Sponsored by the Grand Teton Association's Jenny Lake Rangers Fund
Content contributions made by the Jenny Lake Climbing Rangers

April 10, 2016

Spring conditions exist throughout the range. This means that you should expect to encounter wide temperature fluctuations at all elevations. On clear days the sun will create rapid warming on south facing slopes in the afternoon causing wet snow avalanches. These avalanches can be large and very destructive. Pay close attention to the location of your campsite and evaluate the likelihood of an avalanche reaching your camp. While in the shade and protected from the warmth of the sun, north facing slopes are not immune to avalanche activity or falling ice and rock. Terrain evaluation on these slopes should also involve the ridgelines and summits that could be getting direct solar radiation. Rain in the valley can also be a good indicator that warm unstable conditions exist at upper elevations.
Lake ice is starting to recede. Open water can be seen north of Wilcox point on Jackson Lake. Most areas of the lakes are still very thick but recent warm temperatures have created widespread pooling and pockets of slush.  

March 9, 2016


Winter is not over yet. Late February and early March experienced a period of high pressure and very warm valley temperatures followed by significant snowfall. For summaries of the latest snowpack check out the Bridger Teton Avalanche Center’s website at:
At elevations above 9,500’ we have seen ice formations form and/ or thicken up. The Owen Spalding route on the Grand Teton is most likely in prime winter climbing conditions if you are looking for mixed climbing. As spring progresses, please be aware that all this new ice will be coming off the rock as we move into warmer days. Couloirs, gullies, and chutes will all be affected by falling ice and wet avalanches. Get an early start and think about the consequences of falling debris during your ascent/ descent.

Because of the long warming trends in the valley, the lake ice is beginning to melt off near inlets and near some shorelines. Monitor changing conditions during your crossings and stay well clear of open water. 
Photos were taken on February 23, 2016.
Middle Teton from the Platforms
 Cloudveil Peak and S. Fork of Garnet Canyon
 North Face of Disappointment, Grand Teton, and Mount Owen

January 1st, 2016


Happy New Year!
During the month of December the Tetons received over four feet of new snow. Unfortunately, this new snow is lying on a bed of faceted crystals (unstable snow) located deep in the snowpack. Climbers should be especially careful as they could easily penetrate down to the weaker layers and be the ideal trigger for an avalanche. Good route selection and a thorough understanding of the avalanche conditions are going to be key for a safe and successful ascent.

Please be sure to include the Bridger Teton Avalanche Forecast (http://www.jhavalanche.org) as part of your research when planning your trip. Pay special attention to the Snowpack Summaries section of the forecast as this will provide some crucial information as to how the snowpack in progressing throughout the season. As always, the avalanche forecast does not cover elevations above 10,400 feet.

Bradley, Taggart, Leigh, and Phelps Lakes are frozen over.  Jenny Lake is mostly frozen over with thinner, new, ice closer to Cascade Canyon. Jackson Lake has a large section of open water near the middle and close to the west shore. Most of the lake ice has formed recently, due to the below zero temperatures we have been experiencing and will continue to thicken throughout the winter. Quite often we hear tales of near disastrous lake crossings.  Be mindful to monitor conditions while crossing any of the lakes, spread your group out, and be ready to quickly shed your gear in the event of an unexpected plunge.

 

December 7, 2015

Winter is in full swing. Ice is starting to form in the usual places; people have been climbing some known haunts throughout the range, but it will still be a while until some of the longer alpine ice routes are in. Though valley snow depths are still a little thin, you should expect deeper snow at elevations above 7,000 feet. For further information about travelling in avalanche prone terrain throughout the Teton Range, please consult the local avalanche forecast at:  http://jhavalanche.org/
BE ADVISED that this forecast does not cover elevations above 10.400 feet.
Should you decide to venture out into the snowy peaks of the Tetons this winter, please take the time to reflect on how difficult it would be to rescue yourself or someone else if things don't work out in your favor. Research your trip thoroughly, go prepared for the worst, and have a safe trip!

The Jenny Lake Ranger Station is
Backcountry camping permits are required year-round for all overnight trips into the backcountry of Grand Teton National Park. Permits are free and can be obtained year-round at the Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center in Moose and during the summer months at the Colter Bay Visitor Center and Jenny Lake Ranger Station. Detailed information can be found in the links on the right.

All route condition information has been removed from this site for the winter season, however, the HOME PAGE will continue to provide periodic updates on general conditions in the Teton Range throughout the winter.

~The Jenny Lake Climbing Rangers