Type: Trad, Alpine, 500 ft, 3 pitches, Grade II
FA: August 1948, Richard Pownall and Art Gilkey
Page Views: 6,138 total · 60/month
Shared By: Taylor Morgan on Aug 6, 2010 with updates from Brian Fraleigh
Admins: Mike Snyder, Jake Dickerson, Taylor Spiegelberg

You & This Route

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The Pownall-Gilkey is a less-traveled and more challenging 3-pitch variation/alternative to the crowded Owen-Spalding.

Follow the standard Owen-Spalding approach to the Upper Saddle. Upon reaching the Upper Saddle, traverse right, to the south (Owen-Spalding is to the left).

Pitch 1 (5.8): Upon traversing right, the ledge system gradually steepens and narrows (after approximately 100'). At the end of the ledge system, follow a thin crack in the steep corner. Climb this crack to the top of the block, then on to a comfortable ledge.

Pitch 2 (5.6): Follow the obvious, easier crack to the wide bench extending across the southwest face of the Grand Teton.

Pitch 3 (3rd/4th): Traverse directly to rejoin the upper portion of the Owen-Spalding or the Exum Ridge.


One set of cams up to 2", stoppers, one 60m rope.
Mike A. Lewis
Estes Park, CO
Mike A. Lewis   Estes Park, CO
1st Pitch: The 1st "pitch" traverses right from upper saddle (below the base of the west face rappels). This pitch is easy, but very exposed and has a few slabby moves that will make you think when wearing gloves and approach shoes. A few Pins and a bolt. There are some cracks to place gear if you want. This pitch ends on a ledge full of large blocks. About 40m.

2nd Pitch: Climb a short crack in a left facing corner. Slabby at first. Once past this crack, stand on a large ledge with a pin. Then go up the 20ft 5.8 corner with a few pins and a fixed nut. Climb to a ledge with a bolt. Other pro can be placed here to back up the bolt. 35m.

3rd Pitch: Climb straight up. There is a pin sticking out of a crack. Nice, fun pitch with jugs. Past this face, climb up a left leaning slab/wide crack. Finish on a large ledge. 5.6-ish, 35m.

Finish by traversing left - 2nd/3rd class, and connect to the Owen-Spalding or the Upper Exum.

Descent: Do the normal raps back down to the Upper Saddle. Jul 30, 2013
Gee Dubble  
Almost all the gear is fixed in summer, dry conditions, I recommend #3 friend for belay out right, w/crux above Jul 1, 2014
Michael Schneiter
Glenwood Springs, CO
Michael Schneiter   Glenwood Springs, CO
This is a good option if other routes are busy. If the webbing is in place on the fixed pins and in good shape it's like a sport climb where you can just clip biners in and go.

It's easy to do this in 2 pitches with a 60 meter rope.

Pitch 1 = Start the traverse about 10 feet left of the bolt that protects the start of the traverse. Climb the traverse, across the boulder strewn ledge and up the corner to the base of the crux. You can belay from a fixed pin backed up by #2 Camalot and a small nut or cam.

Pitch 2 = Climb the crux corner with an abundance of fixed pin that will likely have prodigious lengths of webbing attached, making it easy to clip and pull on, if needed. Continue up the steep face with pin sticking out and up the corner to the large ledge where a gear anchor can be built. #.75-#1 Camalots and/or nuts for belay. Aug 21, 2017