In the late Summer of 1988, my brother and I and a friend, Marcus, went to the Grand Tetons, Wyoming to do some mountaineering. Jeremy was living in Ogden, UT at the time and Marcus arrived a week before me and they did some climbing and hiking in Utah. I arrived in SLC and we took off the next day for Wyoming. We drove through lots of smoke on the way (this was the year of the big fires in Yellowstone and environs), arrived at the park, got our permits, and hiked up to the Meadows (9,200 ft) where we bivvied. The next day we hiked up to the Lower Saddle (11,600 ft), set up "camp", fetched water, and did a half-hearted side trip up toward the Middle Teton.
The next morning was an alpine start and we headed up the Direct Exum route. We wasted quite a bit of time scrambling through the talus and finding the start of the route, but eventally figured it out. The climbing was great and the exposure memorable - thousands of feet to Garnet Canyon below. We took turns leading and made reasonable progress, but it became obvious that we were going too slowly to summit and get down safely. Like so many before and since, we bailed at the Wall Street ledge. We had fun down-climbing (at least until we hit the lousy scree slopes). That evening, I was starting to suffer from AMS - going from sea level to 12,000 ft in 3 days is known to cause this.
The following morning I was feeling worse, so Jeremy and Marcus set off to climb the mountain via the Upper Exum route. I stayed on the Lower Saddle and hung out with the marmots. They summitted and we descended the next day.
Contemplating the Mountain
The Route to the Lower Saddle
Pulling Myself up the Static Rope to the Lower Saddle
Our Bivvy Site on the Lower Saddle
On the Exum Direct Route
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