Owen Spalding (Original Route)

Page Type
Wyoming, United States, North America
Route Type:
Mixed snow and rock, possible ice in early season
Time Required:
One to two days
Low Fifth class
Rock Difficulty:
5.4 (YDS)
Number of Pitches:

Route Quality: 24 Votes

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Owen Spalding (Original Route)
Created On: May 16, 2002
Last Edited On: Jan 20, 2013


Start at the Lupine meadows trailhead, as for Exum ridge. Camping is best in Garnet Canyon meadows, though the summit day is a long one starting from such a low elevation. Camping is also possible on the moraine on the way up to the lower saddle, where most people choose to camp before summit day.

Route Description

From the lower saddle, head up a climbers path toward a prominent black dike. After crossing the dike continue up and left on broken 3rd class rock, with the occasional 4th class section. (see photo #653) If you come upon difficult chimneys, move to the left. Follow the easiest line of ascent until reaching a small (upper) saddle with a sub-peak off to the left (west). From here, one can catch glimpses down the Black Ice coulior, and see Cascade Canyon.

Rope up here, and traverse up and along the western wall to the exciting belly crawl. This is a ledge squeezed by an overhanging wall. While many crawl, half on the ledge, half hanging over, others find it easier (and more elegant) to use the ledge for handholds, and traverse on small but adequate footholds.
After the belly crawl is the technical crux of the climb. This chimney is probably 5.3 or so, more exciting if ice filled. When this chimney ends, traverse left up into a second chimney for another half pitch of fun climbing, then scramble up and slightly left over broken rock and slabs to the summit.

Descent: Walk and downclimb the broken rock and slabs as per the OS route, but before reaching the top of the chimney, traverse to the south until reaching a ledge with a fat bolt anchor. A full 50 meter overhanging rappel reaches non technical ledges, traverse slightly to the west to rejoin the ascent route.

Essential Gear

If climbing in winter, Ice Axe, Crampons. Most people who climb OS use a light rack: Medium to large stoppers, 3 or 4 cams from 3\4 to 2 inches. The rappel takes either two ropes at least 35 meters, or one 70 meter rope.
If camping in Garnet canyon meadows, bring a stout container for your food. The marmots are persistent, clever, and obnoxious. Hanging your food may or may not work, these rodents are professionals!

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

Viewing: 1-4 of 4


regolithe - Jul 20, 2007 11:21 am - Voted 8/10

A few corrections.....

Ok, there's a few things that need a bit of clarification. The OS route follows a route to the upper saddle between the Grand Teton, and the Enclosure (sub peak). The Enclosure is the only other peak in the Tetons that is surpasses the 13,000 foot mark. It is so named because of an enclosure shaped stone structure, presumably used by the native americans for their religious rites. The canyon that is to be seen from the upper saddle is actually Valhalla Canyon. "To be seen" implies that there is actually a choice in the matter. Valhalla canyon gapes like the cavernous jaws of hell from the upper saddle, and is only slightly less intimidating. Finally, there is another obsatacle above the double chimney that is worth mentioning. It's called Sargent's Chimney. In my mind, it presented more difficulites than the double chimney, but that was because there was ice in the route. By the way, only very rarely would you need crampons and an ice axe for OS. From the end of June to the end of August, you shouldn't need much more than a few nuts and cams. And, of course, your rope. You should probably leave your fear of heights at home too.



darinchadwick - Jul 25, 2007 5:20 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: A few corrections.....

Thanks for the corrections, You're dead on about looking down Valhalla canyon, sorry about the mix up with names. It will take some time for me to incorporte your changes in the text as I have about 15 minutes a day free in my life right now, but it will get done.


regolithe - Jul 27, 2007 8:45 pm - Voted 8/10

Re: A few corrections.....

No problem. That's the beauty of this site. How often do you climb in the tetons?


darinchadwick - Aug 7, 2007 5:26 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: A few corrections.....

Not often enough, seeing as I've moved to Norway and all. I added you as administrator to the Owen Spalding page, if you want to take it over, let me know, and I'll change it over to you. I'm just not as qualified as those who have climbed the route more recently\often as I have.

Viewing: 1-4 of 4

Owen Spalding (Original Route)

36 Images 21 Climber's Log Entries 3 Comments 4 Additions & Corrections


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