Type: Trad, Alpine, 1000 ft, 9 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Yvon Chouinard, Tom Frost - 1963
Page Views: 325 total · 19/month
Shared By: Nick M on Jul 14, 2017
Admins: Mike Snyder, Jake Dickerson, Taylor Spiegelberg

You & This Route

2 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick


An excellent, steep, exposed route on the business side of Disappointment Peak. To climbers or skiers traveling below in Glacier Gulch, Disappointment's north face commands attention, even with the immense presence of the Grand and Owen nearby. While the names and era of the first ascent are enough to cause concern, we found the route relatively clean, reasonable for the grade, and generally awesome! That said, it's a Teton 5.9 from the 60's, on one of the steeper faces around, so it's not to be taken lightly. It's significantly more involved than the nearby Open Book, 5.9, for example.

The route proper starts in Glacier Gulch and goes to the top. A shorter version involves traversing onto the face via the large ledge from Amphitheater Lake, which was our path. The Ortenburger/Jackson guide warns that the bottom section is "unpleasant". While it didn't look nearly as quality as the upper half, an ascent of the entire face seems worthy, and I hope to go back for the proper go. For now, the route will be described missing the first 3 pitches (my P1 is really P4).

Approach (for the short version): Amphitheater Lake to the first couple hundred feet of the East Ridge route. 4th, low 5th. Walk out onto the awesome, vegetated ledge that grants you passage onto the gnarnia of the north face. Finding the start is not obvious. 300-400' out, when the ledge peters out, locate a short 5.9 jug/crack bulge above a small tree. The chimney system starts above that. If the ledge was full-snow, it would not be particularly chill to get out there.

P1: A long pitch, primarily fun chimney with an old-school squeeze down low. 50-60m, multiple belay options, 5.8 or 9. The multitude of bail anchors indicate some have had issues here.

P2: Chimney eases, curves right, good belay where chimney peters out, 5.6.

P3: Quest up and right following the weakness that is the extension of the chimney. Following the path of least resistance on what starts to become marginally-protected face climbing, traverse right towards a prominent left-facing corner that you initially cannot see. Belay at the base of the corner. Airy, awesome, heads-up, 5.9.

  • *Retreating now would be significant, as your fall-line no longer includes the midway ledge. Glacier Gulch is a long ways down there. The P4 roof may provide shelter from a storm if needed.

P4: Climb the classic, if not a bit vegetated, corner to the roof and storybook belay above. 5.9, some fixed gear.

P5: Multiple options, head upwards on somewhat rambling terrain. I recall heading right to start, then trending back left. Belay where it makes sense. Not a particularly long pitch. 5.8 or 9.

P6: Multiple options to the top. We did what we believe is the Kimbrough-Rickert variation, the harder of the options. From the belay, look up and left for some appealing, steep, left-leaning cracks. Quest over there and pull a small finishing roof. 5.9+. More straight up looked easier.

A very short scramble gets you to the broad west slope of Disappointment. Hike up to the summit for sweet views, or begin the descent. Same as Irene's. Axe/crampons may be required depending on snow conditions.


North face of Disappointment Peak. Approach via Glacier Gulch for the full route, or Amphitheater Lake/East Ridge for the midway ledge short version.


Whatever your standard Teton 5.9 rack is, to 2" or 3". Our BD #3 got used but was not mandatory. Some fixed gear.


Alpine, Utah and Almo, Idaho
RKM   Alpine, Utah and Almo, Idaho
So cool to have this route added to the data base. Thanks Nick. One of the bail anchors on top of pitch one (or four) is mine - from the 70’s. I believe this was the hardest (at least by actual rating) route in the 1965 Leigh Ortenbutger Teton guide book. Because of that, it drew some attention in our ambitions. We found it wet, hard, and scary (and over our heads).

Funny bit of trivia or side story. My partner for the attempt lived in Ventura and knew Tom Frost. On a trip there, we pestered him about routes, etc. We asked him; ‘tell us about the Choiuinard-Frost Chimney’. His response in his typical dry sense of humor was; ‘never heard of it - who did the first ascent’? May 13, 2018