AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

North America, United States, Wyoming, Tetons, Mount Owen, Run-Don't-Walk Couloir

Mount Owen, Run-Don’t-Walk Couloir. Named from a distance several years ago, this couloir which lies between the north ridge and the Crescent Arête of Mount Owen has a particularly evil appearance, marked by rock scars and running water when it is not filled with ice. It was first climbed on July 6 by John Bouchard and me. The couloir was approached via the northeast snowfields to a point where we could traverse right to a narrow ridge, just left of the couloir. After a bivouac on this ridge, we started at five A.M., climbing the couloir until just below the first ice bulge. This 30-foot overhanging ice bulge had melted through, leaving an impassable gap of 15 feet. This section was bypassed by climbing a very difficult rock pitch to the left (F9-A3). We continued up the extremely narrow couloir (some objective dangers from falling ice if the weather is warm), encountering three more steep ice bulges before emerging onto the upper section of the couloir. Moderate-angle snow was then followed for six pitches. From near the top of the couloir we traversed left to the northeast snowfields which we followed to the summit, arriving at seven P.M. For optimum conditions this route should be done earlier in the season when the ice would still be intact.

Stephen Arsenault