Grand Teton Climbs

Season Summer/Fall

Difficulty Moderate - Difficult

Duration 2 - 4 Days

Overview

One of the most recognizable mountains in the country, the Grand Teton has drawn visitors to the area as long as history has been recorded. A landmark for native Americans and the first European explorers, the mystique has always been captivating. Even the rights to the first ascent remains in dispute. A crucible of American alpinism, the the climbers who honed their craft here in the golden age went on to pioneer the big walls of Yosemite, Patagonian spires and the Himalaya. Become part of it’s  history by standing on top and join us for an amazing summit and a greater appreciation for the remarkable alpine environment only the Tetons can deliver.

Season Summer/Fall

Miles 14

Elevation 13,776'

Elevation Gain 7,000'

Trip Planner

Itinerary

The premier Grand Teton experience combines training, acclimatizing, camping, and climbing the Grand during four memorable days and three nights at Corbet High Camp (11,200′). No prior climbing experience required.

Clients should plan to arrive at JHMG headquarters the day before 4:00 to do a gear check. Here we will go over all of your gear and make sure you have everything you need for a successful trip.

Day 1 – Office staff or your guide will coordinate an appropriate meeting time/ place. JHMG does not provide transportation for its clients into the park. Clients will be responsible for paying the $25 vehicle fee at the park entrance unless they have a Golden Eagle Pass.

Once at the trail head, guides will distribute some food items to you for the ascent up to high camp. From there, you will enjoy a leisurely 7 mile hike up beautiful Garnet Canyon. The hike, while very scenic, does gain 4200 feet of elevation gain and requires a certain level of fitness and will. Your guide will set a slow, sustainable pace and in 5-7 hours you will arrive at JHMG’s historic Corbet High Camp.

Corbet High Camp features a pristine water source, a weatherport for cooking, eating and hanging out and 6 personal Mountain Hardwear 3 person Tents, each with sleeping pads and sleeping bags.

Day 2 – Day two is all about learning the skills to successfully climb the Grand Teton. After breakfast, guides will equip each client with a helmet, a harness and a belay/rappel device. Guides will then cover a curriculum consisting of knots, climbing commands, climbing movement, rappelling, and explore the world of multi-pitch climbing in one of the many venues located just minutes from camp. With your new knowledge, you will be ready for your summit attempt of the Grand Teton.

Day 3 – It’s summit day! The day begins with a very early wake u followed by breakfast, With your summit pack full of layers, your headlamp, water and food, and with harnesses and helmets on, you head out! Like the hike to Corbet High Camp, the pace is slow and sustainable. Upward momentum is the key.

The climb to the summit is roughly 2 miles, but climbs 2700 feet. It usually takes 6-8 hours. Your guide will select one of two routes. The Pownall- Gilkey Route or the Exum Ridge. The route decision is the guide’s discretion and is based on weather, time and ability.

Weather permitting, you will reach the summit and enjoy the fantastic views of the Teton Range, Jackson Hole and Teton Valley.

After your achievement, you will descend to the comfort of Corbet High Camp for a warm delicious meal which you have earned. Then it’s off to your tent to rest your weary muscles.

Day 4 – Day 4 is what makes this program so special. If your party was turned around due to bad weather on day 3, day 4 can serve as a second summit attempt. The 4 day program is the only program where this is an option.  If you reached the top on day 3,  day 4 is flexible.  If you are hungry for more climbing, guides are always eager to share with clients some of the fantastic routes just outside of camp. If you want to just relax and enjoy high camp, that is an option as well.

We like to try and depart for Lupine Meadows no later than 11:00am  and usually arrive at the trail head between 2:30 – 3:30. And while your Grand Teton Experience might be over, the memories will last a lifetime.

Open dates are available to book on-line.  For custom dates – please fill out the inquiry form and we will contact you shortly.

The Three Day itinerary is for folks who have previous climbing experience, who might not have four days to spend in the mountains and want the benefit of not having to descend all the way to the valley floor following their summit attempt. Route options like the Exum Ridge and the Pownall-Gilkey are available on the three day option.

Clients will need to take a 1-day climbing class in town before the trip, or have previous climbing experience and be able to demonstrate the necessary rope and climbing skills required to climb the Grand Teton.

Day 1 – Your guide will coordinate with you an appropriate meeting time at the Lupine Meadows Trail head. JHMG does not provide transportation for its clients into the park. Clients will be responsible for paying the $25 vehicle fee at the park entrance unless they have a Golden Eagle Pass.

Once at the trail head, guides will distribute some food items to you for the ascent up to high camp. From there, you will enjoy a leisurely 7 mile hike up beautiful Garnet Canyon. The hike, while very scenic, does gain 4200 feet of elevation gain and requires a certain level of fitness and will. Your guide will set a slow, sustainable pace and in 5-7 hours you will arrive at JHMG’s historic Corbet High Camp.

Corbet High Camp features a pristine water source, a weatherport for cooking, eating and hanging out and 6 personal Mountain Hardwear 3 person Tents, each with sleeping pads and sleeping bags.

Guides will prepare dinner, and with a full belly, you are off to sleep under the shadow of the Grand Teton.

Day 2 -It’s summit day! The day begins with a very early wake up followed by breakfast. With your summit pack full of layers, your headlamp, water and food, harnesses and helmets on, you head out! Like the hike to Corbet high camp, the pace is slow and sustainable. Upward momentum is the key.

The climb to the summit is roughly 2 miles, but climbs 2700 ft. It usually takes 6-8 hours. Your guide will select one of two routes. The Pownall- Gilkey Route or the Exum Ridge. The route decision is the guides discretion and is based on weather, time and ability.

Weather permitting, you will reach the summit and enjoy the fantastic views of the Teton Range, Jackson Hole and the Teton Valley.

After your achievement, you will descend to the comfort of Corbet High Camp for a warm delicious meal which you have earned. Then it’s off to your tent to rest your weary muscles.

Day 3 – Day 3 is flexible. We like to have breakfast and pack up and leave for Lupine Meadows no later than 11:00am. If you are hungry for more climbing, guides are always eager to share with clients some of the fantastic routes just outside of camp. If you want to just relax and enjoy high camp, that is an option as well.

You will then depart for Lupine Meadows, and usually arrive at the trail head between 2:30 – 3:30. And while your Grand Teton Experience might be over, the memories will last a lifetime.

Please note that this trip cannot be booked directly online – please fill out the inquiry form and we will contact you shortly.

 

This quick trip is more strenuous than the 4-Day or 3-Day, but may be appropriate for those who are in very good physical condition and have either taken a basic and intermediate climbing class with JHMG or can demonstrate the necessary rope and climbing skills required to climb the Grand Teton.

Day 1 – Your guide will coordinate with you an appropriate meeting time at the Lupine Meadows Trail head. JHMG does not provide transportation for its clients into the park. Clients will be responsible for paying the $25 vehicle fee at the park entrance unless they have a Golden Eagle Pass.

Once at the trail head, guides will distribute some food items to you for the ascent up to high camp. From there, you will enjoy a leisurely 7 mile hike up beautiful Garnet Canyon. The hike, while very scenic, does gain ‘4200 feet of elevation gain and requires a certain level of fitness and will. Your guide will set a slow, sustainable pace and in 5-7 hours you will arrive at JHMG’s historic Corbet High Camp.

Corbet High Camp features a pristine water source, a weatherport for cooking, eating and hanging out and 6 personal Mountain Hardwear 3 person Tents, each with sleeping pads and sleeping bags.

Guides will prepare dinner, and with a full belly, you are off to sleep under the shadow of the Grand Teton.

Day 2 – It’s summit day! The day begins with a very early wake up followed by breakfast. With all of your gear, a summit pack full of layers, your headlamp, water and food, and with harnesses and helmets on, you head out! You will descend to the moraine where you will cache any gear not needed for the summit. You will pick up this gear on the descent.

Like the hike to Corbet high camp, the pace is slow and sustainable. Upward momentum is the key.

The climb to the summit is roughly 2 miles, but climbs 2700 ft. It usually takes 6-8 hours.

Weather permitting, you will reach the summit and enjoy the fantastic views of the Teton Range, Jackson Hole and the Teton Valley.

After your achievement, you will descend to the moraine below Corbet High Camp and pick up your cached gear. You will then descend to the trail head at Lupine Meadows. You should anticipate arriving between 5:00pm and 7:00pm. It’s a long day.

This trip is a custom trip. Basic and intermediate classes required.

Please note that this trip cannot be booked directly online – please fill out the inquiry form and we will contact you shortly.

Want something different? Climb the Grand in two days via the sunny and un-crowded Petzoldt or Underhill Ridges, or the East Ridge, North Face, North Ridge, or the Cathedral and Grand Traverses.   These trips are for experienced climbers only. Multi-pitch climbing experience is required.

Please note that this trip cannot be booked directly online – please fill out the inquiry form and we will contact you shortly.

Following Paul Petzoldt’s long-standing tradition, JHMG is proud to offer winter ascents of the Grand Teton, America’s most coveted alpine climbing objective. Winter climbing experience is required for this demanding 5-day ascent. Custom dates only, preferably after mid-February.

Please note that this trip cannot be booked directly online – please fill out the inquiry form and we will contact you shortly.

4 – Day Ascent: $2500 private; $1500pp/group

3 – Day Ascent: $1875 private; $1125pp/group

2 – Day Ascent: $1400 private; $750pp/group

Group pricing is for 2 – 3 people on a trip.We will match you with other interested participants on “group” trips. Please note that trips must reach minimum # of people.

Private trips and certain trip durations cannot be booked directly online based on scheduling, please click here to inquire about specific dates for a private trip. Please read through our policies by visiting this page.

Most climbing on the Grand begins in early June and ends in mid-September. However, JHMG will guide the Grand Teton and other peaks in Grand Teton National Park any month of the year, conditions dependent.  Winter ascent dates available for those with proper experience.

Grand Teton National Park is located roughly 30 minutes from our Jackson, WY headquarters. Our Jackson office is located in the south part of Jackson at 1325 S. Highway 89, Suite 104 and shares a parking area with Smith’s. Our phone number is (800) 239-7642 or (307) 733-4979. Most trips and classes will meet at this office for gear checks, preparation, and classes. The Jackson Hole airport is the closest, but Idaho Falls (a 2 – 2.5 hour drive) is a cheaper option and Salt Lake City (4 – 5 hour drive) are also air travel options. It is helpful to arrive a couple of days prior to your trip/class in order to acclimatize. Otherwise, you should arrive the day before and stop by our office for an equipment check. Do not plan on traveling the day after a significant climb – you will be tired and there are no guaranteed times when we will return to the trailhead. Plan on having accommodations for the night prior to and the night you return from a significant climb. There are a plethora of hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts in Jackson and the surrounding area. Accommodations near our office make your transitions convenient. It is highly advisable to make reservations as early as possible.

 

VIEW PDF

The Grand Teton climb involves 14 miles roundtrip, 7000 feet of elevation gain and loss, extensive scrambling and three pitches of fifth class (5.6) climbing. On the first day, we gain 4,200 feet on the way to our Corbet High Camp. On the summit day we climb 2,700 feet to the summit and descend back to camp, or 7,000 feet back to Lupine Meadows.

Prerequisites: Climbing the Grand Teton requires prior climbing experience. Before attempting the Grand, most clients will be required to enroll in two climbing classes with Jackson Hole Mountain Guides. Our classes are designed to give you the skills you need for a successful experience on the mountain. Climbers who have previous climbing experience may only need to refresh their multi-pitch skills for a day at our local crag. 

Some people feel more confident by first practicing their new found climbing skills on a smaller peak or multi-pitch climb before attempting the Grand Teton. We’re happy to accommodate anyone’s pace and offer suggestions for next steps.

We strongly encourage our clients to come with some experience hiking on rugged trails, particularly on steep up and down hills, and uneven, and rocky terrain, since this is 75% of any Teton ascent.

Training

It is an undeniable fact that those who are in good shape are more likely to enjoy the view from the summit! Those who engage in regular exercise before coming to climb the Grand Teton (or any of the other climbs we offer) typically do fine on the ascent. Give yourself adequate time—at least a couple of months–to prepare, particularly if this form and intensity of exercise is new.

Training for a Teton climb needs to be specific, and should include cardiovascular activities and weight training. For three days a week, focus on an hour or more of aerobic exercise such as running, cycling, swimming, etc. Gym equipment such as stairmasters, rowing machines, etc. can supplement cardiovascular training. On weekends a full day hike or other longer endeavor will help prepare you for the endurance required in the Tetons. Carrying a 20-30 pound pack uphill on trails or stadium steps will simulate the real climb better than anything. Lifting moderate weights to increase core body, leg, and arm strength is also a good idea. Focus on quads and hamstrings—legs need strength and endurance. Being generally fit and having some solid stamina for long days is the overall goal. Be in the best shape of your life!

*If you are not already in decent shape, or are not as young as you used to be(!), it would be prudent to consult with a doctor or certified physical trainer before undertaking a physical fitness training program.

Altitude

The high elevations in the Tetons have stopped otherwise fit people who didn’t take the time to acclimate. We strongly encourage our participants, especially those coming from sea level, to arrive a few days early in Jackson. Jackson is at 6200 feet, while our Corbet High Camp is near 11,000 feet.

To help your body adjust to the thinner and drier air, first of all HYDRATE. Exertion at altitude demands hydration. Drinking enough water markedly improves athletic performance and helps to prevent altitude mountain sickness. Before and during your climb, aim for 4-5 quarts of fluid a day. Make sure your water is readily accessible. During the ascent, hydration systems like Camelbacks, or a water bottle on your hip will provide easy access to your water. Sport drink mixes like Gatorade are highly recommended; they promote drinking and help replenish electrolytes. Avoid too much alcohol and caffeine, as these have the effect of dehydrating your body.

In the days before your Grand Teton ascent, assist the acclimation process by going to some higher elevations, above 9000 feet, and get some moderate exercise. Hiking from Teton Pass up Mt. Glory, or up to Surprise Lake in the Park allow one to get to 9,000-10,000’ elevations fairly quickly.

If you have never been to high altitude before, don’t worry—everyone has a first time; keep your guide posted of any physical symptoms you may be experiencing. If you have had trouble with altitude in the past, please let us know ahead of time and consult with your physician before you come. Some people simply acclimatize more slowly; they often find that allotting a few extra days to acclimate is helpful for performance.

view pdf

The Grand Teton Equipment List is an item by item inventory of what you will need for your Grand Teton trip. The specific gear considerations are designed to prepare you for all possible conditions. We do have a limited number of rental and sale items for your convenience. The following information provides more specific details and comments to assist your preparation. Don’t hesitate to call our office with any questions.

There are several excellent mountaineering shops in Jackson should you need to supplement your gear. These include Skinny Skis: 307-733-6094, and Teton Mountaineering: 307-733-3595, and they carry all the equipment necessary for your trip.

Grand Teton Climb Equipment List

Footwear

Objective Dependent – Salewa footwear is available at Jackson Hole Mountain Guides for rent. JHMG also carries a selection of Five Ten Rock shoes for rent.

  • Sticky Rubber Approach Shoes: required for all mid-summer climbs. Trips before early July require a crampon compatible mountain boot – Guide Pick: Salewa Mountain Trainer or Salewa Wildfire/Pro
  • Rock Shoes for technical rock routes
  • Socks: 2 pair: sized for your boots and blister prevention
Upper Layers
Bottom Layers
Accessories
  • Hat: lightweight to medium weight warm hat – sleek enough to be worn under a helmet
  • Gloves: one lightweight to medium weight pair – synthetic or fleece material. If snow route, shell also recommended.
  • Gaiters: only until mid-July
On the trail
  • Alpine Climbing Pack – Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear- Diretissima 46. Internal frame only. 45 to 55 L for 2 day trip. 50 to 60 L for 4 day trip. Large enough to fit all your personal gear plus ten pounds of food and water. Some trips will require additional Summit Pack for Technical Rock Climbs – Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear
    Scrambler 30
  • Sleeping Bag Liner
  • Water Bottles (2-3 L/Qt.) or H2O hydration system
  • Water Treatment tablets
  • Lightweight Bowl
  • Insulated Mug
  • Spoon and Fork
  • Stuff Sacks: zip lock bags
  • Dark Sunglasses
  • Extra Contact Lenses
  • Sun Hat or Visor
  • Sunscreen (35+SPF)
  • Lip Balm
  • Insect Repellant (until early August)
  • Headlamp and Fresh Batteries
  • First Aid – minimal: blister care, analgesic, etc.
  • Lunch, snacks & drink mix.
  • Misc Items: minimal: light knife, camera,
    bandana, camp suds, wash cloth, etc.
Recommended & Optional Items
  • Trekking Poles
  • Camera and batteries, spare memory card
  • Insoles: custom or after market
Cold Weather Considerations:

Early and late season temperatures require warmer clothing. You may consider additional clothing if you get cold easily or if it is unusually cold or windy.

  • Balaclava or neck gaiter
  • Extra down vest or jacket
  • Expedition weight long underwear
  • Extra gloves

**Jackson Hole Mountain Guides supplies all the rock climbing gear, harnesses, helmets, locking carabiners & belay/rappel devices, crampons, and ice axes. However, you are welcome to bring your own equipment. Please coordinate with our office for gear checks. Backpacks, rock shoes, and boots can all be rented in our Jackson office.

For your safety and comfort, bring synthetic and or natural fiber clothing for insulation. Cotton is NOT recommended and down must be kept dry. Clothing should be able to layer without encumbering movement.

For a printable version of this list, please click below:

VIEW PDF
What is the advantage to the four day Grand Teton program?

There are several. The training is conducted at 11,000’ on the type and aspect of rock that you will experience on the upper mountain. There are two opportunities to summit. The pace is far more relaxed than a rushed overnight climb from the valley wherein you must descend all the way o the parking lot after summiting. Ohh yeah! and instead of staying in a hotel room for your training days, you get to spend 3 night in one of the most beautiful places on earth, Corbet High Camp

How fit do I need to be to climb the Grand Teton?

It is an undeniable fact that those who are in good shape are more likely to enjoy the view from the summit! Those who engage in regular exercise before coming to climb the Grand Teton (or any of the other climbs we offer) typically do fine on the ascent. Give yourself adequate time—at least a couple of months--to prepare, particularly if this form and intensity of exercise is new. Training for a Teton climb needs to be specific, and should include cardiovascular activities and weight training. For three days a week, focus on an hour or more of aerobic exercise such as running, cycling, swimming, etc. Gym equipment such as stairmasters, rowing machines, etc. can supplement cardiovascular training. On weekends a full day hike or other longer endeavor will help prepare you for the endurance required in the Tetons. Carrying a 20-30 pound pack uphill on trails or stadium steps will simulate the real climb better than anything. Lifting moderate weights to increase core body, leg, and arm strength is also a good idea. Focus on quads and hamstrings—legs need strength and endurance. Being generally fit and having some solid stamina for long days is the overall goal. *If you are not already in decent shape, or are not as young as you used to be(!), it would be prudent to consult with a doctor or certified physical trainer before undertaking a physical fitness training program.

What is a sticky rubber approach shoe? It sounds disgusting.

It is a hybrid lightweight boot or shoe with features of a light hiker and a rock climbing shoe. The lacing is focused down to the toe and the shoe is randed and soled with the high performance rubber used in technical rock shoes. The idea is to utilize one shoe for the entire trip on the Grand Teton.

What are the sleeping accommodations at Corbett high camp?

We have a Weatherport quanset hut for cooking and gathering, but we our guests sleep in new Mountain Hardware dome tents spread around the moraine for some privacy and greatly enhanced sleeping arrangements.

What route on the Grand Teton am I likely to be climbing?

JHMG utilizes primarily the upper Exum ridge and the Pownal/Gilkey routes for summiting the peak. The Exum is a little longer and comes in to the morning sun early. The Pownall/Gilkey is a better bet for a questionable forecast as we can see the weather to the west and it is faster to retreat in the event of a storm.

Why Should I go with JHMG?

We always say that there are times to be budget conscious and times when you want the best.  Things like surgery, sky diving lessons and mountain/rock climbing are times when you really don't want to be looking for a bargain.  But if you are looking for an adventure of a lifetime, with a well trained, certified and experienced guide service, you found one in JHMG.  But these are just words.  What sets us apart and what should you be looking for in a guide service? Good question, I am glad you asked.  First off.  JHMG is the second oldest guiding service in the US.  We have 48 Years of experience, which means that we have had time to refine our client processes, risk management procedures and have emerged a well-oiled machine, that knows how to provide a high level of service and do it safely. Second, JHMG is a National Park Service concessioner.  Our National Park Service is unscrupulous at vetting it's concessioners.  Not only do they pay close attention to our operations, but require visibility into our finances, insurance, hiring practices, environmental management practices, risk management practices and our customer satisfaction. In short.  We are required to run a very tight ship and we go under review EVERY YEAR!!!!  We welcome this scrutiny as an opportunity to make us better, and we apply this same high level of operation to every location we operate in. So you don't just have to take our word for it, the National Park Service stands behind our integrity as a company. In the end however, we are a company of passionate people who live and breath adventure.  We understand that to be the best, we need to seek out the best people and offer them a home and a professional opportunity.  All JHMG guides are employees,  not subcontractors.  They have retirement accounts, workers comp and are paid as professionals.  JHMG is also accredited by the American Mountain Guides Association.  Which means that our guides are not only vetted by an AMGA certified guide, but many undergo rigorous certification by a this third party organization in the discipline that they guide. But risk is a part of what we do.  So it is important that in the event of an incident, that our guides are capable of delivering a high level of care.  This is why all certified guides at JHMG are required to have at least Wilderness First Responder Medical training and many of our guides have gone on to get higher levels of medical training like Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC). I hope that the picture that is being painted is one of a professional, experienced and well trained guiding company.  But what about customer service?  We know that your time is precious, and we appreciate that you have a choice in how you spend that time.  That is why we take customer service very seriously.  From the moment you contact us, you will be treated with respect and professionalism.  Not just by our guides, but by the number of people who work behind the scenes to make sure that your adventure goes off without a hitch.  We can't control the weather, but we endeavor to make your experience everything you want it to be. So, if you are looking for a inexpensive guiding service for a one off adventure, we are probably not a great fit.  But if you want a professional, experienced team of people who will work hard to give you the experience of a lifetime, then look no further than Jackson Hole Mountain Guides.

Testimonials

  • Thanks to Jackson Hole Mountain Guides for your time, effort and patience to get this old man to the top of the Grand Teton on my 60th anniversary climb. I am proud of you and your excellent climbing school.

    — Paul Petzoldt, the first Teton guide and founder of NOLS and Exum Guide Service
  • I just wanted to thank you for setting us up with such unbelievable guides.  They were absolutely solid, professional and fun to be around.  We couldn’t have had better, nor better results.  That climb of the Grand is something I’ll never forget.  I will be back to climb Mt. Moran next.

    —  Paul Edelbrock
  • Thanks from all of us for making our expedition to the Grand such a wonderful time. Both Sam and Isaac enjoyed High Camp and the chance to stand on top of the Grand Teton. Your hospitality was exceptional! The usage of the hut really makes a difference.

    — Conrad
  • Thanks so much for hosting us at your beautiful camp. It was a very meaningful and memorable time for our family. [This was] the first ascent of the Grand for the boys and my first ascent since Alex’s death. The site of your camp with the spectacular summits wrapping around us was an idyllic starting point for our climb. So many wonderful memories in those lovely spires!

    — Jennifer Lowe
  • Words cannot convey the experience of a winter day out with a JHMG guide taking you on a safe tour of the Tetons. Slow and steady up for a few hours rewards you with an exquisite view of the Tetons in all their majesty. Then, instead of an exhausting, bone-jarring hike back down, take the skins off your skis and ride down in powder that is almost impossible to find in a ski resort. Even a week after the last snowfall, you will still find good snow to ride down on. Even if it’s not a clear and sunny day, it’s a wonderful day out and you’ll want to keep going back until you are rewarded with those magnificent views. If the price for a ride on the Virgin Galactic rocket is $200,000, I’d say a day in the Tetons with a JHMG guide is the most undervalued ticket you can buy!

    — Victor Haghani

Talk To Us

Here you’ll find online tools and information about joining us for a trip of a lifetime! To sign up for a trip, or if you have any questions, please call us. Listed on the left side of these pages are links that you may find useful, including printable forms and policies concerning a trip with JHMG. We encourage ALL prospective climbers to read our Preparation advice. Our office can help place you with others who are looking to climb.

By Phone 800.239.7642

By Email info@jhmg.com

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