Had a great time climbing with Alan Ellis and Iceaxeman. Perfect weather and rock. Only downside was a few REAL MOUNTAINEERS (I know they were real because they told me) sending rocks down the couloir towards us.
This climb is an absolute joy! After a long approach, the couloir itself is wonderful. With mostly 3rd class scrambling, and a few class 4 moves, it's a blast.
The best part of my day was the birthday party on the summit. Jerry (Iceaxeman) turned 50 on our summit day. Eric (hendere) burned a match in a Clif Bar for a cake and gave him an old 'biner for a gift. We all sang "Happy Birthday" and enjoyed the summit with perfect weather and no wind. Thanks to Eric and Jerry for making this one of the highlights of my trip.
The first time I camped on the snow, the first time I used an ice axe, my first Teton summit, my first yearning for the Exum Ridge once I saw it from the summit of the Middle Teton.
What a great route. Simulclimbed this route with my wife and found it to be much better than the Upper Exum on the Grand. More sustained for the 5.4 grade, longer and best of all not a single person on the route or summit. One of the Exum guides I met along the trail said this route sees almost no traffic and he was right. There were no traces of other climbers having passed which means lots of route finding and although the rock was lichened it was still beautiful solid Teton granite.
Climbed solo to the summit in about 5.5 hrs from Lupine Meadows Trailhead and then went to the summit of South Teton as well before heading back down. The route was really fun with nice scrambling in the upper sections. It isn't even that exposed, since the route stays in a very deep gully most of the way. Routefinding was quite straightforward since there was a clear path from so many other climbers. Quite a long approach over lots of talus but well worth the effort.
A beautiful mountain with great position in a wonderful range. It's too bad the climbing isn't all like the upper portion of the couloir (steeper and more solid). We kicked steps up the snow in the couloir to 11,800ft before exiting on rock but took the "trail" down avoiding the snow. Nice day. Four-and-a-half hours round-trip from South Garnet Camp Zone with daypacks.
Solo climb, beautiful day. Only one other person in Garnet Canyon that day!
Cool route. Crappy descent.
Attemped to solo dayhike this route from the Lupine Meadows parking lot. Got to the saddle at about 1:00 PM and scrambled up to about 11,400 feet. The winds picked up to about 50 mph and a front was moving in so I turned around. Good thing, this storm brought lots of snow to the Tetons and Yellowstone that night and the next day. The route was pretty easy, mostly scrambling. When I get better at alpine rock, I'll be back to tackle a harder route.
Did the climb with J.Z. We didn't read the guidebook and made the mistake of rapping towards the saddle. Became disinterested in looking for rappel slings in the dark so sat down for the night with only a light windbreaker over tights and a tank-top. I thought about how Johnny Cash used to sing "I know I've fought tougher men, I just can't remember when." Some nice people at the saddle gave us some tea when we passed through the next morning.
Summited and then off to South Teton. See trip report for details.
This was only the second or third real mountain I'd ever climbed. I was woefully unprepared with junky lightweight hiking boots and an old borrowed ice axe. When we got to the saddle, and could see the praries of Idaho, we saw small thunderheads forming. Foolishly we continued on to the summit. Even more foolishly, we decided to glissade down a different coulior 'to save time'. Of course this coulior ended in super steep terrain, so we had to reclimb back to the summit, and descend the normal route.
By this point the thunderstorm was picking up speed, and struck just as we reached the Middle-South Teton Saddle. We were buzzed by our ice axes a couple times as the lightning struck nearby. We huddled under large boulders above the Garnet Canyon meadows, waiting for the storm to subside. After the lightning passed, we took off running in the downpour, down the endless switchbacks to the car.
In the last 12 years since that climb I've discovered that if one can just survive the stupidity of one's first few climbs, the rest will be OK.