American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, Redoubt Volcano to Double Peak, Chigmit Ski Traverse

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1974

Redoubt Volcano to Double Peak, Chigmit Ski Traverse. Following a six-day delay, due to weather, Al Curtis of Alyeska Air Service landed our party in a low pass at 3500 feet, northwest of Redoubt. We were Steve Hackett, leader, John Samuelson, Helmut Tschaffert, Toby Wheeler, Daniel Hurd and I. An afternoon ski jaunt enabled us to establish Camp I at 4900 feet. On May 8 our route led southeast up a ridge toward the western summit of Redoubt. We pitched Camp II (6900 feet) in a protected depression on the ridge. Starting early on May 9, we made the first ascent of the western summit of Redoubt (9300 feet) by mid- morning and descended 1000 feet down the north slope to the col dividing the summits. (Before the eruption of Redoubt in the late 1950s, what is now the “western” summit was then merely the western part of the cone.) The weather soured and forced a retreat from the col to Camp II. A hasty retreat followed on May 11 to a small food cache left at Camp I for a day’s travel toward Double Glacier; we gave up all hope to climb Redoubt’s main (north) summit (10,197) feet). In the evening as we pitched Camp III at the headwaters of the Drift River, just north of Redoubt, the skies cleared. Seven miles on and 4000 feet higher, we set up Camp IV on Double Glacier at a cache which had been set up by Hackett and bush pilot Eric Barnes. On a clear but windy May 13, we climbed on mixed snow and rock (F6 to F8) three peaks: P 6720 (60° 39' N, 152° 51' W) and P 6200+ to its south by Hackett, Hurd, Wheeler; P 6650 (60° 39½' N, 152° 50' W) and P 6720 (by another route) by Tschaffert, Samuelson and me. Continuing high winds accompanied with snow on May 14 made it necessary to dig in for four days. At noon on the 18th we began trekking to the northeast, setting Camp V just south of Double Peak. We reached the summit of Double Peak (6818 feet) on May 19 via the steep northwest snow face. Early the next day, in another storm, we descended to the last patch of snow at the base of the Big River lobe. A long hike across moraine and swamp ended our journey at the Mobil Oil Drift River camp on May 21.

Daniel Jones, Mountaineering Club of Alaska

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