American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Wyoming, Tetons, 1980-1982

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1984

Tetons, 1980-1982. In the past few years, climbers have been very active in the Tetons. Hanging Canyon Arêtes, Mount St. John. Within the past five years, several routes on the short arêtes leading up toward Mount St. John near the eastern end of Hanging Canyon have been worked out, providing easily accessible and enjoyable rock climbing. Hawkeye (II, F9), located somewhat below and to the east of the main arêtes, contains three pitches and was climbed on September 5, 1980, by Chuck Harris, Leo Larson, and Mike Beiser. Of the three arêtes, Peregrine (II, F9) is the most easterly and its four pitches were climbed by Exum guides early in the summer of 1981. The central arête of white rock, Ostrich (II, F8), was climbed in four pitches on June 5, 1981, by Chuck Harris. Avocet Arête (II, F8), the western arête, is somewhat longer, providing six leads, mostly of moderate difficulty. Mount Moran, Irvine Arête. This ridge, which lies east of Staircase Arête and west of No Escape Buttress on the lower southeast side of Mount Moran, was first climbed on August 13, 1982, by Leo Larson and E. Thompson. Beginning at the base of Laughing Lions Falls, the route starts east up a couloir until it becomes blocked by a chockstone. From a large tree out to the right, a difficult jam-crack led to a narrow chimney capped by a bulge requiring F9 friction to pass. Moderate leads brought the party to a short vertical wall containing a splendid jam-crack which was climbed to another tree. The sixth pitch ascended the steep wall above, and was followed by two more leads angling up and slightly right. An overhang in this last lead was passed by a ten-foot pendulum to the right on a hex chock. A large tree was found for a belay stance after climbing on loose rock with poor protection. Three pitches of scrambling took the party to the top of the route, from which one can look down to the west to the top of the Staircase Arête. Descent was made down to the southeast, using three rappels to reach the final talus leading to the valley floor. Grand Teton, West Face, Variation. On July 22, 1982, Renny Jackson and Peter Hollis made an important new variation on the Durrance-Coulter west-face route. This climb ascends the regular Black Ice Couloir for some 600 feet, until it veers to the left (east) just below the narrow crux of the Black Ice, into the chimney system to the right (south) of the standard west-face route. The first lead in this very steep chimney contains some vertical ice to reach a chockstone which is passed by climbing behind it. The next section also ascends extremely steep ice to a belay just below a giant jammed chockstone, which is passed on the left with difficulty. From this point the west face could be rejoined by traversing to the left (north). This party, however, joined a previously climbed variation which leads for some 300 feet back to the right and up to the Upper Saddle.

Leigh N. Ortenburger

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