American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, Peaks above Ruth Gorge

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1988

Peaks above Ruth Gorge. Sepp Jöchler and I spent two weeks climbing peaks that rise above the Ruth Gorge. We set up Base Camp below the east buttress of “Mount Bradley” on July 3. On July 4, we climbed the 5000-foot-high east buttress of “Bradley” in 14 hours. We used no pitons, just nuts. We roped for the first ten rope-lengths and climbed unroped from there to the top. The bottom of the route ascended a prominent buttress that plunges for 700 meters steeply to the Ruth Glacier from the east ridge. We got onto the buttress by means of a 60-meter couloir and then followed cracks to the top of the buttress. We did two rope-lengths to the right of the ridge crest on slabs and climbed the last 700 meters up the heavily corniced and mixed ridge. We descended the also unclimbed south ridge to the col between “Bradley” and “Wake” and in eight hours completed the descent to the Ruth Glacier down a crevassed tributary glacier. The most difficult rock was of UIAA VI difficulty, though mostly III to V. Though the ice was principally of 50°, there was one pitch of 70°. An attempt on the right east buttress of Dickey on July 9 failed. On July 10, we climbed the 6200-foot “Hut Tower,” the farthest right tower of a chain opposite “Bradley” and “Wake” on the east side of the Ruth, by its 300-meter-high southwest face. We made our approach up the lowest rock rib and started the serious climbing in the leftmost notch on the southwest buttress (VI – ). Our attempt on the “Grand Asses Wall” on July 12 failed after we had climbed 350 meters of this smooth 800-meter-high face. It is directly opposite “Bradley” and 600 meters north of the “Hut Tower.” We made a new route on the east face of Barrille but stopped at the end of the difficulties, 500 meters up the 800-meter-high face. We crossed the schrund and attacked the giant gray-yellow buttress in the middle of the face. We climbed eight pitches on cracks on the right side of the buttress (VII, A3), rappelled diagonally left for 20 meters, climbed four more pitches (VII, A3) until we could traverse left to the top of the buttress. A severe storm with rain, snow and high winds hit us there and we rappelled off. We were flown out the next day, July 17.

Andreas Orgler, Österreichischer Alpenverein

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