Tetons II

Living in Salt Lake City the Teton range in Wyoming is a 5-6 hour drive north. I made many trips up, my first being a solo of the Black Ice at spring break. I lived in a tepe at the ski area one magical summer, guiding for Jackson Hole Mt. guides. I spent the whole summer in the mountains, but I did the least personal climbing of my hard-core years! Made me appreciate my summers off as a teacher.Good rock, short approaches, the American Alpine Club's climber's ranch, and the compact nature of the range, make it an alpine rock climber's playground. Not as serious as the Canadian Rockies, with better weather (generally) than the Cascades, it is a good place to cut your alpine teeth - but like any mountains they demand respect. Watch out for afternoon thunder storms, high alitude (if you fly in from low lands), and melt holes over streams that have sucked in a number of people.

North face Grand Teton

The north face of the Grand Teton is one of the classic climbs of North America. The atmosphere is great, but it looks harder than it is (5.7). Late in the season you can avoid the glacier altogether by traversing rock ledges from the east. We did it in hiking/rock shoes (Canyons) with a single axe each. A series of snow ledges angle up and across toward the north ridge, allowing rapid elevation gain. This shot is from the summit of Tewinot.

North and West faces Grand Teton

This is an aerial shot of the most alpine wall in the Tetons. Mt Tewinot is on the left, the dark face is the north side of the Grand, the ridge between sun and shade is the North Ridge, the West Face is in sun, with the Black ice curving up beside the rock walls of the Enclosure.

Black Ice Coulior

This alpine classic of North America has lost its fearsome rep. (it was skied and snowboarded in 1996). Mostly moderate grade III alpine ice, with a 20 ft. chock stone crux. Rock fall from the standard rt. is the greatest hazard.

On West face Grand Teton

The Black Ice/West Face combo is perhaps the best all round climb in the range. Alpine ice, and exposed 5.8 on excellent rock, makes for a great day.

Retreat from north face Grand

Rick Wyatt and I went up to try a difficult ice route on the left side of the north face. Three pitches up the sun started melting off large icicles so we retreated. There are a couple of cool modern test pieces here - if you can catch them in condition (winter or spring).

Oakie's Thorn

A spectacular pillar on the east side of the Grand.

Tetons II