Exum Senior Guide, Brenton Reagan, demonstrates the proper way to pack and prep for your Grand Teton Climb.
The weather in the Tetons is extremely variable. Inclement weather, including rain or snow, is possible even in the middle of the summer, so it is critical that you are prepared for all weather conditions. The success and enjoyment of your climb may depend on it.
The following equipment list is specific to the Grand Teton, but serves as a starting point for climbs of other peaks. The appropriate list of equipment may vary depending on number of days, location and facilities. Please consult with your guide or the Exum Office for specific objectives.
- Approach shoes – same as for schools (for the entire climb). You can rent these from us or from the local mountaineering shops in town.
- Rain jacket and pants (must be waterproof). A jacket equivalent to the Arc’teryx Alpha FL jacket is ideal – lightweight, breathable, and waterproof. A limited number of rain jackets and pants are available for rental from us.
- Comfortable synthetic or wool hiking or climbing pants or loose fitting synthetic running pants (worn alone when the weather is good and in addition to the long underwear when it is cold).
- Long underwear long-sleeve top and pants (synthetic only – NO Cotton).
- Long-sleeve wool or synthetic shirt.
- Fleece sweater or pullover.
- Insulated jacket (down or synthetic, as long as it’s not too bulky).
- Wool or synthetic ski hat.
- One pair of wool, fleece or ski gloves (to keep your hands warm and dry).
- One pair of gloves for rappelling (100% cotton or leather – NO polyester). Cotton work gloves suitable for rappelling are available for purchase.
- Two pairs of wool or synthetic socks.
- Comfortable shorts/lightweight pants and a cotton T-shirt for the hike to the hut or base camp (cotton is OK for this part of the trip only).
- Two (2) large water bottles.
- Dark sunglasses, sunscreen, lip balm and a hat for sun protection.
- Water purification tablets or iodine.
- A backpack large enough for all equipment listed above, a helmet and harness, and your food as noted below (backpack size should be approx. 35-40 liters for the Grand Teton, and approximately 45-55 liters for all other two-day or three-day climbs).
- For a 2 day climb of the Grand Teton, you’ll need enough food for two lunches, one dinner, one breakfast, and snacks. For dinner and breakfast we recommend food that can be prepared by immersing it in boiling water or adding boiling water to it. We cannot actually cook at the hut or base camps.
- The recommended option for dinner is prepared food in a pouch/tray that can be placed in boiling water (several varieties are available at Dornan’s in Moose or Albertsons, Smith’s, and Whole Foods in Jackson such as Tasty Bite). Other dinner ideas are instant soups, frozen burritos that can be submersed in boiling water, and any items listed under lunch ideas. For breakfast on summit day, you will likely be eating at 3 AM. Remember that contrary to conventional wisdom, it won’t taste better at altitude. The reality is just the opposite: if it doesn’t taste good at home, don’t bring it.
- We do not recommend dehydrated (aka: freeze-dried) meals, as they can make it hard to stay hydrated and can upset the stomach.
- Hot drink mixes (hot chocolate, hot cider, tea, coffee, etc.) are essential.
- Lunches and snacks must be hand food (there is no boiling water at lunch). Some ideas are as follows: sandwiches, bagels, tortillas, cold pizza, cheese, sausage, carrots/celery, granola, gorp, energy bars, candy bars, hard candy, beef/turkey jerky, etc.
- Be careful not to bring anything that will go bad in hot weather.
- A cup, bowl and spoon (appropriate utensils for the food you are bringing).
- Hiking/trekking poles (these can be rented from us or from local mountaineering shops).
- Large plastic trash bag (to line the inside of your backpack and protect against rainstorms).
- Hiking boots (You may hike in your own shoes or boots if you have any special support needs or do not want to use approach shoes for the entire climb. Most climbers are comfortable in the approach shoes but some desire more padding and support than the approach shoes provide).
- Fleece vest or an extra layer of clothing (if you tend to get cold easily this is recommended).
- Ear plugs (the lower saddle is sometimes noisy or windy).
- Sleeping bag liner.
- Water filter or device instead of the water purification tablets or iodine.
Additional Essential Items for Early and Late Season
(June to mid-July, and September)
- One pair of ski gloves (for a total of two pairs of warm gloves plus a pair of rappel gloves).
- Gaiters (to keep snow out of your boots, especially in early season).
- Extra layer(s) of clothing.
- Extra hot drink mixes and snacks (colder temperatures require more energy sources).
- Mountaineering boots that are crampon compatible may be needed, especially in early season. You can rent boots from us or from the local mountaineering shops.
- If ice axes or crampons are needed, Exum will provide them.
- You will need an additional day’s worth of food. Exum will provide the tent, stove, and sleeping pad; you will need to rent a sleeping bag (you may use your own gear if the guide approves it).
Other Multi-Day Climbs
- The appropriate list of equipment will vary depending on number of days, location and facilities. Please consult with your guide or the Exum Office for specific objectives.
- You must bring ALL items listed as essential for the activities you have planned. Please call us at 307-733-2297 if you have any questions..