American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, Northmost Peaks on the Continental Divide, Romanzof Mountains

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1992

Northernmost Peaks on the Continental Divide, Romanzof Mountains. I began this soujourn at Okpilak Lake with three Swiss climbers. After an ascent of Mount Michelson, we entered the Arey Creek drainage. Granite P 8405 stood directly north of our camp on the glacier. We climbed directly up the south ridge, finishing with a harrowing ice ridge to the summit. The ice wall of the north face feeds the Bravo Glacier basin. The following day, we waded through deep snow to the pass atop the icecap and camped below the north face of P 8715. Weclimbed again that night. Our route veered to the west of the icefall where it meets the triangular rock cliff of the upper northwest face. We placed two ice screws where the steep ice dropped over the face. After traversing the icecap, we descended into a stream canyon that took us to the Jago River. We turned south to Gothic Mountain (8620 feet). I had made the first ascent of this peak ten years before. New maps depicted an icefall along the summit ridge, which I had not encountered. We ascended the eastern canyon, entered the icefields and followed them to the south summit in good weather. From this summit, I witnessed the same gothic formations I had seen from the summit a decade earlier. The icefield on the new maps was misplaced. In correcting the old errors, these maps had created new ones. Further up the east fork of the Jago, we ascended to the icefields south of P 7800, the westernmost high Alaskan Arctic peak. Three of us reached the summit from the south. Heading west the next day, we crossed a 7100-foot pass just south of the Obolisk (8440 feet), which two of us climbed by the narrow southwest ridge. Descending into the Sheenjik drainage, we camped at the base of the glacier. That night I climbed the twin-homed P 7985, traversing the ice wall to the unnumbered peak to the west and descending to the point where the stream on the icecap splits north and south. This is the northernmost point on the Continental Divide.

Dennis Schmitt, Unaffiliated

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