Below is a detailed description and route itinerary for a 1-day Prep and 3- Day Grand Teton Climb
For your Prep day and 3-day Grand Teton Climb, we recommend that you arrive in Jackson the DAY BEFORE your Prep day. If you are coming from sea Level, we recommend that, if possible, you arrive in Jackson 2 days before your climb begins.
Please meet at our office at 1325 S HWY 89 Suite 104, Jackson, WY 83002 at 8:30am. Here you will meet your guide, receive any technical climbing gear and you need and will follow your guide out to Curtis Canyon climbing area. You will need a small pack with Water food and sunscreen. CLICK HERE for a complete gear list for your training day. Please be advised that Jackson Hole Mountain Guides does not provide transportation. If you do not have a car, we recommend renting a car from one of the local rental agencies. The climbing venue is a 15-minute walk from the trailhead with approximately 200 feet of elevation gain.
After the training at Curtis Canyon, you will return to the office for your gear check. It is imperative that you bring everything you are planning to carry on the mountain with you to the training day. (you can always leave it in your vehicle) Gear checks usually take between 30 min-1 hour to complete. Our office is located at 1325 S HWY 89, Jackson, WY 83002. To make things go smoothly, please review our Grand Teton Equipment List or check out our Video on What to Pack on your Grand Teton Climb. he Video was made pre-2020. YOU WILL NEED TO BRING A SLEEPING BAG UP TO HIGH CAMP.
- If you are climbing with a few people, share sunscreen, water purification, and even toothpaste to keep packs light
- Flip one of the batteries in your headlamp around so it does not accidentally turn on in your pack
After your Gear Check, you can head next door to Smith’s Market to get the snack food and lunch items for your Trip. To get an idea of the types of food and amounts you should consider bringing please view our video on FOOD FOR THE GRAND TETON
- “On summit day lunch starts right after breakfast and ends right before dinner.”
- Be sure to bring a variety of snacks and have a few things that are small and you can put in your pockets for quick energy
- Appetites tend to wain at altitude, it’s not about eating when you are hungry, it’s about calories, eat small amounts often.
- Chocolate at sunrise is a great way to greet the day
As concessioners in Grand Teton National Park, we are required to tell you to treat your water. There are many ways to purify water. A Steripen is a great option, Fast-Acting Iodine Tablets are another lightweight and effective option. Water filters are not a great option. They take a long time to purify and they are heavy and bulky. You will need to have a minimum of 2 Liters of Capacity and one of those liters needs to be a water bottle. Hydration bladders are great, but they can freeze and pop, so having a 1 L water bottle is a great idea.
- If using iodine tablets, make sure you get the ones that work in 30 minutes
- If you want to flavor your water, do it after the iodine has done it’s job. NOT BEFORE!
- Electrolyte drink mixes are helpful for hydration at altitude
- Before drinking treated water, be sure to loosen the top of your bottle and rinse the threads before your first sip.
Day 1 – THE HIKE TO HIGH CAMP
You and your guide will determine a time to will meet at the trailhead, but usually it is between 7:00 am and 8:30 am the Lupine Meadows trailhead in Grand Teton National Park. They will give you the meeting time the day prior but you should anticipate a meeting time between 7:00 and 8:00 am. Jackson Hole Mountain Guides does not provide transportation to or from the trailhead. If you do not have a car, we recommend renting a car from one of the local rental agencies. If you are unable to do so, try and arrange transportation via Tax or Uber the day before.
You should arrive at the trailhead ready to hike with a maximum of 2 liters of water. Your guide will give you some food to put in your pack, talk about the day and talk through some of the natural history of Grand Teton National Park. We recommend trying to finish 1 of your 2 liters of water while at the trailhead. It helps make sure you start out your hike hydrated, and there is no reason to carry 2 liters of water on day 1. There are many options to fill water on the way up.
Day 1 is the heaviest your pack will weigh for your entire trip. Your pack should weigh NO MORE than 35 lbs.
The first day of hiking will take you up beautiful Garnet Canyon. The hike should take roughly 6-7 hours. It will climb 4000 vertical feet in roughly 7 miles.
- Slow and steady wins the race. Our goal is momentum and not speed
- We will want to eat and drink all day to make sure we are front loading our hydration and food intake to make sure we are ready for Summit day.
- One or two trekking poles are a nice option for the way up and the way down
- Comfortable shoes like trail running shoes or hiking boots that you have put a lot of miles on are a nice thing to have. If you feel a hotspot or blister forming, STOP and deal with it early before it becomes a problem.
CORBET HIGH CAMP
Once you arrive at high camp, you are home. Your guide will give a brief orientation of Corbet High Camp, and you will be assigned your tents. Your tent should be clean, and there should be a sleeping pad for each occupant. If your tent is NOT clean or is missing a pad, please tell your guide. The orientation will cover The do’s and don’ts of High Camp and inform you about water, location of the bathroom and the use of Rest-Stop Bags, hand washing and sanitation and a general itinerary for your stay. After some rest and relaxation, you will enjoy hors devours and a delicious dinner, and crawl into your tent for your first night in the heart of the Tetons.
Day 2 – SUMMIT DAY
Our summit days generally start early. Our goal is to be fueled, dressed, with 2 liters of water and ready to leave camp between 3:00am and 4:00am. Breakfast and coffee are ready at 5am. The mornings are cold (30-45F), so you will want all of your layers either on your person or in your summit pack. Be sure to pack snacks for the day and 2 Liters of Water. This early start allows us to be up on top of the Grand Teton before the heat of the valley can create localized thunderstorms. To achieve the summit of the Grand Teton, we will need to climb roughly 2500 vertical feet in 1.5 miles. The terrain is steep and uneven. Our pace is moderate but consistent. We like to take a few breaks to rest, eat and drink along the way.
If your team is moving at a consistent pace, and the weather cooperates, you should reach the Summit 6 hours after you leave High Camp.
The summit of the Grand Teton is a very special place, it is a time to reflect on your accomplishments, and take pictures to commemorate your achievements. Unfortunately, when we arrive at the summit, we are only 50% done with our climb. We still need to go back down, so you should expect to spend a maximum of 30 minutes on the summit.
The descent of the Grand Teton requires as much focus as the ascent. Deliberate movement and awareness of your surroundings is a must. One of the highlights is the 150 foot free hanging rappel that delivers us to the Upper Saddle. From there we descend to the Lower Saddle and then back to camp. In total the round trip should take between 10-12 hours. It is a long day.
Back in camp, it’s time to eat, drink, relax and celebrate. We will eat a delicious dinner and exhausted, return to the comfort of our tent.
Day 3- ALTERNATE SUMMIT DAY OR RETURN TO THE VALLEY
If the weather gods smiled upon us on day 2, we will wake up, eat a leisurely breakfast, pack our bags, clean our tents and start the descent back to the valley floor. We like to depart around 10:00am. We are still between 3-5 hours from the trailhead, so having 1 liter of water and 3 or 4 snacks is a good idea.
If the weather on day 2 stymied your summit attempt, and the weather on day 3 has improved and looks promising, you have the option to try for the summit on day 3. Keep in mind, that this will require you to not only ascend the peak and descend to high camp, but also hike the additional 7 miles back to the trailhead. Many clients have had successful summit attempts on the 3rd day, but they will tell you that it was one of the more physically challenging days of their lives.