American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, Middle Triple Peak, Kichatna Mountains, Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1973

Middle Triple Peak, Kichatna Mountains, Attempt. In July Roy Kligfield, David Loeks and I were landed on the Tatina Glacier. Our main objective was the unclimbed Middle Triple Peak (8835 feet). Unfortunately we did not attempt the peak by the route suggested by Dave Roberts in his Summit article of June 1968 because of landing and approach problems. Instead we came from the west from the Tatina Glacier. Our aim was to do an alpine-style ascent; basically this was the main factor in our retreat. It took all day to reach the col between Middle and North Triple, involving very steep snow and ice climbing. Having arrived at the col, we discovered the “ridge” above us was in the nature of a Yosemite wall of 1500 feet which leads to the summit crest—a knife edge, roughly a half-mile in length with a few bumps along the way. After a long time on the first pitch, which from the distance we had guessed would be easy, we saw that we were grappling with a climb of perhaps four days’ duration and possibly more equipment than we had carried; we dismally rappelled to the col, bivouacked a few hours and spent more than half the next day on the descent. The weather, untypically, during this attempt was perfect. Later we attempted P 7984 on the west side of the Tatina Glacier, approaching via the obvious snow couloir on the northeast side. However we had to descend off the ridge down onto the northwest snow-and-ice face. While I ensconsed myself luxuriously on a ledge, Loeks and Kligfield spent the next eight hours on the ice and on the final rock buttress, only to retreat 200 feet below the summit because of rotten rock and deteriorating weather.

Alvin DeMaria, Vulgarian Mountain Club

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