American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, Brooks Range, Arrigetch Peaks, Parabola Peak, Northeast Buttress

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1998

Arrigetch Peaks, Parabola Peak, Northeast Buttress. On August 4, Lara Karena Bitenieks and I flew into Circle Lake to commence a three-week rock climbing trip in the Arrigetch peaks of the Brooks Range. After a two-day approach, we established a base camp at the head of the south fork of Arrigetch Creek at the foot of the Maidens. We chose a line on Parabola Peak (one mile due west of Point 6320' on Survey Pass (B3) Quadrangle), as it was consistently drier than the shaded north-facing Maidens. Over the next 12 days, we had just one climbing day, due to incessant fog and drizzle. Tent time was interrupted by wanderings, during which we explored the magical valleys and rock formations around us and discovered many beautiful boulder problems. Finally, on August 18, it was clear and cold. We departed camp either to finish our route or just retrieve our gear. Hiking around the backside up to our high point (the Arrigetch are characteristically steep on one side and low angle on the other, which is nice for descents) to find our pack full of a “gear popsicle.” The sun thawed us out as we climbed ten beautiful pitches (5.10 A0) to a sub-summit, where we beheld an amazing sunset and sunrise, before climbing the final 500 feet to the true summit.

On August 20, we hiked our loads out to Circle Lake, leaving nothing. We then spent the next four days canoeing the Alatna River, reveling at the abundance of wildlife in the Alaskan wilderness.

Joe Riechert

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