by Al Read
Exum Mountain Guides has a reputation for excellence in guiding and instruction of technical mountain climbing and extreme skiing. In a continuing campaign to leave as little impact as possible on our mountain terrain, Exum instructs its clients on preservation and stewardship of the fragile mountain environment in which we operate. Our clients learn to become active partners in our preservation efforts, as well as climbing techniques which allow them to participate in technical ascents.
Our most popular high altitude climb is the Grand Teton, at 13,770 feet, the highest mountain in the range. The climb is normally a two-day adventure after two days of technical training. The overnight is spent at our Exum Hut on the mountain at 11,600 feet. The need for warm and durable sleeping bags is critical for both clients and guides.
Marmot has provided our Exum Hut sleeping bags for nearly 18 years. Their exceptional quality and durability are unmatched -- and have served Exum well throughout our partnership.
In its lasting efforts to improve its products, Marmot developed its ground breaking EcoPro sleeping bag, which Exum immediately sought for our Lower Saddle Hut. Marmot was gracious and generous enough to offer a full complement of EcoPro bags for our use.
These bags are innovatively made of recycled trash!
In addition, the Marmot/Exum partnership will sponsor a solar power generator for lighting the Exum Hut on the cold dark mornings before setting out on climbs. The unit will be fabricated and installed by Exum Guide Andy Tyson, a partner in Creative Technologies of Victor, Idaho, a company dedicated to alternative energy sources
The present Marmot sleeping bags at the Lower Saddle, still in excellent condition, will be donated by Marmot pro athlete Amy Bullard to the Sherpa Climbing School in Nepal.
Long a pioneer in environmental efforts in the Tetons, Exum initiated the use of human waste disposal bags to pack out human waste for both Exum guides and clients. Exum developed “Eco Bags” to avoid washing eating utensils in delicate turf areas. Guides carpool and use bicycles whenever possible for transportation to and from work. Exum annually assists Grand Teton National Park in foreign species eradication and erosion control at our Hidden Falls climbing area. Exum produced Protecting the Lower Saddle, written by environmentalist Jack Turner, a flyer distributed for all hikers and climbers in Grand Teton National Park. The flyer, produced in the early 1990’s, describes ways to help preserve the Lower Saddle’s delicate ecosystem. Of course, Leave No Trace policy is a given requisite in all Exum activity.