American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, Mount Michelson and Tugak Peak, Brooks Range

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1981

Mount Michelson and Tugak Peak, Brooks Range. On June 6 Alaskan Robin Wilson and I took off from the Eskimo village of Kaktovik on Barter Island on the Beaufort Sea and flew over the still snowy Arctic tundra for the Brooks Range. After 40 minutes of flight, we landed at 1800 feet beside the Hulahula River. Carrying a week’s supply, for two days we ascended the Esetuk valley to camp at 5200 feet. In the evening of the second day, we set out up the good rock and snow of the east buttress of Mount Michelson (8855 feet), probably a new route on the third highest peak of the range. Two days of snowstorm followed. We then continued up the interminable Esetuk Glacier toward Tugak Peak (8500 feet), the most attractive mountain of the region, whose name means “Walrus Tusk” in Eskimo. We ascended its north ridge, a fine climb and a probable first ascent. We descended the western slopes. We ran the 75 miles to the coast in an inflatable canoe on a raging torrent of icy water and then dragged the boat as if it were a sled 25 miles along the coast to Kaktovik.

Giuseppe Agnolotti, Club Alpino Italiano

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