Skiing

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.

You Belong – North Ridge (5.9/5.8, IV) – Mount Owen, Grand Teton Nat. Park (08.29.22)

Mount Owen’s North Ridge is one of the longest, most aesthetic, yet equally demanding mountaineering routes in Grand Teton National Park, tucked away on the western flanks of the seldom traveled Owen-Teewinot Cirque. The route encompasses over 6,000 feet of elevation gain, half of which is considered “technical” – 4th class and above – and 13 or more roped pitches up to 5.9 – often rife with steep snow. A brutal approach involving dicy creek crossings, hours of dense bushwhacking and vast, obscure, occasionally loose, big mountain terrain solidify this full spectrum, undeniably classic, Teton alpine route – the first of it’s class for my resume – an adventure I surely won’t forget anytime soon.

Unique In Every Way – Dike Route and East Face (5.6, 5.4, IV) – Dike Pinnacle and Middle Teton, Grand Teton Nat. Park (08.20.22)

The Dike Route is a captivating 3000′ alpine climb that ascends the east face of the 12,809′ Middle Teton and it’s eastern sub-peak, the 12,350′ Dike Pinnacle, by way of a striking diabase dike gawked at by Garnet Canyon travelers far and wide. The “climb” is better classified as a full spectrum mountaineering adventure, with technical rock climbing up to 5.6, route finding difficulties, loose rock, several rappels, a runout traverse pitch, excessive third class scrambling, a long descent and mandatory steep snow crossings. On August 20th, 2022 I ticked the long desired beast with my girlfriend, Bobbi Clemmer, as her first grade IV – an epic one to say the least.

An Old-School Adventure – Almost Overhanging (5.9, III), Almost Arete – Disappointment Peak, Grand Teton Nat. Park (08.14.22)

On Sunday August 14th, 2022, Alex Wells joined my obscure vision to climb Almost Overhanging, an 850 foot, 7 pitch, seldom climbed route on Disappointment Peak’s Almost Arete. What we found was a “logical” line seriously lacking in traffic though deserving of more, with sound rock where it counted and an exciting variety of climbing styles. If Almost Overhanging could gain some traction, I believe it would stand with Open Book as another high-quality short-approach Garnet Canyon moderate, and help distribute some congestion from other routes in the area.

Addicted to the Shindig – Open Book (5.9+, III) – Disappointment Peak, Grand Teton N.P. (07.24.22)

On July 24th, Liam Wylie and I climbed Open Book, a six pitch, 450 foot, grade III rock route on the southeast face of Grunt Arete, the first rock feature east of Disappointment Peak’s SE Ridge, beginning in Garnet Canyon. Open Book is a Teton classic by all standards, with a stacked deck of unrelenting 5.8+ to 5.10- climbing above dramatic exposure. We finished the route in about eleven hours car to car, and had a tremendous time doing so.

Fun Every Time – East Ridge (5.7, II), Disappointment Peak, Grand Teton N.P. (07.09.22)

Disappointment Peak’s East Ridge is perhaps the best moderate multi-pitch alpine climb in Grand Teton National Park. Ease of access combines with straightforward route finding, sound rock and epic views to create a one-of-a-kind 5.7 Teton experience. As Bobbi’s first alpine climb of the year, we sought this route in hopes of landing her first true alpine lead and park summit of summer 2022.

In The Name Of Friendship – Skiing the Grand Teton’s Ford-Stettner Couloir in June – GT Nat. Park (06.08.22)

On June 8th, 2022, Carl Osterburg and I skied the Grand Teton via the traditional “Ford-Stettner Couloir” Route. This was Carl’s first and my fourth Grand Teton ski descent, a mission propelled by one sole purpose, enjoying a final day in the mountains with my best Teton friend before he packs up and moves to Minnesota. Can you think of a better sendoff? I can’t, because there isn’t one.

It’s a War Zone – Late Season Powder in the V Couloir – Prospectors Mountain – GT Nat. Park, WY (04.28.22)

The V Couloir is a lesser skied 1,000 foot technical couloir on the north side of Prospectors Mountain. Mid-fifty degree skiing above exposure, a mid-run ice fall and likewise rappel, and notorious overhead danger characterize this exceptionally scenic yet serious ski mountaineering descent. On April 28th Connor James and I tackled the beast in iffy… Continue Reading →

Three Times The Charm – We Finally Found the Tallboy Couloir – Owen/Teewinot Cirque – GT Nat. Park, WY (04.24.22)

The Tallboy Couloir is an underground classic in the Teton steep skiing scene. 4,000 feet of fall-line vertical relief, uber-exposed entrance, 1,000 feet of sustained 50 degree skiing in a commanding, narrow and consequential upper couloir, all in the shadows of two of the Teton’s finest peaks, Mount Owen and Teewinot Mountain – need I… Continue Reading →

Rainy Couloir Stoke – Skywalk and Chuter Buck Couloirs – 25 Short/Avalanche Cyn. – GT Nat. Park, WY (04.21.22)

The Skywalk Couloir is a seldom skied and deceptively steep 500 foot technical couloir on the west side of Peak 25 Short, just left of the popular Moonwalk Couloir. Chuter Buck is a striking 800 foot technical couloir diving north from the bench beneath Buck Mountain and Peak 10,696. After scoring the MoonWALK Couloir in… Continue Reading →

Unintentionally Rowdy – Skiing The Tallboy’s Evil Twin – Owen/Teewinot Cirque, Grand Teton Nat. Park (04.09.22)

This past weekend Carl Osterberg, Ryan Corley and I made an unintentional descent of a rarely skied line on the north side of Peak 11,840 while looking for the renowned Tallboy Couloir. The Tallboy’s Evil Twin, also known as the Just Enough Couloir, begins at the saddle separating Teewinot Mountain and Peak 11,840, dropping over… Continue Reading →

North End Recon & Beta Bomb – Eagles Rest (almost) In A Day – Waterfalls Canyon, Grand Teton Nat. Park, WY (3.16.22)

Eagles Rest Glacier? Waterfalls Glacier? I’m not sure how this thing doesn’t have a name, but someone should call USGS and tell them there’s a huge glacier separating the twin summits of Eagles Rest Peak, deep in the confines of Waterfalls Canyon, needing a title. Either way, first time partner Nick LaToof and I skied… Continue Reading →

Truly Magical – Knee Deep Powder in the Ellingwood Couloir – Middle Teton – Grand Teton National Park, WY (03.14.22)

According to the late great Steve Romeo, acclaimed Teton ski mountaineer and founder of TetonAT.com, “The Ellingwood Couloir on the Middle Teton is one of the most classic steep descents in the Teton Range”, and if Romeo deems it a classic, I’ll give it my humble blessing too. The Ellingwood is one of the very,… Continue Reading →

Randonee’ Skis, Apocalyptic Winds and Thigh Deep Powder – Red Sentinel Couloir, Grand Teton National Park, WY (03.12.22)

The Red Sentinel Couloir has become somewhat of a Teton “trade route” the past few seasons. Why has it taken me six winters to ski this iconic line? Probably the same reason I haven’t skied the Apocalypse Couloir – WHO KNOWS! On March 12th, 2022 I finally tagged the beast, scoring 100% fresh tracks in… Continue Reading →

Building Confidence – Climbing the Sentinel Ice Couloir (WI3/4) – Grand Teton National Park, WY (03.10.22)

The Sentinel Ice Couloir is a two… or three… or four pitch moderate ice climb on the southern aspect of Albright Peak (north side of Death Canyon). While hardly a classic, this quirky route provides an alpine style climb in a very dramatic setting, and probably the easiest accessed pitch of grade four water ice in Grand Teton National Park. Despite the Tetons receiving a walloping of snow the past week, Connor James and I set out determined to make this long planned mission happen, no matter the powder that stood in our way.

Five Things I Learned on My First Bishop Bouldering Trip

It’s approaching spring climbing road trip season! Around this time last year (2021) I took off to Bishop California for three weeks of bouldering, and despite breaking my wrist on day four learned a tremendous amount about the Bishop bouldering scene, especially as it pertains to beginners. I climbed at the Buttermilks as well as the Volcanic Tablelands, and this article will focus `on both areas from the perspective of a V2-V3 outdoor boulderer.

My Own Little World – Flashing The Thrill Is Gone (M4+, WI4) & The Matrix (M4, WI4-), Lessons Learned & Conditions Report – Hyalite Canyon, MT (2.18-2.19, 2022)

After belaying Brian Emory on his first coveted red-point of “The Thrill” just seven days before, I returned with Scott Melin to attempt an “on-sight” lead. We climbed for two days at the Unnamed Wall and Mummy Cooler Areas, ticking ascents on Mummy II, The Matrix, Feeding The Cat, The Fat One and of course, The Thrill Is Gone. A full conditions report and photos are included.

Mission Mentality – Skiing the Bowling Alley – Teton Canyon, WY (02.13.22)

The “Bowling Alley” is a 2,600 foot technical ski descent on the north aspect of Teton Canyon’s Treasure Mountain. After a month of minimal snow I hoped this funky, elusive and likewise rarely descended line could be hiding some of the last untouched powder on the west slope of the Tetons. I scored, but not without significant tax.

Hyalite Fever – First WI-4 Flash, “The Thrill Is Gone” (M4, WI4) & Conditions Report – Hyalite Canyon, MT (2.10-2.11, 2022)

Breaking news: Our Teton snowpack has achieved “grim” status – but luckily it’s remained damn cold. Instead of futzing around on skis, Brian Emory and I took off to Bozeman for some mid-week ice climbing. I managed to lead & flash two WI-4’s, my first at the grade, and Brian sent his long time project, The Thrill Is Gone (M4, WI-4). Read on for a few anecdotes and a conditions report in the Genesis and Unnamed Wall areas.

North with New Friends – Unexpected Powder on Leeks Peak (USGS 10,333′) – Grand Teton N.P. (02.04.22)

Leeks Peak (USGS Peak 10,333′) is the first highpoint on the south side of Colter Canyon in Grand Teton National Park. A long approach across Jackson Lake and a lack of prominent striking terrain steers most day trippers away, but when the snow in the core range is tracked to hell, peaks like Leeks begin to make more sense. In exchange for eight hours of time, our crew of three scored a phenomenal 3,500 foot powder run I look forward to skiing again, and valuable insight to a new area of GTNP with infinite steep descent potential.

Quality Quarantine – Middle Teton – North Ridge & NW Ice Couloir (5.6, AI2), East Face Ski Descent – Grand Teton N.P. (1.30.22)

The North Face of the Middle Teton holds two classic alpine routes in a commanding setting, the North Ridge (5.6, rock) and the Northwest Ice Couloir (5.6, AI2, steep snow). The two can be linked together to form a fusion technical mountaineering route popular with winter climbers. The East Face is one of the Fifty… Continue Reading →

But Where Are We? – Veiled Peak – North Ridge (4th) & NE Face Ski Descent – Grand Teton N.P. (1.16.21)

Veiled Peak is the most remote and least traveled 11,000 foot peak in the core Teton Range. Tucked far behind Mount Wister and standing at 11,315 feet, Veiled offers a rugged adventure to skiers and alpinists with an apt for big miles. The North Ridge is a technical scrambling alternative to the intricate and intimidating… Continue Reading →

January on the Grand – Ford-Stettner Couloir, Grand Teton – Ski Descent (01.19.22)

The Ford-Stettner route on the Grand Teton is arguably the Teton Range’s most classic and sought ski mountaineering descent. On January 19th, 2022, I completed my second successful climb and ski descent of the Ford-Stettner, this time with a brand new partner. In classic Grand Teton fashion we battled copious unknowns, learned many lessons and… Continue Reading →

Deceptive in Many Ways – Skiing the Crooked Thumb Couloir – Teewinot Mountain, GTNP (1.13.22)

The Crooked Thumb Couloir is the prominent avalanche path directly north of Teewinot Mountain’s classic East Face line. The couloir tops out at 11,600 feet on the mountain’s north ridge, and despite looking benign from below, drops over 2,500 vertical feet with several tight sections of 40+ degree fall line skiing. Sadly, my camera is… Continue Reading →

Awakening the Sleeping Dragon – A Remote Triggered Deep Slab Avalanche in the Tetons (12.27.21)

On December 27th 2021, I remotely triggered an avalanche of serious destructive magnitude while traversing a north-to-south ridgeline, at approximately 9,600 feet in the west Teton backcountry, on skis. The deep persistent slab avalanche broke with a 6-10 foot crown, ran 1,400 feet, uprooted many trees and failed on the “December 5th weak layer”. Read… Continue Reading →

Sending 5.11 – Five Things I Learned in My First Year of Climbing

One year ago (Sept. 2020) I bought my first pair of climbing shoes. My cardinal goal was simple – 5.11 by day 365. By month 11 the chains were clipped, and along the way I learned many lessons. From sport to trad, alpine faces to lowland boulders, I pushed my limits. This article is a distillation of my first year climbing experience – the article I wish I read as a budding and infinitely inspired young climber.

Teewinot Mountain – Southeast Couloir – A Slushy Summer Mess, and A Near Fatal Miss – Grand Teton N.P. (May 2019)

The Southeast Couloir of Teewinot Mountain is an often overlooked alternative to the highly sought East Face route. Topping out at 11,600 feet on the southernmost shoulder, the 600 foot couloir starts narrow, finishes wide and maintains a steady slope angle in the mid-forty degree* range. Despite impressive views of the Grand Teton and a… Continue Reading →

Teton Tested – Icelantic Natural 101 – The Ski Mountaineer’s Quiver Killer

The Natural 101 from Icelantic Skis is the ski mountaineer’s quiver killer. Light enough to climb the Grand Teton and tackle multi-peak traverses, but burly enough to dispatch thin couloirs, bushy June exits and rocky October strike missions, this ski can handle quite literally anything. Introduction Lightweight or Durable? Do We Need to Compromise? In… Continue Reading →

Volcano Hopping – Part One – Mount Hood (Newton-Clark Headwall), Adams (Southwest Chutes) and Middle Sister (North Ridge) – (June 2020)

Breaking news: Bar hopping is out. Volcanoes are in. Eight days and a pair of skis versus the epic array of Cascade Volcanoes from Washington to Oregon. This is the first of a three part series and includes descents on Mount Hood, Adams and the Middle Sister Shortly after knocking off a ski descent of… Continue Reading →

“Ski it Like A Man Possessed” – Devil’s Bedstead and Borah Peak – Pioneer and Lost River Ranges, Idaho (April 2020)

Our trip to central Idaho had absolutely nothing to do with the famous “50 classic ski descent” Devil’s Bedstead, and all to do with skiing off the Potato State’s tallest mountain, 12,667 foot Borah Peak. Also known as Mount Borah, the absolute behemoth towers over the town of McKay with a 3,000 foot West Face… Continue Reading →


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