Teton Backcountry | Grand Teton – Owen Spalding to Ford Stettner: June 24, 2014
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Grand Teton – Owen Spalding to Ford Stettner: June 24, 2014

Grand Teton – Owen Spalding to Ford Stettner: June 24, 2014

So, I kind of thought that I was done snowboarding for the season…but the snow is lingering up high, and it seemed worth taking one more trip up the Grand before throwing the snow-sliding gear in the attic.  The ice in the Chevy is getting awfully rotten (it is summer after all), and at this point the only way I feel comfortable climbing the Grand in snowboard gear is via the Owen Spalding.  While the OS is far from wintery and mostly a normal rock climb, there’s definitely still enough snow and ice up there to benefit from waterproof boots and crampons.  Some of the more confined areas in the chimneys got a little awkward with skis or a snowboard on our backs, forcing us to come up with alternate sequences of moves through a few sections.  All in all, the conditions made the generally easy rock climb more engaging and enjoyable for us.  If you’re looking to bust out the rock shoes, you’re better off heading up one of the ridge routes at the moment.

 

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Sunrise from the Lower Saddle

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Middle Teton gettin’ lit

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Idaho looking fine as ever

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Easy livin’ on top

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Looking down from the summit block

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Paintbrush Divide, still snowy

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Crampons off, skis on!

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Never thought I’d lug a solid board this deep into GTNP

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Down the Ford we go

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East Face

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Solid runnel in the lower Ford

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Mike on the first rappel

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Sweet view from the confines of the Chevy

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Back to the beer stash at the Meadows!

4 Comments
  • Madison Eubanks
    Posted at 21:46h, 26 June Reply

    Looking to climb the OS here in two weeks. Conditions seem good?

  • adamzok
    Posted at 15:27h, 27 June Reply

    In the short term, no….it just rained and is supposed to be chilly for a couple days, so it’ll probably ice up. However, by the time you arrive, I think there’s a good chance it’ll be ready again as a rock route…looks like we’ll be getting the sun back soon. Still plenty of snow above 9000 ft, and the safest way to complete the approach would be to use an ice axe and crampons. The iciest parts felt more like 5.7 to me, but then again I didn’t have climbing shoes and one of my fingers is broken…

    • Madison Eubanks
      Posted at 23:44h, 27 June Reply

      Oh wow, well respect to you for going for it anyway! Is the boot pack on the headwalls (meadows/lower saddle) pretty solid? Looks like I may be going for a summit Monday/Tuesday

  • adamzok
    Posted at 06:42h, 28 June Reply

    Bootpack isn’t bad….quite good from moraines to lower saddle. The part near the caves seemed pretty trashed, but then again it was completely dark with no moon….so perhaps a better bootpack exists somewhere nearby.

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