Saturday, June 13, 2009

Apocalypse Couloir, Death Canyon

So, yes, I know there are plenty of Teton hard men and women that ski it. It's sick, for sure. But climbing Apocalypse in spring conditions is steep and spicy and fun. I've always wanted to climb it, and my Dad and I gave it a go in June.

Six or seven years ago we had made an attempt on Apocalypse Arete, which is the really striking line right of the couloir. It was kind of a lark since we (meaning I) had insisted on bringing a pair of double boots to try out. I wanted to see how they might do on steep rock. Needless to say the crack systems proved to be a little much for my footwear and we bailed late in the afternoon. I recall that the line was good and not a gimmee. We made it about halfway. I doubt that it has even seen a second ascent.

Crossing the creek this time of year is scary; if you fell in at the wrong place you'd be bashed to death and swept away. I've crossed it a lot of different places and have never found an ideal place depending on the water level.
Once you cross it, a short scramble brings you to the base of the couloir.

Dad gearing up in the misting rain

Old water ice dying on the sides of the couloir. Too bad they don't run for 300m.

Wild formations and a few moves of real mixed climbing on the route

Rappelling through the hourglass

Like I said, a fun way to occupy a few hours with your Dad!