Ascent of Middle Teton on 2021-07-06

Climber: John Woiwode

Date:Tuesday, July 6, 2021
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Middle Teton
    Elevation:12804 ft / 3902 m

Ascent Trip Report

Did both the Middle and the South Teton today. Started from the car at 4:30 A.M. from Lupine Meadows. We caught the sunrise up on the switchbacks which is always a treat before rounding the corner into Garnet Canyon and catching a glimpse of the days' objectives.

Once over the boulders and into the meadows proper we hung left and climbed around a lingering snowfield before dropping down again to traverse more snow. I brought an ice axe which was super helpful, we were able to forgo the use of crampons pretty comfortably. It was then a matter of hopping across the endless boulder fields up to the saddle between the South and the Middle. We made decent time up to the saddle at around 3 hours and 30 minutes, including a few detours and route-finding errors through the lower portion of the boulder field.

From here we hung a right up the Middle. We were able to skirt around the snow via some simple scrambling along the rocks on edge of the saddle. Once we made it up to the start of the couloir it was 1,000 feet of fun scrambling to the summit. We were the second party up that day, summiting in 4 hours 40 minutes. On the descent, we took care not to knock rocks down onto ascending parties before coming out of the couloir. At this point, a member of the first group up who was attempting to glissade down the snow lost his ax and slid into some rocks. We stayed with the group for a good 45 minutes making sure nothing was broken and bracing everything so he could make it down the mountain slowly.

After that fiasco, we turned our sights on the South and began up the ridgeline. Coming into the northwest couloir we again were able to skirt around a snowfield by hanging high on the ridge. Some simple class 2 later and we were on top, 35 minutes from the saddle to the summit, and 7 hours 27 minutes total time so far. After eating some food and rehydrating up high and we came down the same route we came up. Overall it was slightly under 16 miles with 7,484 ft of elevation gain and almost 12 hours of elapsed time. We rewarded ourselves with burgers in Jackson.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:6040 ft / 1840 m
    Total Elevation Loss:6040 ft / 1840 m
    Round-Trip Distance:15.8 mi / 25.4 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Headlamp
    Weather:Clear and Warm
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:6040 ft / 1840 m
    Distance:8.4 mi / 13.5 km
    Route:Southwest Couloir
    Start Trailhead:Lupine Meadows  6764 ft / 2061 m
    Time:7 Hours 27 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:6040 ft / 1840 m
    Distance:7.4 mi / 11.9 km
    Route:Southwest Couloir
    End Trailhead:Lupine Meadows  6764 ft / 2061 m
    Time:4 Hours 30 Minutes

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