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.
Coffee Cake and Quartz Crystals on the Taminah Arete (5.9, III) – Matternought Peak, Grand Teton N.P. (08.07.22)
The Taminah Arete (5.9, III) ascends the prominent aesthetic south ridge of Matternought Peak, an 11,360 foot southern spur of the larger Gilkey Tower. On Sunday August 7th, 2022, Liam Wylie and I completed the climb in 19 hours car-to-car - one of our finest Teton adventures, though perhaps a tent would have served us well.
First Teton 5.10 – Climbing The Snaz (5.10a, IV), Cathedral Rock, Grand Teton N.P. (07.31.22)
The Snaz is an ultra-ultra-classic 800 foot, grade IV, 5.10- rock route on the south face of Albright Peak in Grand Teton National Park, first established by Yvon Chouinard & Mort Hempel in 1964. With an emphasis on wide cracks and a big crux roof, the Snaz played to my weaknesses for a supremely challenging outing.
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.
Thou Shall Not Fall – Chouinard-Frost Chimney (5.9, IV) – Disappointment Peak, Grand Teton N.P. (07.10.22)
The Chouinard-Frost Chimney (5.9, IV) is a notoriously old-school rock route on the north face of 11,623 foot Disappointment Peak in Grand Teton National Park. Run-outs, loose rock, visionary traverses and a very real sense of adventure characterize this "classic" Teton route.
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.
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.