American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, Deborah, Attempt from Yanert Glacier

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1975

Deborah, Attempt from Yanert Glacier. Bob Hyslop, leader, Joe Throop, Omar Hansen and I were landed by Cliff Hudson on May 16 on the Yanert Glacier at 6500 feet, a half-mile from the great icefall. We were surprised to find an Alaskan party of three establishing a Base Camp nearby. They had snowshoed in and we were impressed. During our three weeks on the glacier, we did not climb with them but became friends. On May 17 Omar and I put a route through the icefall but were turned back at 8300 feet by unconsolidated snow covering crevasses. We cached food and gear for the planned advanced base and returned to Base Camp. The route through the icefall was along its left side on rock and then on ice. It was dangerous but not exceedingly hard climbing. Throughout the week we walked to the base of the icefall at ten or eleven o’clock P.M., hoping to carry through it. Although the weather was fair, night temperatures were above freezing. We tried another route, but it was much more difficult and dangerous. Alternates were absent. The Beckey Couloir, which circumvents the icefall, had been explored by the Alaskans, Dave Pettigrew, Pat Stewart and Matt Donahoe, who returned with wild stories of rotten rock and an avalanche. They shifted to the west buttress of Deborah’s south summit. We turned our energies to the smaller peaks flanking the Yanert. We reached the summits of P 9010, P 9720 and P 9030, all by their east ridges. P 9010 and P 9720, which Beckey had nicknamed “The Taj Mahal”, were climbed in a day from Base Camp. For P 9030 we moved camp five miles onto a tributary glacier of the Yanert. Omar, suffering from bronchitis, did not make this one. The climb, unlike the others, was mixed. While we descended, the weather deteriorated and remained poor the final week on the glacier.

Thomas Alexander, Mazamas

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