Mount Hunter, North Ridge. The north ridge of Hunter was climbed in May by Dave Adams, Mike Kalvelage, John Marconi and me. We were flown to the north fork of the Tokositna Glacier on May 7 and established Base Camp at 8500 feet near the landing zone. We placed Camp I at 9500 feet on the Tokositna and snow caves at 11,000 and 13.000 feet. We all summitted on May 18. The north ridge was first climbed in 1971 by Japanese who approached via the southeast fork of the Kahiltna, picking up the ridge at the 9950-foot col that separates the Tokositna from the Kahiltna. In 1977 Japanese approached via the Tokositna, picking up the ridge at 10,600 feet. Our climb followed the 1977 Japanese route. In 1978 this route was descended by John Waterman in his extraordinary 145-day solo traverse of Hunter. The principal difficulties on our route involved 1. crossing a schrund at 10,000 feet and ascending a 50° snow-and-ice face to the ridge crest at 10,600 feet; 2. traversing the corniced knife-edged ridge from 10,600 to 10,900 feet; 3. working across a very exposed portion of the ridge at 12,900 feet and either up a buttress of frozen mud or around a delicate ice sérac at 13.000 feet.
Donald J. Goodman