American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, Canwell-Gakona Traverse and Climbs, 1993

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1995

Canwell-Gakona Traverse and Climbs, 1993. In April, 1993, Ian McRae and I ascended the Canwell Glacier. We climbed a new direct mixed route on the north face of Institute Peak (8000 feet, 1 mile west of Minya Peak). The protection was always poor in unconsolidated snow and shattered metamorphicrock. We then continued up the Canwell Glacier and turned north to try the unclimbed south ridge of Snowwhite. We did climb P 8520, 1½ miles southeast of Snowwhite, by its southwest ridge. In late July, 1993, Mitch Lazar, John Clark and I returned up the Canwell Glacier. We again were turned back on the south ridge of Snowwhite by bad rock. We then climbed an icefall to the right (east) of P 9460 to a pass where we sat out a storm for a day. The next day, we climbed Mount Gakona (9700 feet). We then traversed the whole ridge that tends to the southeast over summits locally called Walden Pond and Thoreau (both c. 8800 feet), continuing over probably unclimbed peaks that we called "Chutzpah" (c. 8900 feet), “Thorkona” (c. 8900 feet) and “Thorn” (c. 9200 feet), with one more bivouac. We found 65° ice and knife-edged ridges. We descended the south face of Thorn in 12 rappels off bollards before climbing down another 800 feet. It took us another two days to walk out by way of the Gakona Glacier.

Jeff Apple Benowitz, Unaffiliated

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