American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, Huntington, West Face, Variant

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1982

Huntington, West Face, Variant. In April Dane Hough and I ascended a variant of the northwest buttress-west face route, done just days previous to us by two British climbers. (See above.) The initial 2000-foot couloir tucked in on the north side of the northwest buttress offered fine continuous climbing on ice from 60° to 85°. We actually had to climb the couloir twice when illness forced us to abort the first attempt above the couloir. Fortunately clear cold weather prevailed for nearly two of the three weeks of our stay on the Tokositna Glacier, allowing us time for a second try. Above the couloir the British followed a ramp system up and right towards the summit shoulder while Hough and I chose to continue directly upward on mostly snow and ice and some difficult mixed climbing to the French Ridge and our second bivouac. The third day saw us on the summit shoulder by eleven A.M. after wading and climbing the remainder of the northwest ridge. We chose not to go to the summit and descended the west face route, arriving at the base on the Tokositna along with darkness. In leaving the Alaska Range, we crossed the French Ridge and skied out via the Petersburg Road in six interesting days.

Jack Lewis

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