Mt. Moran, CMC Route
Last year was my first trip to the Teton Mountains. After stunning climbs on the Grand Teton and Ice Point, I was struck with a burning need to make an annual pilgrimage to continue exploring this range. Initially my wife was resistant to the idea, so we struck a deal: She gets four days to do whatever women like to do in spas, shops, and restaurants while I get four uninterrupted days in the mountains. That was our deal for the summer of 2009, but a funny thing happened along the way--she got pregnant. While this was good news for us, I was selfishly afraid she'd kill my summer climbing plans. Ah, but what a stellar wife she is . . .
After a phenomenal Cirque of the Towers trip in late July, Glenn, Levi and I teamed up again to climb the CMC route on Mt. Moran.
Click for the Full Trip Report on my photography website.
The stunning view of Teewinot, Grand Teton and Mt. Owen from near the String Lake dock.
After an awkward paddle up String Lake (because of our total inexperience in canoes), we did the short portage and looked to start from a clean slate in Leigh Lake.
The still waters of Leigh Lake.
Canoeing across Leigh Lake, we were starting to figure it out. Although everytime I stopped to take a photo we would s-turn like a snake. I take a lot of photos, so I'm sure we looked goofy.
Time to bare the weight ourselves and hike 3,000 vertical feet to camp.
Over halfway there, with a great view of the West Horn, East Horn and Falling Ice Glacier.
In camp, we had plenty of time to eat, rest up, and chase pika around with my camera.
Surveying his domain...
Alpenglow over the Grand Teton.
A 4:30 a.m. start brought us to the saddle between Drizzlepuss and the West Horn at sunrise.
The top of Drizzlepuss. We cached some of our water here.
The downclimb of Drizzlepuss: easy, but quite intimidating upon first glance.
Preparing the rappel down the second half of Drizzlepuss.
The full view of the CMC face. Good stuff! This is what we came for!
Traversing out onto the face under Unsoeld's Needle.
Great climbing near the middle portion of the face.
My favorite pitch of the climb was a fantastic handcrack/flake system that arched right on the wall. Ah, it was so good!
There are 100 different ways you could climb this wall. Simply choose what looks fun.
Near the top, everything appears to be 3rd/4th class. We dropped our gear and finished the rest without the extra weight.
We had two small storm cells pass by us during the ascent. We expected to see the forecasted afternoon storms growing on the horizon, but to our relief the skies were rather friendly.
Glenn on the top, looking south.
Matt on the top, looking north.
A lot of downclimbing and four double-rope rappels . . .
. . . brought us back below Unsoeld's Needle . . .
. . . to the climb up Drizzlepuss.
Although only rated 5.4, the exposure makes you tread carefully.
Again, the early afternoon storms miss us. Everything was going our way!
We rested in camp until the descent trail was in the shade, then we took off to make it back to the cars by dark.
The early evening conditions were wonderfully comfortable, and we made it back just in time. We pulled into the dock at String Lake as the light faded to black.