“A classic ski-mountaineering objective in Grand Teton National Park.”
— Ben Johnson
Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry
One of the more distinct snow-covered faces in the valley, the East Face of Buck offers skiers a moderate ski-mountaineering objective. Steep skiing off the summit (40-45 degrees) leads to the lower angled face (25-35 degrees) and a steeper exit couloir (40-45 degrees) back to Timberline Lake and the moderate lower slopes of Stewart's Draw.
Approach from Death Canyon Trailhead, veering north from the standard Wimpy's Ridge/Albright approach to get into Stewart's Draw (right after you leave the Valley Trail and begin climbing seems like a popular spot). Follow Stewart's draw up and up, then switch to boots for the ascent of the "exit couloir" on the North side of the lower East face.
6-8 hours seems to be a reasonable time for those with good fitness to reach the 11,938' summit. Expect around 5,500' of elevation for the day, and don't forget to stop at Dornan's on the way home to grab a beer and admire the face you just skied!
An ice axe is a good one for this route and crampons can be helpful, too.
History & Background
Early descent in May of 1961 by Barry Corbet, Ann LaFarge, and Eliot Goss.