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North America, United States, Alaska, Peaks near Petersburg, Coast Mountains

Peaks near Petersburg, Coast Mountains. In early July Charlie Crocker and I made what we believe are the first ascents of five summits in the Coast Mountains to the southeast of LeConte Bay. From Petersburg, these peaks may be seen to the southeast. The summits form an amphitheater around the largest glacier in the southeast comer of the USGS quadrangle Petersburg D2. We drove a skiff from Petersburg into LeConte Bay. Perhaps the biggest obstacle to all ascents was getting through the jungle and onto the glacier below the peaks. We ascended near the south fork of a stream due east and slightly north of Thunder Point in LeConte Bay. It took 1½ days to climb through the “green death.” We had forgotten mosquito repellent and had to thrash through devil’s club and alders. We camped on the glacier a mile southeast of P 3810. On July 1, we climbed the third-class east ridge P 4900+ in five hours for ascent and descent. On July 2, we walked to the saddle between P 5240 and P 5709 and climbed the latter by the northeast ridge. With a couple of 5.8 moves and a rappel, it was mostly enjoyable third and fourth class. We rappelled off the southeast face and climbed P 5310 in two easy fourth-class pitches on the south face. We ascended a chimney and ledges, where there was a move or two of 5.7. On July 3, we climbed the third-class southeast face of P 5340 and then headed south to P 4580, where we climbed a four-pitch 5.9 route on the north face just to the east of a prominent couloir. On the summit it was clear that mountain goats had beat us to the top. We descended the second-class west ridge. Our descent to the bay through brush on July 4 took only four hours. Overall, these were relatively short climbs in a spectacular setting on generally solid tonalite.

Peter Haeussler, Unaffiliated