South West Ridge (Hurricane Ridge)
Avg: 4 from 1 vote
Routes in Mount Drum
|South West Ridge (Hurricane Ridge) AI2-3 X|
|Type:||Ice, Alpine, 9000 ft, Grade III|
|FA:||Heinz Allemann and Niklaus Lötscher|
|Page Views:||834 total, 17/month|
|Shared By:||Taylor-B. on Oct 26, 2013|
|Admins:||Jared LaVacque, L. Von Dommelheimer|
DescriptionThe South West Ridge is referred to as Hurricane Ridge by Alaskans and for good reason, It's windy. Mount Drum is exposed to accelerating winds from the west and south west, due to the fact that there are no peaks to abate this wind for hundreds of miles.
A climb of Mount Drum is a true Alaska wilderness adventure, since you start in the tundra zone and ascend 9,000ft into the alpine.
Dave with Copper Valley Air is your best bet for accessing the western Wrangells. The primary air strip is a place called Dry Lake at about 2,800ft, just west of the mountain. Dry Lake is the most reliable spot to land due to less wind. The other option is the Chelle Lake NPS cabin, but this adds a few more miles to the approach.
From Dry Lake expect a full days hike or ski to reach the base of the South West Ridge. Take care in this area, especially in the spring, the grizzly bears like to hibernate and hang out in the tundra.
The glacier below the ridge has receded drastically compared to the USGS maps, but still take care to rope up. Gain the ridge via snow slopes or scree slopes. Permanent snow and ice is encountered at about 7,000ft and this is where the climbing gets steep.
The best spot to camp on route is a col at about 9,500ft atop of the diamond shape feature of the ridge. From here the ridge becomes heavily crevassed and may require some steep snow climbing to navigate through the ridge to the summit.