Black Ice Couloir

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mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 26, 2014 - 08:51pm PT
Anyone climbed it or know the conditions this year? Is it too late. What are some other moderate ice climbs in the Tetons?
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 26, 2014 - 08:57pm PT
Mike....don't know the conditions but it should be good. It's been a big snow year which bodes well and usually it's better later in the summer when the snow melts off.
The Enclosure Ice Coulouir is also a lot of fun. It leads to the SW Ridge on the Enclosure of the Grand Teton. The SW Ridge serves up some exellent 5.7 climbing on stellar rock. A good combo of ice and rock.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 26, 2014 - 09:03pm PT
What kind of rack would you want to take on either route. May take jack after we go to the winds so I usually take a little extra. Also can we bivy for free? If I remember you definitely have to get a bivy permit. Is it a problem if you show up the day of the climb.
ms55401

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
Jul 26, 2014 - 09:11pm PT
don't know about conditions

but I'll be in the area in early September and ready to rock
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 26, 2014 - 09:17pm PT
Neither one is that terribly steep...4 or 5 screws. A Ight rack of cams and stoppers for the SW Ridge, probably singles up to #2. Both routes end at the Enclosure, from there you can do the Owen Spaulding to tag the summit.
Approach both climbs from the Lower Saddle via the Valhalla Traverse.
Personally, I would take Jack on the Enclosure/SW Ridge combo....mellow ice and fun rock and much less danger from rockfall. The Black Ice is directly below the descent route from the Grand. Also, no real rock climbing on the Black Ice.
The Black Ice is a longer ice climb and has a steeper bulge (70 %) on it.
johnkelley

climber
Anchorage Alaska
Jul 26, 2014 - 09:17pm PT
Great route!

Mike there's a strip of ice that sometimes forms in the fall on the west face of Owen near the route Mas Interpedo. I'm pretty sure it's unclimbed. It's clearly visible from the Valhalla near the start of the Black Ice if it's in.

Two (unrepeated ?) ice routes that went in after Renny's book are Three Shots in the Dizzy Wind (aka Mr. Glass) on the N. Face of the Enclosure and the Minor 4th Couloir on Mt. Moran near the N. Ridge.

The Northwest Couloir on the Middle could be another good option. If you don't want to see anyone the Triple Glaciers on Moran is cool.

Have fun
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 26, 2014 - 09:54pm PT
Thanks for the info. Mt Moran has always looked so cool.
norm larson

climber
wilson, wyoming
Jul 27, 2014 - 03:11pm PT
Hey Mike don't overlook the northeast snowfields of Mt Owen. They are in good shape right now and offer up an uncrowded alpine excursion. If you do the black ice remember it's peak season and there are a lot of people above you all with the potential to send rocks down on you. The Enclosure gully/ NW ridge is probably the best moderate alpine route in the Tetons, good ice, good rock, good setting. Go directly from Valhalla canyon for the total adventure.. Owen is still my favorite Teton though. Last one to be climbed, no easy route, no crowds. Triple glacier on Moran is good too but much more involved especially if you don't have a boat.
I have some other ideas for you if you want to pm me.
johnkelley

climber
Anchorage Alaska
Jul 27, 2014 - 03:38pm PT
Yeah Owen is a good idea. Very cool peak. Hey doesn't Thor have a couloir also? It's been a long time since I've been in the Tetons and I can't remember the names of everything.

Norm thanks for those ski bindings. Used them last weekend when I did North Duke Peak outside of Juneau
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 27, 2014 - 04:13pm PT
NE Snowfields is a great snowclimb Mike but Jack might find the overall experience a bit arduous.
If you do NW Gully on Middle or the Enclosure Gully/SW Ridge or the Black Ice on the Grand you will have a mellow hike up Garnet Canyon to the Lower Saddle. You can even take some extra time in Garnet Canyon and do Irene's Arete or the Corkscrew....both nice moderate (5.8) rock climbs.
johnkelley

climber
Anchorage Alaska
Jul 27, 2014 - 04:52pm PT
There's also the Black Ice/West Face if you want something that ends on the summit of the Grand. It's a little more involved but it's another route worth doing.
norm larson

climber
wilson, wyoming
Jul 28, 2014 - 03:40am PT
Glad those bindings worked for you John. Gear should be used and I had too many pairs of those.
Thor has a gully but it's not that good. It's double fall line makes it feel like a traverse the whole time. Certainly not crowded though.
Jim it's the Enclosure/ NW ridge not SW.
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Jul 28, 2014 - 11:57am PT
If I remember you definitely have to get a bivy permit. Is it a problem if you show up the day of the climb.
Definitely need back country permit. They used to be free, now $25 as of this season. You can get permit one day in advance.
OR permit the day of the climb. Office doesn't open till 7:00 AM I believe. I've had no trouble getting a permit on the same day, just be first in line about 06:00.
Bear proof canisters required except where there are bear boxes.
Good website
http://tetonclimbing.blogspot.com

July 12 photo of Enclosure Couloir here
http://tetonclimbingenclosure.blogspot.com/p/enclosure-couloir-2013.html

I had to delay my Tetons trip this year. Will be going up in two weeks. Hope there's still good snow/ice
steveA

Trad climber
Wolfeboro, NH
Jul 28, 2014 - 03:33pm PT
Hey Mike,

Just a warning that crossing that creek/river, to get onto the NE snowfields, on Mt. Owen, could be difficult. It was a long time ago, but when I did it with Yvon Chouinard, we searched for over an our for a log, which spanned the river; otherwise we never would have gotten across.
It is fun just to hike the Grand in a long day. Have fun!!
Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
Jul 28, 2014 - 04:59pm PT
Arsenault et Chouinard...

... sounds like a Quebec law firm, eh?
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 28, 2014 - 05:04pm PT
Right Todd....that's the tall and the short of it.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 30, 2014 - 09:33am PT
High traverse, how long can you stay for your $25? Is it one fee for multiple nights or is it $25/night and is that per group or per person? OMG my head is starting to spin. Anyone climbed any late season snow or ice in the winds perferably by the Cirque, but really anywhere. Jack has been doing some long rdies the last couple of weeks to prepare to suffer a little. He has gotten in 3 rides over 50 miles in a weeks time. Including 13 miles on technical single track and then 60 on the road bike in one day.
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Jack says he is ready and has all the best equipment.
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Jul 30, 2014 - 11:18am PT
mike
The park will reserve up to one-third of each camping zone in advance, and save two-thirds of each zone for those who wish to get a first-come, first-served permit in person one day before the start of a backcountry trip (walk-in permit). Those who do not secure an advanced reservation may still apply for a walk-in permit. During peak season (July and August), competition for these walk-in permits is high. Beginning summer 2014, backcountry campers will be charged a $25 fee for each walk-in permit.
http://www.nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/bcres.htm

Great snow climb warmups for Jack
 Spoon Couloir on Disappointment Peak. Short, steep, narrow. Watch the moats. Finish by hiking to the top of Disappointment for one of the best views in the Tetons. Descend by SEast Ridge. You may want a rope to rappel if you lose the faint path or the steep down climb seems sketchy for Jack.

 Symmetry Couloir. A mid length to long day depending on Jack's stamina/speed. Long, steep in a couple of places, scenic. Descend the way you came.

 Mess about in Garnet Canyon. Various snowslopes. You can camp at the Meadows or at the higher camp on the South Teton Glacier approach. The (Petzold) caves are also a great campsite.
Watch The Moats. There was a moat fatality last year right in the Meadows.

 There are some cirques in upper Paintbrush Canyon above and to the South/West of Holly Lake. Not a bad day trip. You can camp anywhere to the South/West above Holly Lake.

I'll be arriving at the Climber's Ranch on Aug 13. Perhaps I'll run into you and Jack
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 30, 2014 - 01:28pm PT
HT, thanks for the information, but I am still unclear if we will need two permits since there is two of us. Hopefully not $25 seems way steep. Kind of decided that the Tetons is to rich for my blood at least for this year. Also would love to have light weight boots and crampons when we go into the tetons, as we only have our water ice boots and crampon which are quite bulky and heavy.
Credit: mike m
HT those photos were from when he was 8, he is now 13, here is one from when we did Bozo's in March. there was a ton of snow in the south fork and it was cold and he toughed it out so I think we could get some frosty things done in the tetons, but I will have to be back at work by the time you get there.
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Jul 30, 2014 - 01:42pm PT
still unclear if we will need two permits since there is two of us
pretty sure it's per permit, not per person, nor per campsite, nor per night.
One permit per party per excursion.
Until this year they were free.
Call the Jenny Lake ranger station (307)739-3343 if you want a certain answer.
You need the same permit if you want to bivvy not in a regular campsite.

13's a great age for getting out there.
You can do all the approaches in approach shoes and just boot up for the snow/ice bit.
Lightweight boots sure do help though.
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