Grand Teton's East Ridge Skied

By Dougald MacDonald ,

Aerial view of the East Ridge of the Grand Teton, plunging toward the camera. The vertical drop is about 3,400 feet.Photo by Tom Turiano (

Rick Hunt and Hans Johnstone skied the East Ridge of the Grand Teton on March 24 on their second attempt. The two climbed the Owen Spalding route to the summit of the 13,770-foot peak, and then started skiing down the prominent snowfield on the upper East Ridge. Following the complex summer climbing route, they climbed one roped pitch around the north side of the Second Tower, and then made three double-rope rappels to the chockstone above the Molar Tooth. (Hunt skied the first of these rappels with a belay.) The two traversed around the south side of the tooth for a pitch and did one more rappel to the bowl below. Then they skied the rest of the way down the East Ridge to the moraine of the Teton Glacier, finally returning to their car around 19 hours after leaving. “Although we had pretty challenging snow conditions, with bulletproof to breakable crust most of the way, I thought the East Ridge was an excellent ski mountaineering line and probably the longest run off the Grand,” Johnstone said.Comment on this story

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