OverviewNote: this GPS route only goes to the highpoint just beyond the saddle not the summit. [img:237051:aligncenter:medium:]Tieton peak is not often climbed and I can see why. One must deal with some of the nastiest scree, talus, loose unpredictable rotten crumbly crags to gain the summit. It would be hard to find good protection it is so crumbly. I would imagine this peak would be much nicer when covered in snow.
SW route is a long (19-20 miles rt) day climb or a good overnight. The ridge goes well (C3) till about ½ mile from the summit. Then it gets nasty. C4-C5 depending on the spot you chose to gain the summit.
Approach through Conrad Creek drainage[img:237091:alignleft:small:] The parking lot is a few 100' from the gate on the road. Then one has a choice of taking the road or dropping down to a trail that takes you along the meadows. The meadows are a nicer choice. The road is the same distance but let appealing.
After 1.5 miles you reach an intersection. Look for the signed trail for SF Tieton river trail. Hike on this trail for .3-.5 or so. Take a right at a signed intersection. Then you are on the Conrad creek drainage. Follow the trail through several marshes and meadows for a couple of miles. You go through one last marsh at around 4-4.5 miles. Then you start your ascent at 4500'. There is a trail all the way up to the upper meadows, but there are also many other trail weaving in and out of the main trail. It is easy to get off trail but it will magically appear again.
Right around 5500'-6000' or so the trail starts to open up. You go through many small meadows. The trail starts to descend a bit and you will see some red colored slab (around 6300'-6500') in the trail and right there is a trail off to the right that takes you up to the bench. (If you stay on the path to the left it will take you down to a large meadow below the falls. If you follows the lower trail to gain access to the cold lake basin then you will run into a nasty scree field with some class 3 and exposure and then some thick alpine fir bushwhacking.) [img:237147:aligncenter:medium:] Make sure you stay on the right upper trail to gain the basin. Once on the bench it is all open meadow hike up to Cold Lake. This is where the SW ridge route starts. [img:235558:aligncenter:medium:]
Route Description. TR account by Randy BuschFrom the lake head up from the lake 150 yards before turning up slope into choss world. Boot up the rocks to the ridge then hoof it over to the top of a red bump easily seen from the lake below. Drop 150' to the NE down easy sand and scree to a little saddle at the base of some rotten crags. [img:237054:aligncenter:medium:]We used a well worn goat track to pick around and over the crumbling stacks of rock. On the other side, more open ridge got us up to a false summit of sorts where all we could see were piles of loose rock and crumbling crags. Drop down 50' off the false summit to a saddle. The goats had humped across a 70º rock face littered with scree just above some cliffs. Traverse left (~7500') on really loose golf ball and softball sized talus sending rivers of rock down the mountain as we went. Come to an ugly little gully and swim your way up 50' or so until faced with piles of rock perched on more crumbling crags. Traverse back over to the ridge just a couple hundred feet below the summit at a notch between two dogtooth spires. We found that handholds were removable on the up slope spire and decided there were better things to do with our time and headed out.
Head back along the ridge a bit then dropped down 1200' to Conrad Creek. [img:237085:aligncenter:medium:]
Essential GearIce axe during early season
helmet for Rock fall
If I get more Beta on the summit block I will add if anything is needed for pro.