Conditions on Grand Teton


Original Post
Curtis Baird · Jul 11, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 156
I know the mountain got some snow today. Looking to climb the upper Exum Ridge. Anyone know roughly when the conditions will be good?

Brett Verhoef · Jul 12, 2016 · Northern Utah · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 270
I talked to the climbing rangers today because I will be climbing the Middle Teton glacier on Friday. They reported 8-10" of new snow (not sure I believe that number). By Friday I expect the snow to be melted out in the sun, settled and firm in the shade. From my experience on the Grand, even a week after a storm like this with warm temperatures there will still be verglas ice in the shade from the runoff.

Brian in SLC · Jul 12, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 12,590
Curtis Baird wrote:I know the mountain got some snow today. Looking to climb the upper Exum Ridge. Anyone know roughly when the conditions will be good?
When we climbed the upper Exum last year, there was a fairly cold storm the day prior that shut down the mountain (essentially). Only dropped an inch or two of snow. We felt like a late start would work and have some of the snow/ice melted off, but, the traverse across the gully and Wall Street itself were fairly spicy and turned away most folks. We danced around the difficulties but I'd say I have a few years (31 in the Tetons) of climbing experience to be able to safely do that.

Here's what the approach to Wall Street looked like:

Wall Street approach to Exum July 2015

I don't doubt the mountain got a bunch of snow. How long before melt out? Week at least I'd guess. Might be longer for verglas in some locations.

I'd suggest caution at the least.

Brian in SLC · Jul 12, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 12,590

Justin Skaare · Jul 12, 2016 · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 20
Partner and I were planning to attempt the grand traverse Friday car to car. We have a fair amount of alpine experience, but haven't climbed in the Tetons at all. Sounds like, at the least, the melt is going to slow us down enough that it would take quite a bit longer. Anyone with experience still think the traverse is viable?

PS: Rangers told me 6-12"

Allen Sanderson · Jul 12, 2016 · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,115
Justin S wrote:Partner and I were planning to attempt the grand traverse Friday car to car. We have a fair amount of alpine experience, but haven't climbed in the Tetons at all. Sounds like, at the least, the melt is going to slow us down enough that it would take quite a bit longer. Anyone with experience still think the traverse is viable? PS: Rangers told me 6-12"
The traverse requires a lot of soloing on terrain that while not difficult when dry is apt to be veriglass or be snow over ice. Getting from Teewinot to Owen and Owen to the Grand are going to be the most problematic. As such, I would not be trying a CTC traverse.

Justin Skaare · Jul 13, 2016 · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 20
Thanks Allen. Looks like we're headed to the cirque instead.

Clay Wynn · Jul 14, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0
Anyone think it will be melted off by Saturday or should I just go next weekend?

Brian in SLC · Jul 14, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 12,590
Look at the temperatures at the Lower Saddle for the last 7 days:

http://mesowest.utah.edu/cgi-bin/droman/meso_base.cgi?stn=TETWY&unit=0&time=LOCAL&year1=2016&month1=7&day1=12&hour1=11&hours=24&graph=1&past=0

Still hasn't really popped up to the 50's during the day. Was cold for a few days after the storm. Temp's rising, but, slowly.

From the ranger blog:

July 13, 2016
The fixed lines are out to access the Lower Saddle. Monday July 11th cold front dropped 4" of snow and many routes in the high country will be snow/ice choked for another week or so.


From wyoming whiskey:

Tuesday July 14th: Four inches of snow fell at the Lower Saddle at the start of the week. If you don't mind a little snow & ice, it should be a great time to climb – fewer people. Daytime shaded temperatures will be in the high 30's and low 40's on the summit leading up to the weekend. The sunny warm weather should clean up sun-exposed rock before the weekend. Critical holds in the shade should clean up fairly quickly with warmer temps on the Owen-Spalding. Low overnight temperatures will create new ice from whatever is melting.

Look out for that verglas...difficult to see sometimes...and even experienced guides have been surprised...

Clay Wynn · Jul 14, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0
Sounds like we will go next week!

Brett Verhoef · Jul 18, 2016 · Northern Utah · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 270
We climbed the Middle last weekend. We saw a lot of people summitting the Grand. But we also talked to a group that was turned around by ice on Wall Street. There was more snow up there than I have seen before for this time of year. However, by this weekend I expect it will be mostly ice free.
The Grand Teton from the Middle Teton, July 15, 2016

Ty Falk · Jul 18, 2016 · Park City, UT · Joined Nov 2011 · Points: 25
I am also shooting for the Grand Traverse starting in 8 days though. Taking pounds more gear than last year when we did the traverse during the last few days of August. Last year we took no cramps or axes which worked out great. For next week I am planning bringing steel crampons and a real axe along with more bail gear, a picket and maybe a screw just in case. Might half to take the North Face Low Light Tour instead of the N. ridge Italian Cracks variation to keep it as moderate as possible. Looks like a week of high pressure so hopefully that helps. Still trying to figure out what boot / shoe solution will work best.

B.K Kn · Jul 19, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 0
Brett,

What route did you do on MT? Was the couloir filled in? I am planning to either climb GT if I can find a partner or just go up the Middle.

Bartek

Brett Verhoef · Jul 19, 2016 · Northern Utah · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 270
B.K wrote:What route did you do on MT? Was the couloir filled in?
On the Middle Teton we did the Glacier route. The couloir above the glacier was firm snow. The Northwest Couloir was also full of snow but I cannot speak to the conditions since we did not climb it. The Southwest Couloir was mostly melted out with some patches of lingering ice that you could traverse around if you didn't want to bring crampons.

Dapper Dan Rogers · Jul 21, 2016 · Driggs, ID · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 85
Ty, for what it's worth, did the traverse as far as the Owen summit last weekend, then down the koven. Didn't pull my axe or crampons out till the koven col. Grandstand to NR *looked mostly snow free from my vantage point. Rock and above the koven chimney was meltdown out enough to get mostly around the summit block on rock (likely even more so now) so while there were lots of snow patches to climb/cross they were easily done in approaches and crampons.

Did south three weeks ago in tennis shoes with the lady friend, all climbs from the SW couloir on the middle, on down looked doable in tennis, only non firsthand knowledge is the grand, but reports make it (OS and exam anyhow) sound good to go.

Hope this helps, and good luck!

Ty Falk · Jul 21, 2016 · Park City, UT · Joined Nov 2011 · Points: 25
Thanks for the info. Why did you bail there? Did you see anyone climbing on the north side of the grand. Trying to figure out which may be the best way up right now. Mabey the low light tour insted of the n ridge and Italian cracks.... Sounds like I might be better off with approach shoes... Kinda thinking Gandas or my trango boots. Would prefer the gandas but don't love strap on crampons and would almost rather use crampons with the trangos. How did the area around gunsight notch look? Thanks again for the info.

Dapper Dan Rogers · Jul 21, 2016 · Driggs, ID · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 85
Ty, I had planned to descend the Koven that trip, was just out soloing for the day, and don't quite want to tackle the NR solo just yet, if you know what I mean. Area around gunsight looked pretty snow free, but again, was just what I could see from the Owen approach/summit, so take with a grain of salt! would assume same-ish conditions (maybe slightly more snow due to aspect) as peak 11/prong area, which was very snow free, but someone else here may know better.

I do not personally know folks that have been up the NF or NR on the grand yet this season, so can't comment on conditions there, and the only people I saw were folks attempting the traverse, and bailing at peak 11, and a threesome coming up the Koven.

For what its worth I rocked the boulder x mids with strap ons, and did not regret it.

I may be up in that area this weekend, partners depending, not sure when you are trying to go, but hit me up in a PM (so we don't further hijack this thread!) if its after next weekend, and maybe I can get you more info.

Cheers, and good luck.

Ty Falk · Jul 21, 2016 · Park City, UT · Joined Nov 2011 · Points: 25
Thanks for the detalled info!! I did hear a report from a buddy that said Kyle Dempster soloed the traverse in 16 hours last week with just micro spikes. Not sure if that was before or after the weather moved in. Other reports I have heard latily are that the pins on the Owen chimney on the OS are encased in ice as of a few days ago....

MSchasch · Jul 23, 2016 · Toquerville, UT · Joined Jan 2008 · Points: 0
Folks bringing crampons to get to get to the upper saddle of the grand these days?

Clay Wynn · Jul 24, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0
Nope

Brian Ducay · Aug 4, 2016 · Denver, CO · Joined May 2010 · Points: 0
Any info on the recent conditions of the enclosure couloir? Also looking for partners...

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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