Myself and skiers Jason and Ian climbed and rode the Ford/Stettner on the Grand Teton on Memorial Day. Luckily I didn't commit to the trip until the day before we left, meaning I only had one day and one night of stress and anxiety to deal with before boots were on the ground. A photos courtesy of Ian, since I never remember to take my camera. I know narcissism is in these days, but the lack of a camera is the only reason I am the main subject.
The Tetons had a well above average snow year this year, but warm temps and a major dust event this spring have taken their toll on the snow. Even though there is still snow at the Lupine Meadows TH, high north facing lines are runnelled out and the snow is solidly in summer mode. This would be to our benefit on the raps out of the couloir since the snow was already thoroughly cooked down.
Packing the car...
We left SLC at 3:45 pm Sunday and made it to the trailhead at around 9 pm after stopping for food. We camped there and woke up at 2:20 am. We hit the trail a little after 3. After navigating the many Garnet Canyon trail switchback in the dark, we hit continuous snow at about 8800', a little before the Meadows. Things were pretty uneventful from there, up the Teepe Glacier to Glencoe Col.
Just below the col:
Just below Glencoe Col we entered the Stettner, which was steep snow except for one challenging bulge before you turn left into the Chevy, which held the crux. We soloed all but the 20 feet near the crux bulge.
First bulge. The ropes are actually from another party that we passed.
Climbing in the Stettner:
Above the crux it was a cruise up the Ford to the summit, which we reached around 10. Visibility was awesome. We could see everything from the Lemhis in Idaho to the Wind Rivers.
Summit view north:
The snow on the descent was perfectly softened, if a little lumpy.
Myself riding near the summit:
The descent from the summit is about 1200' before you start to rap. With another party rapping at the same time, our rappel descent took forever. It is not a place you want to spend time either. Thankfully there were only random small ice chunks periodically bouncing down the coulior.
The descent down the trail was a posthole-fest, as expected. We hit the car and headed back to SLC after a food stop in Jackson, getting home around 10:30 pm. All in all a great trip.
Thanks dudes. Dan, I had forgotten you guys were going up there until John L posted a picture on facebook of a Tacoma full of boats, boards, etc. Bucky mentioned the trip was mostly successful. I'd like to see some pics of it. Did the Skillet have a gnarly runnel in it like everything else I saw in the Tetons?
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 5:44 pm Posts: 712 Location: The Magic City
Very cool TR. Done in great style! That thing has really been getting gangbanged this year. Also cool that splitboarders from this site summited & shredded at least 3 major Tetons over the holiday. Middle Teton Glacier Route actually still looks pretty good in your photos.