American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, Deborah, West Face Direct

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

Deborah, West Face Direct. A new route on Deborah, first pioneered by Omar Hansen and Chris McClaine, was completed by Barry Wisdom and me in mid May. From our high camp at the base of the face, the summit bid took 22 hours in poor weather. There were thirteen 300- foot pitches. Climbing alternated from deep snow over ice to hard water-ice, on a 50° to 60° slope, which steepened to over 70° near the top. Because of intermittent white-out and high winds, both the ascent and the rappel down were hampered by cold and spindrift avalanches. The descent took eleven rappels on two 300-foot ropes and seven hours. The route followed a clean vertical line up the main face and topped out through overhanging prow-like formations on the summit. Of 17 days on Deborah, we spent a total of ten waiting for weather in a snow cave with only bivouac gear. Chris McClaine and Lewis Leonard had to fly out before the final attempt.

Scott Gee, Unaffiliated

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