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10 miles

Elevation Gain

5500 ft

Route Type



Added by Kyle C

Mount Moran is a mountaineering adventure that involves as much in the approach as the technical climb.

Mount Moran’s CMC Route is best climbed by starting at String Lake’s boat launch. From here, pack up your overnight and climbing gear into your kayak or canoe and start your journey north on String Lake. At the end of the lake, portage a few hundred yards to Leigh Lake and continue your paddle north. You will come to a large bend where Moran is visible to your right and you will be able to make out a scree field going from Falling Ice glacier down to the lake – aim for the bottom of this runoff.

At the bottom of the scree field, pack up your things and tie up your boat to start the hike up to CMC camp. This route is fairly popular, so in later season there will be cairns. The camp is at tree line and should be obvious.

The next morning you can choose one of two ways to get to the technical climbing. One would be following the drainage and trail up to the right. This way is a dry way in early season as the second way follows a snow field which, if in early season, you will need an ice axe for. The snow field is easier to follow, but can be more difficult in technical nature. These two trails meet in a gully between formations called Drizzlepuss and the West Horn. You will eventually reach a viewpoint where you can see the summit. You can leave whatever gear here that you want to save for the descent. From here, head up to your left to the top of Drizzlepuss and then start your down climb. The down climb is airy, but should be fourth class the entire way to a rappel station. Make one short rappel to the base of the slab that you will climb to the summit.

The slab is large and is mostly low fifth class with sections of harder moves. A general rule of thumb is to trend hard right and then go straight up the face. Toward the top you will eventually make your way within thirty yards or so of the Black Dike. At the top, enjoy the expansive summit and return towards the right side of the slab.

The slab is safest rappelled with double ropes – we used a tag line and a 60m. Some portions would have been a faster down climb of fourth and low fifth class but we sided with safety. Once you reach the bottom of the slab, rope up for one last pitch, and you take a fairly indirect way back up Drizzlepuss in one to two pitches. At the top of Drizzlepuss, continue the way back down to your camp and then eventually your boat.

This climb requires a permit to camp overnight and this is the way I recommend doing it. You will require a bear canister, which you can rent at Jenny Lake Ranger Station. You also need a permit and an AIS decal on your boat in order to utilize your own as well.  

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