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North America, United States, Alaska, P 7200 and Other Peaks, Little Switzerland

P 7200 and Other Peaks, Little Switzerland. Dan Hansen, Nick Giustina, Chris Haunold, Jane Ramp, Kent Benesch, Jim Anglin and I spent ten days in Little Switzerland between July 4 and 14, much of it stormbound. On July 13 the ever present rain ceased and glorious warming sun came out. As the temperature dropped, the snow stabilized. Dan Hansen and I left Base Camp at ten P.M., skied and walked a mile westward down the Pica Glacier and then north another mile to a small glacier at the foot of P 7200 (62° 44' 30" N„ 151° 11' 30" W., just northeast of P 7490). We ascended a steep couloir to the west and retraced the route of our attempt on July 9 to 6500 feet. We climbed a firm, 10-foot-deep avalanche chute to gain the “summit ridge” at 6800 feet. The “ridge” turned out to be a series of large cornices and ridges of snow running along a line of partially exposed rock. After climbing northward up and down 80° snow faces, we put in a fixed line witha snow fluke over a large corniced overhang, descended 40 feet and scrambled up a line of rock and adjacent snow. Dan disappeared to his armpits into the bottomless chasm between the rock and the melted snow beside it. After a labored extraction, two frightened climbers proceeded to the summit. Descent began at 2:45 A.M. and was carried out under increasing avalanche hazard. Benesch and Haunold made two new routes. They climbed P 6910 (1.4 miles south of P 7200) by its southeast ridge. They climbed a couloir to a 300-foot slab which took them to the ridge crest. They climbed this to where they were forced to make a short rappel to a couloir which took them to the summit. They then climbed P 7510 (Italy’s Boot) via the central rib on the north face.

Holm W. Neuman