This couloir is a classic spring ski, an early summer snow climb, and a late-summer easy(ish) scramble that you can take to the East Face and then the summit of 11,618-foot tall Disappointment Peak.
What Makes It Great
Once the snow has melted out of the couloir, we rate it and the Lake Ledge route about the same. There is more chance of rock fall coming down on you in this one while the Lake Ledges route has trickier route finding. Once you’re into the Spoon, most of the paths up are about the same: stepping from boulder to boulder, watching out for loose ones.
One you reach the East Face, cairns and a fairly well-worn trail should guide you the final several hundred feet to the summit.
The Spoon is above the western shore of Amphitheater Lake, which is just above Surprise Lake. Disappointment Peak is unique in the Tetons for the fact it’s got these two lakes tucked into its eastern side. Most other alpine lakes in this range are between mountains, not on them.
Amphitheater is about 4.5 miles from the Lupine Meadows Trailhead. Scrambling around the lake to get to the base of the Spoon can take another 20-45 minutes. The Spoon itself is only about 500 feet about should take about the same amount of time as getting around the lake to it.
From the top of the Spoon, it’s easy walking the final several hundred feet to Disappointment’s summit. The summit is aerie, but not so much as that of Teewinot.Like Teewinot’s it drops off abruptly and steeply in most every direction.
Who is Going to Love It
If you’ve got the gear and skills, early summer, we prefer this route to Disappointment’s East Face over the Lake Ledges route. Not that the Lake Ledges route is bad; we just like mixing things up and climbing up a steep snow couloir and then scrambling around on rock is just extra fun!
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
The Spoon is obvious as you approach Amphitheater from the east, via the usual trail that starts at Lupine Meadows.