American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, Mount Blackburn-Regal Mountain Ski Traverse

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

Mount Blackburn-Regal Mountain Ski Traverse. During April of 1977, our Alaskan party explored the area between Mount Blackburn and Regal Mountain on the Nebesna Glacier with a ski descent south to the town of McCarthy. We spent 10 days through storms up to 10,500 feet on the northwest ridge of Blackburn and then decided to move east towards Mountaineers Pass to enjoy spectacular skiing. After several cache haulings to an area between Parka Peak and Atna Peaks, we continued on April 23 to 13,000 feet on the west ridge of Parka Peak. High winds and brittle rime ice forced our return to camp at Mountaineers Pass. Moving east to Regal Mountain by April 26, we skied up a south ramp to a point 800 feet below the 13,845-foot summit. Traversing west across the south face we then gained a ridge that led to the summit. We were eager to return to our skis 800 feet below for an unforgettable 7000-foot ski descent in light fresh snow. Heading back to Mountaineers Pass through storms, by May 3 we were able to begin the ski descent to the town of McCarthy. Starting at the 12,400-foot plateau between Atna and Parka Peaks, we descended slowly through whiteout conditions, avalanches and bottomless powder to the Kennicott Glacier at 4500 feet six days later. On May 10 our party, consisting of Steve Wood, Steve Worley and me, were greeted by friends from the towns of Kennicott and McCarthy, concluding our 35-day ski adventure.

Sandy Mapes, Alaska Alpine Club

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