American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, Citadel, Northwest Buttress, Riesenstein, West Face and Kichatna Spire Attempt, Cathederal Spires, Kichatna Mountains

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1979

Citadel, Northwest Buttress, Riesenstein, West Face and Kichatna Spire Attempt, Cathedral Spires, Kichatna Mountains. After landing on the Cool Sac Glacier with 25 days of food, Ed Newville and I attempted the west face of the 8000-foot “Riesenstein,” north of Kichatna Spire lying between the Shelf and Cool Sac glaciers. Bad weather and a lack of food when we were 2½ days up the wall brought about our retreat. Several days later, on May 21, Jeff Thomas joined us and we attempted a more direct route on the face, reaching the summit in a whiteout after three days of difficult free climbing and several pitches of ice-filled cracks. The 2300-foot west face lies above the Cool Sac Glacier and faces Mount Jeffers. NCCS VI, F9, A2. On May 30 we three climbed 1700 feet up a 60° to 70° ice couloir on superb, very hard ice to a col between Kichatna Spire and the satellite peak in an attempt on the northwest face of Kichatna Spire. In the face of a very severe storm, we retreated down the gully in 12 rappels. A future party may find the lack of cracks for several pitches above the col interesting aid climbing. On June 3 Jeff Thomas and I completed a route up the northwest buttress of the Citadel from the col between the Shelf and Cool Sac glaciers. We had difficult climbing and unusually superb weather for the range to make it an excellent climb. NCCS III, F9. 14 hours.

Alan Kearney

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