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Thread: Tire Irons on the Grand

  1. #1

    Tire Irons on the Grand

    Transcript of actual conversation had while hiking in the Tetons.

    Me - "Whoa!! Is that the Grand? That's the one everyone climbs, right?"

    Jake - "Yeah, people climb it. You thinking about learning to trad and training for it?"

    Me - "Dude - I bet I could get Kenny to climb this with me in the next 3 weeks. I already own trad gear and I have a perfect pose in mind for the summit, tired enough to show how much effort I put into it but victorious at reaching the summit."

    Jake - "First - you've never placed a piece of gear. Second - that's how people die. Third - Kenny just got married, his wife won't let him go kill himself 1 month into their marriage."

    Me - "You're a lot less fun to argue with ever since you started law college."

    Long story short - we ended up betting on whether or not I'd climb the Grand by the end of September. If he lost he would plan a snowmobile trip up near Jackson for March. If I lost I would buy 2 $20 ribeyes, cook one perfectly and give it to him, and cook the other one well done, cover it in A1, and eat it myself. We're both in school and saddled with student loans, so that's about as extravagant as we were willing to get.

    Fast forward 3 weeks. Kenny (his wife acquiesced after much pleading), Rob (my roommate who just hiked Kings Peak in sandals) and I had gear check on Thursday and planned to get a good night's sleep and have a restful Friday. Friday afternoon found me getting back from 6 hours of climbing in Salt Lake to find Rob and Kenny getting back from 6 hours of wakeboarding. Having shot to hell our plan for starting the Grand well-rested, we resolved to get all our gear packed and leave in time to get 4 or 5 hours of sleep in the parking lot before starting the hike. We would be gone by 5 for sure!

    After backing the car out of the driveway at 8 in the evening (strike 2), we made it 2 hours into the trip before realizing we had forgotten a nut tool (strike 3). This was problematic as our rack consisted of 7 nuts, 2 hexes, and 2 tricams. We planned to cross that bridge when we came to it.

    We made it to Lupine Meadows in time to get 2 hours of fitful sleep before setting off at 4:30. Just before leaving we found a lugnut remover that looked like it might work as a nut tool, so we loaded it up and took off, resolved to combat any mocking we received with a smile and a shot to the face with the tire iron.

    We made the lower saddle at 8:15 and then took off on the OS. We wandered around for about 45 minutes looking for Wall Street, but otherwise had no problems. We roped up for Wall Street (I want to solo the Grand but can't imagine soloing the Leap) and two pitches right afterwards. We then simulclimbed for about 10 minutes before getting annoyed with the whole process and unroping altogether. The climbing was well within our skills but the exposure made us climb much more sedately than we normally do. We summited a little before 4 and made it back to the lower saddle by 6:30, prepared to take our time trudging down. We talked to a ranger who told us about a pizza place that was open until 10. With hunger giving us fresh energy, we sprinted down the trail, making it back to the car by 9:00. We got into Jackson with our happiness and good moods predicated on finding fresh pizza. It wasn't to be, however, and we ended up eating at Taco Bell before starting the drive home so I could teach Sunday School the next day.

    Enough commentary - here are the pictures.



    5:20 in the morning - Me: "you guys, we could still turn around, sleep in the car, eat pizza and watch a movie in Jackson, and tell everyone we climbed the Grand." Rob: "dude...I'd be down." Kenny: "well..."









    I'm in shorts, Rob's shirtless. We looked like we had gotten lost on our way to a douchebag convention and ended up on the Grand.













    I'm pulling off the Austrian look quite well.







    It's normal to pull your camera out while 2000 feet up, right?









    Don't let our moms see this.







    You May All Go To Hell And I Will Go To Texas

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  3. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by xxnitsuaxx View Post
    I'm in shorts, Rob's shirtless. We looked like we had gotten lost on our way to a douchebag convention and ended up on the Grand.


    Great trip report!

  4. #3
    Sweet TR. Let me ask the dumb question. If I had never done any serious climbs before, ie where I needed rope and climbing gear, how long would it take to train to do the Grand and not get killed doing so? Looks pretty exposed in alot of places.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by xxnitsuaxx View Post
    We made the lower saddle at 8:15 and then took off on the OS. We wandered around for about 45 minutes looking for Wall Street, but otherwise had no problems.
    Other than thinkin' Wall Street is on the O-S, great trip report!

  6. #5
    Just caught that Brian - we took the OS to Wall Street and then finished up on Upper Exum. It's a shame - the TR made me sound so professional and experienced too...

    JONBOY - If you're with someone who really knows what they're doing and you're in good shape, I don't think it would take much to get ready for it. There is a lot of exposure but you can rope up for it. Make sure you know how to belay your leader and get some practice in cleaning routes and then go for it!
    You May All Go To Hell And I Will Go To Texas

  7. #6
    Zions the "s" is silent trackrunner's Avatar
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  8. #7
    Nice! The pics bring back some good memories

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian in SLC View Post
    Other than thinkin' Wall Street is on the O-S, great trip report!

    That was my first thought too. If it wasn't for the rappel to get down, it's not even worth packing a rope up O/S. Good work!
    It's my job to call the BS around here. Get over it.

  10. #9

  11. #10
    Great TR, that's a great climb.

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