American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, Romanzof Mountains, 1992

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1994

Romanzof Mountains, 1992. For some decades I have been exploring an east-west route through the Brooks Range along the Continental Divide, which begins at the Kongakut Bend. We pursued a part of this route in mid summer. The beautiful upper, north fork of the Kongakut has a canyon that tunnels through cliff walls that kiss at places. Continuing over the broad pass to the upper Sheenjik, we ascended P 7200 and descended to the arch fork. Seven climbers explored the arch and its peak before we continued up the western fork. Walt Rogers and I climbed pretty P 7670 from the southeast glacier and the south arête. The entire party crossed the icefields at this northernmost part of the Continental Divide and entered the Jago drainage. From here, Rogers and I kept on alone with meager rations, climbing the south ridge of P 8625, immediately east of Mount Isto, and kept up Jago’s western fork to the long narrow glacier that leads to the icefields of P 8145. From the summit of P 8145, we descended the steep glacier that drops into the Okpiliak, the largest icefield in the Brooks Range. We traversed it in its entirety up the east fork glacier, over the pass at 7900 feet and down the west fork glacier, climbing two 8000-foot peaks along the way. From camp on the upper west fork glacier, I climbed P 8700, one of the most striking peaks of the Alaskan Arctic. In three days, we descended the Okpiliak to the hot salt lick and the lake. In AAJ, 1992, there is an error in the report on the Romanzof Mountains. What appears as “P 7800, the westernmost high Alaskan Arctic peak” should read “P 8700, the easternmost high Alaskan Arctic Peak.”

Dennis Schmitt, Sierra Club

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.