Ford - Stettner Couloir (Ski Descent)
WI2-3 Mod. Snow
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Sunrise from the Tepee Glacier
This is the classic Ski Mountaineering line connecting the Ford Couloir, Chevy Couloir, Stettner Couloir, and Tepee Glacier lines for an a ski decent of the Grand Teton. We ascended the same line, but I have heard of people climbing the Owen Spalding with skis when deep snow might make the trail breaking difficult. Our trip was in January of a low snow year with 4 rappels through the Chevy and Stettner Couliors. In big years the ski descent can be made with 1-2 rappels and a lot more skiing in the Stettner.
Ascend the Tepee Glacier up a steep snow field to a small col. Cross a short exposed slope to another small col that separates the Tepee from the Stettner Couloir. A short easy decent brings you into the Stettner and the technical climbing begins here. The climbing starts with a narrow 8' ice and rock step to an easy snow slope. A 10' ice bulge and some snow brings you up to a fixed anchor on the East side of the Coulior. From here you can see the water ice of the Chevy Coulior flowing on the left. We left the Stettner and did a short pitch into the Chevy up to a fixed anchor on the right. From here climb the fun and easy WI of the Chevy to another fixed anchor on the right. Your in the Ford Coulior now, drink some water, stash the heavy climbing stuff, and start boot packing. At the top of the Ford Couloir the summit is visible a 100 meters to the WNW.
Click in and make some turns!
Rap the Chevy and Stettner (4 double rope raps for us)
Negotiate the maze of trails at the Taggart Lake parking lot and ski NW to Bradley lake (~2 miles). From the lake skin up into Garnet Canyon. The skin track usually stays on the S. side of the Canyon meeting up with the summer trail at the Platforms. Boogie up to the meadows and skin or boot the head wall to the N and continue moving N/NW to the Tepee glacier past the Jackson Hole Mountain Guides high camp.
1-2 ice screws and a few stoppers. I would recommend ice tools instead of a mountaineering axe. In a big snow year the fixed gear we used to rap might be buried in snow, a couple of higher anchors were visible but take this into account.
|Photos of Ford - Stettner Couloir (Ski Descent) Slideshow
Booting over to the Stettner from Tepee Glacier
Turns in the Ford
Rapping the Chevy Couloir
Skiing on the Tepee Glacier
Joe Mucci ascending the Stettner Couloir in route ...