I took a recent excursion to the Teton region (W7Y) of Wyoming to experience the Grand Teton National Park and the challenging yet majestic peaks within. Continue reading for a trip report of the first activation of Corner Peak.
Corner Peak is an 8-point summit in the Gros Ventre Range in Gros Ventre Wilderness and Bridger-Teton National Forest. It is nearby several other unactivated SOTA Peaks, including Antionette Peak, 11113, 11095, and 11205.
Corner Peak offers incredible solitude up to its summit because of the somewhat long approach, but this solitude has its benefits and dangers as detailed in the trip report. The peak itself offers great views of the nearby summits to the east and west, and of the canyon with Swift Creek that leads back down to the flat, park area.
Antionette Peak From Corner Peak
We chose Corner Peak because it was the easiest to access from the central coloir. The trip was still difficult, but offered the least amount of exposure. Remember that this peak is 11181 feet tall and will have less oxygen near the summit.
This summitpost report gives great detail to where to start and how to continue.
The approach for this trail starts at the Swift Creek Trailhead but is known by several names. It is on the granite creek, and a sign at its beginning says “SHOAL FALLS” which is neither Shoal Lake, Granite Creek, nor Granite Falls. Just continue north-northwest instead of east to continue on the Swift Creek Trail instead of the Shoal Lake trail.
Entrance sign to Bridger-Teton about 1 mile in
Correct Swift Creek Trailhead
The GPS coordinates for this trailhead are 43.349586, -110.436895. Be prepared for some potholes and dusty driving.
The approach is long, steep, serene, and lonely. Be wary of bears - we saw a moose about 1 mile in. There is constant climbing the entire way up at class 2 only one person wide. There are indimitating views of the canyon to the northeast, and views of incredibly steep false summits to the northwest.
After a long while (3-4 miles), you will start to go downhill and catch Swift Creek. Much snow was here in June. You will cross Swift Creek and continue up. The “crux” of this route was right here on the ascent - we went through a steep colouir to the east before hopping up more colouirs to a central bowl preparing for the ascent.
Start of the snow in mid-June
N2WU at the Bowl
From the bowl, you’ll be able to see the oddly gently sloped summit. I went northwest onto the ridge from some boulder fields and climbed up to within 75 feet of the summit just finding the path of least resistance. All class 3, but stick to the larger boulders since they move less than the smaller ones. Do not trust some glacial features near the top since they may give way.
There are obviously no trees on the top, but plenty of rocks to stick a mast through:
This was originally planned as a backpacking trip over 2 days, but the looming afternoon Rocky Thunderstorms and our lack of accumulation to the high atmospheres made us decide to head back down after a long day. The thunderstorms are always on schedule so stay below the treeline at the very least.
I brought my backpacking equipment but did not need it. There is plenty of chances to fill up water from streams on the way up.
These items mimic the standard 10 Essentials
- Instant Oatmeal, Foil Tuna, Boil-in-Bag Rice, and backpacking snacks
- First Aid kit including emergency shelters and ponchos
- Several layers including warmth (wool flannel) and wind/rain (rainjacket)
- Iodine tablets for water with a 3L bladder - this is a superb way to go. We didn’t even taste the iodine.
- A JetBoil for hot food
- Black garbage bags for bear / rodent protection
- Toiletries - toothpaste, sunscreen, bug spray, deodorant
- Sleeping bag and pad
- Map and compass
We brought only basically what we needed to keep light. I used an old version of the Mystery Ranch SATL Ruck which had the added bonus of a Radio Pouch which kept everything secure and high on my back.
I changed my setup to be a little lighter. I did away with my key and removed vital components from my case (the EFHW balun and battery charging switch) to be inside small plastic containers inside the KX2 carrying case:
I had 4G on the summit so I put in a SOTA Alert. Because it was windy, I pleaded for some quick contacts. Thankfully I was done within 15 minutes.
|KT5X||40M CW||1752||New Mexico|
I’m glad to have claimed the first activation for this peak. It is alluring and quiet with other summits nearby. A class 3 activation with quite some elevation change makes it a rewarding challenge. Afterwards, check out the hot springs about a mile up the road!