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

North America, United States, Alaska, Peaks Between the Kahiltna Glacier and Spink Lake

Peaks Between the Kahiltna Glacier and Spink Lake. From the Kahiltna Glacier, Roger Robinson and I traversed over to the Granite Creek Glacier to explore its upper regions and then continue east. We climbed P 5610 on our way over to the Kanikula Glacier. The two summits of Mount Goldie (6315 feet) and P 6182 were climbed in bad weather as we cut over to the Tokositna Glacier and across to a lake. We rambled our way to the top of the rolling ridges above the Ruth Glacier. The summits of P 5412 and P 5600 were void of human markings. We descended to the Backside Glacier and put in a heroic effort on one of the Ruth Gorge peaks, only to be chased back by a wind-driven downpour after we had climbed some 4000 feet. The radio being broken and food supplies running short, we passed up many a planned climb and hustled across the Ruth Glacier and up the Glacier Point fork past the Fake Peak and dropped down onto the Coffee Glacier to its terminus. Meadows of lush fireweed welcomed us back to the lowlands, but we knew that alders ahead awaited our arrival with outstretched arms. The 12 miles of alders we encountered on the way to Spink Lake were terrible. At times we were able to bypass long stretches of brush by wading down the river, half swimming and half grabbing for alders to keep from getting washed away by the current. We arrived at Spink Lake with one day’s food, wet and tired. My Dad found us from the air after many hours of aerial search time.

Brian Okonek, Mountaineering Club of Alaska