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North America, United States, Alaska, Mount Silverthorne Traverse

Mount Silverthrone Traverse. On April 2 and 3 four of us flew to the Ruth Amphitheater with Cliff Hudson, where we met our fifth member, who had skied in with two companions. We were Jim Bergdahl, Garret Brown, Roger Fuiten, Sandy Mapes and I. Our route led up the north fork of the Ruth Glacier, where we spent days hauling loads up the large icefall between 7000 and 9000 feet. By April 17 we had surmounted the icefall and proceeded to a small cwm formed by the two southern spurs of Silverthrone, where we put our high camp at 11,300 feet. After placing a cache at 12,300 feet on April 20, on the 22nd we carried a second load to the summit (13,220 feet), relayed the 12,300-foot cache to the top and carried the combined load down to a camp on Silverthrone’s northeast flank at 12,200 feet. Though the climbing was not difficult, the exposure was great in places. Views of Denali, eight miles away, were superb. We proceeded down to Silverthrone col and established Camp at 10,650 feet. We had originally hoped to traverse the whole Tripyramid ridge but balked at carrying 80-pound packs over the three summits. We therefore decided to attempt to traverse the three peaks in a day and return to the col. On April 24, in continuing good weather, we climbed West Tripyramid and traversed southward to the central peak, where we saw the ridge to the east peak, steep and heavily corniced. After another flawless day, in which we rested, the weather finally turned bad and we descended the Brooks Glacier all the way to the Muldrow. After another fierce storm, we parted company with Fuiten, who skied over McGonagall Pass to the road. The rest of us skied down the Muldrow and over Anderson Pass, where a cache had been placed a month before. Three more days of skiing on the middle fork of the Chulitna River finally brought us on April 30 to the Anchorage-Fairbanks highway.

A. Reynolds, Kadota Climbing Club