American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, Alaska Range, Wedge Peak, North Face

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1997

Wedge Peak, North Face. Ian MacRae and I started walking, in the rain, into Mount Wedge on August 1. Early on August 3 we set up base in the Wedge Cwm. It was no longer raining; now, it was snowing. It continued to snow until the 6th. Early on August 8 we left the “waiting room” and headed up toward the north face. As the sun rose we climbed through the first rock band by way of a thin, unprotectable WI4 pitch. 1,500 feet of low angle snow climbing brought us halfway up the face. We simul-climbed the last half of the face on 50-to 60-degree brittle alpine ice. Five pitches from the top another storm system moved in and we got hit by constant spindrift avalanches. We topped out and then descended by way of the corniced north ridge. It took us seven hours to climb the face and nine hours to descend the ridge back to the “waiting room.” In contrast to last year’s July attempt on the face when we were chased off the route by rock fall, this year there was none.

Jeff apple Benowitz, unaffiliated

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