Posted on 08.26.2012 by Vanessa
After a week in SLC for the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, Jon and I headed north to Jackson, WY for a few days of climbing before heading back to the Midwest. It was my first trip to the Teton range and I can say definitely say that the pictures I had seen previously did not do it justice. After miles of rolling hills and the occasional exposed rock face through the mountain passes, you cruise past Jackson and head towards the incredible peaks of the Teton range. We got in just in time to watch the sun fall behind the Grand.
During our time there, we were able to climb the Black Dike on Middle, the north ridge of Teewinot, and the Upper Exum pitches on the Grand. The Exum ridge was by far the best quality rock on the trip and therefore was my favorite day in the range. Several pitches of golden granite and easier climbing allowed me to really enjoy my surroundings and take in the exposure it was providing me. Summiting the Grand and looking out over the rest of the range was a great feeling as well as one of the goals I had set for the trip. This was my first trip that really focused on longer alpine routes, and although I’m not completely sold yet, I did enjoy my time and I imagine I’ll be back somewhere along the way.
In order to break up the drive (it’s a haul from Jackson to Madison) we stopped along the way in Ten Sleep, WY. Ten Sleep is a small town at the base of a narrow canyon off of Hwy 16 in central WY. It features hundreds of sport routes put up by a small but dedicated group of climbers. Jon and I rolled in around four in the afternoon, picked out a crag, and got five pitches in before dark. I was pretty blown away by the style of climbing there. Ten Sleep seems to have it all in terms of route styles. Some are vertical, technical routes while others provide pumpy climbing on overhanging terrain. The next day we got another handful of quality routes in before hitting the road back to Madison. Jon and I are already planning a return trip to Ten Sleep before next summer’s OR!