Mount Owen (Koven Route)

7:39 p.m. on April 30, 2003 (EDT)
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a.k.a. spud-climber

I currently read a response by Brian (SLC) about his three attempts at the Koven Route on Mount Owen. I have plans to climb the route this summer in August. We are planning to camp on the Teton Glacier and go from there. Is there any advice that you could give me on the climb and route. Anything would be appreciated.

2:15 p.m. on May 2, 2003 (EDT)
(Guest)

We descended the Koven last August after a Teewinot/Owen traverse. It sucked. large moats on either side of the snow suck ropes in and snag them. It took something like 3 hrs to descend. Rap anchors are kinda scary too. I'd try to do it earlier in the year when there is more snow.

9:38 a.m. on May 6, 2003 (EDT)
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a.k.a. spud-climber
Where are the anchors?

Mike, I appreciate the info. Where are the rap anchors located? How many different rappel points are there? Are they hard to find?

6:10 p.m. on May 6, 2003 (EDT)
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408 forum posts
Transient...

Quote:

Mike, I appreciate the info. Where are the rap anchors located? How many different rappel points are there? Are they hard to find?

Downclimb....

Geez, I've done the decent twice...you'd think I'd remember...

Uhhh... I seem to sort of recall downclimbing. There might be a rap anchor just off the summit, as you head back down in the chimney (that sort of faces north west?). Would be just sling around a block. I'm not sure we used it. Ugh.

If you climb the Koven, then the rap anchors, if there are any, will be obvious. The only kinda route findy issue with the Koven is finding the easiest way around to the summit. I think Renny's book (current fatty Teton guidebook) more than adequately describes the route. Its not that hard, just a tad exposes (and if it was icey, would be a bit dicier). After the Koven coulior, I seem to recall you traverse all the way up and to the climber's left (or west?) and then follow "obvious weaknesses" (love that phrase) and kind of corkscrew around into the chimney and then up. I really don't think it was more than easy fourth or fifth class.

You might consider a belay then a spot on the downclimb instead of a rap anchor. Just reverse the lead and leave in the pro. Er something.

Mike (aka CD) you recall? I can't remember rappelling.

Scariest part might be the exposed snow slope with large penalty points if its icey and you slip... Once you hit the rock (at least for me), seems like it gets fun and the rock and positions are pretty solid.

East Ridge is good too. Might seem a bit stiff for 5.6 in boots...

Fun route, great peak. Doable from the valley with an extra early start (pm t-showers and all)...

Brian in SLC

10:23 a.m. on May 7, 2003 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: Where are the anchors?

Quote:

Mike, I appreciate the info. Where are the rap anchors located? How many different rappel points are there? Are they hard to find?

I recall the first one being on the right side of the coulior near the top. We belayed over to them (we had no crampons or ice tools) After that they wandered from side to side but were easy to find. We had two ropes, so we bypassed many possible rap spots for a single rope. I think we did about 4 or 5 double rope raps. It maybe easier to downclimb if you have ice tools/axes. I'd bring some tied runners and rap rings. I don't recall seeing any chains, so you may want to replace worn slings with your own.

6:41 p.m. on May 7, 2003 (EDT)
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a.k.a. spud-climber
Thanks

Brian & Mike:
Thanks for the info. I appreciate the feedback. It seems pretty straight forward, but wanted to get some info from individuals who have been up it. One more question: Is there anything tricky about getting to the Teton Glacier from Surprise Lake? And one on the glacier is there anything tricky about finding the Koven Couliour?

11:07 a.m. on May 8, 2003 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: Thanks

Quote:

Brian & Mike:
Thanks for the info. I appreciate the feedback. It seems pretty straight forward, but wanted to get some info from individuals who have been up it. One more question: Is there anything tricky about getting to the Teton Glacier from Surprise Lake? And one on the glacier is there anything tricky about finding the Koven Couliour?

I've only descended to Surprise lake from the Koven. I recall boulder hopping quite a bit, but it was not hard. Going down, I do recall doing an additional rap after the Koven to get onto the glacier proper. Not sure how you do this section going up. Maybe Brian will know.

12:06 p.m. on May 8, 2003 (EDT)
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408 forum posts
Up then down then up then down...

Quote:

Quote:

Thanks for the info. I appreciate the feedback. It seems pretty straight forward, but wanted to get some info from individuals who have been up it. One more question: Is there anything tricky about getting to the Teton Glacier from Surprise Lake?

Well worn trail at the back of the Lake. Up and over a small pass. Super neat descent down into the Teton Glacier Valley, great views, highly recommended during the "daytime" hours...

Used to be a cable here to protect the semi scary descent (with full packs, its not casual). I think it was removed (kinda recall as of a couple of summers ago when we did the East Ridge of the Grand). Anyhoo, not too hard, just payin' attention and down climbing/careful hiking down slabs with features but you have to look a tad for them. Is pretty exposed (cliff line).

From the pass, prior to the descent, pick out an optimal social trail to the top of the moraine. If there's a lower angle traverse, it will be easier than a straight up through loose talus. Any trail will do, but, nice to find the money trail. Although it might seem the wrong direction, the trail closer to the east ridge of the grand, maybe the better trail. Further to the right seems looser.

From there, some nice bivy spots on the top crest of the moraine, but, you might want to head out and closer to the route (won't be far either way). From the moriane, I seem to recall that you'll be able to see the Ted Koven Coulier no problemo.

>And one on the glacier is there anything tricky about finding the Koven Couliour?

Nah, its that big snowy line to the right of the main peak, and below where Teewinot and the Crooked Thumb notch is (more right than you'd guess maybe, but, given the cliffage below the main summut of Owen, its the only sane option in town). I recall it angles/diagonals up from right to left (toward the upper snowfield traverse that is climber's left).

Quote:

I've only descended to Surprise lake from the Koven. I recall boulder hopping quite a bit, but it was not hard. Going down, I do recall doing an additional rap after the Koven to get onto the glacier proper. Not sure how you do this section going up. Maybe Brian will know.

Seem to recall a rap or a bit of downclimbing here somewhere too. Seems like we bailed out of the upper end of the coulior, at a steep spot to climber right. And maybe rapped back into the coulior at that point on the way down. Might be a picture in the guidebook that shows it.

Is a reasonably well travelled route (as the easiest to the summit of Owen) and commonly done. So, will be a social trail more than likely, but, its also an intuitive route (stay on easy ground, and you'll be cruisin').

Gotta have a TR when you send!

Brian in SLC

12:04 a.m. on June 3, 2003 (EDT)
(Guest)

Getting to Teton Glacier

I just returned from the Tetons where we were going to make an attempt on the Koven Route, but we made a huge mistake in our approach to the Teton Glacier and ended up closer to Amphitheater Lake than the Teton Glacier. The climbing rangers later described to use that once you get to 3 Mile Junction from the Lupine Meadows Trailhead (the junction that forks to Surprise Lake and Garnet Canyon), follow the trail that leads to Surprise Lake, but once you get to the first switchback on the trail, continue hiking north, instead of taking the switcback, and traverse into Glacier Gulch. From there, just hike up Glacier Gulch taking care not to trample too much vegitation- a very straightforward approach. Hiking the Gulch will probably take about 2 hours once you are in it, but routefinding is not a problem. We found the going to Surprise Lake and then down into the Gulch was very difficult and somewhat dangerous...the lake to get below is Delta Lake, which is in the center of Glacier Gulch. Talk to the rangers at Jenny Lake about the approach, and listen to what they have to say- I wish we would have! But good luck with the route, it looks pretty incredible.

December 22, 2014
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