Sunday, August 14, 2011

8-13-2011 Gold Face, The Grand Teton

Jimmy and I both had the weekend off and we thought a little run up to the Tetons was needed.  Neither of us had been on the Lower Exum so we decided to have a look and climb a variation called the Gold Face.  We think we climbed it but there's no way to be sure, our topo was pretty crappy.  Whatever we did was pretty steep and on mostly gold rock, I'm going to call it the Gold Face.  The approach went smoothly and we were sitting at the Lower saddle in just over 3 hours.  From there it's a short scramble to the base of the Lower Exum.  We took the first 2 pitches of the LE and then traversed into the Gold Face variation.  
Jimmy scrambling toward the base of the Lower Exum
After the fun first 2 pitches of the LE, route finding was a little questionable. We had the topo form the Ortenburger/Jackson guidebook and think we were pretty much on but there were a lot different options and we couldn't tell which one was correct. I know we hit certain key features of the route like the "steep black roof" but linking the features was a choose your own adventure type of climb with multiple options, pretty fun. What really threw us off was hitting the Golden Staircase a pitch earlier then expected.  Not sure how that happend but we must have belayed in the middle of a few pitches, oh well. I think after every pitch one of us said something like, "wow, that was pretty good."  The rest of the shots are of Jimmy.
Jimmy's butt, Pitch 4, more Gold Face above
Route finding
Gold Face
 The Gold Face puts you out right at the base of the Upper Exum.  A quick run up that had us eating and napping on the summit under a sunny windless sky.  We had plans for another day in the park but we were pretty tired and my feet were pretty blistered, a lot of Diet Mountain Dew and long drive home in the middle of the night sounded better.
Golden Staircase
V-pitch
Summit naps!

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