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#21717 - 06/15/06 07:03 PM What if....
JoeKayak Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/21/02
Posts: 970
Loc: Manhattan

...you had one weekend in late July or late August to fly anywhere in the lower 48 states to do a single amazing climb (mountaineering route or rock, 5.9 or less) with a local guide at an elevation low enough to not require acclimatizing (roughly 11,000' or less I guess), where/what would it be?

Logistically, it could be a flight out of NYC on Friday afternoon, with one of the following:

climb Saturday, morning start, climb Sunday too.
approach Saturday for pre-dawn climbing start Sunday.
???

Redeye back to NYC Sunday night.

...an enquiring mind wants to know.


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#21718 - 06/15/06 07:17 PM Re: What if.... [Re: JoeKayak]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
If I had only one weekend, I don't think I'd spend half of it in an airplane.

But that's just me... I never go anywhere.

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#21719 - 06/15/06 07:39 PM Re: What if.... [Re: JoeKayak]
andrew Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/15/99
Posts: 1816
Loc: Denver, CO
i'd probably say the petit grepon in rocky mountain national park. its 5.8, spectacular, and only a 2 hour drive from denver international airport. summit is at around 12K i think.

keep in mind that a lot of the classic alpine routes in the west are really tough car to car, like anything on the grand teton or in the wind rivers, and much of the cascades.

anywhere in the mountains you may very well be shut down by weather.
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#21720 - 06/15/06 08:07 PM Re: What if.... [Re: JoeKayak]
nerdom Offline
Pooh-Bah *

Registered: 09/07/01
Posts: 2483
Loc: Davis Sq., MA
The Petit Grepon suggestion is a good one (a friend of mine just climbed it this past weekend). But I'd also suggest going out to the Tetons and doing Irene's Arete. Fantastic climb in a spectacular setting. Can be done in a day car to car. And Jackson Hole is just a very cool place to spend your non-climbing time.
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#21721 - 06/15/06 09:22 PM Re: What if.... [Re: JoeKayak]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
Quote:

...at an elevation low enough to not require acclimatizing (roughly 11,000' or less I guess)...



Everyone is different and YMMV of course, but when I lived on the East coast and was in my mid-30's (ie: 15 years younger), it would take me about 2-3 days of sleeping at 8500' and climbing between 9K - 10K to not feel shitty.

Regarding some of the suggestions, Petit Grepon is stellar and tops out at 11K. The down side is the ~5 mile approach. A possible alternative is something on Hallet's Peak as the approach is quite a bit shorter. Even maybe one of the longer routes at Lumpy Ridge (the names escape me right now).

I see Irene's Arete was mentioned - an alternative there might be Baxter's Pinnacle/Guide's Wall, again because of the shorter approach.

Regular Route on Fairview Dome in Tuolumne Meadows. Possibly another Meadows classic as well, depending on timing: South Crack, Great White Book (5.6 easy but pretty unique), Cryin' Time Again, Dike Route, West Crack, Hobbit Book....there are so many to choose from! (I'd check on flights in and out of Reno and Fresno as well as SFO)

White Punks On Dope in the Sierra Needles.

One or two of the classics at Tahquitz - Open Book, Finger Trip, Super Pooper.

Although you did say anywhere, is New Hampshire too close to home? What about one or two of the classics on Cannon - Moby Grape, Whitney G, Sams Swan Song come to mind.
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- Marc

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#21722 - 06/15/06 11:32 PM Re: What if.... [Re: MarcC]
andrew Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/15/99
Posts: 1816
Loc: Denver, CO
the routes on sundance buttress at lumpy ridge to think about would be kor's flake and mainliner. both are fantastic, but they just feel like big cragging routes. i wouldn't suggest coming out specifically to do one of those and then go home.

the 5 miles into the petit is a very easy 5 miles, especially if you bivy at sky pond - though you need a permit for that. big approaches are good for you!
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#21723 - 06/16/06 01:24 AM Re: What if.... [Re: MarcC]
strat Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 4242
If I went to the Tetons and climbed Baxter's Pinnacle or Guides Wall- and that was it- I would probably be satisfied because I didn't know any better as they are great but I could probably have a pretty similar experience on, say Whitney-Gilman. * But, if I knew better, I would wish someone would have told me to climb Irene's Arete instead. More work getting there, no doubt, but, so much worth the extra effort. A long weekend to Jackson Hole would be tough.

Similar experience meaning short approach, nice setting, say length, etc etc.

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#21724 - 06/16/06 10:18 AM Re: What if.... [Re: Mike Rawdon]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5977
Loc: 212 land
I'm with Mr. Rawdon here. The flight would leave one jet-lagged and sleep-deprived -- not in best climbing trim. Add a redeye flight back home and feel like you-know-what on Monday.
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#21725 - 06/16/06 11:26 AM Re: What if.... [Re: oenophore]
Chas Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
The question doesn't answer a lot of questions, like how fit are you for long approaches.... and what are you willing to spend on airfare, and in what range.

You can fly into Jackson Hole for the Tetons, but you will really pay a lot for airline tickets. The other option is to fly into Salt Lake City and then drive 5 hours but that adds 10hrs of drivig to your weekend so its not that reasonable. Otherwise if you are VERY fit you can do many of the routes in a day. Did 3 routes in 3 days in the Tetons last summer but the catch was I needed to meet people in Jackson Hole every night for dinner, but then again I ws very fit.

You can fly into Reno for the Eastern Sierras and do many things there in a reasonable manner (ie: someone of decent but not extrordinary fitness), things in the 5.6 to 5.9 in the Bear Creek area. A bunch of other things listed in the Supertopo Sierras are possible car-car in a day (but not the Minirets, since they sit back a bit...)

You can fly into Reno, Sacramento, San Jose of San Fransisco for Yosemite or Tuolumne. MarcC gives good suggestions for Tuolumne. In Yosemite East Butt Middle Cathedral or East Butt of El Cap would be classic, moderate day ascents and would leave time for classic moderates since as Nutcracker or Central Pillar of Frenzy, all with no approaches....

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#21726 - 06/16/06 01:25 PM Re: What if.... [Re: Chas]
Timbo Online   content
addict

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 696
Loc: Delaware
Quote:


You can fly into Reno, Sacramento, San Jose of San Fransisco for Yosemite or Tuolumne.




Take the word of a frequent East Bay visitor, Oakland is the airport of choice. 45 minutes closer to Yos, cheaper flights, smaller airport (i.e. - no hassle).

SFO means driving through shitty traffic for 45 minutes just to get to where you are when you fly into Oakland.

San Jose, well its about the crappiest airport I have ever seen. Perpetually under construction, with long waits to get a shuttle to the rental car center.

Oakland, definitely.

TS
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#21727 - 06/16/06 02:22 PM Re: What if.... [Re: Timbo]
JoeKayak Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/21/02
Posts: 970
Loc: Manhattan

To answer Strat, I am in excellent shape: training for the NYC Tri has me doing two sports 3x/week and one sport the other 4 days. The minute the Tri is over on July 16th, I roll into NYC Marathon mode (since I'm in this year!!!). Climbing shape is absolutely pathetic right now; I'd pump out on a 5.7 if it were more than 75 feet. But I'm not worried about that now because it takes me 4-5 weeks to get back up into my normal (if not higher) grades for me.

I also sleep very well in a window seat and have developed a habit of flying to DIA for a weekend of, say mountain biking at elevation, and then taking the redeye back and surviving Monday.

This is to substitute my going into the woods naked and killing an animal to become a man....it's my 'solo' bachelor weekend, and I'm much more into some classics or a mountaineering route than I'd be into cragging someplace else. Though NH has long beckoned for me, so no, I don't have to fly somewhere.

And I like the suggestions so far. I'm going to start researching them. Thank you all!

JK

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#21728 - 06/16/06 07:55 PM Re: What if.... [Re: JoeKayak]
cfa Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 07/23/02
Posts: 259
Loc: Upper Valley NH
Wow, sounds like you're in good shape assuming you're not too prone to the altitude thing. If you did plan on the Petit in a day (btw, I'm not sure if it's un-p.c. to recommend it, but there IS a way to cut about a mile off the approach hike...), you could also do, say, a long route in Eldo on Sunday. For example, Yellow Spur or Long John Wall or Rewritten. You wouldn't fly out to do one of these by themselves, but in combo with an RMNP route, it would be a pretty stellar weekend. (Of course, as Andrew mentioned, you'd have to hope for luck with the weather...)

-Carissa

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#21729 - 06/16/06 08:51 PM Re: What if.... [Re: cfa]
chip Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2677
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
A couple years ago went to Cannon for a day and then traversed the northern Presidentials the next. Beer tasted just fine that night and didn't have to worry about the altitude. It is no substitute for a higher adventure, but flying in and out of Manchester makes for a much less frenetic experience.
Let us know what you pick.

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#21730 - 06/16/06 09:00 PM Re: What if.... [Re: chip]
powpierre Offline
journeyman

Registered: 04/28/01
Posts: 56
Loc: reno,nv
If I were you I would contact Peter Croft in Bishop and go do something back up in the Sierras. Maybe like fishhook arete down near Whitney or something up near the Incredible Hulk up near Bridgeport.. That way you would have an incredible climb with a great guide and one who has literally written the book on the area you will be in. He has soloed most of the routes and will be able to get you in and out of the backcounrty faster than anyone. Fly through Reno Or Vegas.

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#21731 - 06/17/06 12:10 AM Re: What if.... [Re: nerdom]
Jannette Offline

Cliffmama
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/03/00
Posts: 2225
Loc: Gardiner, NY
Quote:

But I'd also suggest going out to the Tetons and doing Irene's Arete. Fantastic climb in a spectacular setting. Can be done in a day car to car. And Jackson Hole is just a very cool place to spend your non-climbing time.




Great to see these recommendations because I'm going to Yellowstone/Tetons for my family vacation this August. I'm thinking now I need to leave the kids with hubby and get myself a guide for a day to play. So how long (and steep) are the approaches for a 1 day Tetons climb? I am extremely aerobically challenged with bad knees, so I try to avoid long, steep approaches. If it's hopeless, are there other easier-to-get-to places to climb in that area?

Jannette

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#21732 - 06/17/06 01:01 AM Re: What if.... [Re: Jannette]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
Quote:

So how long (and steep) are the approaches for a 1 day Tetons climb? I am extremely aerobically challenged with bad knees, so I try to avoid long, steep approaches.



That would argue against Irene's (early in the approach is a 1500' elevation gain in about a mile of hiking) but there are other options. Start your research here:
http://www.exumguides.com/dayclimbs/dayclimbs.shtml
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- Marc

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#21733 - 06/18/06 12:16 AM Re: What if.... [Re: MarcC]
cfa Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 07/23/02
Posts: 259
Loc: Upper Valley NH
Lots of the Tetons so-called day climbs seem to be preceded by long and/or steep approaches. I wasn't terrifically fit the last time I was there, and I thought the Lupine Meadows Trail (and thus all the climbs stemming from it) was long, especially with the camping gear I was carrying since it WAS too long to then go climbing right afterwards. Symmetry Spire is a little more manageable..I don't remember the approach exactly, but we did do it in a day...there may have been some steep sections, but definitely not as long.

-Carissa

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#21734 - 06/18/06 03:34 AM Re: What if.... [Re: cfa]
chip Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2677
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Several of us will be out there in mid-July, and a certain Brown Dog may have some difficulty with consecutive tough approaches. Any suggestions for a couple easier approach days are welcome. Either that or we make him stay up in the saddle for the whole week.

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#21735 - 06/19/06 04:33 AM Re: What if.... [Re: chip]
Jannette Offline

Cliffmama
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/03/00
Posts: 2225
Loc: Gardiner, NY
I emailed Exum and the Jackson Hole Mountain Guides (jhmg.com). I haven't heard back from Exum yet, but this is what the Jackson Hole guys said about climbs they will guide to with short approaches:

There are a couple of good possibilities. One would be Guides Wall in Cascade Canyon and the other would be a Death Canyon rock climb such as Dihedral of Horrors or maybe the Snaz. The approaches are as short as you can find in the Tetons; one to two hours of trail walking with minimal elevation gain followed by steep but short slopes to the base of the routes. There's also a limestone sport climbing crag, the Hoback Shield, which is in a river canyon and is a ten or fifteen minute walk from the car. We'd be happy to guide you on any of these.

Jannette

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#21736 - 06/19/06 12:28 PM Re: What if.... [Re: Jannette]
crackers Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 3424
Loc: pdx
Climbing at hoeback is like sitting in the deli drinking beer instead of climbing in the gunks. As I recall, most of the climbs are uphill...

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#21737 - 06/19/06 01:57 PM Re: What if.... [Re: crackers]
Chas Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
I agree with Crackers. I've climbed at the Hogsback and if I remember right, I only remember one route worthwhile and it was a painfully crimpy .12b.

The Snaz is as easy an approach as anything in the Tetons except for things like Guides Wall or Baxter Pinnacle which are about the same.

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#21738 - 06/19/06 04:22 PM Re: What if.... [Re: Chas]
rg@ofmc Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Here's my take.

Ideally, you'd want to go for a super lowland rock climb like the East Buttress of Middle Cathedral Rock in Yosemite or Crimson Chrysalis in Red Rocks, but in August both of these will be very hot. (Mind you, it is possible---I've done several long Yosemite climbs in August, but suffering from the heat is part of the bargain. I don't know about Red Rocks---I'd guess the heat there is a lot worse...)

So that means you have to go to higher elevations. But of course too much altitude, even if you are very lowland fit, can certainly ruin the day.

All things considered, I'd say the best choice would be the regular route on the North Face of Fairview Dome in Tuolumne. A North American classic at reasonable altitude with virtually no approach.

A second possibility, several grades easier but with wonderful climbing and views and an easy hour approach, another North American classic: the SE Buttress of Cathedral Peak in Tuolomne. This summit is still just under 11,000 feet.

Of course, considering their accessibility and the classic status, these climbs will be crowded. I'd plan to be on the rock at first light.

There are lots of other possibilities in the Sierras---Chas mentioned some and, no doubt, a good guide would know a ton.

The Petit Grepon is also a classic, but the approach is longer and the altitude higher. Lightning danger from thunderstorms is intense, and the descent, unlike the two previous climbs, requires multiple rappels. This is not a climb you start up in iffy weather with the intention of retreating if the situation deteriorates. All in all, I'd say the Culp-Bossier or the Jackson-Johnson on Hallets are a better bet.

Then there are all those Teton suggestions. I like the Tetons and have done a lot of climbs there, but I think they are particularly ill-suited to the type of lightning raid you have proposed. The Sierras are a much better bet. The Teton approaches are almost all long, and the altitude gains are thus greater. Plus, and now I surely reveal an old peak-baggers prejudice, I think it is dumb to go to a mountain area and then just climb a silly crag to nowhere. Baxter's Pinnace? Gimme a break---you might as well stay in the Gunks. Guide's Wall? Some nice climbing up to...nowhere. Ditto for Irene's. The Snaz? A very nice route on a canyon wall. (And by the way, did anyone mention the big uphill hike on the return from Death Canyon or the fact that it can get as hot as Yosemite in there in the summer?)

By far the best one-day outing you could have in the Tetons (given my scorn for cragging in a mountain area) would be the East Ridge of Teewinot (or the East Face, if you want to keep the rock-climbing difficulty low). A less cool second choice would be either the Durrance or the Jensen Ridges on Symmetry Spire, a minor summit with, however, some nice views of the north sides of the major peaks.

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#21739 - 06/19/06 05:45 PM Re: What if.... [Re: JoeKayak]
fallenglass Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 08/01/03
Posts: 276
Loc: cornwall
how about devil's tower for a weekend trip?

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#21740 - 06/19/06 05:52 PM Re: What if.... [Re: fallenglass]
Chas Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
The only problem with Devils Tower is that it is in the middle of nowhere. You could fly into the Black Hills which would be changing planes 3x from the East Coast and in the end would probably be fairly expensive. Then you would need to rent a car, and its been a while since I did that drive (about 8 or 9 yrs) but its an hour or two.

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#21741 - 06/19/06 06:08 PM Re: What if.... Tetons [Re: Chas]
Jannette Offline

Cliffmama
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/03/00
Posts: 2225
Loc: Gardiner, NY
A friend (who isn't registered on gunks.com) saw this thread and emailed me a detailed report of her experiences with climbing in the Tetons. She also highly recommended going to Idaho and climbing at City of Rocks. She gave me the OK to post her trip report here in case you do decide to go to the Tetons (and also for the benefit of browndog2 and gang). While it may not be the best solution for a weekend road trip, the beta is great for someone like me who will be there for a family vacation in Yellowstone & the Tetons who wants to squeeze in some climbing while I'm there. Many thanks to Monica for taking the time to compile all this beta...


I climbed there for three days with a guide about 6 or 7 years ago. Here's the scoop from my trip -

I climbed with Paul Horton from Jackson Hole Mountain Guides and he was great. I don't think he guides anymore but I still keep in touch with him and he could give you any info/advice you'd like and hook you up with one of their guides. I'm not sure exactly why I chose them over Exum, but I think my impression was that they are more low-key, less glitzy than Exum.

I am lousy at estimating time so I put ??? after all the estimates I am not sure about. It's a bit of a jumble of info from my trip 6 -7 years ago plus when Glenn and I were there last year.

I signed up for three days and we spent the first day at the local limestone cliff they told you about. It was a foggy day plus the guide wanted to get a sense for my abilities before striking out on harder routes. I think it is an informal "rule" that this particular local limestone cliff is for JHMG use and it isn't used by the other guides and I don't think it gets much publicity. When I was back in Jackson a year ago, Glenn and I went there to warm up for other things we had planned. There are a handful of nice, easy leads about 5.5 - 5.6, and a great 5.9 we toproped (bolted anchors). It looks like there's be a lot more climbing there but I've only done the handful of routes right at the first part of the cliff you get to from the trail. It's about 70 ft high?... A good, fun warmup area, may be not enough there to justify a full guided day. It would actually be a good place for climbing with your daughters - doing the easy leads or hiking around to set them up from above. Hike from the car is about 15 minutes?

The next day we did Baxter's Pinnacle. The hike is on the order of an hour or hour and 15 -20 minutes???? and the bulk of that meanders through fairly flat forested land along the lakeshore (beautiful). The last 20 minutes or so??? heads up hill and winds back and forth a bit before a relatively straight, steep shot to the base of Baxter's Pinnacle. The climbing is about 5 pitches, with some 5.6 moves/sections and a lot of easier terrain, until an exciting, steep last pitch. The top of the pinnacle is pretty small, when I did it (late September) we finished on a snow-covered shelf. You do one or two rappels into a scree-filled ravine behind the pinnacle, the descent back to the trail is short but pretty loose/junky. You hike out the same way you hiked in. Baxter's is set pretty low along the front of the Tetons, so it isn't exactly an "alpine" type setting or feel, but it is a beautiful pinnacle, fun to be on top, easy fun rock climbing and a fun day all around. It seems to be the easiest-access rock climb around.

Glenn and I went to do Baxter's when we were there last summer but the weather was iffy so we did a two-pitch route a short distance left of there - No Perches Required. If you headed for Baxter and had to bail due to weather it is a fun route but would be a bit of a let-down for a guided day (expensive for a two-pitch route!). We actually lead an easy pitch to the left of the first 5.9 pitch, lead the bolted second pitch (great), and then set up a toprope on the strenuous 5.9 first pitch (great). Fun day for us given the weather. We called the easier first pitch variation I lead No Pants Required, as I did the leading (the lady of the team), and Glenn had forgotten long pants which is one of the reasons we decided against trying Baxter's with potentially bad weather coming in.

The last day of my three-day guided trip years ago we did Guide's wall. You start in from the same trail as for Baxter's, but where the Baxter's trail veers uphill for the last hike up to the Pinnacle, you keep going a bit further and head up the next canyon instead. I'd guess the approach takes almost twice as long as Baxter's, with the canyon section consisting of more uphill but not arduous until the last bit to scramble up to the base of the Guide's wall (I completely forget how long that scramble is - 15 minutes? The guides would know). We did one of the classic routes on Guides wall, with a nice mix of 5.6 - 5.8 sustained climbing for 2 or 3 pitches, followed by a 5.9 finger crack that is great. Then we rappeled 2 - 3 times, scrambled down a ways back to the same descent as we'd hike up. This is a relatively short climb, just a few pitches - it may be four or five with a few short scrambles in there somewhere??? and ends well below any summit or "top" of the buttress, so it does not provide any alpine or big mountain feel. It's a nice all-around day though and the climbing is more sustained than on Baxter's. I was in good shape then, and I was pretty tired at the end of the third day.

This past summer, Glenn and I hired another JHMG guide to take us up the Snaz - a very sustained 5.9 in Death Canyon. That takes about 1 1/2 hour to hike in, nothing too strenuous until about the last 30 minutes up to the base. The hike in does take a big dip - there's a fairly good downhill section to a low point, but that is only a problem on the way out, not the way in. The route is about 7 pitches with sustained, great climbing. Some 5.8's but at least 4? pitches with sustained 5.9 crack climbing - mainly jam/layback type crack moves as opposed to finger locks. It follows an obvious dihedral the whole way. Great setting, views both up- and down-canyon from the top. It's got a roundabout hike down through fairly steep, loose terrain to the trail below the final hike up - our guide let us rest there while he scrambled to the base of the route a second time to get the things we'd stashed there while we climbed. The hike out goes down at first, and then finishes with that final big uphill, that was pretty darn tiring at the end of the day. We had three people climbing in all, so were slower than you'd be, but it took from about 5:00 a.m. (or 5:30?) to about 5:00 p.m. car to car.

I had researched numerous other possible alpine climbs for Glenn and I to do on our own while we were there, and they all had much longer approaches than any of these. Irene's Arrete was one of them but we opted for Baxter's on our own (turned into No Perches day) and the guided day on the Snaz. The rest of the time in Jackson we were biking.

If you can swing it, I'd highly recommend trying to get to City of Rocks in south-central Idaho. It's a beautiful high desert park in the middle of nowhere, with huge rock formations sticking up like all kinds of big potatoes. The climbing is AMAZING, you can camp at really neat campsites set around the base of the rocks (or stay in hotels the closest of which are about half an hour away). The rocks stick up so you can find shady faces any time of day to climb in the shade, and there are a full range of GREAT trad and bolted sport routes there that would be great for leading and having your daughters climb. City of Rocks is just about my favorite place on earth to climb. It's about 4 hours??? drive from Jackson though so you may not want to go that far. If you do though, I could suggest a ton of great routes to aim for.

Well this is a lot of information - hope it helps a bit.

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#21742 - 06/19/06 07:23 PM Re: What if.... Tetons [Re: Jannette]
Chas Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
City of Rocks is also a really nice place to climb, but a) it is strickly a cragging area. It is like a J-Tree (with the rock formations) with a Tuolumne rock texture and b) it is really out in the middle of nowhere. If I was going to do a weekend trip from the East Coast I would not do it since you would literally spend your entire time flying/driving. There are very good climbs there like Crack of Doom and Strategic Defense...


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#21743 - 06/20/06 12:27 AM Re: What if... [Re: Chas]
Frank Florence Offline
addict

Registered: 01/05/00
Posts: 528
Loc: moved to Bend
JoeK -

If you're still interested in other suggestions, you might think about the Washington Pass area in the North Cascades. The logistics aren't too bad: fly to Sea-Tac, rent a car, drive a few hours, and you're there. The elevation of the pass is approximately 5,000' and you're in stunning alpine country, surrounded by lofty granite spires. Lexington Tower, Concord, and Liberty Bell are all right there, with routes at a wide variety of grades. A longer approach will get you over to the Chianti Spire and the other wine spires where you can really feel like you're out on your own. There are multiple guiding services based out of Seattle and Bellingham that you can contact. Best weather is from July 15th through around the third week of August. Have fun.

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#21744 - 06/20/06 03:39 PM Re: What if... [Re: Frank Florence]
JoeKayak Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/21/02
Posts: 970
Loc: Manhattan


Thanks Frank, RG, Jannette, Les, Chas, et al....I am still interested and am reading these closely. These are great suggestions and I'm looking forward to figuring out what the weekend will and then following up on many of these. And I will surely post before and after!

JK

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#21745 - 06/20/06 08:06 PM Re: What if... [Re: Frank Florence]
Chas Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
Frank is right about the assessibility of the Cascades. You may also want to check out the Index area (not necessarily for the Index Wall but things like Dragonstail and such. Long Alpine climbing relatively close to the road, and close to Seatac Airport.

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#21746 - 06/23/06 04:11 PM Re: What if... [Re: Chas]
nerdom Offline
Pooh-Bah *

Registered: 09/07/01
Posts: 2483
Loc: Davis Sq., MA
Jannette:

The Irene's approach is not that bad, and for a day trip, you're not carrying much weight. A fit person sans overnight pack could do the hike in 1 1/2 hours. Also, there's water practically all the way up, so no need to carry much on the approach.

The Snaz is a fantastic route as well, and the approach is about the same (except that, as RG noted, you hike down, then up on the way in and out; but again, you're not carrying much weight and much of the approach is shaded). Death Canyon is a beautifully scenic place, too. We did The Snaz on our first day, with zero acclimatization, and did just fine; we were back in town for dinner at a reasonable hour (and that was with a late start).

Of the two routes, I think The Snaz is the more difficult technically of the two, if only slightly.

edited to add: with all due respect to our resident legend, RG, the East Face of Teewinot is simply a 4th class scramble. Sure, you top out on a cool, tiny peak, with a stunning view of Mt. Owen, the North Ridge of the Grand Teton and other stuff, but the "climbing" such as it is, is nothing (and it tops out at better than 12,000 feet). "Summiting" Disappointment Peak via Irene's Arete, after ascending technically challenging, vertical, perfect granite, is far, far more rewarding, IMHO. If I had one route to do in a day car-to-car in the Tetons, it would be Irene's (and don't skip the 5.10 crux pitch - there's easier bypasses - because it's way cool and not that difficult; Teton grades are a little soft).

P.S. - see my Tetons TR in the TR section for Irene's and The Snaz (despite the weather related epic on Irene's, we manged to enjoy the climbing all the way to the top.)


Edited by nerdom (06/23/06 04:27 PM)
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#21747 - 06/23/06 04:52 PM Re: What if... [Re: nerdom]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
Quote:

The Irene's approach is not that bad, and for a day trip, you're not carrying much weight. A fit person sans overnight pack could do the hike in 1 1/2 hours.



You're an animal! ~5 miles and over a 2500' elevation gain, with about 1200' of it occurring in 1.5 miles of murderous switchbacks, notorious for being thigh-burningly steep? I think it took me an hour and a half just to get up the switchbacks!
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#21748 - 06/23/06 05:14 PM Re: What if... [Re: MarcC]
nerdom Offline
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Registered: 09/07/01
Posts: 2483
Loc: Davis Sq., MA
haha! dislaimer - it was an hour and a half (give or take 5-10 minutes) of actual hiking. We rested a couple times for a few minutes. Oh yeah, and now that I think of it, we were totally acclimatized, having done The Snaz and Moran's DSB in the previous 3 days (including a night up on the wall @ 10,000 feet)! haha!

Jannette: also check out Leemouse's very good Tetons TR for The Snaz and Irene's info (MarcC - she did the approach to Irene's in 2 hours! with Rolo Garibotti! haha!).

At any rate, it's still a totally doable car-to-car climb, especially if you're going with a guide, as I believe Jannette said she was, since you're spared the extra energy output associated with leading!

one more thing - the worst part about the switchbacks on the Apex trail is the friggin' dust! Once you gain the canyon proper, it's pretty sweet!
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#21749 - 06/23/06 06:38 PM Re: What if... [Re: nerdom]
rg@ofmc Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Nerdom:"with all due respect to our resident legend, RG, the East Face of Teewinot is simply a 4th class scramble. Sure, you top out on a cool, tiny peak, with a stunning view of Mt. Owen, the North Ridge of the Grand Teton and other stuff, but the "climbing" such as it is, is nothing (and it tops out at better than 12,000 feet)."

Thanks for the respect, but I think I've pretty much blown whatever "legendary" status I might have enjoyed by continuing to climb long after I'm particularly good at it. Still havin' fun though, headin' into my 50th year of climbing...

As for Teewinot, the Exum Guides take is, "Some say that with its amazing views and exposure, Teewinot Mountain (12,325 feet) is the most spectacular summit in the range." They grade the East Face II, 5.4 (but almost all is indeed scrambling), and the East Ridge (my primary recommendation) III, 5.8 with "approximately six pitches of excellent rock climbing in cracks and chimneys."

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#21750 - 06/23/06 08:45 PM Re: What if... [Re: rg@ofmc]
crackers Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 3424
Loc: pdx
I love teewinot, and i liked the east ridge a lot.

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#21751 - 06/24/06 07:58 PM Re: What if... [Re: nerdom]
Jannette Offline

Cliffmama
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/03/00
Posts: 2225
Loc: Gardiner, NY
Quote:

Jannette:

The Irene's approach is not that bad, and for a day trip, you're not carrying much weight. A fit person sans overnight pack could do the hike in 1 1/2 hours. Also, there's water practically all the way up, so no need to carry much on the approach.





You said a fit person... ummm, if you're talking about me, then there's where the problem is! I've been aerobically challenged even when I was a child.

Jannette

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#21752 - 06/26/06 12:15 AM Re: What if.... [Re: Jannette]
Daniel Online   content
veteran

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
I recently got back from a week in Jackson and did guided ascents of both The Snaz and Irene's Arete. The Snaz was great, a fine, rewarding route, a terrific change of pace for this Gunkie, and I didn't much care that it didn't go to the top of anything--especially since the tops of things still had lots of snow on them, and still will for some time. I did it on my 3rd day out and felt that altitude wasn't much of a factor; the approach was about an hour and a half, I'd say.

I did Irene's on the 5th day, and the approach took us 3+ hours (my guide said I was hiking pretty well, and I don't think it was just to make me feel good). If I have my stats correct, Jackson Hole this winter got its third highest snowfall total since they've been keeping records. Saw plenty of ski tracks above the Meadows, and we had to cross several snow slopes to get to the climb, including one that was rock-hard (already had steps across it, but I didn't want to fall; my guide couldn't even pound in his ice axe halfway across to provide an additional protection point). We descended via Amphetheater and Surprise lakes, requiring negotiating still more snow which didn't clear out entirely until we were below the lakes. Despite the snow, we got back to the car before the party behind us who was planning on returning via the gully descent. It was close to a 12 hour day car-to-car, and I don't think we wasted a whole lot of time, though we were certainly slowed somewhat by the snow. I did feel the altitude on the climb: that 5.8 exit with a pack at almost 11,000 ft. definitely felt hard, even though I had been out hiking or climbing the prior four days.

Comparing it to The Snaz, I thought The Snaz had more great moves on it, while Irene's provided more of a full-day adventure with an extremely nice climb that's worth the time to get to if you've got the legs and the lungs for it (I was very beat the next day!). And The Snaz blows away Guides Wall, IMO; lots more great climbing with only a marginally longer approach.

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#21753 - 06/26/06 06:03 PM Re: What if.... [Re: Daniel]
nerdom Offline
Pooh-Bah *

Registered: 09/07/01
Posts: 2483
Loc: Davis Sq., MA
One more thing on Irene's and The Snaz:

This is John Bragg's take on these two climbs (from the Exum Guides website):

• Irene’s Arete: Six to eight pitches of difficult, exposed climbing on beautiful rock follow this spectacluar fin of rock which rises high above the mountain scenery of Garnet Canyon. Arguably one of the world’s top ten climbs. Rating, 5.8.


• The Snaz: This steep wall of rock which soars above Death Canyon yields only to an experienced, fit climber. The climb features nine steep, sustained pitches of up to 5.9 to 5.10 climbing.

You'll recall that our own LesterLeblanc availed himself of Mr. Bragg's services on Irene's a couple years back, and spoke very highly of the experience (see his Tetons TR in the Trip Report section).
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#21754 - 06/27/06 06:00 PM Re: What if.... [Re: nerdom]
Chas Offline
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Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
Quote:

One more thing on Irene's and The Snaz:

This is John Bragg's take on these two climbs (from the Exum Guides website):

• Irene’s Arete: ....... Arguably one of the world’s top ten climbs. Rating, 5.8.





I know its advertising but I wouldn't even put it in the top 20 climbs I've done (which right now the Rostrum in Yosemite is at the top, but I'm desperately looking for something to knock that out of its spot )

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#21755 - 06/28/06 01:25 PM Re: What if.... [Re: Chas]
talus Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
chas let's go do positive vibrations
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#21756 - 06/28/06 01:40 PM Re: What if.... [Re: talus]
Chas Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
I'd be up for it in the mid-end of August if you are in the Sierras. I love the Incrediable Hulk....

Don't know how you are climbing but I am also looking for a partner for Rainbow Wall, Original Route or Rainbow Country which goes 5.12a/b or 5.12d in Red Rocks


Edited by Chas (06/28/06 01:55 PM)

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#21757 - 06/28/06 07:01 PM Re: What if.... [Re: JoeKayak]
Jannette Offline

Cliffmama
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/03/00
Posts: 2225
Loc: Gardiner, NY
.you had one weekend in late July or late August to fly anywhere in the lower 48 states

I just did some research to plan my trip to Yellowstone. OMG, the airfares are really high right now. Looked at a few other places in case we want to go somewhere else. Guess those gas prices have made it a very expensive proposition to go anywhere this summer (plus I have 2 kids, so that's 4 very expensive plane tickets!)

Jannette

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#21758 - 06/28/06 07:34 PM Re: What if.... [Re: Jannette]
andrew Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/15/99
Posts: 1816
Loc: Denver, CO
get a credit card that gives you frequent flier miles, and charge absolutely everything you can on it. you should be able to get a couple of plane tickets a year out of a good program, even if you don't fly much otherwise. i almost never pay for plane tickets anymore.
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#21759 - 06/29/06 03:09 AM Re: What if.... [Re: andrew]
Jannette Offline

Cliffmama
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/03/00
Posts: 2225
Loc: Gardiner, NY
I do, I charge everything on my frequent flyer credit card. We've even gone to Australia on FF miles back before we had kids. However, we recently used up all our miles for a different trip, plus it always seems like it's difficult to use them on the dates you want to travel, and it's always for flights at ridiculous times or red-eyes. Every time I've tried to fly to the Bay Area, we could never get a frequent flyer flight. It's one thing to put up with bad flight times when you're travelling alone, but with 2 young kids, it's a nightmare. Oh, and with a family of four, I have to ring up charges of around $100,000 before we can travel somewhere for free. So it takes a while to accumulate...

So tonight my husband declared we're not going to Yellowstone/Tetons, too much money. Trying to think up something cheaper - either less airfare or within a day's drive. BUMMER!

Jannette

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#21760 - 06/29/06 03:28 AM Re: What if.... [Re: Jannette]
tokyo bill Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 793
Loc: Tokyo
Jannette,

Val David, perhaps? Lots of fun climbing, moderately cute (albeit touristy) little town, famous bike trail, nice city (Montreal) en route. Drive from NYC would be long, but you could break it a bit by taking a day or two coming and going in Montreal and/or the dacks.

I did some climbing up there in 2002, and thought it was pretty nice. Bunch of Fritz routes up there as well, if that appeals to you.


Edited by tokyo bill (06/29/06 03:31 AM)

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#21761 - 06/29/06 07:33 PM Re: What if.... [Re: Jannette]
JoeKayak Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/21/02
Posts: 970
Loc: Manhattan


Jannette-

I'm seeing the same thing with airfares and starting to think of the north east for my trip. Still up in the air right now as I focus on the 'weekend bachelor' hangout which, of course, will be gunks-centric. Problem is that of 8 guys, only 3 are climbers. So I figure we'll do some hiking in Minnewaska, swimming and maybe some mountain biking with a little bit of climbing for those interested (read: top rope!).

But for my 'solo' weekend, I'm still not sure. This thread has certainly given me a tick list of incredible places to think about. But I'm too into paying twice the airfare to get there (yet).

JK

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#21762 - 06/29/06 08:47 PM Re: What if.... [Re: JoeKayak]
dalguard Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1515
Loc: CT
Have prices really gone up recently? I haven't been shopping in a couple of months but I got under $400 to Seattle. Seemed like we were still at pre-9/11 prices though not as low as they were immediately pre-9/11.

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#21763 - 06/29/06 08:57 PM Re: What if.... [Re: dalguard]
strat Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 4242
Continental, ewr to lax $356, ewr to denver $533.

Which reminds me, I have to send some boarding passes into United their "Star Alliance" partner, Singapore Air lines screwed me out of credit on a Singapore-Seoul biz class flight and Seoul-Frankfurt biz class flight!

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#21764 - 06/29/06 10:25 PM Re: What if.... [Re: strat]
andrew Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/15/99
Posts: 1816
Loc: Denver, CO
i fly salt lake to laguardia every few weeks on delta, and my tickets are generally between $250 and $400 tops. jetblue to salt lake is cheap too, but i hate redeyes.
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#21765 - 06/30/06 02:11 AM Re: What if.... [Re: dalguard]
dalguard Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1515
Loc: CT
None of that seems out of hand. I was paying around $600 to Seattle pre-9/11 and when you factor in gas prices and inflation we're getting a bargain. I know flying a family of four is expensive but it does't seem like it's more expensive than it's ever been and probably less so.

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#21766 - 06/30/06 06:51 PM Re: What if.... [Re: dalguard]
learningtolead Offline
old hand

Registered: 04/16/02
Posts: 981
Loc: a wanna be kerhonkson-er
I had hoped for EWR to Madrid for September but didn't buy a month or two ago. When I looked last week it had gone up $200 or so to almost a grand. Ruined my vacation plans...

I had gotten used to waiting later for cheap flights but I think that has reversed.

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#21767 - 07/06/06 12:47 PM Re: What if.... [Re: learningtolead]
nerdom Offline
Pooh-Bah *

Registered: 09/07/01
Posts: 2483
Loc: Davis Sq., MA
Indidentally, the Alpinist (#16) features Irene's Arete in its "First Ascent" section, as told by Irene Beardsley (formerly Ortenberger).

Renny Jackson took her back on it when she was 69 years old. Cool.
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#21768 - 10/17/06 11:21 PM Re: What if.... [Re: Jannette]
JoeKayak Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/21/02
Posts: 970
Loc: Manhattan


This is really so sad, but I ended up never going anywhere for the weekend. Life caught up and got the better of my climbing time. Still, I am very grateful for everyone's contribution. I will use these ideas for my next great adventure (after my honeymoon!!).

Joe

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