With Bria out of town and no local climbing partners yet, I responded to a partner posting on MP of someone looking for an exum ridge partner. I met Nico for dinner in Jackson the night before our climb. He was from Germany, in the midst of a month long US climbing trip and had never been to the tetons before. The following day we had a blast climbing the full exum ridge together in perfect weather – a spectacular introduction to the tetons for Nico!
|classic view from the lower saddle|
|nico following the black face pitch|
|looking down the V pitch|
We swung leads on the lower exum (III 5.7) with me lucking out and getting to lead the stellar black face pitch. We simuled and soloed the bulk of the upper exum (II 5.5) but pitched out the friction pitch. Although I had climbed the upper exum previously, I had apparently bypassed the friction and V-pitches since both were new to me this time around – go figure. There was a line at both rappels but we eventually made it down to the upper saddle and continued down to the car, arriving a bit before dark. A long but outstanding day.
|teton shadows above bradley lake on the hike down|
Rose: the exposed jug-hauling on the black face pitch
Thorn: crowds – at the base of the route and the rappels
Bud: this was my third time up the grand by a different route but there are still several more I’m looking forward to climbing