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North America, United States, Wyoming, Teton Range

Wyoming Rockies

Teton Range

The 1935 season in the Tetons was exceptional because of the number of ascents made and the original character of some of the climbs. One after another new routes were completed, including one on the Grand Teton, three on previously neglected Mount Moran, and several on other major and minor peaks. Return of Ranger Phil D. Smith and Guide Paul Petzoldt go far to explain this renewed activity.

Climbing began on June 16th with an ascent of Teewinot by Norman Dale and Malcolm Smith, and apparently closed in early October with ascents of the Grand Teton on the 4th by Dwight Stone and J. C. Dewey, and of Buck Mountain on the 6th by Malcolm Smith and Phil D. Smith. But at this writing comes word of a much later climb, an ascent of the Grand Teton on December 19th by the brothers Paul and Eldon Petzoldt and Fred Brown, important as affording a test of early winter conditions on the peak. According to Paul Petzoldt the mountain proved windswept and free of ice, the conditions encountered being but little more difficult than those of summer. The traditional route was followed, but so free of snow was the southwest ridge that it too could have been used. The climb afforded a striking instance of temperature inversion, it being 5° above zero on the summit when it was 26° below zero at Jenny Lake, at the base of the peak.

This ascent, like the winter expedition made into the high Teton country two years ago by Rangers Allyn Hanks and Dudley Hayden, affords convincing evidence of the suitability of the Tetons for winter trips, at least during the earlier months of the season. It has long been recognized that climbing could continue weeks and even months later than it has, mountaineering having usually stopped in September or October simply because by that time the climbers have departed. Question as to the advisability of encouraging climbing during the first three or four months of the year still exists, since this is the period in which the heavy snowfall comes and brings to all the Jackson Hole country avalanche hazards that in the past have proven too costly of life to be ignored.

To summarize the 1935 season, the record comprises 119 ascents in all, distributed over 22 peaks including three unnamed summits in the north end of the range not previously climbed. Most of the significant peaks came in for attention, the Grand Teton and Teewinot as usual heading the list, with 41 and 13 ascents, respectively. Following is a list furnished by Phil D. Smith of those ascents that involved new routes :

The Grand Teton (August 2nd) by Wm. F. Loomis and Paul Petzoldt. Ascent by southeast face below Otter’s Body ; descent by east ridge. (This was the second descent of the peak by any route other than the traditional one.)

Mount Owen (August 28th) by H. K. Hartline, A. Curtis Smith, and Paul Petzoldt. Ascent by traverse from East Spur to chimney near north ridge ; descent by north side route.

Mount Moran (June 30th) by Phil D. Smith and Eldon Petzoldt. Ascent by south ridge.

Mount Moran (August 26th) by H. K. Hartline and Paul Petzoldt. Ascent by west ridge.

Mount Moran (September 8) by Malcolm Smith. Ascent and descent both by north side, to right of the easterly of the Triple Glaciers.

Teewinot (July 26th) by W. F. Loomis. Ascent by right couloir and chimney on northeast face.

Rolling Thunder (in August, exact date not on record) by T. F. Murphy. Ascent from west.

Rockchuck Peak (August 20th) by Floyd Wilson and Phil D. Smith. Ascent by west face.

Rock of Ages (July 23rd) by Herman Petzoldt, Paul Petzoldt, and Phil D. Smith. Ascent by northwest corner and face ; descent to south and around to Lake of the Crags.

Buck Mountain (October 6th) by Malcolm Smith and Phil D. Smith. Ascent by south face and ridge.

Mount Wister (July 6th) by Malcolm Smith. Both ascent and descent by southeast side, slightly to west of earlier route by Phil D. Smith.

Nez Percé (July 21st) by Malcolm Smith. Ascent by southeast face.

Nameless 12,000-ft. summit two miles west of Mt. Moran (August 26th) by H. K. Hartline and Paul Petzoldt. Ascent by southwest side; from summit traversed eastward to summit of Mt. Moran.

The first ascents were as follows :

Summit two miles up Leigh Canyon, on north side (July 26th) by Dan Webster, Edward Lorenz, and Paul and Eldon Petzoldt. Ascent from south; descent by northwest side.

Two summits north of Waterfalls Canyon (July 29th) by Allyn Hanks, Phil D. Smith, and F. M. Fryxell. These were climbed on an east-to-west traverse of the ridge north of Waterfalls Canyon.

Mention should also be made of the third ascent of the Grand Teton by the east ridge. This was made on August 12th by Elizabeth Cowles, Glen Exum, and Paul Petzoldt. The description of this climb, which involved variations from the route of the two previous ascents, has been recently published in Trail and Timberline. Noteworthy also is the record of Malcolm Smith, who climbed nine of the major peaks, making solo ascents on six of them and not a few new routes.

F. M. F.