Finally reached the summit with friend Bruce D after being weathered off on several previous attemps (all in September of different years). I will probably remember this climb for the rest of my life. Everything came together: The weather was beautiful, and thanks to a somewhat late start from the lower saddle, we had the summit all to ourselves!
Could this be the best route in the world?? Ok, was my first route in the tetons and is still unmatched. Black face and yellow face are two of the best bck to back pitches in the US.
Also, Exum car to car in a day 1999.
We started about 12:45 on a friday night. We reached the glacier just as it started to get light. Despite having strap on crampons that came off 3-4 times we made it up the small glacier. Luckily a portion of the snow had collapsed next to the rock face allowing us access to the rock without having to jump the moat. We had a scare when one of my partners on the first lead of the day took a grounder from about 20ft up back down to us on the snow. Luckily he wasn't hurt. After switching leaders we proceeded without problems. That is if you don't count all the off route mistakes we made. It took us almost 4 hours to navigate up to the first ledge. Luckily the next two ledges came quickly. The rock was usually poor, the route hard to find, and some places dirty and wet, and I think these were good conditions for the climb. After getting through the pendulum pitch we couldn't decide where exactly the "V" was that led to the summit. We ended up traversing right to the N ridge and summiting on it just as the sun was going down on Saturday (about 8:30). We descended the owen/spalding route out. From car to car in 26 hours! A great climbing acheivement for me but not exactly an enjoyable climb the whole way. Having done this climb though, I feel a strange kind of connection to the early Teton climbers and the sense of adventure that they encountered on those rocks.
Skip what some call the first pitch of Lower Exum by ascending ramp to "second pitch" in book Teton Classics. Lower Exum is solid 5.7 for six pitches; Upper Exum is mixed, but nothing more difficult than 5.4, to the summit. Rappel down a couple of places.