Towering above Jackson Hole at 13,770 feet, the Grand Teton is one of North America’s most famous and coveted summits. A climb on this iconic peak is never easy, and a successful ascent is a memorable achievement.
The Classic Grand Teton program is our signature program – and it’s what sets Exum apart from all other guide services. In 2 days of group instruction, participants are taught all of the skills necessary to fully participate during their Grand Teton climb. These skills include: bouldering, multi-pitch climbing techniques, rappelling, knots, rope management, and belaying. On our classic climbs, each participant is an integral part of the climbing team, resulting in a heightened sense of accomplishment and an unforgettable bond with your fellow climbers and guides.
Most of our climbers have never climbed prior to their first day of instruction, and by the end of the second day, most are comfortable with all of the skills necessary to attempt the Grand Teton climb. All Grand Teton climbers must successfully complete the classes, and demonstrate an appropriate level of fitness prior to the climb.
Exum staff will form the Grand Teton climbing teams after the second day of instruction. Classic climbs travel at a pace that is comfortable for the slowest member of the group, but keep in mind that we will only let climbers join a group if we feel their pace will allow for a successful climb.
The route to be climbed on summit day will be chosen by the guide based on group ability, weather, and other considerations. There are many ways to climb the Grand Teton and all are an incredible experience. We recommend the classic Grand Teton program for all first-time to intermediate climbers. If however, you are concerned about climbing at a pace other than your own, or the small chance that another participant could prevent you from reaching the summit, you should consider a private climb. You must choose a private climb if you want to climb with a specific guide, and you should also choose a private climb if you prefer to be guided in a more typical manner, with the guide doing the majority of the belaying and rope management. Check out the private climb page for more information, and if you are not sure whether to choose classic or private, we can help you decide when you call to discuss your reservation. Once your reservation is made it is often not possible to change your choice.
Regardless of whether you choose the classic or private option, the Grand Teton climb will likely be the hardest thing you have ever done. If you arrive fit, and ready for the adventure, our guides can teach you what you need to know to attempt the climb. Arriving fit is the biggest challenge. Please see our Grand Teton training page for information and suggestions to help you prepare.
Exum has guided thousands of climbers to the summit of the Grand Teton since we became a park concession in 1931. We have a remarkable success rate! We are committed to providing all climbers with an enjoyable experience and the summit is always our goal. It is important to realize though, that weather and other factors can occasionally prevent groups from reaching the top.
Climbing the Grand Teton is an unforgettable and often life-changing experience!
Please call our office to discuss your climbing plans with one of our knowledgeable office staff members. We have all enjoyed climbing the Grand Teton multiple times, and we can describe the climb for you far better than we can write about it here.