A great climb with lots of snow. We decided to connect to the east ridge to avoid weaving in and out of cliff bands. Also had a very interesting time crossing the drainage in Stewart Draw. A great day though.
Climbed up the East Face this morning and gained the summit with clear skies and great views. One of the harder climbs I've done with all of the snow that is still up there. Glad I had my ice ax with me. Fun glissading on the way down though :)
We had climbed a few one pitch things at Patrick's Point when Nick was stationed at Klamath AFS but never anything "Big" so when we met in the Tetons we did Buck for a warm up for the Grand and others. On the way up I dislodged a basket ball size boulder that almost hit Nick...almost.
Dean Halfacre and I started hiking at 2:30AM and summitted at 7:00AM. I remember steep snow climbing during the final stretch.
Beautiful fall colors, nobody else on the mountain
What a miserable time to spend in a bivy sack! It started raining around noon and didn't let up until daybreak. I found 2 large boulders stacked on top of each other with a coffin-sized space in between, and climbed in there. It was comfortable enough to read and eat, but a little claustraphobic.
Scary exposure on the descent...
also a summit panorama video @
Slow, easy day from Timberline Lake. We had a sweet night up there with an almost full moon, alone.
Just under 6 hours, car-to-car.
The highlight of the day was running into a mama grizzly and her cub on the trail. I was jogging down the trail, when I saw a bear head rise up out of the brush next to the trail about 30 feet in front of me. I put on the brakes and froze. I started to back away from her, but she and her cub just kept eating berries. A few minutes later, they wandered off and I continued on!
Climbed Buck solo while Mary was sleeping in and taking it easy. The last portion of the approach was really difficult to find, so I ended up gaining the east ridge of Buck's sub-peak without ever reaching the lake. After this, I climbed the ridge directly, staying on the crest the entire way. I was hoping for a bit more exposure and found the ridge to be mostly 3rd class, even with every effort to make it harder. The whole thing took 8 hours car-to-car.
Hiked up South Fork of Avalanche to the broad base of the north summit under three impressive ridgelines. We climbed the westernmost of these steep ridge in 10-12 pitches with some simul-climbing. From the notch on the west ridge, there's a slight overhanging section that leads to the summit. The moves on this section (probably the crux) are easier than it looks (5.7). We descended via the East slopes back to Death Canyon, then hitched back to Taggart Lake. From Car to Car it took us 17 hours.
Climbed some variation of the SE Ridge from Timberline Lake. Great line to the top. Descended the East side.
Skied from the summit! Trip Report
We had originally planned to climb Buck Mountain from the East Ridge. By the time we got to Timberline Lake my hiking partners were really tired so we decided to climb the East Face instead. It ended up being a nice climb. There is some 3rd class scrambling but nothing difficult. The weather was perfect and the view of the main Teton peaks to the north was quite interesting.
The Buck Sanction, III 5.8+, 7 Jul '99
The Northeast Chimney, III mod. steep snow, 29 Apr '06
I did not reach Timberline Lake as planned the previous evening to set camp, and I was actually at the bottom of the bowl below after a forced nightfall decent to find a good tentsite. A morning hailstorm made me enjoy the warmth of my sleeping bag a little longer than planned. My morning ascent was slowed by heavy sleet with 40 mph winds and deep snow. I ditched my pack at timberline lake to take just my summit pack. The sun came out like it was summer. It was getting to be late morning, and the snow on the upper summit ridge was getting slightly melty, and a slough in either direction could have potentially swept me off the ledge to my death, so I turned back JUST shy of the summit. I'll be back!
This is a great route - nice views of the other Tetons and sweet exposure off the north face. Also, you can make the route as easy (well, down to 3rd class) or as hard as you like - the difficult sections can be avoiced or climbed, depending on your preference. Watch the descent, though - a lot of lines that look good end up nowhere!
Left Taggert Lake at 1:30am. Bushwacked up the south fork of avalanche canyon to the base. Route goes up a couple hundred feet of moderate snow to a 45* snow shelf traverse over cliffs. Climbed mixed rock through falling water to get into the coulior. Coulior climbs 1200 feet of snow and ice reaching 60* near the top. At the saddle a steep pitch of 5.7 is needed to make the summit ridge. we summited at noon and descended the east ridge and stewarts draw to another car at the Death Canyon trailhead by 2pm.