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The Climbing Club • View topic - Wyoming- Middle Teton

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 Post subject: Wyoming- Middle Teton
PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:59 am 
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Raging Alpoholic
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Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:15 pm
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With a few short days in which to escape from two very busy schedules, Allison and I embarked on a road trip to Wyoming. We had been planning for a shot at the Upper Exum ridge route on the Grand Teton for quite some time, however lingering snow on the route would throw a kink in our plans. As we left Seattle, we called the Jenny Lake ranger station only to hear, “It's still winter up there. Nobody has been getting up the Grand.” But with reports of sun and warm temps in the Tetons, we decided to just figure out a plan B somewhere along the way. Allison hadn't spent any real time in Yellowstone before, so our plan B began with a Yellowstone-in-a-day tour. We took the east-side route from north to south through the park and checked off as many landmarks as possible. This often involved sprinting around boardwalks, dodging tourists, and nearly destroying ourselves on a 500' stair-run out of the Yellowstone canyon in 8 min. We had a roadside Whisperlite dinner with a panoramic view of the Tetons on Jackson Lake and opted for a dirtbag campsite down the road with an unobstructed view of the entire Teton range. On day three we arrived in the Teton park to find it more remeniscent of NY city than wilderness. After many failed attempts to park, I braved the tourists to gather info while Allison circled the lot. Plan B: we may not be able to climb the Grand, but we could still bag the summit of one Teton! We finished the day with a hike up Death Canyon. At 4:30 am on our fourth day, we began a one-day ascent of the Middle Teton. The Teton park is full of wildlife; during the hour that we spent hiking through the treed portion at dawn we saw a grouse, fox, deer, marmot, and pika. We arrived at the col between the Middle and South Teton at 10am. This was an especially interesting spot; as you could see the flat valley of Wyoming on the east and the farms of Idaho on the west. This is a very narrow range that arrises quickly and ends just as fast; no foothills to speak of. The last 1500' followed the SW Coulior. A final 100' of exposed snow climbing and a couple scramble moves brought us to the summit just before noon. Impressive views of the Grand and the rest of the range stood before us. We had received a tip of an amazing IPA by Snake River brewing by another climbing party. This hastened our descent :) We dropped in at the Climber's Ranch for a quick shower (much appreciated!) and soon were scarfing buffalo burger, wild mushroom pizza and 8 varieties of beer (including a truly amazing IPA: Pako's IPA). We are already thinking of future trips back there, including a look at the Grand in summer conditions. And after seeing the Tetons, we have several more routes to add to the tick list.

Photos:
Mammoth hot springs in Yellowstone


West Thumb area


View from our free camping site


Morning on the trail to the Middle Teton


First view of the Middle


A look toward the Wyoming side from near the col


A look toward the Idaho side from the col


Nearing the top of the SW Couloir


Ascending the final 100' to the summit



Summit!



Thanks for a fun mini-trip Allison! We'll be back for the Grand!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:05 am 
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receiving spoon
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Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:29 am
Posts: 327
Good stuff! Craig and I were hoping to pick out the Teton's from Black Peak, but I don't think we did. Looks quite enjoyable.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:54 pm 
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Tenacious Lee
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Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:33 am
Posts: 229
Location: Seattle
Bitchin'.


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