Baxter's Pinnacle - South Ridge
Trad, Alpine, 400 ft, 5 pitches,
Avg: 2.9 from 123
FA: Complete South Ridge Barry Corbet & Robert French on 7/27/58
> Grand Teton NP
> Cascade Canyon
Baxters Pinnacle and Southwest Descent Gully Closed for Nesting Peregrine Falcons
As of May 27, 2014, Baxters Pinnacle and its southwest descent gully are closed due to an active peregrine falcon aerie. The area is expected to be opened in August. Grand Teton National Park monitors the area every year to determine whether a seasonal raptor closure is necessary.
Good rock with a sunny southern exposure with a great view above Jenny lake.
The described below should bring you to a huge block for the 1st belay:
P1 Go up and left along a ramp, then go back right past a tree and belay on a ledge where the climb steepens. If you want, the steep wall directly above the 1st belay goes 5.10 and has a couple of bolts. It's a variation called Seizure Disorder.
P2 (5.6) Climb straight up the crest, which angles a little to the left as you approach a large ledge for 2nd belay. A steep crack to the right is the 2nd pitch (5.8) of the South Ridge climb. It has a couple of fixed pins low down.
P3 (5.6) Continue straight up on the south face and top out before setting up belay.
P4 Traverse (more easy) across and slightly down to a large flat stance below the base of the more intimidating tower and set up your next belay from there.
P5 (5.9) Over to the right, just to the left of the corner and above, there is a fixed pin. The crux of the climb is a one move affair to get off of the flat stance and onto the tower above the pin. From there you climb just a bit to the right of the pin and up a big, detached flake. Then a steep (5.7) lieback crack goes up and left along the very steep corner. There are 3 fixed pins in the crack. Finally double cracks lead to the summit.
Although not as hard as the complete South Ridge, a 5.6 pitch vs. 5.8 crack on the 2nd pitch, I really enjoyed staying out on the South Face. The lieback portion of the last pitch had the most enjoyable moves on the entire climb for me.
The rappel is about 75 feet into the notch to the north behind the pinnacle. You then downclimb the steep couloir along the west side of the pinnacle. Watch for loose rock.
Baxter's is a little difficult to find. I was with former JHMG, Jim Olson in 1987. It's low on the south side of Symmetry Spire's east ridge, but it's hard to see from the east shore of Jenny Lake. It's about a 1/2 hr. approach if you take the boat across Jenny lake. From the trail jct. just west of the Jenny Lake Boat Landing, take the "horse trail" up Cascade Canyon. After about 1/2 mile, you can see the pinnacle on the slope to the north. Continue up trail to talus from the pinnacle and find footpath that leads to the base of the south ridge of the pinnacle.
Standard rack. As noted there are a few fixed pins along the way. Sam Lightner and Forest Dramis replaced rap anchor with new bolts on 6/25/07.
Rapping off Baxter's Pinnacle with the North Face of the Grand behind.
Thinking of popping the big question? Do this climb!
Dan McCool at the crux move, the crux pitch Photo by Harvey Miller
Early 70's. Baxter's was the go to place for a short day climb. I took about everyone who I could get in my car to climb it at some point.
Final pitch, at the start of the layback.
This is a 5.8 variation on the first pitch.
The entire climb is visible but only the 2nd and 5th pitches are in direct sunlight.
View from the top toward start of final pitch.
Baxter's Lost Pinnacle. Early morning View
Baxter's Pinnacle in its entirety as viewed from the Lake.
Nearing the final tower.