East Ridge Disappointment Peak

Page Type
Wyoming, United States, North America
Route Type:
Time Required:
Most of a day
Rock Difficulty:
5.6 (YDS)

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East Ridge Disappointment Peak
Created On: Aug 29, 2008
Last Edited On: Aug 11, 2011


East Ridge of Disapointment Peak
The East Ridge of Disappointment Peak is one of the best routes in the Tetons. It can be accomplished in a single day (about 12 hours) or, you can enjoy a night of camping at Surprise Lake (great camp site) and complete the climb on day two. The route involves five or six pitches of 5.4-5.6 climbing and a short scramble to the top. The views of the Tetons from the top of Disappointment Peak can not be beat!

Getting There

Take the trail from the Lupine Meadows trail head to Surprise and Amphitheater Lakes (signs mark the way). From Amphitheater Lake, the East Ridge can clearly be seen on the north side of the lake. Continue hiking on the trail to the notch on the East Ridge of Disappointment Peak. Leave the trail and hike west (left) up the ridge through trees for several hundred feed to where the ridge becomes near vertical. This is the first pitch.

Route Description

East Ridge Disapointment Peak
East Ridge Disappointment Peak
Climb the ridge itself or move to the left around the corner for slightly easier climbing. If you climb the ridge it self, one rope length (60 meters) should bring you to the horizontal section between pitches one and two. You may run out of rope slightly before reaching the horizontal section if you choose to climb to the left of the ridge.

Walk along horizontal section about 150 feet and Face climb approximately one rope length (60 meters) (5.6)

Move slightly to your left and climb a right slanting crack/gully with a tree near the bottom.

Hardest Pitch (5.6/5/7?) Climb a vertical face past fixed pitons to the summit plateau. This pitch is easy to protect, the rock is solid, and there is good exposure.

Scramble across the summit plateau for approximately 45 minutes to the summit and enjoy the views.

Essential Gear

Standard alpine rack to 3"
Ice axe in early season for the descent


Follow the Lake Ledges or Southeast Ridge down. The Lake Ledges Route seems the most straightforward. Follow the path of least resistance on the ledges located just south of the Spoon Couloir that lead to Amphitheater Lake. I was forced to complete a short rappel on this decent, however, it would be possible to find a way to down climb the entire route. The Southeast Ridge was more difficult to find, but also more interesting. This descent route begins in a gully on the eastern side of the summit plateau. On my first attempt to down climb this route, I went too far to the south and missed the entry gully, but was able to down climb the whole way with some route finding. On another decent of this route I got cliffed out and did a short rappel near the bottom.

Red Tape

A back-country camping permit, free of charge, from the Jenny Lake Rangers is required if camping at Surprise Lake. Most of the climbing rangers are extremely knowledgeable and will be very helpful with any questions you might have.

Additional info

Further information and a good route description can be found in A CLIMBERS GUIDE TO THE TETON RANGE