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North America, United States, Alaska, Mount Brooks, Northwest Ridge

Mount Brooks, Northwest Ridge. From August 21 to 23, Clarice Dickess, Ian McRae, C. Michele Morseth and I climbed the northwest ridge of Mount Brooks. Starting from the Traleika Glacier, we gained the ridge via a 1700-foot couloir, thereby bypassing some rock towers. The ridge steepened until a 45° ice face led to a good bivouac on a prominent shoulder. On the upper part of the ridge, we encountered a loose rock band. The northwest ridge offers a more challenging alternative to the popular north-ridge route, which we used for the descent. We had a magnificent concert of howling wolves on the approach, a horrific wind on the hike out and, most significantly, the booming sound of Mount Spurr erupting 200 miles away on the eve of the climb. Apparently, the acoustic wave from the eruption was echoing off the upper flanks of Mount McKinley.

Randy Waitman, Alaskan Alpine Club