Grand Teton, standing at 4,197 m (13,770 ft) is the highest mountain in the Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA. In fact, the entire national park is named after it, although climbers call it simply ‘The Grand’. And it attracts climbers from all over the world.
The mountain is part of the Teton range, itself a sub range of the Rocky Mountains, which extend from Southern Alaska to northern New Mexico.
At the last count, the mountain boasts 38 routes with 58 variations, but even the easiest of these requires technical rock climbing skills and equipment. All routes are in an alpine environment and climbers can be subject to any type of weather conditions at any time of the year, from storms to snow and ice. Rock falls are also very common, so all in all, this mountain is not recommended for absolute beginners. Guided tours are available for those brave enough to risk it, or those who wish to try climbing a more difficult route than they have experience for.
Surrounded by controversy, even the origins of the mountain’s name are hotly contested – some believe it was named in the 1800's by French Trappers of the Hudson Bay Company, the name being French for ‘breast’, while others claim it was named for the Teton Sioux tribe of Native Americans. There’s also widespread disagreement about who first climbed Teton, although its subsequent history is far more reliable as the park superintendent maintained summit logs from 1927 to the 1980s. These are available online and demonstrate a memorable list of ‘firsts’, including ski and snowboard descents.