Hey all! I am headed off in two weeks to climb the Grand Teton and Gannett peak. It will be a group of three of us. We are experienced winter campers and backpackers. We also all have mountaineering experience ranging from the rockies to Aconcagua (unguided of coarse). All three of us climb, two are experienced lead climbers.
Now that the history lesson is over.. I have a few questions about the weather there currently, we will be there july 11th - 14th.
How much snow should be expected? Will a mountaineering axe be adequate or should I bring my technical axe? Crampons I presume will still be needed for sure.
We are looking for a simple route as we will be hiking Gannett peak a week after. We plan to hike to high camp and sleep. Then proceed up the owen spalding and cross over onto the upper exum.. thoughts?
I am headed out there in 5 weeks. I have been watching the snowpack -- there is a ton of snow in the canyons. Avalanche danger is high. You might want to check in with the rangers before you head out. Not sure what will happen in the next two weeks, but my guess is you will be facing some tougher than normal conditions.
There will be alot of snow from the Platforms onward, but in general, the actual rock climbing should be dry and pleasant. A standard axe will be sufficient. Crampons are a personal choice, and for whatever it's worth, I'd probably leave them and expect to be following a bootpack trail whenever snow was encountered. There will certainly be snow descending from the summit to the rappel, and in the gully you have to cross getting to Wall Street. There will also be snow in various places on the upper XM but you should be able to skirt it without too much trouble. Sleeping high, then getting an early start, summiting, and descending to the valley is a standard formula and should serve you well. Remember that overnight numbers are limited so getting signed out with the Park early is important for securing the site that you want in upper Garnet Canyon. Anywhere from the Caves to the Lower Saddle would do, depending on your party's preferences. Have a great climb. Despite the very late and snowy spring, my guess is that the mountain will be in reasonable condition and you'll have a good visit.