Mid-May Grand Teton Conditions/Avy Risk

  • Creator
  • #63615
    Cory from Wisconsin


    I’m planning a Grand Teton climb with three others and we are hoping to tackle it in May. I fully understand this will be more akin to winter conditions as the mountain will almost certainly be snow covered and will not fully melt out until mid summer. I’m a midwest guy and other than a May summit of Longs Peak a few years back, I have not observed mountain behavior/snow melt for May (certainly not specific to the Tetons). My question is can anyone comment on general conditions from past years for May/June summit attempts ? Have you found avy risk to be heightened due to melting conditions, or are things fairly stable with little added risk from the melt? Clearly we will watch the weather prior to the trip and assess conditions on site, but I was hoping others could share their experience to help me gauge the prudence of penciling in May 14th as the target.

    For those wondering why not wait until it fully melts out, I prefer generally prefer a bit of a different challenge and enjoy snowy conditions. Also this works better for those of us with family commitments later in the summer during the more traditional climbing season.


Posted In: Mountaineering

  • Moderator
    MarkPostle on #63628

    In general May/June is a pretty stable time period as far as avy risk. If coming in May I would check out the avy forecast daily for the last couple weeks of April to get a feel for things, they usually stop forecasting by the end of April unless there’s a special weather event that warrants it. https://www.jhavalanche.org/. The Jenny Lake Rangers will usually have some kind conditions reports for the Grand although they certainly arent up there with the regularity they are later in the summer. If you get a solid stretch of weather and have the skill set for the additional challenges the snow presents, early summer can be a quiet time on the hill. Lots of ice ax work, some use of the rope on steep snow and rock/mixed climbing in crampons are pretty typical for that time of year.

    Cory from Wisconsin on #63666

    Thanks for the reply Mark! I shared your response with my team and we are all grateful for someone with your level of expertise and knowledge of the mountain to be weighing in. We’ll keep an eye on the weather but expect to be headed that way in May.

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