Grand Teton: NE Coulior conditions


Original Post
Greg Malloure · · Prescott Az · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 20

HI,

I am looking at climbing something on the North Face of the Grand this early spring April/May. Specifically, the North East Coulior up past the second tower and on to the east ridge. My best guess for best conditions would be when the top of the mountain begins to see highs above freezing to consolidate the snow and ice on the route. I think this will happen in the late April and into May. Has anyone been up there? Can anyone speculate on the best conditions? Thank you!

-Greg

Jim Fox · · Westminster, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 10

http://tetonclimbing.blogspot.com/

jon jugenheimer · · Madison · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,425

Good luck and I hope you are a local. I have looked at that face three times, once in May, once in September and once in November. All were a no go for various readons. I do believe April/may would be the best time, as well as October post a few storms with a freeze thaw cycle or three. Go up with a day pack and check conditions once every week and I am sure you will eventually find it in good enough shape with ice one of the times. And post up, if there is ice, I'll be in my car in 24 hours to make the drive from Wisconsin..

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 12,603

Here's a couple of local resources for conditions/weather:

http://www.mountainweather.com/index.php?page=jackson_hole_forecast

http://jhavalanche.org/viewTeton

http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/296618-Jackson-Hole-Roll-Call-15-16!/page20

http://wyomingwhiskey.blogspot.com/2015/07/grand-teton-climbing-conditions-july-19.html

There's a strong covey of local kids who ski the heck out of the Tetons...and...the Hossack/MacGowan is on the radar. If you surf around, you might find a local or two willing to offer conditions.

http://straightchuter.com/the-grand-revisited/

Some sage advice from the above: "The Grand favors local knowledge over luck and a combination of both is better yet."

I think to be successful climbing a route like the NE Coulior you need to be paying attention to the season of snow/avalanche data and a likely period of weather that will make conditions reasonable. That could happen anytime in winter through spring.

Good luck!

luke smith · · Salt Lake City, Utah · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 0

'Good' conditions could occur anytime from late April through early June, and maybe later. Following the blog above, and the weather and avalanche forecast will help, because it really depends if you can capitalize on a good weather window or not.

luke smith · · Salt Lake City, Utah · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 0

Brian, to your knowledge, has anyone skied the Hossack-MacGowan since Andrew and Hans did it? Just wondering...

JaminT · · Jackson, WY · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 0

I dunno greg, i hear that anytime you go into the mountains the weather turns for the worse...

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 12,603
luke smith wrote:Brian, to your knowledge, has anyone skied the Hossack-MacGowan since Andrew and Hans did it? Just wondering...
I think its been tried a few times, and, contemplated a bunch...but I hadn't heard it got a third descent. Some pretty strong skiers up there, though...so...yeah, dunno.
luke smith · · Salt Lake City, Utah · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 0

Thanks Brian, I didn't think it had (and I assume if someone else had they would have said something). Greg, I'm not sure what your experience in the Tetons is, but I would always come with a backup plan or two, and there are some excellent climbs on the Middle Teton, the Enclosure and the the other aspects on the Grand. The North side is big and very alpine. Experience pays off heavily too.

Greg Malloure · · Prescott Az · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 20

Thanks all for the replies! I will post up when I head down there.

Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,115

The Hossack/MacGowan is a good route in later May after the East Ridge has firmed up so avy danger is not an issue. You will find plenty of snow after the lakes and a good place to bivy is near the last bit of the Black Dike Traverse where one can bum slide back to the base. One of the best bum slides in the Tetons. A close second is off the Lower Saddle.

There are not any real difficulties on the route. Well that is if your partner waits to be put on belay before stepping off the midway ledge and does not slip on veri-glass causing them to fall down on to a steep snow slope for some 70-80 feet after which they go airborne over the edge leaving you with no choice but to jump off the other side of the ledge so to stop them before they fall the rest of the rope length and what later becomes fodder for Climbing's Screamer of the Month.

Ty Falk · · Park City, UT · Joined Nov 2011 · Points: 25

^ So as far as I know the Hosaack magowin has only been skied twice although a quite local has possibly done it aswell but how often does it get climbed? How / what is the protection like??

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 12,603
Ty Falk wrote:^ How / what is the protection like??
Depends on how heavy your partner is...
luke smith · · Salt Lake City, Utah · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 0

Hahaha, so that's why I prefer lighter partners! Greg, I will be in the Tetons periodically this spring as well, I'll post on the conditions I find too.

Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,115
Ty Falk wrote:How / what is the protection like??
We joked afterwards that all one needs is a #1 Friend to catch a fall - literally and figuratively.
Greg Malloure · · Prescott Az · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 20

Hi,

All, thanks for all the info. I got sucked into trying the Black Ice Coulior two weekends ago.. Stormy weather forced us into making hasty decisions. We ended up bailing after climbing the enclosure coulior. The EC was all snow, no ice. The valhalla traverse went on all snow which was nice but took three hours to traverse. The black ice looks to be all snow too. We could not see the top of the Black Ice coulior so I am unsure of what the crux looks like. The bottom of the NW coulior on the middle looked like the ice had formed up.

We have another weekend up ahead, but again stormy. I am hoping the forecast improves...

luke smith · · Salt Lake City, Utah · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 0

I've found the same so far Greg...not enough of a sunny melt-freeze cycle going on with these storms the last few weeks. It's extending the ski season though, the Grand will probably have an Everest like conga line of people going up the Ford-Stettner this weekend if the weather is good. That would be interesting to watch from the Middle!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply

Log In to Reply