The Teton Range, centerpiece of the Grand Teton National Park in northwestern Wyoming, belongs to the majestic Rocky Mountains. John Colter, who was part of the Louis and Clark Expedition, is said to have been the first Anglo-American to set eyes on the Tetons. At 13,770 feet, the Grand Teton itself is only the second highest mountain in Wyoming. The highest is Gannett Peak, at 13,809 feet. The Tetons are a range that boasts eight peaks over 12,000 feet. Soon after Colter split from the Lewis and Clark Expedition and came across the Teton Range in 1807, the region began attracting French-Canadian fur trappers who sought beaver pelts to make hats. Three of the range’s peaks resembled the feminine physique, so the trappers called the trio “les trois tetons,” which in French translates to “the three breasts.” Eventually, the mountains came to be known as the Grand Tetons, French for “big breasts.”
There are two well-established routes up the mountain. The oldest is the Owen-Spalding route, which while exposed and demanding can be climbed with minimal equipment. It was first climbed in 1989. The other is the Upper Exum route, which stands as the most popular. However, Grand Teton is one of the most extensively routed mountains in North America, with 38 known routes up to the summit. The easiest routes, including the Owen-Spalding, are classified at 5.5.