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Looking across the valley at (left to right) Goat Rock, West Twin, East Twin from Thunderbird Ridge. Mid May is transition season. The snow is too sloppy and unstable to ski and rock too wet to climb. Ice routes have turned into giant snow cones and rivers and lakes are undergoing breakup. Choices are limited, […]  [ Read More ]
The SE Gully of Benign Peak as seen from Pichler’s Perch. Indian summer had arrived. Weeks and weeks of overcast skies and continuous rain had put us in running for the rainiest 60 day span on record. But, as it often does, the weather finally broke in late September and we were treated to a […]  [ Read More ]
Dropping down to Blue Eyed Lake. We got there easy enough: 7 hours to our base camp at Blue Eyed Lake through devils club, cow parsnip and fireweed that towered over the head, muddy steep alder tunnels and up and down 2000′ of scree and snow to a secluded lake where we got some much […]  [ Read More ]
Last March on my way up Avalanche I snapped a photo of the North face of North Suicide. It was a bluebird day and I pretty much had my finger on the camera all day snapping photos of faces and couloirs that I’d like to explore. Back home editing through the photos a feature on […]  [ Read More ]
Edit August 2020:  For the second time in the past 3 years Bashful Peak now has a fixed rope. For some reason Chugach climbers have decided that Chikenshit Gully is too dangerous and that subsequent climbers need a fixed line to safely ascend this gully. The first rope was placed in August 2017 and was […]  [ Read More ]
In May 1962 a company of 113 Fort Richardson soldiers were airlifted into the headwaters of Ship Creek where they planned to traverse over a pass and exit out to Campbell Airstrip. The afternoon after being dropped off, they began trekking up and over a pass with the intention of a bivouac in a small […]  [ Read More ]
Scouring the guidebook for routes. Of the 3 straightforward routes, the Gouter route (which is considered the normal route) has you ascend the Grand Couloir; a 1500′ wall of choss that shreds rocks and kills people on a regular basis. The Tres Monts route is touted by one guidebook as having the lowest objective danger… […]  [ Read More ]
Mountaineering  |  France
Jul 1, 2012
Chamonix. Where to start? If you’re a mountain climber sooner or later you’ll come here. Every climber you know raves about it and tells you to go. Indeed by our third day I happened upon climbers who in the past had crashed at our house en-route to Denali. Like I said… Sooner or later you’ll […]  [ Read More ]
We awoke to sun on Saturday so we took a welcomed break from bathroom remodeling and headed up Rabbit Creek for a jaunt up North Suicide. Up the valley, a nice long break at Rabbit Lake so the dog could swim and then up the NW gully to the ridge. On the ridge line we […]  [ Read More ]
Up late on a lazy Sunday. Coffee at 11am, breakfast at noon. Then finally decided to do something with the day and set off for Fall’s Creek with the dogs. Started up the trail around 1pm thinking I’d just go a little way – but the day was perfect and travel was fast so 4 […]  [ Read More ]
We were feeling good after an active winter so we planned a 2 1/2 week Kahiltna trip for the month of May. I had climbed Denali before so I pushed for Foraker. Yvonne was easily convinced and so after hauling 5 gallon jugs of water up Flattop for 2 months we shelled out the cash […]  [ Read More ]
Lots of news and commentary has been published recently in regards to the recent accident on the Root Canal Glacier. In short, Christopher Lackey, a young man from Houston Texas, was camped on the Root Canal Glacier hoping to climb Ham & Eggs on the South face of the Mooses Tooth. KTNA (Talkeetna Public Radio) […]  [ Read More ]
Saturday was yet another absolutely beautiful day in Southcentral Alaska, so we packed the skis and some climbing gear and headed south to try Kickstep. We left the parking lot around 10:30 with ski gear, crampons, axe, 30m of rope, harnesses and a couple pickets. Travelling up Lyon Creek was fast and 2 1/2 later […]  [ Read More ]
  Carpathian Peak as seen from the summit of Byron. Carpathian. It beckons to every climber and skier who happens to catch sight of it on a clear day. It looms above Turnagain arm like an impregnable fortress. You can’t help but gawk at the prominent summit as you drive by. Every time you top […]  [ Read More ]
As if by magic the rains lifted and the sun rose. We threw our stuff together haphazardly and called around till a dog sitter was found… then jumped in the car and by 8am were hiking up Ram Valley underneath baby blue sky. The objective was East Kiliak – a seldom visited peak that lies […]  [ Read More ]
We floated the Chulitna River over the long weekend- hot and sunny and with glorious views of the Alaska Range towering above the river. The mercury climbed to 80 degrees and we drifted down river in shorts and t-shirts. On Sunday night we camped on a gravel bar with the summits of Denali and Mooses […]  [ Read More ]
Prologue The pain comes a few days later. Three, four days after you think you’re home free, it descends crashing into your immune system. The first thing you notice when you wake up is your skin beginning to flake and peel. A couple days later it turns black and you try not to look at […]  [ Read More ]
The signs did not bode well. First of all the forecast was for clearing skies by mid morning – however the entire drive up into the South Fork of Eagle River was in a thick fog bank where we could see 200′ at the most. And then 45 minutes into the hike we were faced […]  [ Read More ]
Spring climbing came once again… and once again I started trolling for partners. Many options and many ideas were voiced but Yvonne and I finally announced we were going to the Alaska Range; to the Ruth Gorge. Everyone wants to go to the Ruth – and suddenly Yvonne and I had 2 other partners (Bryce […]  [ Read More ]
Update 2/5/2021 This post is getting a ton of traffic so I’ll post what I posted elsewhere here since people have said it’s poignant… Update 2/3/2021 On Feb. 2nd 2021 three climbers were caught in an avalanche on this route and died. 54-year-old Tom Devine of Chugiak, Alaska, 43-year-old Matthew Nyman of Colorado Springs, Colorado, […]  [ Read More ]