June 21, 1974 Mt. Owen


From SKIING Magazine, September 1974:

Bill Briggs, steep-mountain skier par excellence, and Robin (Boomer) McClure, a rugged skier in the Jackson Hole tradition, conquered 12,928-foot Mt. Owen, the last unasked major peak in Wyoming’s Tetons, June 21 [1974] after overcoming extreme technical difficulties on the upper part of the mountain.

The two men started their descent about 150 feet below the summit since the peak of the mountain doesn’t hold snow. The actual starting point was a 15-foot band os snow with a 600-foot drop on both sides, and for the next several hundred feet they had continued difficulties of this types the route led through two steep, narrow couloirs. The critical point was a 60-foot traverse across which the two skiers had to belay each other because of extreme steepness and the rock exposure below it. “It was wild, it was so terribly steep,” Briggs was quoted as saying.

After overcoming this obstacle, it was fairly easy going in the corn snow condotions, and towards the end of their 5,800-foot, three-hour descent, Briggs and McClure actually cut figure-eights on the lower snowfields.

It was Brigg’s fourth major first in the Tetons. He was previously the first to put tracks on Mt. Moran, the Middle Teton and the Grand Teton. During the winter, he’s the ski school director at Snow King in Jackson.


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