American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, Mount Hunter, West Buttress Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1986

DENALI NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE 1985 MOUNTAINEERING SUMMARY

Mount McKinley

Expeditions

Climbers

Successful Climbers



West Buttress

104

311

153



West Buttress (Guided)

25

200

116



Muldrow Glacier

6

15

9



Muldrow Glacier (Guided)

2

26

19



West Rib

14

35

5



West Rib (Guided)

2

13

13



Cassin

6

14

4



Cassin (Guided)

1

2

0



South Buttress

4

14

0



South Buttress (Guided)

1

5

0



South Face

1

2

2



North West

Buttress (Guided)

1

8

0





167

645

321



Mount Foraker

4

9

0



Mount Foraker (Guided)

1

3

0



Mount Hunter

8

18

2



Mount Huntington

4

8

0



Moose’s Tooth

4

14

9



Moose’s Tooth (Guided)

1

2

0



Kitchatna Spires

3

7

3



Mount Crosson

3

9

0



Mount Dickey

3

10

10



Mount Barrille

2

5

3



Little Switzerland

2

8

0





35

93

27



TOTAL

202

738

348



NOTE: Since registration is required only for Mount McKinley and Foraker climbs, statistics for other climbs represented those climbers who voluntarily checked in with the Mountaineering Rangers. Other climbs, especially in the area of the Ruth Glacier, are likely to have occurred.

Mount Hunter, West Buttress Attempt. During June Scott Backes and I attempted a new line on the west flank, a 5000-foot diamond-shaped buttress between the Lowe-Kennedy spur and the west ridge. We climbed to the left of the buttress’ prow on 60° ice and snow to the base of the rock band that divides the buttress at two-thirds height. Traversing left around a comer we found narrow ice runnels of 60° to 70° and difficult mixed ground leading to the upper icefield. From there the route could traverse right to the west ridge or continue straight up for a dramatic finish. However, we descended from there to our bivouac and finished the descent the following day. We spent seven days on the route, mostly in storm and spindrift. We chopped bivouac sites out of ice slopes. The initial 1500 feet of snow climbing are exposed to sérac fall and avalanche. Otherwise the route is objectively safe except for the cornice capping the buttress.

Steven Mascioli

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