Late-Summer New Route in Tetons

By Dougald MacDonald ,

Hans Johnstone leads the 5.9 R/X traverse to the base of the South Buttress Prow’s crux pitch.Photo by Bean Bowers

Stealing a last bit of summer, Bean Bowers, Greg Collins, and Hans Johnstone onsighted a 5.12 new route on the South Buttress of Mt. Moran in Grand Teton National Park on September 29. The South Buttress Prow (IV 5.12a/b) takes a steep line up the outside corner of the buttress, to the right of the classic South Buttress Direct.

The three climbers started on the first two pitches of South Buttress Direct, then did a pitch of South Buttress Central before continuing up new ground. A 5.10 pitch up a big, right-facing corner and a short 5.9 R/X traverse left onto the prow gained the crux lead: a sustained, overhanging, rattly finger and tight-hand crack, which they felt added up to 5.12a/b. Easier but very steep climbing continued for three more pitches to the top of the prow, from which they rappelled, having all previously climbed the lower-angled buttress to the top of Mt. Moran.Comment on this story

Greg Collins and Hans Johnstone scoping their line up the South Buttress of Mt. Moran, Grand Teton National Park.Photo by Bean Bowers

Greg Collins leading the 5.10 corner pitch that starts the new ground on South Buttress Prow. The super-steep prow pitches wait above.Photo by Bean Bowers

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