My partner and I are considering a climb of the Grand via the Owen-Spalding route the first weekend in October. Neither of us have done the Grand, although we've both climbed elsewhere in the park. Wondering what conditions we might run into and other considerations for the fall season.
Fall at 13,000 ft. lasts about a few weeks. It will probably be full on winter up there the first weekend of October. Unless you're planning on a full alpine mixed climb, I would hold off until next year.
This picture was taken on October 6th of last year. I grabbed it from the Jenny Lake Rangers blog. Prior to this picture being taken, 6-18 inches of snow had fallen.
"Wondering what conditions we might run into and other considerations for the fall season. "
No one knows what conditions will be like. It can be very warm, very cold, dry, wet, icy, or snowy. Obviously, the days are shorter and usually colder—morning temps in 20's are common (or lower, especially with wind chill). Thehighest shaded temperature recorded at the 11.600ft Lower Saddle in October of 2018was around 38°F. It has been warmer in past years. Odds are you'll find mixed conditions that are easy to manage if you're prepared for mixed conditions and have the experience to manage mixed conditions. The best route is often the Upper Exum if you want dry rock. That climb is similar to the OS in difficulty but with more sustained climbing, and more pitches. Some easier variations along the Exum Ridge allow you to skip some slightly harder climbing, too.