Teton Grand Traverse Beta
The one-stop-shop to send with style
If you are interested in completing the Teton Grand Traverse, then you will find this beta super helpful. Completing it is far far different then wanting to complete it, and wasting a bunch of time with route finding, and then running out of steam after reaching the summit of the Grand. Trust me, this happens to most folks on their first attempt. But now, with this beta, and a bunch of try-hard, you could send on your first attempt.
WARNING: this beta might make route finding easier, and totally blow your onsight bragging rights, so don't purchase if your ego yearns for that type of stroking.
I have completed the Traverse 6 times and the Cathedral Traverse another 5 times. These experiences have equipped me with the info that I'm providing here. My wife and I "ran" the traverse in 12:15 hr:min (bragging), but most of the time while guiding I do it in 3 days. The first day is 13 hours, 2nd day is about 12, and 3rd is about 12 hours. So on the morning of the third day, it might be hard to rally and keep going if you've made a bunch of route finding errors.
I really wished I had access to beta like this before my first attempt (which ended after the Grand), so that's why I made it for you.
If you decide to do it in 2 days, and sleep at the Lower Saddle, you better not have to rope up for anything but the rappels, and the 7 crux pitches on day one. If you don't make it to the top of Teewinot in 3 hours, you're probably going to be forced to bivy, or climb the Grand in the dark at the end of day one. If you do it in 3 days, and it takes you more than 4 hours to get to the summit of Teewinot, you are probably in for a 14+ hour first day. This is hard to recover from. Point being, keep the packs light, make quick good decisions, and bail if things aren't looking good. People have died on this objective.
This beta does not replace, or add to, mountain sense, experience, or knowledge. It also could be inaccurate as the mountains change, snow levels can be different, visibility can be limited by clouds and darkness, rock fall occurs. SO you have to be ready for the curve balls thrown at you once you set out.
If you don't have Gaia GPS app on your phone, here is a link to a 20% discount on the subscription needed to use the map layers offline (you can download for free, but the second the free version goes out of cell service, you will lose the needed map layers): https://www.gaiagps.com/smileys_project/
Mark Smiley has been climbing, skiing and guiding for the better part of this life. His passion for adventure has taken him around the world. 5 Denali expeditions, and 20+ expeditions to places like China, Peru, Ecuador, Across Europe, Canada and Alaska, have given Mark a ton of experience to draw from.
He and his wife are the only people in the world to have climbing on all 50 Classic Climbs of North America (48 successfully). Additionally, he was part of a team to set a world record skiing across the entire Alps Mountain Range in a mere 36 days.
His teaching style is fun, concise and easy to understand. As an IFMGA Certified Mountain Guide, he is among the world's elite guides to reach this status. More important than this certification, is his candid style of conveying to you the best of the best information and techniques that will really help you. Through this course you will tap into his expertise, skills, and knowledge for real world learning.