the Climber's Ranch is open which is nice because you can sometimes find climbing partners at the Ranch.





It's good to hear that you are looking for a partner with experience in the Tetons. While it's possible to get by without much experience by yourself, it's not suggested. It has been done, of course. It's not like you're-going-to-die without a partner, or with only limited alpine experience, but the odds that something bad will happen certainly go upward. Even more so if you don't know the route.


You don't always need crampons and an axe in June but they are recommended and most people use them. People are actually running the Grand in June. Literally, running up the snow which is often very firm in the morning (sometimes like icy concrete, sometimes like a slushy atop icy concrete). Conditions are very variable in June (day-to-day & throughout the day). It's impossible for anyone to state with confidence how bad or good they will be. I don't consider snow to be "poor conditions" unless the snow is nasty. It's alpine climbing. Sometimes, ice and snow are half the fun.


In June, the views are usually the best you can get - clean air, snowy mtns, green valleys, a real dramatic look to the Tetons. Sometimes the farmers in Idaho kick up some dust. The high season is so packed with people these days that I would suggest a June climb if you are comfortable with the additional risk. Over-snow mishaps cause many injuries and sometimes death on the approach and the climb so keep that in mind.






Skibo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 5

Love that vid, especially showing the rarely repeated Tyrolean Variation of the OS.

Teton Climber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 3

Skibo wrote:

Love that vid, especially showing the rarely repeated Tyrolean Variation of the OS.


Don't scare him away. ;-)

Steve was all over the place in that video but you're probably thinking of the shots near the Upper Exum. Carmen's Pinnacle makes an appearance. Steve climbed wherever he wanted for the camera. They were out for several days shootin' that cinematic gem.

David Breshears may have additional footage if any historians are interested.



Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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