American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

United States, Alaska, P 7254, P6842, P 5651, P7724, P 7138

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1990

P 7254, P 6842, P5651, P 7724, P 7138, Chugach Mountains. On June 19, Conner Hough, Kelley Miller-Pluckebaum, Bob Pluckebaum, Bob Schindler and I flew to an iceberg-choked lake west of the Tana Glacier and north of the Bagley Icefield, one of the most spectacular spots within the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. We established Base Camp above the lake with views of the calving glacier at its upper end. On June 20, we ascended P 6842 by the glacier and then a snow gully on its south face. The 21st saw us ascend pretty, flat-topped P 5651, due south of P 6842. On June 22, we moved camp to 3000 feet at the base of P 7254. The weather turned bad and we were unable to attempt the peak until the 25th. That evening we ascended the peak through an icefall on its northeast side. It involved tricky, steep climbing through crevasses and séracs, the last 100 feet being directly up the west face to the summit. We hiked back to the calving glacier and were flown out to McCarthy on June 27. From July 4 to 13, Shawn Dorsch, Ray DiStacio and I climbed in the Bagley Icefield region. We were landed on the same lake we had been at a week before. July 5 and 6 were spent moving to Base Camp at 3700 feet at the toe of the icefall flowing off P 7348. On July 7, we ascended the mountain via the icefall and a 45° to 50° gully on its east face. The summit involved balancing on a knife-edged ridge to reach the highest point. On July 8, we moved camp to 4500 feet on a rock-and-alpine-flowered island between two glaciers. We climbed P 7138 on the 10th via a glacier on its southern flank and then a 50° to 60° snow-and-ice gully for about 400 feet which gave access to the easier upper slopes. From the summit we dropped down the southwestern slopes to attain the south face of P 7724. We ascended 50° ice for 800 feet to reach the summit. The snow conditions were deteriorating and so we decided to spend the day waiting on a rock ridge at 6700 feet. The snow hardened enough for safe travel at 10:30 P.M. We headed down and arrived at Base Camp early the next morning. On July 12, we descended to the airstrip. I believe these were all first ascents.

Danny W. Kost, St. Elias Alpine Guides

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