American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Wyoming, Wyoming Rockies

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1934

Seventy-three ascents were made in Grand Teton National Park during the past season—almost twice the 1932 total and by good margin the largest number for any one season thus far. Climbing began on June 24th and closed on September 17th, ascents being distributed as follows: Three in June, thirty-one in July, thirty-three in August, and six in September. The Grand Teton was climbed thirty-seven times (as compared with fifteen times in 1932, twenty-six in 1931, and thirteen in 1930) ; Teewinot, ten times. The remaining twenty-six ascents were scattered among seventeen peaks, including a few which are seldom visited (e.g., Fossil Mountain, Dike Needle, Rendezvous Peak, and Lillies Peak).

That each year an increasingly large number of foreign climbers visit the Tetons may be taken to indicate a growing interest in this range abroad. The past season there were climbers in the park who registered from Bulgaria, Austria, Germany, England, Scotland, Tasmania, and Australia. Another interesting feature of the 1933 season was the succession of truly remarkable climbs made by boys in the early teens. These have been reported elsewhere.1

Of the thirty-seven ascents of the Grand Teton, twenty were guided (by Petzoldt, Exum, and others) and seventeen guideless. The first one-day traverse of the peak from Jackson Hole was made on July 25th by Allyn Hanks and the writer (a traverse from Jenny Lake, using the southwest ridge and the traditional route). On July 30th, Sam Younger and Albert Strube, two boys from the Beaver Dick camp of the Citizens Conservation Corps, climbed the Grand Teton by the traditional route; on top, failing in their efforts to recover their route of ascent, they decided perforce to attempt to get down the mountain by the southeast face. Though entirely inexperienced and virtually unequipped, after extreme difficulty and great hazards they managed to descend to Garnet Canyon; and after a three days absence they returned, quite exhausted, to the Beaver Dick camp. Thus to them came, unsought, the distinction of being the first in history to descend the Grand Teton by other than the traditional route.2

S. B. Hendricks and Paul Petzoldt on July 3rd made successive traverses of Nez Perce, Cloudveil Dome, the pinnacles to the west, and the South Teton. The base for this strenuous expedition was in the head of Garnet Canyon, and the “hour-glass route” was used (for the first time) in gaining the east ridge of Nez Perce. The following day they continued this string of traverses by ascending the Middle Teton from the saddle to the south and descending it by the north face.

Rolling Thunder (10,900 ft.), the most remote peak in the Grand Teton Park and consequently the only peak of any importance within the park still unscaled, was traversed from north to south on August 15th by Phil Smith and the writer.

Fritiof Fryxell,

(Grand Teton National Park).

1Appal., Dec., 1933.

2 The accounts furnished by Younger and Strube are not easy to follow, though there can be no doubt that a descent was actually accomplished by the southeast. Phil Smith believes that their route corresponded only in part with that employed by the Underhill-Truslow-Smith party (July 15th, 1931) in ascending the peak from this angle. A fuller discussion of the Younger-Strube descent will be published later.

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