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North America, United States, Alaska, Peaks near McCarthy

Peaks near McCarthy. The British Schools Exploring Society’s overwintering expedition ran from October 1989 to July 1990 with three groups, each staying about three months. In each, there were eight to twelve young members aged 17 to 20 years with two or three leaders. A number of ascents were made, many of which we believe were first ascents. All map references are to the USGS McCarthy Quadrangle. Among others, the following peaks were climbed. P 6743 (map ref. C-6, R13E, T4S, Square 8). On April 17 to 22, Rupert Wilkinson, Jeremy Downes, Kevin Deamer, Richard Clements and I as leader followed the stream which leads into the corrie to the south of P 6743, gained the col between P 6743 and P 6610 and took the southeast ridge to the summit. It was ski-mountaineering until steep slopes led to the col after which we used crampons on roped ridge walking. We descended north to the Kennicott Glacier. P 9260 (map ref. C-6, T2S, R13E, Square 34). From May 26 to June 1, Wikinson, Downes and I ascended the mining trail on the lateral moraine to opposite Amazon Creek and went up the Cross Root Glacier to the twin lakes. We followed the Gates Glacier to 3500 feet to gain the foot of the ridge separating the Gates and Kennicott Glaciers. We followed the ridge north, skirting P 6060 to the west and tackling a rock band between 6000 and 6500 feet at its eastern end for an easy scramble. We continued north along the very narrow ridge to the summit, bypassing rock pinnacles on the east side. P 7000 (map ref. C-5, T3S, R15E, Square 7). On May 30, leader Martin Dowson, Finlay Bennet, Deamer and Jonathan Dunstan reached the summit of this peak. From McCarthy Creek they ascended to the P 7000-P 6562 col to find that a direct ascent of the south ridge was not possible. They traversed to the northeast to the east ridge and climbed it to the summit. P 8765 (map ref. C-6, T2S, R13E, Square 9), P 7910 (map ref. C-6, T2S. R12E, Square 14), P 7542 (map ref. C-6, T2S, R13E, Square 24). Deamer, Dunstan and I climbed the first on June 13 and the other two on June 15. Leaving Kennicott on June 10, we followed the Kennicott Glacier to 4500 feet. From the lateral moraine on the northeast side of the glacier, we climbed steeply to the northeast to gain a permanent snowfield at about 6600 feet. We continued on skis, avoiding crevasses by sweeping toward P 8765 in a northerly arc. The peak was an easy snow plod. We climbed P 7910 on skis and P 7542 on foot via the southeast ridge. We descended from the snowfield to Kennicott in one day.

Brian Hull, British Schools Exploring Society