Le Teton

Page Type
New York, United States, North America
Route Type:
Trad Climbing
Spring, Summer, Fall
Time Required:
Less than two hours
Number of Pitches:

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Le Teton
Created On: May 19, 2013
Last Edited On: Jun 17, 2013


Unnamed Image
Leader from the team behind us whips on the crux. I had whipped on it about 20 minutes earlier...

Steep for the Gunks, Le Teton is a Trapps classic. The exposure is almost instant and awesome. It is also not a full ground-up climb, as you need to ascend nearby routes such as Northern Pillar (5.4) to access the start of Le Teton. This route holds the infamous Gunks "+," which is a hint towards the crag's sandbagged history. Anywhere else in the country, this route would probably be a 5.10. Be ready for strenuous gear placements and tough sequencing on this route. 

Getting There

From the West Trapps (upper) Parking Lot: Walk ~7-10 minutes along the carriage road. You are looking for a broad buttress system with a large, left trending dihedral on the left side of the of the wall—Southern Pillar (5.4)—and a broad crack/dihedral on the right (north) side—Northern Pillar (5.4).  Le Teton will be on the clean face about 2/3 of the way up the cliff and on the right wall of Northern Pillar. Start on Northern Pillar, which is to the left of popular moderates like Finger Locks or Cedar Box.

From the Wawarsing (lower) Parking Lot: Ascend the Stairmaster to the junction with the East Trapps Trail Connector, where it meets the carriage road. The approach trail is about ~3-4 minutes from the junction. You are looking for the same buttress system described above.

Route Description

Pitch 1: Link-up: There are plenty of ways to get up to the belay for Le Teton. You can start on easy, ledge-y terrain where a tree is growing out of the broad crack. Mellow terrain leads to a steepening of the wall where you have multiple options: (5.4-5.6-ish, ~120 ft. to the ledge)

§ Staying close to the crack in the corner will yield the easiest climbing on Northern Pillar (5.4).

§ Staying right on the face, which will be more difficult (5.6-ish).

· You can climb up to the obvious ledge 2/3 up the wall or stop and belay on bolts ½ way up the wall.

Pitch 2: From the bolts, angle up towards obvious ledge with a steep, thin, clean crack above. From the ledge, head straight for the steep crack. Move up the crack and start moving left once you reach the overhang; the crack will split into a v-shape where slopers abound. Pass three ancient pitons to reach the arête, where you will finally be rewarded with a nice rest stance. Gain the arête and move up and right around it, jug-bashing your way to the top on moderately overhung terrain. The end of the route will test your endurance. If needed the rest after the burly traverse left is comfortable enough to set a belay, so you can split the powerful opening section and the jug hauling into two short pitches. (burly 5.9+,~60 ft.)

Descent: Directly above Le Teton and Northern pillar is a rap anchor next to a hearty tree. 2 rappels with 1 60m rope; 1 rappel with 2 60m ropes. Be careful if there are parties coming up behind you. The rap station drops right above some nearby popular routes and access to Le Teton itself. It would be well-advised to lower your rope ends rather than bombing a whole coil of rope down on climbers below.

Essential Gear

o  Helmet

o  60m rope (doubles can help reduce rope drag from the transition between the
traverse and the jug haul)

o  BD nuts, sizes 4-13, or equivalent

o  Cams from ~size 1 C3 to #3 C4, add small TCUs, if necessary

o  6-8 shoulder-length runners, 2 double-length runners

o  Anchor cord, extra ‘biners, personal anchor system, etc.

Le Teton

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