The grade and difficulty are the only two similarities between this route and the Upper Exum of the Grand Teton. For those looking for more climbing and adventure, the Chouinard Ridge is the answer. You won't find any other climbers or signs of their passing as found on the Exum. There is some route finding to get to the base of the climb and the climbing is more commiting and sustained for the grade. All of this adds to the adventure of this climb. Although the rock was a little dirty due to such little traffic, it was still very solid and asthetic.
Start from the Lupine Meadows Trailhead and follow the trail to The Meadows at about 9600 ft. in Garnet Canyon. From the Meadows follow a faint climbers trail into the South Fork of the Garnet Canyon to the south of Middle Teton. When you get to about 11,000 ft. in the South Fork you can look north towards Middle Teton and locate the large Ellingwood Coulior that seperates Middle Teton from Dike Pinnacle to the east. Just to the west of the larger Ellingwood Coulior is the smaller South Coulior of Middle Teton. The ridge bounding the South Coulior on the left (west) is the Chouinard Ridge. To get to the base of the climb you should hike to the base of the Ellingwood Coulior from the South Fork and climb the coulior to where the South Coulior branches to the left. At this point locate a broad bench to the left which leads out to the bottom of the Chouinard Ridge.
The actual climbing route is the path of least resistance on the ridge above to where it intersects the SW Ridge route while staying as close as possible to the ridge crest.
Most of the difficulties can be passed on the left (west) side of the ridge crest. When the Chouinard Ridge finally intersects the SW Ridge you can then either follow this ridge to the North Summit which is the higher of the two or you can cross over the SW Ridge into the SW Coulior and continue the 200 feet to the summit.
Descent from the summit back to the South Fork is easiest down the SW Coulior which is the wide obvious coulior looking down towards Iceflow Lake.
It is important to follow the coulior all the way to the lowest point on the South-Middle Teton Saddle. Do NOT be tempted to cut left into the South Fork too early as this puts you on extremely steep terrain. Once you are at the lowest point on the saddle you can follow the South Fork back to the Meadows and the trailhead.
One can also take in South Teton and even traverse to Nez Perce while crossing over numerous spires and summits including Cloudveil Dome, Icecream Cone etc.
A small rack consisting of stoppers, cams and long runners. A single 60m rope and a helmet.
Due to the location and angle of the climb, one cannot get a good look at the ridge from anywhere in South Fork. The book " A Climbers Guide to the Teton Range" has great photos of the route that were taken from both the air and the neighboring Cloudveil Dome, which I have not been on.
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