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This route begins by heading northeast from the KIA. You navigate a small a small crevasse field before gaining a slow incline which follows the base of Mt. Francis for roughly two miles northeast. You continue along the base of Mt. Franics until reaching the base of the ridge. This was the path of least resistence to gain the ridge, it's about 700 feet of 55/60 degree snow. The snow consolidation was good early in the morning, but was quite treacherous in the afternoon. Turned to sugar sand, and previously cut steps were non-exsistent due to the southern face being exposed to the sun. You follow the ridge up and to the west for about 2000 feet. It's pretty straight forward from there, we place running protection in two areas but it's really up to comfort level of the party. Few areas contain crevasses and snow bridges which will not be present later in the spring/summer.
Northeast KIA 2.5 miles. To begin this climb, continue northeast throgh crevasse fields until gaining the base of the Francis Saddle. The descent is the same as the ascent. Best to do this route early in the morning so as not to be coming down in the afternoon, southern face snow does not hold up in mid-may.
Pickets and screws.
BETA PHOTO: This shows the route heading up to the colouir tha...
Climb this until the ridge.
BETA PHOTO: Once gaining the ridge, continue west up the ridge...
|By Ed Lysne|
May 10, 2014
rating: AI1 Mod. Snow
What we did fits the description of the "East Ridge," pretty simple, classic approach and descend out of lower Kahiltna Base Camp- mostly easy snow.
-There are a few crevasses on the approach (descent) which I almost skied into by accident. (Rope up!)
-On the ridge we did about 1/2 the route without crampons in ski boots. When the snow got firm we put 'em on. There was one steep headwall of maybe 15 feet, wear I led and kicked steps with 1 tool (piolet).
-We did this on a day with low visibility, with a bunch of whiteouts and flurries- so no good pics to show.
It was a fun adventure!