American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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North America, United States, Alaska, P6910 and the "Throne," "Little Switzerland," within the Big Bend of the Kahiltna

  • Climbs And Expeditions
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  • Publication Year: 1981

P 6910 and the “Throne,” “Little Switzerland,” within the Big Bend of the Kahiltna. Ron Baird, Ned Lewis and I put up new routes on two granite buttresses extending southwest off P 6910. (First ascent via northwest couloir in 1976 by Roger Robinson, Brian Okonek. See A.A.J., 1978, page 513.) Mimi’s Apron (NCCS II, F9) lies on the southeast face of the lower buttress. The route offers a variety of rock climbing from jam-cracks to friction slabs. Mozart’s Scale (NCCS II, F7) follows the southern prow of the higher buttress. This is a recommended warm-up climb. Lewis and I made the second ascent of the “Throne” (P 7390; see A.A.J., 1978 photo on page 511 and text on page 512) via a new route on the south face. We front-pointed up an ice gully and due to avalanche hazards climbed unroped to a rock band two-thirds of the way up the gully. Lewis led through this wet and icy rock band with difficult crampon edging and a few desperate reaches. The upper third of the gully steepened and was filled with deep, loose snow. On reaching the summit ridge, we saw our goal in the distance and realized that our climbing had only begun. Hanging cornices and 80° snow slopes made our destination seem unreachable. After two pitches of exposed climbing, we found the key, a chimney system and at its top a keyhole we squeezed through to overcome the crux of the ridge. After three more pitches of belly crawling over cornices, we reached the summit.

Stacy Taniguchi, Unaffiliated

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