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Climbing Grand Teton - Mountain School, Day 1

This is the first entry of four chronicling a recent tip to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming to climb Grand Teton, the highest peak in the Teton Range, at 13,770-feet. My climbing partners were Chaz Wendling and Alison Calderara. We hired Exum Mountain Guides to train us and take us on the climb. They require that their clients pass 2 days of Mountain School before being guided on the "Grand". Our plan was to do the 2 days of Mountain School, take a rest day, then climb the next 2 days.

Also, be sure to check out lots of photos from the climb.

July 18:

First day of Exum Mountain School. Our guide/instructor was Molly Loomis - a great guide, very easy-going, she joked around with us very easily. We met her at the Exum facility near Jenny Lake, then we took the boat across to the Hidden Falls area. We first worked on smearing techniques, then knots, then lots of rope work. After lunch, we climbed an easy 4-pitch route adjacent to the falls, all while practicing the techniques we learned in the morning, including bowline knots, bowline knots on a bight, figure-8 knots, and overhand knots on a bight. We were a group of 6 clients: Chaz, Alison, Steve from Texas, Rich from Los Angeles (an ultra-light hiker), Jim from Texas, and myself. During the climbing we were all roped together with a single rope between each of us - we mainly practiced climbing each pitch, belaying, and the transitions in-between.

Later in the afternoon after we completed the climb, we worked on rapelling. The first rappel was a short rappel on a moderate slope. The second rappel was about 60ft total, with a 20ft overhang at the bottom. Very cool.

Once class wrapped up and we got back to the car, we headed to downtown Jackson for dinner. We ate at Burkes Chop House in downtown Jackson - Chaz and I had Elk - awesome.

Submitted by michael on Thu, 07/31/2008 - 10:19am
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