The Tetons host a range of moderate to difficult rock climbs that can be done in a day and mountain summits that can be reached in a long day or in two easier days. These climbs represent a variety of difficulties and experiences, but all are classic. If you are interested in an aesthetic climbing challenge, try one of these! Guides’ favorites include Symmetry Spire, Disappointment Peak, Ice Point, Irene’s Arete, The Snaz, Guide’s Wall, and more.
While some of the high peaks can be climbed in a day, remember that the rather lengthy approaches make turning these climbs into an overnight adventure a good option.
Storm Point II, 5.6-5.9
One of the most popular of all the Teton rock climbs, and justifiably so. Good rock, great scenery, fun climbing with lots of variations, and ease of approach make up a very fine day-long outing. Located a few miles up Cascade Canyon, Guides Wall is fairly challenging and the descent includes some long rappels, so rock climbing experience is a must. One of its nicest aspects is that by utilizing variations it can be made shorter or longer, easier or harder as conditions and desires warrant. The variations also mean that a climber can return on another day and do the route with all sorts of different pitches. Guides Wall faces the sun and is below 9000 feet so it can be a beautiful climb when the peaks are totally out of condition. The high quality of this climb leads to its only drawback, in mid-summer it is often crowded. Guides Wall was first ascended in 1949 by the team of Dick Pownall and Art Gilkey, a year after they pioneered their familiar route on the Grand.
Death Canyon IV, 5.9
Since Chouinard and Hemple pioneered this route in 1964 it has been acknowledged as one of the best of the difficult Teton rock climbs. This classic, located on the steep walls of Death Canyon, is a long and sustained challenge for skillful climbers. Nine or more pitches follow a shallow dihedral sprinkled with overhangs, ultimately topping out on slabs and benches high above the canyon floor. Adjacent to The Snaz is another great climb, Caveat Emptor, an even more difficult test for the advanced climber. The Snaz is a long and very strenuous one-day climb but the approach is benign by Teton standards. It is a few miles up the Death Canyon trail with relatively little elevation gain. The climb faces the sun and is below 9000 feet so conditions are generally less harsh than on the big peaks.
Symmetry Spire – Southwest Ridge – 10,560’ II, 5.7
The highly recommended Southwest Ridge of Symmetry Spire is one of the range’s best technical climbs for those seeking to gain experience on mountain rock routes. Steep but moderate fifth class pitches up the sweeping ridge are enhanced by the stunning views. Located above Jenny Lake, the Southwest Ridge is one of the most accessible summit routes in the Tetons. Its ascent is a moderately long one-day climb. In early season snow climbing skills are necessary for the approach and descent.
Symmetry Spire – Durrance Ridge 10,560+’ II 5.6
The Durrance Ridge, named for pioneering climber Jack Durrance, is a longtime favorite technical climb to the top of Symmetry Spire. It is similar in difficulty to the popular Southwest Ridge but is considerably longer, offering many delightful moderate pitches. It is a long one-day climb from the shores of Jenny Lake. The approach and descent require snow-climbing skills in early season.
Symmetry Spire – East Ridge 10,560’ II, 4th class
The East Ridge of Symmetry Spire is one of the best easy routes around. A very satisfactory traverse of the peak can be made by approaching this ridge via beautiful Hanging Canyon and descending by way of the Southwest Couloir. A minimum of technical skill is required, as most of the terrain is simple scrambling. It is done as a one-day climb with time to savor the scenery. Snow climbing skills are necessary in early season.
Symmetry Spire – Southwest Couloir – II, 4th class
Symmetry Spire’s Southwest Couloir is a great introduction to the Tetons for beginning mountaineers. A one-day climb above Jenny Lake, it is especially interesting in early season when snow couloirs add flavor. Once the snow is gone it is mostly steep hiking with a few hundred feet of exposed terrain to the summit. The more ambitious can combine this peak with Ice Point and/or Storm Point.
Love the idea of Symmetry Spire and don’t know which route is for you? Let us help! Click here and let one of our experienced staff help flush it out with you.
Ice Point 9,920+’ II, 4th class
This small peak, perched on a ridge above Jenny Lake, is one of the very best for those new to mountaineering. It offers a bit of everything: hiking, scrambling, early-season snow, and an easy technical ridge to an exciting summit. The views are unsurpassed. A full day is required but it is much less energy-intensive than most of the one-day Teton climbs. This route, named the Northwest Ridge, is our favorite for those who have taken a basic school and want to sample a technical summit.
For your safety and comfort, bring synthetic and or natural fiber clothing for insulation. Cotton is NOT recommended and down must be kept dry. Clothing should be able to layer without encumbering your movement.
Objective Dependent – Scarpa footwear is available at Jackson Hole Mountain Guides for rent. JHMG also carries a selection of rock shoes for rent.
- Sticky Rubber Approach Shoes: required for all mid-summer climbs (mid-July through Sept). Guide Pick: Scarpa Crux (Available for rent)
- Mountain Boots: Trips before July 15, require a crampon-compatible mountain boot. Guide Pick: Scarpa Zodiac Tech (Available for rent)
- Rock Shoes for technical rock routes (Available for rent)
- Synthetic/Wool Long Underwear Top
- Synthetic/ Wool Sun Hoody – Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Crater Lake Hoody
- Synthetic T-shirt
- Insulating Jacket: lightweight fleece or synthetic
- Soft Shell: fleece or pile
- Rain Jacket: waterproof/breathable with hood.
- Synthetic/Wool Long Underwear Bottom
- Hiking Shorts
- Synthetic Climbing Pant
- Rain Pant
- Hat: lightweight to medium weight warm hat – sleek enough to be worn under a helmet
- Gloves: one lightweight to medium weight pair – synthetic or fleece material. If snow route, shell also recommended.
On the Trail
- Back Pack: internal frame 30 Liter capacity (2000 cu in)
- Water Bottles (2-3 L/Qt.) Or H2O Hydration system
- Dark Sunglasses
- Extra Pair Contact Lens
- Sun Hat or visor
- Sunscreen (35+SPF)
- Lip Balm
- Insect Repellent (until early August)
- Headlamp, Fresh batteries
- First Aid: minimal – blister care, analgesic, etc.
- Lunch and Snacks
- Trekking Poles
Cold Weather Considerations:
Early and late-season temperatures require warmer clothing. You may consider additional clothing if you get cold easily or if it is unusually cold or windy.
- Down Jacket
- Medium-weight long underwear
**Jackson Hole Mountain Guides supplies all the rock climbing gear, harnesses, helmets, locking carabiners & belay/rappel devices, crampons, and ice axes. However, you are welcome to bring your own equipment. Please coordinate with our office for gear checks. Backpacks, rock shoes, and boots can all be rented & purchased in our Jackson office.
Grand Teton National Park is located roughly 30 minutes from our Jackson, WY headquarters. Our Jackson office is located in the south part of Jackson at 1325 S. Highway 89, Suite 104 and shares a parking area with Smith’s. Our phone number is (800) 239-7642 or (307) 733-4979. Most trips and classes will meet at this office for gear checks, preparation, and classes. The Jackson Hole airport is the closest, but Idaho Falls (a 2 – 2.5 hour drive) is a cheaper option and Salt Lake City (4 – 5 hour drive) are also air travel options. It is helpful to arrive a couple of days prior to your trip/class in order to acclimatize. Otherwise, you should arrive the day before and stop by our office for an equipment check. Do not plan on traveling the day after a significant climb – you will be tired and there are no guaranteed times when we will return to the trailhead. Plan on having accommodations for the night prior to and the night you return from a significant climb. There are a plethora of hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts in Jackson and the surrounding area. Accommodations near our office make your transitions convenient. It is highly advisable to make reservations as early as possible. Lodging recommendations and many more details can be found in the downloadable document below.
Talk To Us
Here you’ll find online tools and information about joining us for a trip of a lifetime! To sign up for a trip, or if you have any questions, please call us. Listed on the left side of these pages are links that you may find useful, including printable forms and policies concerning a trip with TMG. We encourage ALL prospective climbers to read our Preparation advice. Our office can help place you with others who are looking to climb.