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Grand Teton: NE Coulior conditions
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Mar 13, 2016
HI,

I am looking at climbing something on the North Face of the Grand this early spring April/May. Specifically, the North East Coulior up past the second tower and on to the east ridge. My best guess for best conditions would be when the top of the mountain begins to see highs above freezing to consolidate the snow and ice on the route. I think this will happen in the late April and into May. Has anyone been up there? Can anyone speculate on the best conditions? Thank you!

-Greg
Greg Malloure
From Prescott Az
Joined Mar 30, 2010
30 points
Mar 13, 2016
tetonclimbing.blogspot.com/ Jim Fox
From Westminster, CO
Joined Jun 16, 2014
73 points
Administrator
Mar 13, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: hi
Good luck and I hope you are a local. I have looked at that face three times, once in May, once in September and once in November. All were a no go for various readons. I do believe April/may would be the best time, as well as October post a few storms with a freeze thaw cycle or three. Go up with a day pack and check conditions once every week and I am sure you will eventually find it in good enough shape with ice one of the times. And post up, if there is ice, I'll be in my car in 24 hours to make the drive from Wisconsin.. jon jugenheimer
From Madison
Joined Apr 24, 2006
1,639 points
Mar 13, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing in Smuggler's Notch
Here's a couple of local resources for conditions/weather:

mountainweather.com/index.php?...

jhavalanche.org/viewTeton

tetongravity.com/forums/showth...

wyomingwhiskey.blogspot.com/20...

There's a strong covey of local kids who ski the heck out of the Tetons...and...the Hossack/MacGowan is on the radar. If you surf around, you might find a local or two willing to offer conditions.

straightchuter.com/the-grand-r...

Some sage advice from the above: "The Grand favors local knowledge over luck and a combination of both is better yet."

I think to be successful climbing a route like the NE Coulior you need to be paying attention to the season of snow/avalanche data and a likely period of weather that will make conditions reasonable. That could happen anytime in winter through spring.

Good luck!
Brian in SLC
Joined Oct 6, 2003
13,072 points
Mar 13, 2016
'Good' conditions could occur anytime from late April through early June, and maybe later. Following the blog above, and the weather and avalanche forecast will help, because it really depends if you can capitalize on a good weather window or not. luke smith
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Joined Feb 4, 2012
51 points
Mar 13, 2016
Brian, to your knowledge, has anyone skied the Hossack-MacGowan since Andrew and Hans did it? Just wondering... luke smith
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Joined Feb 4, 2012
51 points
Mar 13, 2016
I dunno greg, i hear that anytime you go into the mountains the weather turns for the worse... JaminT
From Jackson, WY
Joined Jul 11, 2012
2 points
Mar 13, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing in Smuggler's Notch
luke smith wrote:
Brian, to your knowledge, has anyone skied the Hossack-MacGowan since Andrew and Hans did it? Just wondering...


I think its been tried a few times, and, contemplated a bunch...but I hadn't heard it got a third descent. Some pretty strong skiers up there, though...so...yeah, dunno.
Brian in SLC
Joined Oct 6, 2003
13,072 points
Mar 13, 2016
Thanks Brian, I didn't think it had (and I assume if someone else had they would have said something). Greg, I'm not sure what your experience in the Tetons is, but I would always come with a backup plan or two, and there are some excellent climbs on the Middle Teton, the Enclosure and the the other aspects on the Grand. The North side is big and very alpine. Experience pays off heavily too. luke smith
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Joined Feb 4, 2012
51 points
Mar 14, 2016
Thanks all for the replies! I will post up when I head down there. Greg Malloure
From Prescott Az
Joined Mar 30, 2010
30 points
Mar 14, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Stairway To Heaven - all the way to the Pearly Gat...
The Hossack/MacGowan is a good route in later May after the East Ridge has firmed up so avy danger is not an issue. You will find plenty of snow after the lakes and a good place to bivy is near the last bit of the Black Dike Traverse where one can bum slide back to the base. One of the best bum slides in the Tetons. A close second is off the Lower Saddle.

There are not any real difficulties on the route. Well that is if your partner waits to be put on belay before stepping off the midway ledge and does not slip on veri-glass causing them to fall down on to a steep snow slope for some 70-80 feet after which they go airborne over the edge leaving you with no choice but to jump off the other side of the ledge so to stop them before they fall the rest of the rope length and what later becomes fodder for Climbing's Screamer of the Month.
Allen Sanderson
From Oootah
Joined Jul 6, 2007
1,194 points
Mar 17, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: So stoked to be up on the Grand with a few of my g...
^ So as far as I know the Hosaack magowin has only been skied twice although a quite local has possibly done it aswell but how often does it get climbed? How / what is the protection like?? Ty Falk
From Park City, UT
Joined Nov 1, 2011
191 points
Mar 17, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing in Smuggler's Notch
Ty Falk wrote:
^ How / what is the protection like??


Depends on how heavy your partner is...
Brian in SLC
Joined Oct 6, 2003
13,072 points
Mar 18, 2016
Hahaha, so that's why I prefer lighter partners! Greg, I will be in the Tetons periodically this spring as well, I'll post on the conditions I find too. luke smith
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Joined Feb 4, 2012
51 points
Mar 18, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Stairway To Heaven - all the way to the Pearly Gat...
Ty Falk wrote:
How / what is the protection like??


We joked afterwards that all one needs is a #1 Friend to catch a fall - literally and figuratively.
Allen Sanderson
From Oootah
Joined Jul 6, 2007
1,194 points
May 23, 2016
Hi,

All, thanks for all the info. I got sucked into trying the Black Ice Coulior two weekends ago.. Stormy weather forced us into making hasty decisions. We ended up bailing after climbing the enclosure coulior. The EC was all snow, no ice. The valhalla traverse went on all snow which was nice but took three hours to traverse. The black ice looks to be all snow too. We could not see the top of the Black Ice coulior so I am unsure of what the crux looks like. The bottom of the NW coulior on the middle looked like the ice had formed up.

We have another weekend up ahead, but again stormy. I am hoping the forecast improves...
Greg Malloure
From Prescott Az
Joined Mar 30, 2010
30 points
May 23, 2016
I've found the same so far Greg...not enough of a sunny melt-freeze cycle going on with these storms the last few weeks. It's extending the ski season though, the Grand will probably have an Everest like conga line of people going up the Ford-Stettner this weekend if the weather is good. That would be interesting to watch from the Middle! luke smith
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Joined Feb 4, 2012
51 points


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