Grand Teton is the highest mountain in Grand Teton National Park, in Northwest Wyoming, and a classic destination in American mountaineering. Grand Teton, at 13,775 feet, is the highest point of the Teton Range, the mountain is entirely within the Snake River drainage basin, which it feeds by several local creeks and glaciers. The Teton Range is a subrange of the Rocky Mountains, which extend from southern Alaska to northern New Mexico, Grand Tetons name was first recorded as Mount Hayden by the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition of 1870. However, the name the Grand Teton had early currency, the Edition of April,1901 of the USGS1,125,000 quadrangle map of the area shows Grand Teton as the name of the peak. A United States National Park named Grand Teton National Park was established by law in 1929, by 1931, the name Grand Teton Peak was in such common usage that it was recognized by the USGS Board on Geographic Names. Another shift in usage led the Board to shorten the name on maps to Grand Teton in 1970, the origin of the name is disputed. The most common explanation is that Grand Teton means large teat in French, however, other historians disagree, and claim that the mountain was named after the Teton Sioux tribe of Native Americans. There is a disagreement over who first climbed Grand Teton, nathaniel P. Langford and James Stevenson claimed to have reached the summit on July 29,1872. However, some believe their description and sketches match the summit of The Enclosure, the Enclosure is named after a man-made palisade of rocks on its summit, probably constructed by Native Americans. Owen reached the summit in 1898, in all likelihood, The Enclosure was first climbed by Native Americans as suggested by Langford in 1873. Supporters of Owen included The Wyoming Legislature and Paul Petzoldt, former pioneer American climber, ironically among Langfords supporters was Franklin Spalding, who led the ascent to the summit and tossed the rope that allowed Owen and the others to follow. Mountaineer and author Leigh Ortenburger researched the controversy in depth, using source material. First Male Alpine Descent-Bill Briggs,1971 First Female Alpine Descent- Kristen Ulmer,1997 First Male Telemark Descent- Rick Wyatt,1982 First Female Telemark Descent- A. J. Cargill,2004, First Male Snowboard Descent- Stephen Koch,1989 First Female Snowboard Descent- Dani deRuyter,2010 Grand Teton can be climbed via the Owen-Spalding route. The Owen-Spalding route is named for the climbers who claim to have made the first ascent, William Owen, Franklin Spalding, Frank Peterson, there is some debate as to which group made the first ascent, see that discussion. Notwithstanding the first-ascent controversy, this route has been firmly named after William Owen. The Owen-Spalding route begins at the Lower Saddle which is reached by walking from the Lupine Meadows Trailhead to Garnet Canyon, the more technical & exposed part of the climb begins at the Upper Saddle. The most popular route up the mountain is via the Upper Exum Ridge Route on the Exum Ridge, much of the climbing is fourth class, with one wide step from the end of Wall Street Ledge to the Ridge comprising the first stretch of technical climbing
Grand Teton from the southeast
Winter on Grand Teton at center with Mount Owen at right and Nez Perce at left. The Middle and South Teton peaks lie west of Nez Perce, out of view.