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Big Disappointment

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Disappointment Peak, that is.

I've been intrigued by this peak in Grand Teton National Park for some time. At an elevation of 11,518 feet, it's well down the list of the highest peaks in the Tetons, but I've always loved the name.

Disappointment was named in the 1920's by a climbing group that was attempting to climb the Grand Teton. When viewed from the east, Disappointment looks like a ramp that leads right up to the southeast face of the Grand. Well, this party left the valley floor, hiked up to Amphitheater Lake at 9,600 feet, and then started climbing/scrambling through the broken cliffs.

Once they cleared the cliffs, they kept going up the east ridge, expecting to find themselves on the flank of the Grand Teton. Much to their surprise, they came to a peak with a 1,500 foot sheer drop down to Glacier Gulch and Garnet Canyon, separating them from the Grand. They named it Disappointment Peak because they completely failed in their attempt to climb the Grand and had to backtrack almost all the way down to their starting point.

Anyway, my partners bagged out on me this morning so I went up alone. From the top of Disappointment, the views of the main peaks of the Tetons are just spectacular. *Anything* but disappointing.

This is the view from the summit, looking west toward Middle Teton Peak and the Teton Glacier:

This is the "easy" route up to the summit from Amphitheater Lake. I don't know that it has a name, so I'm using Chockstone Couloir because of the two monster chockstones in the chimney leading up the couloir:

You get by the first chockstone by crawling underneath it and then up through a little tunnel. Here I am in the little tunnel:

And here's my pack next to the upper opening of the tunnel:

Then, once you're crawled through the tunnel and reached daylight again, this is the route past the *next* chockstone:

And finally, I ran across this guy as well, for all you University of Minnesota alumni: (EDIT: As UPRacer very diplomatically pointed out, the U of M's mascot is definitely not a badger - that would be the U of Wisconsin. Sorry.)

He was actually pretty obnoxious.

Fun day.

post #2 of 11
Nice Bob... Thanks for sharing it!
post #3 of 11
Awesome photos Bob! Was this a day hike? If so you covered a lot of ground, if not, you sure pack light!
post #4 of 11
Breathtaking pictures! Just beautiful! Nice little critter, did he follow you home?

I think you're absolutely insane to crawl through that alone, though. Even the Old Man of the Mountain fell down at one point!:
post #5 of 11
Spent some time eyeballing that particular area from a distance when I was there in June. Don't know what exactly drew my attention to it in the first place, I remember the ramp of which you speak, but there is also a ridge that if viewed from the right angle looks almost too perfectly symmetrical to be natural, almost like it was a man made structure of some sort. Must be quite a hike to get to where you took those pictures from.
post #6 of 11
I find the naming of this peak to have continued meaning and significance. I am very DISAPPOINTED that I couldn't be there to climb this one with you!!! Pretty Cool.
post #7 of 11
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
And finally, I ran across this guy as well, for all you University of Minnesota alumni:

He was actually pretty obnoxious.


Hmmm. Funny looking Golden Gopher.... Maybe the Wisconsin Badger alumni will be more interested. Bob, you gotta brush up on your midwest college mascots
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by U.P. Racer
Hmmm. Funny looking Golden Gopher.... Maybe the Wisconsin Badger alumni will be more interested. Bob, you gotta brush up on your midwest college mascots
Omigod, I'm mortified! You're absolutely right. : I must have still been suffering from oxygen debt when I wrote that.

Considering that I went to a midwestern college (Iowa State), you'd think I could at least get the mascots for the surrounding states right. Of course, our ISU mascot was a cyclone, which somehow or other got turned into a giant maroon-and-gold chicken. Go figure. So maybe I've unconsciously blocked college mascots out of my brain.

NewHampie: It's a day hike - almost exactly 5,000 vertical feet up. I'm not sure how many miles since the route above Amphitheater Lake isn't a marked or maintained trail. Amphitheater Lake is 9.6 miles round trip. Timewise, it took me three hours to get to the summit - half of it on the trail to Amphitheater Lake and the other half getting to the summit from there. Since I was alone, I went pretty fast (for me, anyway - some of the mutants around here could probably do the same summit in less than two hours).

Bonni: That *did* occur to my while I was crawling underneath those giant boulders. I also keep thinking about the guy who had to chop off his hand whenever I go between big boulders.

Mac: You're right, from the proper angle Disappointment just looks amazingly "sculpted". There's another peak on the west side of the Grand called Table Mountain that has that same look to it.

Si: Next time you're here in the summer, we'll go. It's really cool.

post #9 of 11
Great Pics bob!!
I grew up 75 miles west of the Grand, have always wondered what they looked like up close and personal.
post #10 of 11
See the badger
See the Badger
You may stroke his silken hair
Lift his tail up Minnesota
You may kiss him under there :

My friend's dad, an old Swede who immegrated to Minn when he was 19, used to sing that when he'd had a few.

Wisconsin is called the "Badger State" because the Cornish miners (my mother's ancestors) who lived in the southwesten mining areas around Belmont (first capitol) dug their homes into the hillside like "badger holes".
post #11 of 11
Awesome images Bob. The badger is pretty cool. Did he come around while you were eating a snack or preparing food?
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