The first people that climbed Disappointment Peak, in 1925, thought they’d be able to get to the summit of the Grand Teton from it. The peak got its name when they reached this peak’s summit and saw that the summit of the Grand was very, very far away; separated not only by a significant distance, but also by difficult topography. Disappointment Peak was born.
What Makes It Great
Today, some of the park’s best rock climbs are on the peak’s southeast side, although most of these don’t go to the summit. To reach the summit, you needn’t be a climber at all. You do need to be all right with exposure though. Pass the lovely Surprise Lake and then from Amphitheater Lake,you can pick your way around and up ledges and short cliffs to the east of the prominent Spoon Couloir. Sometimes there are cairns through here, but most of the times not. How difficult this section is depends on your route finding skills. You should be able to make it onto the peak’s east face without doing any serious climbing maneuvers. But if you pick your route unwisely, you could find that a moderately tricky move or two is required. Like with Teewinot, it’s not a bad idea to have a rope with you. Just in case.
Once you’re on the peak's east face proper, there’s a fairly beat-in trail—at least as beat-in as a trail can be in a scree field.
Who is Going to Love It
Scramblers looking for a good, tough day out in the mountains are going to love the entire journey to the peak (despite its name). This adventure is more for experienced off-trail hikers and climbers than those used to the guidance of established trails. Certain sections are class 3 and class 4 so make sure you are confident of your scrambling skills before setting out.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
From summitpost.com - From Moose, drive on the park road for 7 miles directly past the peak to the Lupine Meadows trailhead road. From Moran Junction, drive highway 89 N and into the pay part of the park. Drive 4 miles and turn left across the dam. It is 13 miles to the Lupine Meadows trailhead turnoff, just past the bustle of Jenny Lake. If you're not craning at peaks on this drive, it's a bad day to climb.