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The Grand, as it's called by climbers, towers more than 7,000' above the Jackson Hole Valley to create what many consider America's most dramatic landscape. The climb begins at the Lupine Meadows (6,700') trailhead and begins with a long uphill hike towards Garnet Canyon.

The first few miles of the approach hike work up a forested slope, then into a beautiful alpine meadows complete with wildflowers.

At about 8,400 feet, the approach trail enters the steep, rocky Garnet Canyon.


About midway up the Garnet Canyon trail, with the impressive Middle Teton looming overhead.

After seven miles through some of the nation's most beautiful backcountry, a "high camp" is established near the Lower Saddle (11,650'). This location provides a safe, peaceful, and incredibly beautiful high camp location from which to start the final push to the summit early the next morning.

The ascent up the last 2,000 feet of craggy terrain begins by the light of the moon around 4:00 a.m. (each climber also wears a headlamp). During the climb to the Upper Saddle, climbers are often treated to a sunrise-of-a-lifetime" as the day's first light colors the rock walls dramatic shades of red.

The final push up the last 1,000 feet to the summit involves the most technical climbing of the entire route. Roped with a safety "belay" line, the climber must move up the steep headwall with the valley floor a distance one mile below!

Climber making the "crux" moves of the climb, clinging tightly with hands and feet, but with a safety rope just in case of a slip. The vertical exposure is awesome, as you move up the rock face with over 6,000 feet of air below!

Standing on the summit of the Grand Teton, 13,770 feet above sea-level and 7,200 feet above the valley floor. What a feeling! What a view!!

The panoramic view from the top that few eyes behold…the Snake River and Jackson Hole Valley (left) and the Middle Teton, South Teton and other peaks (right).

The descent off the Grand is much less challenging, but no less thrilling… Especially the rappel back down to the upper saddle.

Once off the mountain, a relaxing day touring through historic Jackson, Wyoming is a well-deserved treat.

Copyright Mental Wings|TM Eric J. Hörst|All Rights Reserved.