Peak Climbed: Mount Moran

Peak Height: 12,605'

Route: CMC (Chicago Mountaineering Club)

Difficulty: 5.5

Location: Grand Teton NP, Wyoming

Trailhead: String Lake

Mileage & Gain: 15 mi & 6,000 ft RT

Date Climbed: August 7 - 9, 2020

Mount Moran is one of the major Teton summits. It sits in the northern part of the range away from the other tall peaks and is perhaps best known for it's unusual standard approach which begins with a six mile paddle across two lakes.

A three day plan seems most appropriate for the CMC Route given the logistical obstacles of acquiring both a permit from the park's backcountry office and a canoe from a local shop. Fortunately Mount Moran is much less popular than other areas in the Tetons and we were able to obtain a walk-in permit the day we wanted to start even though everything else in the park was pretty much booked. We had the CMC Camp to ourselves actually. The walk-in permit system is super terrible though - we waited in line for hours to get that permit. Last minute canoe rental at Dornan's just outside the park was no problem and very convenient.

The paddle and backpack to CMC Camp was easily accomplished in an afternoon at a casual pace and the following morning Patrik and I climbed the CMC Face in three long simul pitches. Protection opportunities were sometimes sparse, but the climbing was easy enough that it wasn't concerning. Routefinding was straightforward; follow your nose up and right along the path of least resistence.

The standard descent is a series of rappels back down the face that requires double ropes. We knew that a single 70m rope wasn't long enough for one of the rappels, and came prepared to negotiate this with a thin line we could use as a partial pull cord. This was unneccesary though, as the fabled "4th class" downclimb on the far south edge of the face was easy to locate and quite reasonable - steep but solid. We did not need to do any rappels on the descent.

This route is certainly super classic - very aesthetic and an all around enjoyable time. I'm already looking forward to doing it again someday.

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