Ice Cream Cone Topo – West Crack (5.7) – Grand Teton Nat. Park (2022)

The west crack of the “Ice Cream Cone” (USGS ~12,405) in Grand Teton National Park is the most popular route of ascent for southbound Grand Traverse parties. To my knowledge there is no existing topo for this route on the internet. This “post” is nothing more than a photo and route description for future parties. Bobbi Clemmer and I climbed this route as part of a longer traverse on August 21st, 2022.

Ice Cream Cone Topo – West Crack (5.7)

The Ice Cream Cone is a ~12,405′ spire located just east of the South Teton, part of the studded ridgeline connecting the South Teton to Cloudveil Dome. Rarely an objective in it’s own, the Ice Cream Cone is often climbed in conjunction with a multi-peak traverse, usually from the west. The West Crack looks imposing and loose from the South Teton summit, but is actually rather low angle and besides loose blocks on a few ledges, is surprisingly clean. The crack takes a variety of protection and sports a fixed pin or two. The route begins at the col separating the Ice Cream Cone and the east face of the South Teton, in the obvious black chimney/wide crack with a low chockstone just off the ground. A single lead on a 60M cord does the trick. If I had to guess the length from memory, I’d give it 45 meters? No one move stands out as the “crux”, and besides a few fleeting moments the 5.7 stamp is generous. Enjoyable and juggy crack, face and chimney climbing on mostly solid rock, in a spectacular location, characterize this memorable pitch.

For descent and continuation along the crest, pick a line down the east face at generally easy 5th class. In the need for immediate retreat back to the South Teton or Garnet Canyon, a fixed anchor can be found by following an obvious ledge system to the north, located about halfway down the east face. After an exposed step the ledge widens to the width of a sidewalk and wraps around the north ridge of the Ice Cream Cone to a large “flat” platform. A boulder with many slings offers a (BARELY) 30M retreat west, back to the South Teton/Ice Cream Cone col. Rappel knots are recommended, as we JUST touched toes to scree before running out of our 59-ish meters of doubled over rope – and yes, that means we had to bail off the Ice Cream Cone in the face of a mounting storm – and so it goes.

Bobbi enjoying easy chugging on the Ice Cream Cone’s West Crack

Ten Thousand Too Far is generously supported by Icelantic Skis from Golden Colorado, Barrels & Bins Natural Market in Driggs Idaho, and Range Meal Bars from Bozeman Montana. Give these guys some business – who doesn’t need great skis and wholesome food?

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Ski mountaineering, rock climbing, ice climbing and all other forms of mountain recreation are inherently dangerous. Should you decide to attempt anything you read about in this article, you are doing so at your own risk! This article is written to the best possible level of accuracy and detail, but I am only human – information could be presented wrong. Furthermore, conditions in the mountains are subject to change at any time. Ten Thousand Too Far and Brandon Wanthal are not liable for any actions or repercussions acted upon or suffered from the result of this article’s reading.

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