descending the middle teton back to the lower saddle


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

Is there a descent option that allows you to do this? I would think the north ridge could be descended but I wonder if there is an easier way..

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

North ridge is your easiest option for that way.  You could go down the Middle glacier but that wouldn't put you at the saddle.  

Skibo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 0

Years ago (with a Jenny Lake Climbing Ranger who knew the route) we third-classed from the summit to the Saddle somewhere on the North Ridge after climbing the Glacier Route and the Northwest Ice Couloir.  I remember it as being quite spicy in borrowed plastic boots, with lots of exposure.

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

We will be climbing the northwest ice coulior and don't want to have to lose so much elevation to get back to the saddle. 

Ben Gleason · · Durango, CO · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 40

Hey Mike, when are you climbing that? We are thinking about getting on that route soon, would you mind sharing the conditions beta afterwards?

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 12,639

North Ridge or camp at the Meadows and descend via the standard route on the Middle (or hike back up to the saddle).  Those are pretty much the options.

Having climbed the North Ridge of the Middle, I wouldn't be super psyched to down climb it.  I know folks do, but...not my cup of tea to do that much exposed down climbing.

When we did "Harry's Highway", we just descended the standard SW coulior and I dimly recall having to hike back up to the caves to camp.  Or the moraine.  Bit of a pain.  I'd rather camp lower (platforms or meadow) if it did it again.

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

Hey Mike, when are you climbing that? We are thinking about getting on that route soon, would you mind sharing the conditions beta afterwards?

will do! Climbing tomorrow!

Ben Gleason · · Durango, CO · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 40

Awesome, thanks!

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

We just down climbed the NW Couloir with one rap at the bottom ...

builttospill · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 0

If I were doing one of the north side routes from a camp again, I would camp at the Meadows as Brian mentioned, and descend the normal way off the Middle.  The extra approach in the morning from the meadows won't be bad with a light pack, and the descent to the saddle with the South Teton is sufficiently simple that it would be a real time-saver.

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

Awesome, thanks!

First pitch is not in, its a class 3 chossy rock scramble to the choke in the Couloir where the snow starts. From here it is a fairly steep snowfield leading to about 80 m of WI2 Ice eventually getting to about 50 Degrees at the top. The ice is pretty glorious right now.. I would give it a week or two. Although there is a section at the top where the ice is pretty hollow so the might melt out soon, which then I think a light rock rack would be advisable. We were able to simul climb the entire thing using 5 ice screws, I would say if your going within the next 5 days leave the rock rack at the car.

As for the descent, we went the north ridge down to the saddle. Basically anything remotely sketchy can be rappelled on anchors already in place, and even then nothing was worse than class 5 (besides the rap into the black dike).

Overall, It was an awesome and fairly quick and easy day. Ill post pics from my phone at some point!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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