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First Time Visiting GRAND TETON NP, Mountain Climb Advice

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First Time Visiting GRAND TETON NP, Mountain Climb Advice

Postby thexcat » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:38 am

I will be visiting Grand Teton NP in a few days for the first time. I will be there next week for about 2 or 3 days and have the option of backpacking if the route requires it. Otherwise I'm fine doing dayhikes. I am looking for a fun mountain or two to hike/climb. In terms of difficulty of terrain, roughly, I'd like to keep it at or easier than class 3/4 on rock and 30 degrees or less on snow slopes - partner is good on rock, but not very comfortable on snow.

I would really appreciate any advice on some good mountains/routes to climb!

I am considering the South Teton via the Northwest Couloir route, but fear the snow part is too steep for me and my partners level. Could somebody comment on this?
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Re: First Time Visiting GRAND TETON NP, Mountain Climb Advic

Postby dblblack » Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:15 am

You might want to consider the Middle Teton and the Southwest Couloir, http://www.summitpost.org/southwest-couloir/157916
Anything north or east facing above 10-11000 feet could still have snow. This year was a relatively low snow year, and the SW couloir may already be melted out. These two webcam views are great for checking out Teton conditions in general:
http://www.jacksonholewy.net/webcams/east_gros_ventre_butte.php
http://www.jacksonholewy.net/webcams/climbers_ranch.php
If you aren't adverse to using a guide service, I have made a few winter ski ascents/descents in the Tetons with Exum Mountain Guides. These guys' are absolutely phenomenal and I would highly recommend them if you consider using a guide as a viable option. Here is an account of one of those experiences with Exum guide, Aaron Dahill. http://hi-adventure.com/buck-mountain-ski-descent/
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Re: First Time Visiting GRAND TETON NP, Mountain Climb Advic

Postby reboyles » Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:17 pm

You might also take a look at Teewinot. It's lower in elevation and can be done in a long day. I can see some snow still up there on the cam at the climber's ranch but it doesn't look like too much. The summit offers a view of the NF of the Grand like no other. On another note, we have a record breaking heat wave about to settle in and it looks like even the Jackson Hole area is going to get hot for the next week or two.

bob
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Re: First Time Visiting GRAND TETON NP, Mountain Climb Advic

Postby thexcat » Fri Jun 28, 2013 7:41 pm

dblblack, I hadn't considered the middle teton as I thought the South was the easiest. The route you suggested on middle teeton (southwest couloir) looks awesome. Any guesses on how tricky the snow sections may be? Steepness, runout, etc...

reboyles, Teewinot Mountain looks very interesting, thanks for suggesting it. I looked into it, and again am somewhat concerned about the sketchiness of the snow sections given my experience level. The latest climbers log indicated that the snowy parts were the most challenging.

Keep the suggestions coming please, I'm still undecided! I'm driving up to Oregon today and will be in Wyoming in 4 or 5!
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Re: First Time Visiting GRAND TETON NP, Mountain Climb Advic

Postby dblblack » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:51 pm

hi thexcat,
Unfortunately i'm in Boise (ID), so i don't have direct access to current conditions. You may have some snow patches up in the higher elevations of South Garnett Canyon, (the std approach to either the South or the Middle). I kind of think that the snow may have melted out of the SW Couloir, due to the low snow year. But, ultimately you would need someone "on the ground" to check things out. Sorry I can't be of anymore help right now. It will be fun, no matter what you pick. (one other quick note on the South: even in the snow, there gets to be a pretty good climber track worn. you'd still possibly need crampons and an ice axe, but the path/route to the summit will be pretty well marked).
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Re: First Time Visiting GRAND TETON NP, Mountain Climb Advic

Postby Morlow » Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:44 pm

I will throw Buck Mountain out there as an option as well, as long as the east face is melted out. I haven't been down to the Tetons at all yet this year so I don't know what the snow looks like but the east face of Buck is a really fun class 3 climb. It's only about 10 miles roundtrip too.
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Re: First Time Visiting GRAND TETON NP, Mountain Climb Advic

Postby seano » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:56 pm

Buck's east face still has snow, as does Teewinot's, though things are melting fast with the super-warm weather here. The SW couloir on the Middle is at least shaded in the morning, so the snow will be reasonably crusty, but it's kind of a loose, crappy climb with a long approach. I would try Buck first, since it's short and less steep than Teewinot, but either would be a good one-day test.
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Re: First Time Visiting GRAND TETON NP, Mountain Climb Advic

Postby WyomingSummits » Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:15 am

Buck or Middle Teton SW couloir. SW couloir still has patches of snow. Call JHMG office or Jenny Lake ranger station and they can give you current conditions.
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Re: First Time Visiting GRAND TETON NP, Mountain Climb Advic

Postby thexcat » Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:20 am

Thanks all for the tips. Looks like I have several great options to choose from. I'm psyched! I'm going to try day hiking two of these peaks after I get more beta on the route conditions.
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Re: First Time Visiting GRAND TETON NP, Mountain Climb Advic

Postby Morlow » Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:30 am

Teewinot is borderline 5th class from what I read (I haven't done it, but would like to) so I'm not sure if you would want to do that one. Just an FYI!
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Re: First Time Visiting GRAND TETON NP, Mountain Climb Advic

Postby b. » Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:33 pm

Morlow wrote:Teewinot is borderline 5th class from what I read (I haven't done it, but would like to) so I'm not sure if you would want to do that one. Just an FYI!


This is not true unless you are off-route. There are many wrong ways to go, but the actual route is not even difficult class 4.
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Re: First Time Visiting GRAND TETON NP, Mountain Climb Advic

Postby WayneFry » Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:02 am

Just visited Teewinot about a week ago with a group of six. We split into pairs and climbed three separate lines on the east face. Our approach did involve crossing a few moderately steep snow fields to gain the rock. The climbing was a good mix of 4/5th class climbing. I can tell you we were blown away by the summit on this peak. Knife edge in places, awesome summit block, and a spectacular view of the north face of the grand. I think the view there was even more impressive than the view from the grand :)
http://photos1.meetupstatic.com/photos/event/3/7/7/0/highres_254474192.jpeg
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Re: First Time Visiting GRAND TETON NP, Mountain Climb Advic

Postby thexcat » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:29 pm

I ended up doing South Teton via Northwest Couloir. Couloir was dry of snow. The route was much easier than I expected as I only encountered one or two easy class 3 moves. I'm assuming this is either because 1. Couloir was dry 2. California class 3 = Wyoming class 4?

All in all, an excellent trip. Amazing mountains and wildlife. I hope to be back in the Teton range very soon.
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Re: First Time Visiting GRAND TETON NP, Mountain Climb Advic

Postby reboyles » Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:48 pm

Ortenburger described the NW Couloir as always having some snow even in late season. He recommended an ice ax for the climb, especially for the moderately steep snow near the top. I'm guessing dry makes the route easier.

After reading your account now I want to go do the South and Middle Tetons. We always skipped those peaks in favor of the more popular ones like the Grand and Moran but I think it's time to go back again.

bob
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