American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, P 9110 and P9105, Hole-in-the-Wall Glacier, Wrangell Mountains

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

P 9110 and P 9105, Hole-in-the-Wall Glacier, Wrangell Mountains. The Hole-in-the-Wall Glacier and the mountains surrounding it are unique. The upper glacier is a large semi-circular basin which flows off a ten-mile-long ridge, the south side of which is a vertical wall that drops 2000 to 3000 feet. It contains numerous snow-and-ice gullies and waterfalls. Several high peaks lie along this ridge: P 8880, P 9008, P 9105, P 9110 and P 9124. The north side of the ridge first gently slopes into the upper glacier at 8500 to 8000 feet and then becomes a vertical wall over which the ice tumbles in spectacular 2500-foot icefalls; five tongue-like icefalls cut through the wall. On September 23, Bob Jacobs and I were dropped off by airplane at 5900 feet in a large basin a mile from the south wall. We climbed up a snow ramp to 7000 feet to camp. The next day we watched five inches of snow fall. On the 25th, we climbed further up the ramp and then through a couple of snow gullies in the rock bands in the wall. This brought us to the upper ridge above the glacier. We followed the ridge east over hoarfrost-covered rock to the summit of P 9110. We went along the ridge down to 8600 feet at the base of the west ridge of P 9105. I led 100 feet up the 45° ice before we were enveloped in a severe white-out. It was a race to get down before wind and snow covered our tracks. On the 26th, we traversed around P 9110 to reach the base of P 9105 again. Bob led the 500 feet up the west face to the top. The rime-covered summit was impressive. We moved camp down to the landing area later that evening and down to the Glacier Creek airstrip, some ten miles down the Chitistone River the next day. We believe that these were the first ascents of the two peaks.

Danny W. Kost, Unaffiliated

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.