Vista Outdoor Grand Teton SFS



81% Raised of$34,000 Goal

Vista Outdoor Grand Teton SFS Photo
Vista Outdoor Grand Teton SFS Photo

The Story

EVENT DATE: Jul 14, 2016

DEADLINE TO GIVE: Aug 14, 2016


Vista Outdoor will be climbing the Grand Teton this summer with Summit for Someone to help raise funds for Big City Mountaineers and get more youth nationwide outside experiencing the outdoors! BCM, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, transforms the lives of under-served urban youth through wilderness mentoring expeditions that instill critical life skills. BCM partners with community-based youth organizations and caring adult volunteers who act as mentors in the field to help young people realize their potential. Our curriculum improves integrity, self- esteem, responsibility, decision-making abilities and communication skills in close to 1,000 youth annually. BCM has a proven track record of improving young peoples’ lives with increased likeliness to stay in school, reduction in violence, and reduction in drug use. Moreover, Vista Outdoor is sponsoring each climber so every dollar raised will go towards supporting the mission of Big City Mountaineers!


For more info on this climb like guide contact info, and equipment lists, check out the Grand Teton climb page on the Summit for Someone website! 



Climb Itinerary: 

Keep in mind that these are all projected times. Please check in with the guides before the trip to confirm meeting times.

Day Zero (July 14, 2016): Flights/travel to Jackson Hole, WY
Prior to the first day of the trip please stop by the Jackson Hole Mountain Guides office for an equipment check and final registration.  See TRAVEL for detailed driving instructions to our office in downtown Jackson.

Day One (Approach to Corbet High Camp):
Seven miles and 4,200 feet of moderate and steep hiking to our well-stocked High Camp.

9:00 am - Meet at the Jackson Hole Mountain Guides office and depart for Lupine Meadows Trailhead in Grand Teton National Park. A park entrance pass is required. Each participant will be required to provide their own transportation to/from the trailhead—JHMG does not provide taxi services.

10:00 am - We depart Lupine Meadows Trailhead (6,780 feet) for Corbet High Camp (11,000 feet).  You’ll only need to carry your personal clothing, food, and water.  Our high camp is stocked with 3-person Mountain Hardwear tents, Mountain Hardwear Lamina 20 degree sleeping bags, comfortable dual foam pads, propane stoves, and all the requisite climbing gear.  Even without a heavy pack, everyone should be physically fit for the Grand Teton. We generally take short breaks every hour and encourage everyone to eat and drink to sustain their energy.  This long hike requires excellent fitness-please be prepared.

We arrive at the Meadows (9,000 feet) in time for our favorite lunch spot in the mountains. After lunch, switchbacks lead up the North Fork of Garnet Canyon. A spring at the Petzoldt Caves (9,600 feet) provides cool and refreshing drinking water and allows us to replenish our water bottles.  Steep hiking into a beautiful alpine arena leads to camp.

After six hours on the trail, our secluded high camp is the great reward.  Located on a high glacial moraine just below the East face of the Grand and below the Teepe Glacier, it is one of the most beautiful camps in the Tetons. Melt-water from the glacier filters through the moraine and yields another refreshing spring below our Weatherport hut.  The spacious hut serves as a kitchen, meeting place, and dining hall. Behind large boulders and just over the ridge are three-person Sierra Designs tents that serve as your home.  Generally, two or three people share a spacious tent and sometimes we are able to offer private accommodations. Dinner is prepared by the guides. This evening, you recover, relax, and enjoy a very special place in the mountains.

Day Two (Training: Rock Climbing on the Garnet Towers):
The second day is devoted to making everyone comfortable and proficient with technical rock climbing.  After breakfast, we head out to the nearby Garnet Towers to train for the Grand.  You learn by doing.  Each technique is first demonstrated and then practiced.

We learn and review: knots, harnesses and helmets; belaying, rappelling and multi-pitch climbing systems; movement over rock, efficient ascent and descend methods.  Experienced climbers may progress more quickly and learn advanced skills.


Everyone completes at least one multi-pitch climb and rappel.  We often climb All Along the Watchtower (5.4) or the first two pitches of Fairshare Tower. 


We return to camp for dinner and preparations.  You organize your equipment, fill your water bottles, and pack for the next morning.



Day Three (Summit Day):
An alpine start increases the odds of avoiding afternoon thunderstorms and maximizes our summit chances. We depart camp well before dawn, wearing headlamps to guide our way toward the upper mountain. We typically travel on a less crowded variation of the Owen-Spalding route and limit three climbers per guide. The day includes 2700 feet of elevation gain, loads of great scrambling, three easy fifth-class pitches, and an exciting rappel from high on the mountain.  We aim to summit around 9 am and return to Lupine Meadows trailhead by 6 pm.

We utilize the Pownall-Gilkey route, named after the 1948 first ascent team.  From Corbet High Camp (11,000 feet) a hike through the moraine and an ascent of a 50-foot fixed rope brings us the Lower Saddle (11,600 feet). A windy hike to the Black Dike takes us to the beginning of the climbing.  Warm early morning light illuminates the next 1000 feet of second- and third-class scrambling to the Upper Saddle (13,000 feet).  It is here that we diverge from the Owen-Spalding and ascend via the Pownall-Gilkey (5.6 A0), an aesthetic route on perfect granite.  The summit is not far away! We don all of our clothing, stack ropes, and tie-in for the technical fifth-class climbing.  With the last two hundred feet to the summit we choose between the fourth-class climbing on Unsoeld’s Layback or up Sargent’s Chimney.


The summit views offer a spectacular vista of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.  On clear days we can see 14 different mountain ranges in 4 states.  You’ve climbed over 7,000 feet to the summit of the Grand Teton. The descent from the upper mountain involves a spectacular rappel and considerable down climbing. Typically, climbers return to the trailhead around 6 p.m.


*Please note that the weather on the Grand is highly unpredictable and can be severe. High winds, cold, snow, rain, thunder and lightning can occur on any day. If weather threatens, we tag the top and head down immediately. Your guide will determine the schedule. If threatening weather or other unforeseen circumstances makes an attempt on the Grand Teton impractical, the guide may suggest a climb of the Enclosure (13,280') as a consolation. The Enclosure is the second highest point in the Teton Range and sits as a detached spur of the Grand itself.