AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

North America, United States, Alaska, Coastal Mountains, Southeastern Alaska

Coastal Mountains, Southeastern Alaska. By eleven o’clock on July 13, Rich Mathies, Jerry Barnard, Jim McCarthy and I were on the beach at the snout of the Baird Glacier, where it almost meets Thomas Bay, not far from Petersburg. Our approach up the North Baird Glacier required two days, half of it on skis. By the evening of the third day, we were well settled and had received our precious airdrop. Base Camp was situated on the edge of an expansive icefield punctured by sharp and impressive peaks. The climbing was typified by difficult route-finding up broken, avalanche-tracked glaciers, followed by technical rock climbing on the peaks. Classic summits and narrow ridges of excellent rock prevailed. In the course of 16 days, we climbed five peaks and made major attempts on two others. Our most difficult pitches were unrewarded, as we were thwarted on the two major summits of the group: at roughly 6900 feet on the south buttress of P 7925 and at 7000 feet on the south ridge of its neighbor to the north, P c. 7500. (All altitudes are taken from the USGS Sumdum B-2 quadrangle, Alaska.) The climbs we made were all first ascents: P 7118 via north and northeast ridges by all, P 7436 via southwest ridge by all, P 6570 via southeast snow slopes by all, P 6770 via south ridge by Mathies, McCarthy, Fowler, and P 6385 via east face by Mathies, Fowler.

Bradley Fowler