Fires out west made for very poor visibility. Stunning all the same.
My friend Steve wanted to lead the Upper Exum to celebrate his 60th birthday. Thanks to those on the summit with us that helped me sing happy birthday to him.
Upper Exum Ridge. First to the summit that day, a little before 8. Went down OS route
No camping, just a long hike through the night; fun climbing and amazing summit; with Coby
Camped at Lower Saddle 9/8 ... started 5:30am, topped out at 5:30pm as a result of several unintended 'variations'. Added some 5.7 / 5.8 off width cracks and weird bouldering problems that resulted in beached whales and knee jams to get through. This mountain is gigantic, and the ease with which you can get off course should not be underestimated. The real fun of this create your own epic started on the descent ... both major rap stations off the Owens Spalding sent and were awesome (tied 60m to our 70m on the long overhanging lower rap station with another couple for lots of time savings). However, we lost light around 8pm and bobbled via headlamp down an unfamiliar route to both of us for the next 2.5hrs, involving two raps in the dark, one slip on an overhang near 'threading the needle' in reverse, which resulted in minor chest trauma / likely broken ribs. We got back to Lower Saddle camp by 10:45pm ... ultimately safe and sound, stuck it out in the wind one more night, and hiked out Monday. I think this can be doable in a long day with light equipment and knowing the route by heart. Weather was perfectly clear the entire time we were there, which is atypical. Several climbing parties got turned away by 'Thunder Snow' up high Saturday AM - everything was easy going beyond that. Stoked!
After visiting the Tetons several times and having to settle for one of the other peaks or routes, I finally got to the summit via Upper Exum. Matt and I hiked to Petzoldt Caves and camped in bivy sacks. We had the place to ourselves! We woke up at 7:30 and headed up the mountain at 8:30 along with 4 others who started from the trailhead. The wind on the saddle was fierce and zapped our energy so we scrapped the option of doing the whole Exum. After getting through the Eye of the Needle and attaining the ridge with a great view of Wall Street, the wind died down some and the sun was out in force.
We roped up on Wall Street, which was a little breezy in the shade. We halved the rope to 30 meters and simul-climbed the whole thing in 3 long “pitches.” Melting snow made some of the easier moves off limits so some 5.7 moves were required, but still quite the moderate classic. The summit wasn’t too windy, the skies we clear, and no one else was there. Incredible place on top!
The descent was a little tricky in trailrunners on snow but boot tracks helped a ton. Raps were simple without hiccups. On the descent in the gully below the Upper Saddle, we managed to go too far left, which made for some interesting 4th class downclimbing on snow, rock, and ice. There was a cool section with a tunnel beneath some boulders that bypassed a steep section I thought we might have to rappel. I slipped in a chimney and hit my left shoulder and face that resulted in minor scrapes.
In the moranal camping field, some lovely folks from Colorado offered us a tasty beer and conversed with us for 10 minutes or so. We managed to get back to the caves around 7 pm to find it still without any other parties despite the several we saw at the moranal camp. A splendid day devoid of any rushing or major complications. Yes!
My 2 year wedding anniversary fell on a Saturday this year, and I think I've successfully annoyed my wife enough, that she begged me to go climb a peak for our anniversary, instead of having to spend time with me. So I picked a big one! This mountain is the most spectacular stash of rocks I have ever been on! What a beautiful chunk! I did a free solo of the OS route. Started at the Lupine Meadows Trailhead at 4am, and summitted in 4.5 hours. The California wildfires led to smoky views, but they were still stunning.
Amazing climb entirely in snow following Owens Spaulding route.
What a great, majestic mountain! We had a great and speedy ascent up the ridge, with clear skies all around. A bit windy and gusty, but dry and fun climbing. I would go up and do this route again tomorrow. Hope to be back for this mountain and its neighbors in the future.
Still a lot of snow on the mountain. Traveling to the lower saddle required crampons and ice axe. We had to turned back the day before after reaching the black dyke above the lower saddle due to thunderstorms. Submitted via the Owen-Spalding just in time before snow showers hit us during the rappels on the way down.
Timeline: departed JHMG high camp at 3am, summit at 10am, back to the Lupine Meadows trailhead at 8pm with one hour break below JHMG camp.
Stayed at the moraines. Summit around 1 pm and back to the car around midnight
07/27/16: Best ever. Shared the summit with Broc, Jenny, Dan, Phil. Deb was our base camp manager.
Did it again 7 days later! Can't wait to come back more experienced and conquer the Exum Ridge.
I started this summer in no shape to attempt a technical climb but after continually challenging myself week after week I gathered the experience and confidence to free solo this monster.
Easy up the Owens Spalding. Amazing as always. Had a bear walk into camp 5 feet away from me- way cool!
Made it to the top via PG route w/ my good friend Jeff and our guide. One of the best climbs I've even done. A lot of snow left on the mountain from winter snows in 2010/2011. Stayed 1 night out at about 10K feet ... Taylor from JHMG was great.
Lovely day with Kendy and Petr (czech guys) on East Beyer's Face. Started sort of late, Tried to save time, so ascended Teepe glacier, fun climbing, summited at sunset, interesting descent in the dark… Fun. We got so thirsty...
We intended to climb the Wittich, but it was full of ice. Instead we climbed the Owen Spalding, which was also in the shade but less icy. The wind was awful and so strong. We summited though, hiked out, and drove all the way back to UT. Glad to bag this one!
We started at 1am and climbed all night and summited around 2pm, barely getting out of there in time before a thunderstorm. We got back to the car at 7:30pm the same day
Great day trip up OS.
Hiked up to the saddle on 9/1/2013, started in the dark early morning of 9/2, reached summit then made a rainy walk back down to the trail head. Thanks to Exum Mountain Guides.