Monday, September 6, 2010

Mount Moran and September's Iffy Weather

Mount Moran climb with Matt

September 4th and 5th, Labor Day Weekend

Beautiful Weather on the way across String Lake with Mt. Moran in the background

The West Horn and East Horn (both in shadow in front of the summit) flank the Hanging Ice Glacier on either side. Camp is below the West Horn in the highest trees left of the gully.
Storing up for Winter
A pika's midden underneath a boulder with the Grand Teton in the distance. Pikas are mountain rodents (with big ears) that store away food for the winter, and create an insulated cave for the long cold months until spring.
Leigh Canyon
The view up Leigh Canyon toward the Teton Crest. It was unbelievably windy from this vantage point some 100 yards west of camp.
Teton Shadows
Sunset shadows of the Teton Range's most prominent peaks marching across the valley floor. Mt. Moran's shadow is on the left; shadows of the Rockchuck/St. John's/Symmetry Spire group are in the center; Cathedral Group (Grand, Middle, South Tetons) shadows on the right.
Sunset on the Grand
Pink in the sunset, the Grand Teton and cloudbellies reflect the day's last light. St. John's and The Jaw in the foreground.
Morning Light
First light in the Drizzlepuss Col with the East Horn, Jackson Lake in the background. The weather was still looking iffy at this point, but it was only sunrise. It could still go either way. We forged onward!
Curtains of Rain
Morning sun's rays shine through curtains of rain along the Buffalo River. Later the same clouds were to wrap precipitation around Moran, dropping graupel, hail, and later, snow.
Rays of Hope
Ascending around Unsoeld's Needle and getting onto Moran's upper faces, with the Hanging Ice Glacier below.
The CMC Route on the upper face of Mt. Moran
After 2 bouts of graupel, distant thunder, dark clouds and wet rock turned us back. As per usual brilliant skies followed, though they were not to last. The white in the middle is a (snow) cornice from snow over the last week or two - I'm guessing it's 10 feet high - between the Black Dike (R) (a major feature on the South Face of Mt. Moran) and the top of the south face. Wind and gray skies kept us on our toes all the way home.
Big Pack/Little Pack
Matt's ability to turn a 22 liter pack into a 44 liter pack needed to be documented. Here we are along the descent gully. We made it back to the lake, crossed with the wind at our backs, setting a new personal record of 3h 15m from high camp to the car.

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