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North America, United States, Alaska, P 12,200, Wrangell-Saint Elias Mountains

P 12,200, Wrangell-Saint Elias Mountains. On April 23, my wife Siri, Paul and Donna Claus and I made the first ascent of P 12,200, a border peak due west of Mount Logan. Landing at 8400 feet on an unnamed glacier west of our summit, we established Base Camp. The next day, we skied three miles up the glacier to 10,000 feet and camped below the route. The next morning, we ascended a 1000-foot high gully on the southern flank of the peak’s western buttress. We then wandered up through snow patches and around rock outcrops at times on terrain up to 60°. A final pitch of shattered rock through a steep chimney brought us to a glaciated plateau a half mile west of the summit. After crossing the plateau, we turned our attention to the summit pyramid and the many crevasses that guarded the top. Two hours later, after snaking our way up the crevassed knoll, we looked at the last large crevasse, whose upper overhanging edge was six feet above us. Donna and Siri decided to wait it out while Paul and I finished the last section. With shoves from our wives, we climbed the overhang. An exposed, nearly vertical snow lead and another pitch brought us to the summit.

Charles Sassara