American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, P6620, "Lava Mountain," Talkeetna Mountains

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1971

P6620, “Lava Mountain,” Talkeetna Mountains. This nondescript peak, located northeast of Granite Peak in the Matanuska Valley, was one of those ever scarcer virgin mountains close to the highway on which a weekend assault can be planned. Vin Hoeman’s Alaska Mountain Guide draft recommends the southwest ridge as a reasonable route and I decided to check this out. During three weekends in March and April I labored up this ridge, after an approach through enchanting Granite Creek Valley, getting farther up each time. On the last attempt, assuming that I had the summit in the bag after I climbed a steep wall, I was stopped by an interminable series of horrible sharktooth gendarmes, which were too much for a woman solo climber without large amounts of aid. It was necessary to look for another route. Encouraged by map contours I selected to try Lava Mountain’s southeast face and approached from the east on a later weekend, backpacking along King Creek and Young Creek. I reached the summit on May 10 after a strenuous but not very technical climb. The avalanche activity that day was extremely high.

Grace Hoeman, M.D.

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