This was originally grudgingly climbed as a consolation after my climbing partner abruptly pulled out of doing the Full Exum upon getting a good look at it from the Lower Saddle.
It's neither enjoyable nor safe to force someone to climb, so we packed up all the climbing and camping gear we had dragged up and descended all the way back to the parking lot. I was not happy, to say the least. Since that was my first time in the Tetons, I wasn't sure about climbing the Exum alone, but refused to fly back to Japan empty handed.
As such, the next day I did a solo climb of this OS variation, out-and-back in 13 hrs. There weren't many people out there on either the approach or the route -- maybe 10 total. The route turned out to be an amazing experience, if a bit harrowing at points because of an unusual amount of snow and ice due to a late season storm. (Later, rangers would tell me it was probably more difficult than the Upper Exum in those conditions.)
On the way down from the summit, I encountered three rangers on standard patrol. We descended to the Lower Saddle together, sharing my rope on the raps. They were great company and a lot of fun. Afterward they invited me to their tent, where we enjoyed instant ramen and cookies.
Although climbing the Exum remains a big dream of mine, the hiccup with my partner led to one of best outdoors experiences I've had.
I like this more than the catwalk.
Cold and windy up high. Led all pitches.
Snow and ice in the chimneys.
Fun day trip climbing with Julie. Lots of ice in the chimneys made the lead a little harder than expected...super fun though.
Soloed the peak using this variation as the standard was extremely wet. Poor Paul-Wall took a rock to the chest attempting the Lower Exum and had to sit this one out.
Climbed this after deciding the clouds weren't good enough to attempt upper exum. Some ice but lots of fun.
Awesome day. 6 person party, car to car in 12.5 hours. We moved very fast on the ascent, reaching the lower saddle in 3 hours.
This is a great route and provides a great feeling of accomplishment when done in a single day from Lupine Meadows. We brought a single 60m rope and could never find the alternative rap point. We hooked up with a soloist also carrying a 60 to make the rap in one shot. The rappel can get really backed up, especially with weather moving in.
Climbed this variation to the summit of the Grand a few years ago. One of my favorite summit days ever - sunny and warm on the top. Was quite chilly in the early morning.
The Exum is perhaps a bit more intriguing, but this climb is a classic and keeps you thinking on the way down if you don't repel (which also requires thinking. I recall giving up looking for the anchors and descending Owen's the first time. I'm not sure which is best?