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North America, United States, Alaska, Serenity Spire and Other Climbs, Kichatna Mountains

Serenity Spire and Other Climbs, Kichatna Mountains. Jeff Hollenbaugh* and I were in the Kichatna Mountains from June 23 to July 15. We were landed on the Tatina Glacier, where we set up Base Camp. The day we arrived we climbed what we believe is a new route on the southeast face of Serenity Spire. It follows the leftmost (southernmost) of three obvious right-facing dihedrals. The climbing was mostly 5.9 and 5.10 on clean cracks. We used three points of aid on the second pitch. On July 30, after some days of bad weather, we started up the prominent buttress on the right of Mount Jeffers’ west face, fixing five ropes before coming down. We were tent-bound for five days during a storm that dumped ten inches of snow. On July 7, after climbing 15 pitches, we were about ¾ of the way up the buttress. What had been dry before was now the main drainage for the snow on the upper half of the peak. The climbing was slowed by wet rock and we were soaked and hypothermic. As Jeff was jümaring our last pitch, the sheath of the rope severed on an edge and slid down, exposing four feet of the core. We retreated. On July 10, in perfect weather, we climbed Whiteout Spire, skiing to within a couple of hundred yards of the summit. On July 12, I made a solo ascent of North Triple Peak via the northwest couloir.

Michael Pennings, Unaffiliated

*Recipient of an AAC Climbing Fellowship Grant.