Mountaineering Club of Alaska. On April 12, 1996, Paul Claus, Carlos Buhler, Ruedi Homberger, Reto Ruesch and Charlie Sassara made the first ascent of Mount Miller on the Bagley ice field in the Wrangell/St. Elias Mountains. The ascent followed a large, rounded southern spur that joins the west ridge at about 8,000 feet. From this juncture, the west ridge continues three and a half miles over increasingly difficult terrain to the summit (ca. 11,500’).
During April 611, Dave Hart, Harry Hunt, Dave Lucey and Paul Berry made the second ascent of Mount Natazhat (13,435’), 83 years after the first ascent on June 18, 1913. The peak is in the Wrangell/St. Elias Mountains on the Klutlan Glacier. The climbers made their ascent along the 7,000-foot, four-and-a-half mile narrow to knife-edged northeast ridge.
During May 110, Paul Barry, Kurt Bauer, Jacques Boutet, Brad Gessner, Dave Hart and John Lapkass climbed the south ridge of Mount St. Elias (18,008’), following the route pioneered in 1947 by the Harvard Mountaineering Club expedition led by Maynard Miller. During May 25 to June 3, Peter Haeussler and Soren Orley attempted Mount Hunter’s southwest ridge, but were turned back by high winds at 12,800 feet. None of the 40 climbers who attempted Mount Hunter in 1996 were successful.
The MCA offered various training activities during the year. In January, ice climbing instruction was held at a local waterfall, and an ice climbing class was held at Matanuska Glacier September 28-29. On March 26-28, an outdoor leadership class was taught by a local University instructor. The purpose of the class, which consisted of two classroom sessions and one outdoor session, was to improve leadership skills for the development of new trip leaders. The focus was on non-technical skills, safety and group dynamics. In April, a map and compass class was held, and in May, glacier travel/crevasse rescue training was given at the Matanuska Glacier.
Mark S. Miraglia, President