South Teton Question

Joined: April 19th, 2013, 3:37 am

August 29th, 2016, 6:23 pm #1

Hey, have any of you out there done either an ascent, or descent of the "West Ridge" route on the South Teton? If so, I could use some beta.

My plan is to do the ascent from Garnett Canyon, and the traditional NW Couloir route and then we want to descend to Avalanche Divide, hit the trail and hike out the Cascade trail to Jenny Lake - making it a loop instead of an up-an-back. We want to travel fast and light, so we are looking to avoid any real technical stuff - definitely want to avoid ropes.

Also, I've had very little success with Google on this route and the description on Summit Post is "bass-ackwards":
"The route goes straight up the ridge to a 40' wall. We climbed the wall (easy class 4) and angled to the right to enter a gully on the north side of the mountain. We followed this gully up and left (south) to another gully that led us up and east to the summit. Great views of Middle Teton from the summit. We investigated going left at the top of the first wall but thought it was a little exposed since we had no rope. If you're more confident than we were you might want to try this option".

He says angled right to enter a gully on the "north". But going right takes you south, so that is confusing.
Then he talks about following the gully up and left (south). Again, going left is north not south. So, does he have his left and right hands confused, or does he have north and south confused? I think he may be "directionaly" challenged, but I'm not absolutely sure. Finally, I have a decent photo that a friend sent me that shows the west aspect. Is the route visible in this photo?


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Tod
Tod

August 30th, 2016, 12:27 am #2

I'd recommend getting the Jackson/Ortenburger guide if your doing this kind of stuff in the Teton's. Certainly seems doable from looking at the photo and a topo. Like most Teton routes you should be comfortable with some down climbing and take your time route finding. From the route description you gave it seems they were making it up as they went and it worked. You may have to do the same. Afraid I I don't have any specific beta to add.
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Eric Larsen
Eric Larsen

August 31st, 2016, 2:27 am #3

Hey, have any of you out there done either an ascent, or descent of the "West Ridge" route on the South Teton? If so, I could use some beta.

My plan is to do the ascent from Garnett Canyon, and the traditional NW Couloir route and then we want to descend to Avalanche Divide, hit the trail and hike out the Cascade trail to Jenny Lake - making it a loop instead of an up-an-back. We want to travel fast and light, so we are looking to avoid any real technical stuff - definitely want to avoid ropes.

Also, I've had very little success with Google on this route and the description on Summit Post is "bass-ackwards":
"The route goes straight up the ridge to a 40' wall. We climbed the wall (easy class 4) and angled to the right to enter a gully on the north side of the mountain. We followed this gully up and left (south) to another gully that led us up and east to the summit. Great views of Middle Teton from the summit. We investigated going left at the top of the first wall but thought it was a little exposed since we had no rope. If you're more confident than we were you might want to try this option".

He says angled right to enter a gully on the "north". But going right takes you south, so that is confusing.
Then he talks about following the gully up and left (south). Again, going left is north not south. So, does he have his left and right hands confused, or does he have north and south confused? I think he may be "directionaly" challenged, but I'm not absolutely sure. Finally, I have a decent photo that a friend sent me that shows the west aspect. Is the route visible in this photo?

I did that route a while back part of a ski traverse of the Tetons. I remember being an unhappy camper at one point, but we were in ski boots and crampons. It's likely better dry. I recall going up and left from the the divide, and eventually intersecting the regular route just shy of the summit. Other than that my memory is slim.
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Joined: November 12th, 2017, 3:36 pm

November 12th, 2017, 3:40 pm #4

Hey, have any of you out there done either an ascent, or descent of the "West Ridge" route on the South Teton? If so, I could use some beta.

My plan is to do the ascent from Garnett Canyon, and the traditional NW Couloir route and then we want to descend to Avalanche Divide, hit the trail and hike out the Cascade trail to Jenny Lake - making it a loop instead of an up-an-back. We want to travel fast and light, so we are looking to avoid any real technical stuff - definitely want to avoid ropes.

Also, I've had very little success with Google on this route and the description on Summit Post is "bass-ackwards":
"The route goes straight up the ridge to a 40' wall. We climbed the wall (easy class 4) and angled to the right to enter a gully on the north side of the mountain. We followed this gully up and left (south) to another gully that led us up and east to the summit. Great views of Middle Teton from the summit. We investigated going left at the top of the first wall but thought it was a little exposed since we had no rope. If you're more confident than we were you might want to try this option".

He says angled right to enter a gully on the "north". But going right takes you south, so that is confusing.
Then he talks about following the gully up and left (south). Again, going left is north not south. So, does he have his left and right hands confused, or does he have north and south confused? I think he may be "directionaly" challenged, but I'm not absolutely sure. Finally, I have a decent photo that a friend sent me that shows the west aspect. Is the route visible in this photo?

I'm looking at hiking the Teton Crest Trail next summer and would like to take a side trip to the summit of South Teton. I've read about the West Ridge route, but haven't found much detailed information... other than the "directionally challenged" description at Summit Post. (I'm glad I'm not the only one who was confused by the description.) So, did you do this? Even if it was descending instead of ascending, I'd appreciate any insight you can give.
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Joined: April 19th, 2013, 3:37 am

November 13th, 2017, 4:43 am #5

I haven't done it yet. I ended up doing Static/Albright that day. (If you want two quick/easy summits from the main trail, those are good ones). I'm still interested in that S. Teton route as a summer ascent / descent. I will be doing at least one winter climb with the Exum guides this winter and I'll quiz them for some more accurate beta.
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Mark
Mark

November 15th, 2017, 2:30 am #6

I'm looking at hiking the Teton Crest Trail next summer and would like to take a side trip to the summit of South Teton. I've read about the West Ridge route, but haven't found much detailed information... other than the "directionally challenged" description at Summit Post. (I'm glad I'm not the only one who was confused by the description.) So, did you do this? Even if it was descending instead of ascending, I'd appreciate any insight you can give.
I did this route going up with overnight packs on an Avalanche/Garnet loop. It featured some lovely Teton scrambling. Being comfortable with class four or low fifth and more exposure makes the route finding easier. I didn't have detailed beta and just sniffed my way up without much difficulty or doubling back (going down would potentially be harder). I always would rather have steeper more challenging scrambling if the rock is more sound. If class four is near your limit it might be a tougher go. I thought terrain on The Fin in the Pioneers is as challenging as much of the west aspect of South Teton. We, too ended up merging with the Standard Route before the summit, which seems like it would have been somewhere close to the northwest ridge and maybe one or two hundred vertical feet below the summit.
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Jerry Painter
Jerry Painter

November 17th, 2017, 8:44 pm #7

I did that route a while back part of a ski traverse of the Tetons. I remember being an unhappy camper at one point, but we were in ski boots and crampons. It's likely better dry. I recall going up and left from the the divide, and eventually intersecting the regular route just shy of the summit. Other than that my memory is slim.
I remember doing that ski traverse with Eric Larsen and finding some sections spicy in ski boots and crampons. I went back a couple of years later in summer and went up the west ridge and to the south side (right) and scrambled up some class 4 sections to near the top where it intersected with the main route about a 100 feet or so from the summit. I then went down the main route and hiked out to Lupine Meadows trailhead to meet some buddies. The south side is doable, but pick your route carefully to stay away from chossy class 5 terrain. I think it might be easier going up the south side than down it.
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Joined: November 12th, 2017, 3:36 pm

February 12th, 2018, 12:01 am #8

I haven't done it yet. I ended up doing Static/Albright that day. (If you want two quick/easy summits from the main trail, those are good ones). I'm still interested in that S. Teton route as a summer ascent / descent. I will be doing at least one winter climb with the Exum guides this winter and I'll quiz them for some more accurate beta.
I have my permits for the Teton Crest Trail in August. Still hoping to make it up one of the summits from the West side. Please keep me posted if you get good info from Exum.
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