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

North America, United States, Alaska, Wichmann Tower, Arrigetch

Wichmann Tower, Arrigetch. After our airdrop at the head of Arrigetch Creek, it was a day’s hike in from Circle Lake, some on very tiring ground. We were a mixed group with different abilities: Rein Grabbi, Juri Tint, David Kaplan, my wife Gitta and I. During a break in the weather, after a day of steady rain, we scrambled up the west summit of “Parabola.” On top the skies opened and we did not try for the east summit. A few days later, when we left our second campsite on a high plateau between Caliban and Xanadu, the weather closed in again. Instead of trying the northwest ridge of Xanadu, we scrambled up and traversed an unnamed peak next to it and arrived back in camp, soaking wet. There was no pattern to the weather. A day later, in cloudy weather, Tint and I left camp now at the head of Arrigetch Creek just to look at the northern approach to Wichmann Tower. Hours later, after climbing steep snow and ice, we arrived at the saddle just west of Wichmann Tower. Bursts of sunshine showed us that it was clear to the south. Now there was no turning back and we climbed the beautiful, narrow south ridge, which curved like a cornice over the vertical south face of the mountain. We used some chocks and pitons on the relatively short but exposed difficult pitches. To our dismay we found we had only one hammer and could not remove all the hardware. The names of the first- ascent party in 1964 were in a film container on the summit; we added ours and then cautiously started the descent. Our first shower came when we were off the ridge and glacier, the longest period without rain during our stay. Two days later we hiked out.

Olaf Sööt