Disappointment Peak (11,618 Feet)

Where: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
When: July 2008
Partners: DB
Route: Lake Ledges (Class 4 & Steep Snow)
Mileage/Gain: 12/5,100

DB heading up the Garnet Canyon Trail

Heading off one morning from the Lupine Meadows Trailhead, just as me, Mike Cressman and Rick Kent had done two years earlier on our climb of Grand Teton, DB and I had high anticipation of an "interesting" day in the still-heavily-snowed high country of Grand Teton National Park.
Typical stellar views from the trail

Eventually leaving the Garnet Canyon Trail and heading up the Amphitheater Lake Trail, we began to hit snow...and then more snow. Passing Surprise Lake under full snow, we arrived at Amphitheater Lake and got our first view of our objective.
Amphitheater Lake, frozen, below Disappointment Peak

Hmmm, lots of snow but doable. We angled left around the lake and headed up the snow.
Leaving the lake and heading toward the Lake Ledges

Soon reaching the Lake Ledges, we found that the heavy snow still buried any apparent trivial way to gain them. Instead, we pulled off a few funky moves and gradually traversed our way up and right in search of easier ground.
DB climbing through something resembling the Lake Ledges

Near the top of the ledges, we encountered a 100-foot 60-degree snow slope that we could bail left off of about halfway up and eventually gain easier ground. Negotiating through the difficulties, we put away the rope and continued on.
Coiling the rope above the Lake Ledges

Continuing up...

...and up

Eventually leaving the snow, we climbed onto surprisingly enjoyable rock (class 3) that led us to the tiny and hugely exposed summit! An awesome finish!
DB embracing the summit of Disappointment Peak

Once there, it was immediately apparently why the first ascent party had dubbed the peak "Disappointment". Afterall, Grand Teton was right next door and towered more than 2,000 vertical feet above.
Grand Teton hovers over Disappointment Peak

And so with a quick bite and some water, we headed down...fully satisfied with our day in the Teton backcountry.