AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

North America, United States, Alaska, Four Horsemen, the Angel and Other Peaks

Four Horsemen, the Angel and Other Peaks, Revelation Mountains, 1985. In 1985 Dan Heilig, Mal Miller, Greg Collins and I spent from late April to late May in the Revelation Mountains. Our Base Camp was at the head of the southernmost fork of the Revelation Glacier, in the cwm where Dave Roberts and crew camped in 1967 (A.A.J., 1968, pages 27-35). The weather was windy and stormy and we were barely able to climb a third of the time. All four of us ascended to the highest point of the Four Horsemen via the 4000-foot northwest couloir and west ridge (AI4, moderate 5th class). Heilig and Miller climbed the two Horsemen west of the highest one, both one-day mixed climbs. Collins and I concentrated our energy on the Angel, a peak Roberts’ group tried six times without success. We made four attempts on the massive 4500-foot buttress, finally succeeding in a 24-hour push with a few fixed ropes in place. The route followed snow ramps with an occasional rock move or two along the left flank of the buttress. Upon reaching the broad crest, we climbed a difficult and poorly protected slab (5.9+ ), a vertical dihedral (5.8), then seven or eight mixed pitches until snow-and-ice ramps could be connected to the top of the buttress. Some exposed ridge running took us to the main peak; two pitches of ice brought us to “Terror Tower,” a two-pitch horror of vertical loose blocks. This required a few moves of aid in addition to nerve-wracking crampon-clad free climbing. From the top of the tower a few ice steps brought us to the summit snowfield, a few hundred feet before we got to the summit. Heilig, Collins and Miller climbed the satellite peak east of Golgotha via the east ridge in an afternoon; Heilig and Collins ascended the Sentry via the north ridge; Collins and I climbed Hydra Sylph via the northeast gully. All were one-day climbs with moderate mixed climbing. Collins and I also climbed the “Vanishing Pinnacle,” climbed by Roberts and Fetcher in 1967 (5.6, A3). Greg led the crux pitch free at 5.11. On the top we found rusty pins slung together with a nylon belt left two decades earlier. Our rock was granite, generally of good quality. The Revelations are not massive, monolithic granite walls like the Kichatnas, but they do offer challenging mountaineering with 4000- to 5000-foot climbs in a very beautiful and remote place.

Thomas Walter, National Outdoor Leadership School