American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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North America, United States, Wyoming—Tetons, One-Day Winter Climbs in the Tetons

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1975

One-Day Winter Climbs in the Tetons. The trend, started in recent years, to ascend and descend a major Teton summit in winter during the course of a single day has been extended. On February 19, 1973, a one- day, Beaver Creek to Beaver Creek, ascent of the Middle Teton was made by Don Black, Robert Sears, Steve Jones, and Mark Minert. The southwest couloir route was used after a ski approach up Garnet Canyon. The following day, Peter Gibbs and I made a similar one-day ascent of the South Teton. We reached the summit at 1:30 P.M. in nine hours from Beaver Creek, via a steep snow couloir on the north face. After an hour on the summit in warm sunshine enjoying the panorama of the winter Tetons, we descended rapidly to a celebratory beer at the Moose Bar at five P.M. The ultimate one-day trip was the ascent of the Grand Teton on February 9, 1974, by Dave George, Peter Gibbs, David Lowe, George Lowe, and me. After a late start (5:30 A.M.) we toured up Garnet Canyon, leaving our skis just below the Caves. After lunch on the Lower Saddle, we fought deep unconsolidated snow to the Upper Saddle, trying to keep up with George Lowe who was in the lead breaking trail. The iced Owen-Spalding route required four roped pitches. We then traversed over to the Exum ridge, climbed more unconsolidated snow to the summit at six P.M. We descended quickly in order to make the rappel to the Upper Saddle, not wishing to repeat the 1972 winter experience when David Lowe and I had been forced to bivouac after climbing the Exum ridge. After an hour of brewing hot tea at the Lower Saddle Hut, we skied down in marginal moonlight, arriving at Beaver Creek at 11:30 P.M.

David R. Smith

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