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North America, United States, Alaska, Fairweather from the North

Fairweather from the North. On May 8, Dean James from Wales, Ian Berry and Andrew Allerton from England, and I from Alaska were flown to 3000 feet on the Grand Plateau Glacier by Kurt Gloyer of Gulf Air after six days in Yakutat waiting for flying weather. We camped at 4000, 6000, 8000 and 9000 feet before making a high camp at 10,000 feet. Between 4000 and 7000 feet the icefall was steep and broken. We climbed P 9250, just north of P 11,205, which allowed us to see the need to detour east around a large nunatak to avoid a troublesome icefall. At our high camp, we were hit by our third and longest storm, which lasted for seven days and dropped five feet of snow. On May 24, at the first sign of clearing, we skied towards the col between Fairweather and its west peak. The next morning, we reached the col and switched to crampons for the upper west ridge. The final 2000 feet were a mixture of low-angle blue ice and deep pockets of powder snow with bergschrunds and cornices. The last 500 feet had several icy and rime-coated ice mushrooms to surmount to the final summit (4669 meters, 15,320 feet). This route has had several previous ascents.

Scott Darsney