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North America, United States, Alaska, Denali National Park, Mt. Silverthorne, West Face

Mt. Silverthrone, West Face. In late March, Mark Westman and I ventured up the Traleika Valley, east of Denali, to try the massive 5,600-foot unclimbed west face of Mt. Silverthrone (13,220’). We skied in 40 miles from Kantishna and set up base camp in the wild eastern fork of this raw glacier. On March 31, we made an attempt to climb a narrow couloir on the right side but were weathered off nine pitches up. On April 2, we climbed a left-side couloir that consisted of 40 to 70° unconsolidated snow and hard ice that led to an icy headwall. In unsettled weather, we continued to the knife-edged ridge leading to the summit. We descended a more moderate couloir off the west ridge back to camp. The climb took 15 days round-trip to complete.

Joseph Puryear