|Type:||Trad, Snow, Alpine, 1 pitch, 3000', Grade II|
|Consensus:||YDS: 5.4 French: 4a Ewbanks: 12 UIAA: IV ZA: 10 British: VD 3c [details]|
|FA:||P Petzoldt, G Exum, T Koven, G Koven, 1931|
|Submitted By:||George Bell on Mar 19, 2007|
|Comments on Koven Route||Add Comment|
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By Robert Henderson
From: Wilson, WY
Apr 21, 2009
I don't want to offend anyone but there seems to be a lot of poor advice in this Mt Owen section. Take it from someone who lives here, the traverse from Teewinot is not a good option for most people. It involves a 5400' ascent of Teewinot, tricky route finding on a long loose ridge, ascent of 2 peaklets one of which even has a name (East Prong,) a couple of rappels, steep snow/ice patches and takes hours longer than the Koven Couloir (unless your name is Rollo.) Using the traverse as a descent route would border on insanity as you can easily rappel the slabs/ledges just to the west of the Koven.
The Koven Couloir is pretty straight-forward when there is sufficient snow (early season.) Crossing the Teton glacier is not a problem if you stay left around the moraine (hug the N Face of Disappointment) to the toe of the East Ridge of the Grand. From there, it's easy to ascend the moraine and cross to the Koven.
In late season, it's better to climb slabs/ledges just left of the Koven and avoid the nasty rockfall danger of the very loose couloir (the worst danger is low in the gully.) Mid-season, you will likely start on the ledges and then move onto the snow in the shadowed upper part of the couloir. It's possible to climb without ever getting into the couloir. It's also wise to rappel the ledges on the descent; there are numerous rap slings. IF YOU KNOW HOW TO AVOID KICKING ROCKS DOWN, the couloir is a viable option anytime; I've done this whole route in approach shoes in Sept but it requires careful, delicate moves. If it's late season and there is a party above you, I would highly recommend you climb the slabs/ledges as an approach. They are 4th to low 5th class with careful route finding. It could save your skull!! But honestly, this is best as an early season climb (to mid-July.)
Ultimately, despite the low technical rating, this is a much more serious alpine adventure than the OS or the Upper Exum, for example. That's why it was the last major Teton summit to be climbed.
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
May 21, 2009
|Thanks for the info, Robert. I've changed my route description a bit. It seemed such an obvious way to go from Teewinot, but I have no experience with it and it sounds tricky.|
By Charles McCash
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 18, 2012
|Wanted to add another viewpoint on Koven. Having just attempted the route this past weekend, I would strongly recommend NOT climbing it after the couloir is melted out. The rockfall was incredible, the climbing very bad, and the lower chimney was a full on waterfall, with large & loose rock. The face to the left of the couloir is an option, but you need to add to your rack to better protect; same with the face to the right of the lower chimney. Beautiful country as always, but when I go back to attempt this route again, it will be in Spring and with skis!|