Type: Trad, Alpine, 10 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Renny Jackson, Jim Woodmencey, Steve Rickert (8/16/1988)
Page Views: 1,646 total · 33/month
Shared By: Vic Zeilman on Aug 7, 2017
Admins: Mike Snyder, Taylor Spiegelberg, Jake Dickerson

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Emotional Rescue is an outstanding line, tucked away on the backside of the Enclosure between the Black Ice and Enclosure Ice Couloirs. It offers a complicated approach, incredible position and exposure, a serous alpine feel, and pitch after pitch of stellar climbing on beautiful rock. It is certainly one of the best routes in the Tetons, and is significantly more committing than its relatively moderate grade might suggest.

The original Emotional Rescue route (Jackson, Rickert - 7/26/85) was rated IV 5.10- A2 and moved right after the second pitch to avoid sections of wet rock. Here, the first ascent party encountered a short section of aid through a prominent roof/bulge. This was later freed at 5.11 by Alex Lowe and Jim Olsen in August of 1988. Later that month, Jackson, Woodmencey and Rickert returned to the route to push the line straight up from the second pitch. This direct version of Emotional Rescue has become more popular over the years, and requires dry conditions.

Complete the Valhalla Traverse to the Enclosure Ice Couloir. From here, the Emotional Rescue crack system is clearly visible. Follow the lower ramp system to the reach the upper ramp below the climb (this may require crossing snow and ice at the base of the formation).

P1 (5.8) Obvious double cracks lead up the steep wall to a short squeeze chimney. It's easier for the follower to hang the pack and climb the outside of the squeeze to the right. 35m.

P2 (5.10-) Stellar crux pitch! A few moves of 5.10- steep fingers off the belay leads to a long stretch of 5.9 hands (#2-#3). Pull through a final section of 5.10- fingers/hands and set up an awkward hanging belay below a small roof. 35-40m?

P3 (5.9) Move right under the roof/undercling, then straight up to a belay in a small alcove with a small, left-facing corner. This zone tends to get a little fuzzy... P3 and P4 are quite short (20m?). Essentially, you're following the path of least resistance toward the large roof/overlap above. Seems like it would be ideal to link P2&P3 or P3&P4, depending on rope drag.

P4 (5.9) Pull through some 5.9 moves near the corner, up onto the weakness in the face above.
Head straight up toward the next overhang/"double roof." This section can be a bit wet. Build another awkward hanging belay below the "double roof" overlap. Another short pitch (30m?)

P5 (5.10-) Traverse right below the overhang for a few body lengths, then pull through the lip on good holds. Move back hard left (directly above the belay) and continue up a fun 5.9 weakness of flakes and corners. Belay on a comfortable ledge.

P6 (5.8+) Move right on a wildly exposed, yet fairly moderate, hand traverse for 30-40'(don't pull through the first bulge that is approximately 10' up and right from the belay ledge). Solid hand jams and good feet lead to an awkward 5.8 move around a flake/knob. Continue up the large 5.7 right-facing corner (which cannot be seen from the belay). Belay on a large ledge system above. Awesome pitch! 45-50m?

P7 (5.6) Continue up the prominent chimney/weakness that is on the left side of the belay ledge. Belay on a large terrace above.

P8 (4th class or possibly snow/ice) Coil the rope and bump up 4th class terrain (or snow) to a high point below a prominent left-facing corner.

P9 (5.9) Either climb the wide, left-facing corner (5.8 OW) or continue up and left along a ramp and pull through some 5.9 moves in a stack of solid chockstones leading to a notch.

P10+ Move up and right for approx 400-600' of easy 5th class (primarily 4th class) along the ridge toward the top of the Visionquest Couloir. This may involve sections of snow and ice, but likely wont in dry conditions.


From the Lower Saddle between the Middle and the Grand, complete the Valhalla Traverse to the Enclosure Ice Couloir. This usually takes 1.5 to 3+ hours depending on conditions and how much a party chooses to rope up. This is an exposed and serious traverse into an isolated and committing portion of the Grand, which would be difficult to retreat from! From the base of the Enclosure Coulior, the opening pitches of Emotional Rescue is clearly visible. Follow the lower ramp system to the reach the upper ramp below the climb (this may require crossing snow and ice at the base of the formation).


Double rack from fingers to #3 plus a single set of smaller cams and stoppers. A #4 was nice, but optional (needed for the 5.8 OW finish).