American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Wyoming, Disappointment Peak

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1958

Disappointment Peak. In the past this peak has been better known for its fine summit view than for its prominence as a climb. Yet its south face, which extends for almost a mile, forming the north wall of Garnet Canyon, provides a variety of ridges and couloirs for the rock climber. Prior to the systematic attack during the past summer, only two of the ridges and two of the couloirs had been ascended. The new climbs are listed from west to east. Caves Arête: this ridge forms the right edge of the large southwest couloir which leads up from the Caves in Garnet Canyon to the summit plateau. On August 7, 1957 John Dietschy and Robert Larson found that the first 300 feet involved nothing more than scrambling, but the upper portion required seven moderately difficult leads. Irene’s Arête: this fine climb, made by John Dietschy and Irene Ortenburger July 10, 1957, proved to be one of the most consistently difficult rock climbs in the park. The well defined ridge, the first east of the Caves Arête, may be seen in profile when looking from the Caves. The top of the ridge is separated from the summit plateau by a sharp notch which can be passed on the east. The seven leads get progressively more difficult and required seven hours. Central Buttress: two different routes were made on this large buttress, the first by William and Evelyn Cropper and Jim Langford on June 29, 1957, the second by John Dietschy and Jim Langford on July 23. The first, in ascending the buttress spirals from the east to west, whereas the second spirals from west to east. Both routes were moderately difficult. Dissatisfaction Arête: John Dietschy and Jim Langford, on July 22, 1957 climbed this curved ridge, which is immediately west of the Surprise Lake outlet-stream which crosses the Garnet Canyon trail. After three leads directly up the crest, an overhang forced them onto the west wall of the ridge. One pitch higher another overhang necessitated the use of direct aid before they rejoined the crest a rope- length above. The difficult final 110-foot lead required some tension climbing. East Face Chimney: the smooth slabs of the east face of Disappointment Peak, which rise directly above Amphitheater Lake, had never been tried prior to the ascent of Harvey Carter and Robert Beck on July 2, 1956. A chimney in the center of the face required several pitons for safety.

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