Friday, July 9, 2010

North Face of Buck Mountain, West Couloir July 7, 2010

Tim Brown and I set out to climb the North Face of Buck Mountain, West Couloir. An early start of 4:30 a.m. soon yielded to dawning skies. A rugged 'shwack up Avalanche Canyon brought us to our first good view of the North Face. Our route: the gully/couloir to the right of the ridge which leads up to the snowy summit, by way of the snowy bench below the north face.

See if you can find Tim here, leading up the first pitch...look toward the top of the visible snow.

Tim and the rope disappear around the corner...

From the next belay, Tim shoots up the steep neve to a snow ledge he chopped out of the couloir.

From the top of pitch 5 an amazing view of the central Tetons unfolds.

Pitch 6 runs up steep to steeper snow. The gully narrows and the summit ridge grows nearer.

On pitch 7, Tim leads out to peer around the corner, setting a picket here before heading up toward the ice bulge ahead.

Here, Tim is about to top out on the ridge, where steep scrambling on exposed ridge carries us up toward the summit.

Tim on top...with the Grand Teton in the background. South Ridge of South Teton - a ski descent - is the hanging snowfield behind his head. Awesome weather all day was a blessing.

A last look at our route and the north face of Buck in afternoon light. The West Couloir is the second couloir to the right of what looks like the main summit ridge. The north central buttress/ridge is actually the one with snow toward the top.

Here's a view of Buck and the route. The West Couloir is the right hand long, thin white line that runs up just to the right of the summit. This photo was taken a week prior during Exum's guide training days,  from Nez Perce by Christian Santelices, a Senior Guide at Exum.

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