SE (Buckingham) Ridge of Middle Teton Post-hoc Beta Request


Original Post
Owen Witesman · · Springville, UT · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 53

Does anyone out there have a good high-res photo of the triangular face that makes up the main 3 pitches of climbing of the SE Ridge of the Middle? Could be from once you attain the top of the ridge below the grassy ledge where the business starts or from across the cirque. Ortenburger and Jackson isn't quite high resolution enough. I'm trying to trace the exact variation we took on the main face, which seemed significantly more difficult than the description. It was a good place to find bail booty, though :). I'm thinking we went a little too far left to start our second pitch, but straight up along the ridge seemed to lead to some gnarly overhanging terrain. Wondering if there is a weakness there we didn't see that would keep the outing an enjoyable 5.7 instead of Tetons 5.9+ or if we were on route and just being pansies. We did Irene's the day before this and the Complete Exum two days after, and this was by far the hardest, least straightforward climbing of the week, which is why I think there must be a better line.

We know we started on route at this sweet grassy ledge.

Grassy ledge on the SE Ridge of Middle Teton

For pitch 1 we chose the right of two obvious lines from the grassy ledge. This led to a nice ledge system that seemed like a prime belay. Here we chose to traverse left perhaps 20 or 30 feet to the base of a face with two nice crack systems and a right-facing corner high above. Otherwise it appeared we would be forced onto a more easterly aspect and into some overhangs. The cracks we chose turned out to be quite steep and the belay at the top of 2 was tenuous, semi hanging under a flake and some chicken heads where I found a non-bomber nut and a taped biner that someone had obviously rapped off recently (scary). See shots below from the belay above our pitch 2 looking up at pitch 3. Maybe someone will recognize this particular spot. Pitch 3, the corner, was also quite strenuous but ended up at a nice ledge, not a full rope length. From here pitch 4 (one more than the guidebook description) was obviously on route after a 5-th class beginning led to broken terrain and the top of the first summit before the notch. From there everything went as described in the guide. I'll add some more beta about the approach and the area above the main face to the route description with pictures once I get the main face variations figured out a bit more.

Belay above pitch 2, some variation of SE Ridge of Middle Teton
Another shot of our belay above pitch 2 of the SE Ridge of Middle Teton

Anyone have any pictures or wisdom to share?

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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