Mokelumne Tetons

Start at Tanglefoot Trailhead and hike down and up to a lake, then about 1.5 miles past the lake turn right at about 7,800 feet and follow that contour to the Tetons. There is a spring marked on maps on the last switchback up to the lake. That water is much better than the lake water.

I think its about 9 miles and 2,000 foot of gain. There are two springs on that contour. One of them I noticed later is marked as a blue dot on some topo maps. We came in a little high and then walked down quite a bit to the campsite. It is a fantastic, flat campsite that looks straight over to the middle Teton, called The Bee. If it isn’t a fantastic campsite, keep looking. There are rumors of a spring just down from that campsite.

Our climbing route on middle Teton, The Bee, starting from campsite. Bolts, alpine rack. Camp Chasm Arete, 5.9+/5.10a, 6 pitches. Named because you look from camp straight across a chasm at the arete. 

First ascent possibilities? That steep shaded area or way around to the right and that should be more moderate.

Betsy and I had planned on doing something big on Saturday so we set out to climb a larger Teton than the Whales Tail. This beautiful orange Teton had a tougher approach and a much harder descent so it was very possibly unclimbed. We did the steep downhill approach and got on the toe of the Teton. We were going to traverse around to the face but it looked like we could climb almost straight up from where we were, so we did that at around 5.8. After two pitches we hit a ledge on the face and put in two belay bolts. I climbed up the face, put in a bolt and traversed right, into a depression under a huge flake – and there appeared two bolts. Hmmm. Very possibly climbed before.  We found out later this was the route Chris and Todd put up.

I belayed Betsy up and we discussed our options. My plan was to wrench off the hangers on the existing bolts and replace them with our own, then if asked say, “That’s strange, we didn’t see any other bolts up there”. Betsy didn’t like that plan. We had come from the left so we decided to head left into the dihedral / crack system and see if that worked. Betsy did a fantastic 5.9+/5.10a traverse to get over there, left-hand drilling and placing two bolts on the way. The second bolt makes the traverse very doable, because if you fall you can just pendulum into the lieback crack, just a little lower than if you made the traverse.

We didn’t originally choose that route because we were afraid a sustained hard finger or hand crack would do us in. That didn’t happen. There was a vertical chimney section behind a buttress but it had small incut holds for the feet and some nice edges and jugs outside for hands – a very fun 5.8. Well, it may have been more fun had I known it was going to stay 5.8 the whole way. 

There is one rap (now with two new bolts) to get off The Bee.

First, upper Teton, called the Whales Tail. You can walk to summit. There is climb beta in the summit register, about 4 or 5 climbs on the Whales Tail and one on the Bee by Chris McNamara and Todd Offenbacher.

Third, lower Teton

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