Ascent to Grand Teton-Base of Sargent's Chimney on 2011-07-11

Climber: Marlin Thorman

Others in Party:Trisha Thorman
Jeff Richardson
Heather Blackburn
Date:Monday, July 11, 2011
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Point Reached:Grand Teton - Base of Sargent's Chimney
    Elevation:13464 ft / 4103 m
    Remaining Elevation:306 ft / 94 m (4% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

Tetons - Grand Teton Base camp at Moraines 7/10/2011
Hiked in to high camp on the Grand Teton today. It took us about 7 hours to go from 6,900 feet to 10,700 feet with about 6 miles of hiking. A very long day with heavy packs and tired muscles from Mount Moran. Originally we were going to camp at the Lower Saddle but we changed plans and stopped at the Moraines instead. Very beautiful and peaceful up here. Super nice campsite with nice rock walls. The tent spot isn’t quite level but at least we are on rock not snow. Everyone is tired, but spirits are good about tomorrow’s summit attempt. Met several nice people on the way up. One group from CA passed us and then took the wrong valley at the base of the Middle Teton. They went up about 800 feet then had to come back down and go up the right way. Oops! What a huge morale crunch.

Tetons - Grand Teton Base camp at Moraines 7/11/2011
It is 8:45pm and we just got back a few minutes ago from our climb. So we didn’t make the summit. We stopped at the bottom of Sergeant's Chimney a mere 300 feet from the summit. It was very disappointing but the right thing. It was 3pm and we needed to turn around. Our group was super slow today. It took us 8 hours to get up to 13,400 feet and 5 to get back to camp at 10,700 feet. One in the party hasn't been on snow with crampons or ice axe much or mountaineering. That combined with a couple of route finding errors, led to the turn around below the summit. Oh and the off route.....goodness. We got up in one snow coulair on the way up to the Upper Saddle. Jeff was just starting the snow when he said it was crap....way to granulated. He punched right through and couldn’t get any grip. He though he might lose it and tumble off the snow which ended in cliffs. So I quickly did a little mixed and ice free soloing (about 30 feet) to get above him and build a belay in the rock. Thankfully he was able to find a handhold and get out of it. Then I belayed the girls up the ice and rock I had just climbed. Once we realized we were off route we didn’t have much choice but to go up the best we could. So a couple hundred feet of some class 3/4 rock scrambling brought us to the top of the rib were we could escape into the next snow coulair. Finally after all that we reached the Upper Saddle. Then it was the belly crawl, double chimney and another pitch. The weather has been very beautiful but the going was slow with a team of four on 1 rope.

Tetons - Parking lot 7/12/2011
We got up at 8am and started breaking camp. The weather started coming in too. Clouds, hail, and sleet. Right in the middle of it all, a small avalanche gave way on the middle Teton and came crashing down into the gully. FInally hit the trail at 10:40am. Everyone slide a little on the steep headwall, and we were glad for our ice axes. The storm started coming in more and we booked it down the trail once we were off the snow. Got to the car in a little over 3 hours of hiking. Stopped in Lander, WY at Tony’s Pizza Shack for supper, which was very good. After that it was just a LONG 26 hours drive back to Chattanooga, TN.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:6681 ft / 2036 m
    Total Elevation Loss:6681 ft / 2036 m
    Round-Trip Distance:14.1 mi / 22.6 km
    Grade/Class:Grade III, 5.5
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Rock Climb, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:2 nights away from roads
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:6681 ft / 2036 m
    Distance:7.3 mi / 11.8 km
    Route:Owen Spalding Route (Owen Chimney)
    Start Trailhead:Lupine Meadow Trailhead  6783 ft / 2067 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:6681 ft / 2036 m
    Distance:6.7 mi / 10.9 km
    Route:Owen Spalding Descent
    End Trailhead:Lupine Meadow Trailhead  6783 ft / 2067 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Marlin Thorman
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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