Type: Trad, Alpine, 800 ft (242 m), 6 pitches, Grade III
FA: FA 1963 by Philip Jacobus and Steve Larson, FFA 1977 by Jim Donini and Mike Munger
Page Views: 15,988 total · 84/month
Shared By: Andy Laakmann on Mar 8, 2006
Admins: Mike Snyder, Taylor Spiegelberg, Jake Dickerson

You & This Route

74 Opinions

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A Teton classic with great exposure, a short (by Teton standards) approach and simple descent. Not to be missed!

The climb follows a beautiful crack/dihedral system just right of a huge arete. The bulk of the climbing is stellar finger-crack climbing on good rock with airy belays and spectacular exposure. Expect semihanging belays on most pitches.

The climb faces south, so it does benefit from some solar warming.

Pitch 1 - The guidebooks suggest two starts - either a direct 5.9 finger/handcrack or a traverse in from the right. I've done both and the direct start is the way to go. Better crack, and way less rope drag. After tackling the 40 feet of 5.9 jamming, work up an easy section of rock and find a belay stance (below the first overhang?) seem to recall a less-than-perfect anchor here - with a small nut being the best piece.

Pitch 2 - Awesome 5.8 climbing on beautiful, stellar rock. Just keep chugging away straight up the obvious crack. You'll pass a small overhang (to the right) on this pitch. Great protection the whole way. Belay on top of a big detached flake at a small stance.

Note: You can combine Pitch 1 and 2 above (provided you do the direct start) with a 60m rope - which will *just* make it.

Pitch 3 - The money pitch. Cranking 5.8 liebacking off the belay (slick feet) leads up to an AWESOME section of finger-crack climbing and stemming through a small overhang ending up at a sloping belay ledge below a giant roof. Perfect rock.

Pitch 4 - Improbable but straightforward climbing to the right and up through the roof on great holds. After clearing the roof, follow the crack system up and right to another sloping belay ledge beneath an attractive crack.

Pitch 5 - Two options here as well. You can go right and have some easy 5th-class climbing, or straight up another great crack pitch finishing with a 5.9+ roof move. Good pro makes this pitch recommended, even if the grade might be a little intimidating. Belay on a huge ledge.

Pitch 6 - Face climb straight up until you can get into the big crack. Once the crack ends traverse up and right to finish the climb.

I've comfortably done this route in about 7 1/2 hours car to car moving efficiently, but not racing by any means.

Location and Descent

Follow the directions for Disappointment Peak to get into Garnet Canyon proper.

If my memory serves, you'll walk up Garnet Canyon about 20-30 minutes before leaving the trail and heading up the talus to your right. If you get to the Platforms, you've gone too far. The Platforms is the end of the maintained trail.

You can spot the route from the trail by looking for an impressive wall to the North of the trail, with a textbook "open book" a little ways right of a huge arete. The "open book" has 3 roofs visible in it, the first two being small, and the last one being huge.

Head up the talus (I couldn't find an obvious trail) for about 30 minutes to the base of the route. Some 4th-to-easy-5th-class scrambling takes you to the base of the first pitch.

Descent: I've always left my pack at the Garnet Canyon/Amphitheater Lakes trail junction (do not leave any food in your pack!!). This greatly simplifies the descent. Once you top out, just head down the steep grassy/talus slope to the NE and find your way to Amphitheater & Surprise Lakes. Then just follow this trail down (30 minutes?) to your pack. Another 45 minutes and it is time for ice cream at the Jenny Lake store!


Here's what I brought...

Doubles of either TCUs or Aliens. No need for the microsizes.
Black Diamond 2x#0.5, 2x#0.75, 2x#1, one #2, one #3
Nuts (include some small ones/RPs)