South Couloir, West Ridge
This was an outstanding trip. The short approach from Jenny Lake, especially if you take the boat ride for $10 round trip and the class 3 climbing make this appealing to those with modest goals even if you only have one day. However, the lack of people traffic plus the beauty of the Hanging Canyon and Lake of the Crags would make this an excellent overnighter. You are also within reach of other peaks such as The Jaw (11,400 ft), Needles Eye (11,200 ft) and others which would make this area even more appealing if privacy and the conquest of lesser Teton Peaks would attract climbers like me with modest ambitions. I think this still requires a 5,000 feet of elevation gain...is that modest? No rope or gear required at this time when snow is gone and if you find the right Couloir. The "TetonRange" climbing book calls this route the "South Couloir, West Ridge" and rates it as class 3. I would agree. The book says there is a "South Couloir, East Ridge" as well as other routes with higher difficulty ratings. The trail from the boat dock on west side of Jenny Lake has a few options, so pay attention to find the Climbers Trail going into the Hanging Canyon. Go north around the Lake for maybe a half mile or so. I've included the "snag" picture that alerts you to the climbers trail coming up soon, no sign at climbers trail, head opposite the Lake, West and starting uphill. Once on the trail, it's well established until the Lake of the Crags,(actually there are two lakes). From the North side of the upper larger lake, start up the talus where the lake is narrowing in the middle and head up. We found a prominent buttress/ridge coming off summit that kept us true to finding the west ridge leading to the true summit. You are forced to stay on the west side of this minor ridge. I can verify we hit the summit right with the picture of the brass survey marker with St. John imprint. Just keep going...you will find the top with great views in every direction. We were looking for a second peak to summit after our success on the Grand Teton, but without the physical commitment it required. This proved to be an excellent reccommendation from the helpful climbing rangers at Jenny Lake. Enjoy!!!
No comments posted yet.