Jackson Hole and GTNP guidebook?


Original Post
Mathias · · Loveland, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 120

My wife and I are planning a trip to Grand Teton National Park in June. Mostly it's hiking and sightseeing, but we thought we could squeeze in some climbing. Can anyone recommend a guidebook for the area?

Kevin Bradford · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 75

Rock Climbing Jackson Hole and Pinedale by Wesley Gooch covers most of the cragging around Jackson (not including anything in GTNP) Teton Rock Climbs by Aaron Gams is the best one for pure rock climbing and for the popular mountaineering routes in GTNP. The Ortenburger/Jackson guide is also a good one, though pretty expensive and without much in the way of photos. FYI june is pretty early season for a lot of the climbs (and hikes) around here, so your options may be limited to low/mid elevation south facing climbs such as guides wall, the snaz or baxters pinnacle. If you bring an ice axe and strap crampons your options would be much less limited.

Mathias · · Loveland, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 120

Thanks Kevin. I appreciate you mentioning the seasonal restrictions. We're not looking to get too far into the back country this trip. It's more for relaxing and exploring than any big objectives. But after browsing MP and seeing Guides Wall, I thought maybe we should see what else is available.

Kevin Bradford · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 75

Guides wall is awesome, and a good way to get some climbing done in the Tetons without dealing with a big approach or a tricky descent. The snaz is another great option for this type of climbing (south facing with fixed rappels). Another amazing spot to climb is Rock Springs Buttress which is accessible from the Tram at the ski area. Good mix of moderate trad routes and some really good sport climbing too. The caveat to this is that its not in GTNP, however, given the amount of snow we have this may be your best bet for a day of rock climbing.  

Mike-Mayhem · · Bozeman. MT · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 0

+1 for guides wall, makes for a fun half day of climbing and cascade canyon is breathtaking. I recommend the thin handcrack variation on the final pitch.

Mathias · · Loveland, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 120

Thanks Mike, I'll look into that variation.

Kevin, The Snaz is out of our range. Just humble 5.8 leaders here (at least for now). But I did just buy the Teton guidebook you recommended. And after look at Rock Springs Buttress, I think we'll try the Tolle Route, and maybe some harder single pitch routes. Thanks.

Kevin Bradford · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 75

Mathias,

Good call on tolle route aka guides route (confusing, i know). That climb is super fun, really protects well and if you bring a 70m you can toprope a 10a called blimpie when you make the first rappel off the top. if you take the tram to get to the buttress (or if not) you can hike back to the top afterwards and ride the tram back down for free. this makes for a very casual day of climbing with maybe an hour of hiking to get back to the top, where waffles and beer are waiting for you in corbets cabin.

Thomas Carson · · Grand Teton National Park · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 20

For hiking, Teton Trails is the best book. As for climbing, the Ortenburger is the best, but probably more than you need.

Mathias · · Loveland, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 120

Thanks Thomas. I was actually just going to rely on the Hiking Project app and park map for our hiking, but we're not planning on going too far back into the range, just day hikes.

As this thread is back up I thought I'd ask about bears. I know there's some big wildlife in the area, and we're planning on carrying bear spray for hikes. But I'm wondering if any of you carry it for climbing approaches? And what you prefer to do with your packs if you don't wear them up a route? I'd thought of hanging the packs off the wall, off to the side of the route on the first pitch, but perhaps leaving them on the ground isn't an issue?

Edit: I'll start a separate thread for the bear questions.

NCD · · NoVA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 25

I was considering a job in Jackson Hole that goes about June-Sepetember. It looks like there are more than a few local outdoor climbing options but no gym.

How easy is it to meet regular partners to get outside 3 days a week?

AmandaM · · Jackson, WY · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 0
Mathias wrote:

As this thread is back up I thought I'd ask about bears. I know there's some big wildlife in the area, and we're planning on carrying bear spray for hikes. But I'm wondering if any of you carry it for climbing approaches? And what you prefer to do with your packs if you don't wear them up a route? I'd thought of hanging the packs off the wall, off to the side of the route on the first pitch, but perhaps leaving them on the ground isn't an issue?

Edit: I'll start a separate thread for the bear questions.

Hang your pack unless you want marmots to eat and chew all of your stuff. Leave nothing on the ground. I've never carried bear spray to rock springs, death, garnet or cascade canyons. I've only ever seen black bears in those areas, but it wouldn't hurt to carry spray if you're worried. Have a great trip!

Levi Painter · · Boise, ID · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

If you are day hiking, go check out Boulder Town: https://www.mountainproject.com/v/boulder-town/105836670
You might see some Exum guides out there for beta, I ran into Rolando Garibotti at Boulder Town once.

There are even a couple of top rope anchors out there (at least when I lived in the valley years ago).  Blacktail Butte is alright too, but the easiest route is 5.9.  The crux is like the first 2 or three moves on the 5.9 and then its really easy after that.

Baxter's Pinnacle is the first trad I ever climbed and the only hard pitch is the last one because the first or second move is kind of committing but you could always bring an aider or long sling, there were pitons hammered in the times I climbed it.  If you are driving by, you could check out Rodeo Wall for some easier sport climbing but I would not go out of your way as it is not really near the park.  Those are about all I can remember for early season.  Oh, there is a really tough top rope on an island somewhere in the park too. . .and some bouldering around Jenny Lake.

Andy Novak · · Golden, Co · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 5

Tolle road is awesome; it looks steep but you can bail from every belay if needed so very low commitment. I was a 5.8 leader and it was perfect to push me but not too much. We took the tram both ways and it was worth the $20 or whatever. Give it a go. Absolutely hang your pack at Rock Springs due to maurading marmots. Bear spray will just be dead weight but carry it if you want. For hikes, I'd recommend amplitheather lake in the morning (sunrise). Then in the afternoon, rent a kayak and paddle across Jenny lake, stash it, then spend an hour up in Cascade Canyon. Have a blast. 

AmandaM · · Jackson, WY · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 0

Just a note - Rock Springs has a real approach unless you take the tram to the top of the ski resort.  ~2500 ft elevation gain on a climber's trail. With the amount of snow we've had, be prepared to deal with some snow if you decide to take the tram to the top and hike down.  If you want an easier approach, then you should consider taking the boat across Jenny Lake and doing Guide's Wall.  It's a great route and has some fun variations.  The thin handcrack variation to the second to last pitch (recommended above) is 9+, so keep that in mind if you really want to keep it in the 5.8 range.

Mathias · · Loveland, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 120

Thanks Amanda, much appreciated. I did notice some of the variations are a harder grade than I'm solid on. But maybe if we have time and won't inconvenience another party, we can give some of them a shot, or lower and TR them.

George Bracksieck · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 1,225

I climbed at RSB in 2002 (or later).  My partner (who had been there before) and I got off of the tram at the intermediate tower, instead of riding all the way to the top. We hiked southwest and down for a long way, to find RSB, which wasn't initially visible. To approach from the top would be a way-long way.  You may wish that you had skis, if early in the season.  After climbing, we went down the approach described by the OP, which is also way-long.

AmandaM · · Jackson, WY · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 0
George Bracksieck wrote:

I climbed at RSB in 2002 (or later).  My partner (who had been there before) and I got off of the tram at the intermediate tower, instead of riding all the way to the top. We hiked southwest and down for a long way, to find RSB, which wasn't initially visible. To approach from the top would be a way-long way.  You may wish that you had skis, if early in the season.  After climbing, we went down the approach described by the OP, which is also way-long.

You can't get off at Tower 3 anymore (or, at least, the public can't).  It's definitely a shorter approach from the top than the bottom.  The last time I went up there via the tram it was free for locals, which I think means early June.  We did a lot of glissading to get to the buttress.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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