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Backpacker Magazine – June 2011

National Parks: Grand Teton

Wade through wildflowers, listen to wolves, and escape the crowded trade routes in this secluded corner of the park.

by: Molly Loomis

Put Your Head In The Clouds. (Mark Fischer)
Put Your Head In The Clouds. (Mark Fischer)
View From Berry Creck Trail. (George Wuerthner)
View From Berry Creck Trail. (George Wuerthner)


GRAND TETON
Put Your Head in the Clouds

Want to summit the life-list “Big Tit” (the literal English translation of the French Grand Teton)? The classic Owen-Spalding route is the easiest way. Yes, it’s busy on weekends, but that doesn’t diminish its exhilarating exposure and airy views. After huffing 5,000 vertical feet to the Lower Saddle, you’ll scramble about 2,000 more to the top, climbing a 600-foot section of 5.4 rock with fun chimney and slab moves. For beginner alpine climbers, hiring a guide is wise, since routefinding is tricky and ice can up the difficulty even in July. Check out Exum Mountain Guides (exumguides.com) and Jackson Hole Mountain Guides (jhmg.com); prices vary with group size and experience level.

The Stats:
6,732 feet
Elevation of Lupine Meadows trailhead

13,770 feet
Elevation of the Grand Teton

7,038 feet
Net vertical gain in about 8 miles to the summit



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