American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park, Mt. Moran, South Buttress Houdini

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2008

Mt. Moran, South Buttress Houdini. In three days in October, Hans Johnstone and I fixed some protection and opened the beautiful corner system 15m right of South Buttress Right. The first two pitches are 5.11 classic corners with excellent protection and strenuous, cryptic, Houdini moves. We crossed South Buttress Right at its crux pitch and continued directly up and left. Two more quality pitches, including a nice 5.11 roof, led into a left-leaning weakness that took us all the way to the top of the South Buttress Drifter route, where we rappelled from its fixed anchors.

The most dangerous passage came on our late night return across Leigh Lake. A strong, windy tempest surfed our canoe east, down cold, foamy faces and through deep black troughs. We fought a final crossing to Boulder Island as waves broke over the bow, reaching String Lake in record time.

We recommended our route, South Buttress Houdini (V 5.11d), as a direct start to the South Buttress Right, but lots of Teton 5.10R traversing keeps us from recommending its top half‘till we straighten it out.

Also of note is the May FFA of Death Canyons O-Mega Crack (III 5.12). O-Mega Crack has had several repeats from well-traveled climbers, who have compared it to the best granite classics of its grade.

Greg Collins, AAC

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