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North America, United States, Alaska, Brooks Range, Peaks in the Endicott Mountains

Peaks in the Endicott Mountains, Brooks Range. In late July I spent a few days at the headwaters of the Iniakuk River, six to eight miles north-northeast of Ernie Lake. The approach was up and through a series of unique canyons with stair-stepped waterfalls and spillways over smoother schistose bedrock. Two high peaks (62°28'29" N, 152°52'55" W) with steep cirqued north faces dominate the region between the Alatna and John Rivers. Iniakuk Peak (6539 feet) and Shukok Peak (6253 feet) were climbed in a day from the south. I ascended Iniakuk via the easterly buttress and ridge. Descent was down the true east ridge to a col and then up the sharp west ridge to the top of the Shukok and down its south buttress. I could see the central Brooks Range from the Arrigetch in the west to Doonerak in the east. In mid-August Barb Campbell, Dick Jablonowski and I met at Takahula Lake, alongside the Alatna River, 15 miles due east of the Arrigetch Peaks. We cached food and inflatable kayaks and trekked up the alder-choked Aiyagomahala Creek valley, through Independence Pass and into the headwaters of the Kobuk River. Rain and fog prevented our reaching any summits. We paddled down the Alatna River, arriving at Allakaket on August 27.

Steven W. Hackett