American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Wyoming, Tetons, Grand Teton, Exum Route, First Winter Ascent

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1973

Grand Teton, Exum Route, First Winter Ascent. From February 19 to 21 David Lowe, Jock Glidden, and David Smith made the first winter ascent of this popular summer climb. Leaving Moose at seven A.M. on the 19th, we skied to the Platforms in Garnet Canyon and cached our skis. From there to the Lower Saddle was simply walking up the windblown moraine. On the 20th we ascended the Exum Route in marginal weather, encountering mixed ice and rock all the way. Although prepared for much snow, there was relatively little on the ridge proper. Still, crampons were justified throughout but awkward in places, especially the Friction Pitch and the last move off Wall Street. This latter, a breeze in the summer, proved to be the crux of the climb, led by Lowe in breathless delicacy. Near the summit we avoided the totally berimed “V”, traversing onto the east side of the ridge through deep, unconsolidated snow. We reached the summit about 5:30 P.M. and raced the oncoming night and deteriorating weather to descend. After an hour of fruitless searching for the rappel point, we returned to the summit ridge and bivouacked in a snow cave. On the 21st the weather was beautiful, the storm having passed in the night. The rappel was quickly found and after a brief stop at the Lower Saddle for breakfast, we skied out Garnet Canyon to the valley. It was a fine climb amid the beauties of the Teton winter.

Jocylyn C. Glidden and David Smith

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