Mount Saint John is among several mountain summits that make up the Teton Range in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. The mountain is 11,435ft high comprising of a mostly rugged, rocky terrain northwest of Jenny lake.
Accessing the Mountain
While at Grand Teton National Park, head to Jenny lake Lodge where the foothill of Mount Saint John is accessible from South East. There are no defined trails to access it, so you have to scramble and maneuver your way to the summit.
Basic Requirements and Expectation
Visitors pay $10 for a seven-day permit acquired at the entrance of the park. Visitors are required to bring the permit with them on all consecutive days. Graded as a class 3 by mountaineers, climbing this summit requires less technical skills as you mainly use your hands. Nonetheless, it would be best if you had functional boots due to the unforgiving, underlying rocks. Expect extreme weather conditions at the peak. Watch out for exposed knife-edged ridges while scrambling that may leave you with bruises, pack a pair of gloves.
History and Scenery
Historically the mountain and its environs were inhabited by native Indians who used to gather edible roots from this mountainous valley. Mount Saint John has a magnificent ridge-like terrain viewed from afar. Together with other mountain summits, it forms a cluster that is quite a view to behold. A combination of ice, rocky, conical and pointy peaks provides for a wild and most attractive scene for visitors. The mountain also offers excellent terrain for mountaineers to try out.
At 11360 feet (3463 meters), Matternought is not the most noteworthy peak in the park, but it packs a real wallop on the Taminah Arete (III 5.9) – sublime moderate climbing and ingenious route finding in a bombastic setting.
Getting to Matternought
From the Taggart Lake trailhead, take the first right and cross the creek. Roughly 1.1 miles (1.75 kilometers) in, take the Bradley Lake trail for another quarter mile (0.4 kilometers). Then head cross country toward Taggart Lake until you regain a maintained trail, following north toward the moraine between Bradley and Taggart Lakes. About 6960 feet (2121 kilometers) up on the moraine, before the first switchback, follow the faint trail on the left towards Avalanche Canyon.
Once you’ve hit the fork of Taggart Creek, follow the cone north of Shoshoko Falls until it’s possible to get to Lake Taminah. There’s showstopping camping here, if you’ve got the time.
Your Basic Requirements
No surprise that camping in Avalanche Canyon requires a permit, no sooner than 48 hours before departure. The Jenny Lake Ranger station issues permits using a quota system, which can fill quickly – we suggest you get there at 8 AM sharp.
What Should You Expect?
The easiest route takes the east ridge and couloir at a class 5. The approach to Taminah Arete can be found from the west shore of Taminah Lake, where you follow talus up and west beneath a pretty large face. Keep an eye out for the break in the lowest rock band at the left edge, they scramble towards the base of an orange wall that marks the beginning of the route. Bring your climbing gear and good shoes.
History Meets Beauty
The First Peoples temporarily settled the Tetons 9000 years ago, visiting periodically. After Lewis and Clark’s expeditions, beaver fur trade was the major resource untilthe Tetons Park was established in 1840.
South Teton is known as the third Jewel of the Teton Range. The mountain isn’t as famous as the Grand Teton or the Middle Teton, but it still holds value to mountaineers. The South Teton gets its name from the French Trappers of the Hudson Bay that explored the area in the 1800s. It has an elevation of 12,514 feet, which is the fifth-highest peak inside of the Teton range. The mountain offers intermediate routes up to the summit and has non-technical ways to conquer the summit. The mountain’s first ascent was in 1923.
Getting to South Teton
South Teton is in the northwest part of the Grand Teton National Park. The journey starts at the Lupine Meadows Trailhead. First, follow the trail through Garnett Canyon and take a right at the first fork. In about a mile-and-a-half, you’ll find another fork where you turn left. After you pass a couple of campgrounds, Trail will fork again to the south leading you to the Garnet Canyon saddle. The saddle is where the most popular routes for South Teton can be accessed.
The standard approach for South Teton is the Northwest Couloir, and it holds a Class 4 difficulty. The approach begins by taking the couloir from the saddle between the south between South Teton and Middle Teton. The couloir ends at Summit Ridge just west of the summit. Usually, crossing steep snow is a part of the journey, but snow can be avoided late in the season by using some fourth class moves.
Other notable Class 4 routes include Westridge and the North Face.
Conquering South Teton requires bringing rock climbing gear and snow gear.
Setting up camp while climbing South Teton is a lot of fun. Backcountry camping permits are free, but they come on a first-come, first-served basis. Mountaineers can reserve a small number of permits in advance for a small fee.
Thor Peak is a mountain in the Teton range that sits to the west of Mount Moran. While this isn’t a popular attraction for Mountaineers, the peak is known as an underrated gem to most people who have conquered the mountain. The elevation of the mountain is 12,028 feet, making it the 12th highest peak in the Teton range. It was first ascended in 1930. Some climbers get frustrated when visiting the Teton range because of the popularity surrounding the mountains. Mount Thor a perfect remedy for Mountaineers who are hoping for a more isolated climb.
How to Find Mount Thor
Access to Mount Thor comes through Leigh Canyon, which is about a mile and a half from the campsites at the shore of String Lake. It takes over an hour to kayak through the lake, and the only way to sidestep paddling is through going on a challenging hike. Once you finish paddling, you’ll find yourself directly at the mouth of the canyon. From there, there’s a faint trail you can follow through the north side of the creek until you reach Laughing Lion Falls. Continue through the valley until you hit Mount Thor
Climbing Mount Thor
Mount Thor is one of the more challenging climbs in the Teton range. Details around climbing Mount Thor are scarce. If you’re hoping to conquer this summit, pick up the book titled “A Climber’s Guide to the Teton Range” to guide you.
Thor Mountain has semi-permanent snow, and an ice climb is usually required. Therefore you’ll need hiking gear, ice climbing gear, and camping gear to finish the summit.
If you’re planning on conquering Mount Thor, it’ll be best to camp overnight. Acquiring a camping permit is easy, but the park gives out camping permits on a first-come, first-served basis.
Mount Moran is a mountain that resides in the northern part of the Grand Teton National Park. Mount Moran was made famous by the famous landscape artist Thomas Moran. It’s the first mountain people see as they take the north entrance into the Grand Teton National Park. Unlike most mountains in the park, Mount Moran seems to tower over the world on its own, making it a popular attraction for both tourists and mountaineers. The elevation of the summit is 12605 feet, and it towers 6,000 feet above Jackson Lake in a mesmerizing fashion.
How to get to Mount Moran
Most mountaineers who climb Mount Moran use the Falling Ice Glacier gulch or Leigh Canyon. The starting point for these routes is the Jenny Lake area. The are is found by going west on Teton Park road and driving nine miles until you reach South Jenny Lake Junction. From that point, there will be directions to String Lake.
How to Climb Mount Moran
The most popular route used to conquer Mount Moran is the CMC route, and it has a difficulty of 5.5. The route has a perfect place to set up camp. The CMC usually takes two days to conquer. It takes the first day to reach the base camp, and the second day consists of a long climb up to the summit and back to the camp. Due to how time-consuming the route is, it’s the most demanding standard approach in the national park.
The most famous mountaineering route on the mountain is Direct South Buttress. The route owns a spot in the book “The 50 Classic Climbs of North America”. The first ascent occurred in 1933. The base can be accessed by kayaking through String Lake and Leigh Lake to access Leigh Canyon.
Other notable routes include the Northeast Ridge, South Buttress Prow, and Skillet Glacier.
It’s essential to pack all of the standard rock climbing gear for this trip. Camping is also a necessity for this adventure. If you’re hoping to conquer the Direct South Buttress, you’re going to need to kayak as well.
Permits are required to camp in Grand Teton National Park, but backcountry camping is free of charge. The park hands out permits out on a first-come, first-serve basis, but anyone can reserve a permit in advance for a reasonable fee.
Middle Teton is a charming and sought-after peak in the Teton Range. The peak summit is 12,809 feet, and it sits on the eastern side of the Teton Range. Middle Teton is a classic alpine peak with a pyramidal shape that glaciers crafted for millions of years. Many mountaineers remember the first time they saw the Middle Teton after breaking out of the trees in Garnet Canyon, and the view of the Grand Teton is spectacular from the Middle Teton. The first-ever ascent was recorded in 1923.
What to Expect
This famous summit holds a wide range of routes, including scrambles, rock routes, and ice routes. While there are some beginner routes available, there are also a few challenging ways to conquer the peak. The easiest route to take is the Southwest Ice Couloir. The path is mostly third-class rock blended with a few fourth-class steps mixed into the journey. North Ridge and Buckingham Ridge are both listed at a difficulty of 5.7, and East Buttress is a 5.11 difficulty. The Northwest Ice Couloir and the Middle Teton Glacier are by far the most challenging routes on the peak. They are both listed as AI3 and are a strong challenge for mountaineers.
Essential gear free climbing Middle Teton includes mountain boots, rock shoes, a helmet, a headlamp, a harness, carabiners, and a belay. An ice axe and crampons are essential for more advanced routes.
How to get to Middle Teton
Middle Teton is just south of the Grand Teton in the Grand Teton National Park. Mountaineers can access the peak by going to Lupine Meadows trailhead. Overnight stays at the park are free, but campers need a permit to stay the night.
Mount Owen is one of the most popular peaks in the Teton Range. While Mount Owen is almost 1,000 feet shorter than Grand Teton, the way the peak dramatically rises from the plains creates an awe-inspiring landscape. Every year, mountaineers come from all over the world for the chance to experience the incredible views. All routes up the mountain require some mountaineering and the technical difficulties range from 5.1 to 5.10.
How to get to Mount Owen
Mount Owen is inside of the Grand Teton National Park. The best way to access the peak is by starting at the popular Lupine Meadow trailhead. You can reach the trailhead by taking Highway 191 and turning on Moose Junction.
The Standard Approach
The standard approach for Mount Owen is Koven. The approach has a 5.4 difficulty that begins on the Lupine Meadow Trailhead. Early in the season snow gear is a necessity, but the snow usually melts later in the summer. Other popular routes include East Ridge and Serendipity Arete. These routes are a little more challenging with 5.6 and 5.7 difficulties, but they are still manageable.
The summer is the best time to casually mountaineer Mount Owen. The range of difficulty during the summer ranges from beginner to intermediate. Outside of summer Mount Owen accumulates snow and ice, making the journey up the mountain more difficult. The basic gear needed to conquer Mount Owen includes a harness, a helmet, rope, climbing shoes, a carabiner, nuts, and a descender. It’s also important to bring snow gear to ensure you’re safe.
Climbers need to gain a permit if they plan on staying in the Grand Teton National Park overnight. The permit is free, but it’s important to note that the park allows no camping on the lakes. The best camping point for Mount Owen is in the saddle between Disappointment Peak and Point 9,967.
The Enclosure is famous for its ancient circle of rocks that were designed over 10,000 years ago. It’s the second-highest peak inside of the Teton Range, with the summit rising over 13,000 feet. The climb from the valley floor is over 6,000 feet, and the mountain was first climbed in the late 1800s. The ascent features some of the most stunning views in the mountain range. Most routes to the summit of the Enclosure start at the Lupine Meadows Trailhead located just off of Teton Park Rd. The road is closed between November and May.
The most common rock climbing routes for the mountain are the Owen-Spalding and the Upper Exum. The Owen-Spalding can be started at the Lupine Meadows trailhead, and the Upper Exum Ridge. While the Upper Exum is longer than the Owen-Spalding route, the incredible views are well worth the journey to the summit. The climb can be accessed by taking Lupine Meadows Trailhead to the Lower Saddle. Other popular yet more challenging routes include the Enclosure Ice Couloir, the Black Ice Couloir, and Northwest Ridge.
Equipment Needed to climb The Enclosure
When mountaineering the Enclosure, it’s best to bring two 60 meter ropes, mountaineering boots, and a helmet at a minimum. Depending on the time of year, an ice ax and crampons are essential. It’s also important to come armed with a cell phone and extra clothing to keep you warm through cold weather.
Climbing in the Teton Range is pretty relaxed overall. Climbers hoping to camp overnight do have to get a permit. However, the permit is easy to acquire, and it is free of charge.
This ancient valley called Jackson’s Hole is home to some of the country’s best mountaineering and rock climbing routes, and during the winter months it‘s canyons hold, for the more motivated, excellent ice climbing as well. The Tetons also have the benefit of being centrally located near some of the continent’s best ice, with Cody just six hours to the north, and Hyalite only four hours to the north. If you are hankerin’ for roadside venues, Provo canyon is just five hours to the south. Even the spectacular formations of the Canadian Rockies are only fourteen hours north, and Telluride and Ouray just twelve hours south. Teton ice climbs are usually noted for their lengthy approaches and alpine settings. Objective hazards such as avalanches and rockfall are to be anticipated.
Teton Mountaineering tries to monitor the Bridger-Teton National Forest reports for the current winter season if you are interested in glimpsing the snow pack history before heading out, to aid in making your own evaluations. Teton Mountaineering recommends the valley’s best source of weather forecasting, Mountain Weather, so you can get a better idea of current weather conditions heading towards our area. Should you find yourself in need of gear or advice, stop in and see the staff at Teton Mountaineering. Not only do we stock the best outdoor equipment available, we are some of the most experienced and knowledgeable folks in the valley. Hope to see you soon! WARNING! Climbing is a dangerous activity. These are at best very general topos, hopefully useful in getting you to the climbs you seek. Users of these topos must be responsible for learning all the techniques required to climb the particular route they have chosen. Due to changing conditions, these topos may not accurately reflect a particular climb in prevailing conditions. It is up to you to make all the necessary decisions based on information you have about the route and conditions at hand. This guide is not a substitute for experience or good judgement.
Check out these nifty maps of two of the most popular mountaineering spots in the Tetons. We hope to eventually create more of these.