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North America, United States, Alaska, Mount Wake, Northeast Buttress, Ruth Gorge

Mount Wake, Northeast Buttress, Ruth Gorge. Between May 11 and 15, Bruce Kay and I climbed a new route on Mount Wake. We ascended nearly 5000 vertical feet of snow and ice up to 70°, although later in the season much rock may be exposed on the lower buttress. In May, there were only two short pitches of rock (5.7, A2) where we went from the initial gully onto the buttress. The climb itself took only two days, but we had to sit out two days in a storm. The descent was made in one more day. Bivouac sites were numerous but exposed. The route is a good mixture of steep snow runnels, mushroom-capped ridge sections and beautiful snow flutings. Although we encountered dangerous snow conditions throughout the ascent, in good conditions the route would be a classic, moderate climb similar to the west ridge of the Moose’s Tooth. We descended the west side to gain gullies into the Wake-Bradley Cwm and then back to the Ruth Gorge.

Chris Atkinson, Alpine Club of Canada