July 19, 2015

Tetons- Nez Perce and Cloudveil Dome

This week my family and I enjoyed Jackson Hole, along with a million other folks.  We had a great time hitting some of our favorite spots. One of the days I was able to sneak away for a few hours to touch my last two remaining peaks in my favorite range. Unfortunately I would be solo. On Wednesday morning at 6:20 am,  Marcie dropped me off at Lupine Meadows. The previous night's rain made the air crisp and beautiful. I was concerned that the north faces might hold persistent verglass as reported by the rangers the past few days. 

I reached the meadows then headed straight up the West Hourglass Couloir which was only partially filled with snow and then onto the north face of Nez Perce. The axe and crampons came in handy but the dry sections of the couloir were hateful. I found route finding to be a challenge and spent too much time seeking the correct line on the north face. Nevertheless I kept going, ultimately getting onto class 4 rock and onto the summit. It was an airy summit, with thrilling exposure and being alone, my senses were heightened. I found no verglass on the north face, only wet spots.

I then down climbed the route and traversed over the ridge westward to Cloudveil Dome. The east face was also a bit challenging to stay on route,  and like Nez Perce, when off-route the climbing was much more than class 4, but when on, it was simple. Making it to the top as the clouds began to settle in, the moment was exciting. It as fun to look out at the many peaks, reflect on so many great experiences I have had over more than 20 years of time up here. I then down climbed the east face and dropped into South-Fork and trotted down to Lupine Meadows, where Marcie was right on time to pick me up. She is so amazingly supportive and has been for so many years. 

A shot of the type of weather this week. Grand and Owen soaring in the clouds-Courtesy Marcie Ambrose

I didn't take one so here is an image taken in the Winter of 2012 with Andy Dorais-- Cloudveil Dome and the east ridge

From the top of Nez Perce-- Mt. Buck in the background

Stupid self-portrait on Nez Perce
Looking at Middle and Grand Teton
From top of Cloudveil Dome looking east at Nez Perce Summit