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Typical return times from a trip up the Grand?

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Postby shanahan96 » Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:30 pm

giving you a time could really vary depending on a number of factors. how big's your party? how strong is your leader and do you folks move quickly over rock? are you efficient with building anchors and rope management? are you willing to solo at points? are you strong hikers?

my point is that i know how long it'd take me, yet there are people out there who would smoke me and ones that wouldn't stand a chance at keeping up.

jamie
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Postby b. » Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:15 am

I think you'd be better off camping higher and starting at the same time. Aim for first light at the Upper Saddle. It shouldn't take you more than 4 hours from there to the summit. That's about 9:30 am. Rap the Sargent's, which is already set up minus the rope, then the big rap back to the upper saddle (single rope if you use the slings and throw the rope skier's left), again, already rigged. Say two hours of being very careful, then another two back to the Lower Saddle. That's 1:30 pm back at camp for packing up and hiking down. Depending on your level of fatigue, you could do that in 4 to 6 hours for average peeps. That's the long end. Those Exum clients aren't carrying much for any of the trip and hiking times vary widely for them. Routefinding from the Meadows to the Lower Saddle in the dark, while certainly doable, can lead to some ugly talus traverses and unneeded climbing, especially between the caves and the moraine. If you need to be down early, and want to camp at the Meadows, just start at 3! The biggest challenge to moving quickly on the Owen-Spalding route is other parties. Check out the Wittich Crack variation. 5.6, starts just before the O-S so if there is a line you can pass them all.
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Postby Woodie Hopper » Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:40 pm

When I climbed the Grand in one day, I went with Dave Carman privately who used to guide for Exum. We left Lupine Meadows at 3:30am and were back at 6:30pm. We went up the Upper Exum and returned via Owen-Spalding. We took one hour breaks both ways at the saddle.

Considerations include just two in our party, someone who knew the route very well, we downclimbed everything, and didn't set any pro. We just occasionally placed slings around rock horns.

A larger party, route-finding issues since no one has climbed it before, and use of protection will most likely make your time on the grand longer than mine, so I would recommend you get an earlier start than 4am.

I hope you have a great time!

Regards,

Woodie
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Postby ScottyP » Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:10 pm

Don't remember my times exactly only that it seemed to take FOREVER to get down after the rap!
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Postby builttospill » Thu Jul 22, 2010 5:02 am

According to the Ortenburger guide, the middle 33% of people do the following on the Owen-Spalding:
3.75 to 4.75 hours from the Lower Saddle
5.75 to 7 hours from the Caves
6.0 to 7.5 hours from Garnet Canyon (no idea what they count as "Garnet Canyon")
8.5 to 10 hours from Jenny Lake (assume they mean Lupine Meadows)

For the Upper Exum, the middle 33% of all climbers take:
5 to 6 hours from the Lower Saddle
6.75 to 7.75 hours from the Petzoldt Caves
7 to 9 hours from Garnet canyon
9.25 to 11 hours from Jenny Lake

Three things to keep in mind:
1. This information is old. The book is a bit old (printed 1996) and in the book they mention that climbers have gotten faster than when this data was compiled.....so I suspect climbers have gotten a bit faster still, generally.
2. These are times for an ASCENT I believe (according to the book), not a roundtrip.
3. You have to estimate where you fit on the speed continuum. Are you in the fastest 1/3, the middle 1/3 or the slowest 1/3, in terms of both hiking, climbing and descending?

Can't recall how quickly I did it from the Lower Saddle, unfortunately. Good luck.
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Postby b. » Thu Jul 22, 2010 5:27 am

It may or may not be recommended to tell the rangers this plan, but you could take a super light bivy to the upper saddle and be the first one's on the mountain. The first time I climbed the Grand, we got to the lower saddle at about 4. After setting up camp we took off to scope the route and summited at about 7:30. I had hiking boots and we only roped for the two standard rappels. We made it back by dark. The O-S goes quick in summer conditions. The last time I climbed upper exum, we left the saddle at 6, roped up at the base of wall street, about 4th in line, and simul-climbed under everyone and scooped in while someone was fumbling with an anchor. We summited at about 9 and were back at camp well before noon. The high bivy lets you do all of the approach in daylight, not in a hurry. Seems like the best way to use good fitness, as long as you are a little acclimated. Good Luck! I'll be down there in a couple of weeks, too.
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Postby CBakwin » Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:37 pm

My experience: You have had some good advice above. Due to other parties, we summitted in 4 hours from the upper saddle (if things were more open, we could have been up in 3) and from the summit to the car was 6 hours. We only used 4 cams: .3, .4, .5 and a 2".
I guess you know that like 16 guys were evacuated for injuries due to a lightening strike yesterday, and one is still missing, so be careful, storms roll in in the afternoon, yet another reason to get an early start. Climb Safe!
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Postby welle » Thu Jul 22, 2010 5:48 pm

Hi, sorry for hijacking the thread. What's do you guys think is the typical time to do Full Exum? say from Lower Saddle. Also, beta on gear would be helpful. I saw CBakwin's gear beta above, but Lower Exum is more technical. Unlike the OP, we're not in the rush to get back to the cars, but being a party of 3 and not familiar with the route, I'm concerned about getting up early before afternoon storms. TIA! I will be in the area for a while, so we'll hike up to the Saddle the night before to familiarize ourselves with the approach.
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Postby builttospill » Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:52 pm

Welle,

If you hike up to the lower saddle (or camp there), I would suggest walking to the base of the route to familiarize yourself with the start. It's not obvious in the dark, especially the first pitch or so and can eat up valuable time. It's worth the walk over to the black dike if you're already at the lower saddle, as that part of the approach is more complicated than the bit getting to the lower saddle.

Ortenburger says the average for the Full Exum is 9 hours from the Caves. Same caveats apply. Hopefully someone else chimes in....we bailed at Wall Street when doing the Direct Exum.
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Postby welle » Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:05 pm

Yes, I have the book and wasn't sure if by 9 hours it meant Caves to the Wall Street or Caves to the summit...
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Postby builttospill » Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:18 am

Definitely to the summit.
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