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North America, United States, Alaska, Mount Foraker, Sultana Ridge, Second Ascent

Mount Foraker, Sultana Ridge, Second Ascent. Phil Ershler, leader, Michael Semansky, Paul Slota, Mark Rowan and I made the second ascent of the long ridge, starting over Mount Crosson and P 12,472, going 3½ miles along the ridge to gain the northeast ridge of Foraker. We made five camps and reached the top on June 23. At times the ridge was as wide as a street but would dead-end at a corniced ridge, sérac or crevasse, which would be impassible. At other times it was a sheer knife-edge with straight drops of 4000 feet on either side. There was a very beautiful section through a field of towering séracs like skyscrapers of ice. There were other sections of round massive humps of waist-deep debilitating powder snow. After climbing to the summit, we returned to our Camp V at the foot of the northeast ridge. We could not return to Camp IV where most of our food was because of a four-day storm. We were without food for two of these days. My tentmate came down with hypothermia in the totally buried tent. At our wits’ end, we radioed for help, a helicopter. Three of us flew out while the other two walked.

Glenn Kaplan