Type: Trad, Snow, Alpine, 3600 ft (1091 m), Grade IV
FA: unknown
Page Views: 4,209 total · 39/month
Shared By: christoph benells on Sep 7, 2015
Admins: L. Von Dommelheimer

You & This Route

12 Opinions
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Description Suggest change

A great route just a short distance from Kahiltna basecamp. Can be done in a day or an easy overnight. Caution, the more gear you take the longer this climb will take you.

Head down heartbreak hill to access the southwest ridge. Scramble up loose rock and scree to the first tower.

The first towers go around 5.6-5.8, with short technical sections separated by snow slopes. There is a knife edge rock ridge that can create problems where a cornice usually hangs off it.

The third tower you bypass by lowering off fixed gear about 15 feet. Communicate with your partner clearly because you will not be able to see or hear them.

Climb up steep snow to the ridge crest and follow the ridge to the Gendarme. Rap off fixed gear into the notch.

The next couple of pitches are the crux. The actual crux is a 4" wide left slanting crack, goes for around 80'. 5.8

Easy snow brings you to a scary traverse around the false summit cornice. Make sure you are at this spot when the snow is well frozen, otherwise you are looking at pure danger.

The next obstacle is the final gendarme. Go up right and through a notch to your left. From the top of this it is 400' to the summit.

Descend the East ridge. It is moderate snow with glacier ice steps that you can bypass on your right side, or rap down off snow bollards. Lots of crevasse danger, I would recommend climb the east ridge first as a warm up. The lower cirque has avalanche potential.

Joe Puryear's Alaska Climbing Supertopo book is the alaska range bible. You will see many groups out there on the glacier with this book at basecamp. Great route description in there.

Location Suggest change

Just up glacier from the bottom of "heartbreak hill"

You will see it at Kahiltna Basecamp.

Protection Suggest change

Ice tool, one or two. Nut set, single cams to 3", 4" piece recommended. Glacier travel gear, single 60m rope.