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North America, United States, Alaska, Wrangell-St. Elias Mountains, Hanagita Peak, Possible First Ascent

Hanagita Peak, Possible First Ascent. On September 1, Gary Green of McCarthy Air flew me into the Bremner mine airstrip some 30 miles southwest of McCarthy. That day and the next I hiked west over two passes to reach a camp at around 4,000 feet just northeast of Hanagita Peak. On the 3rd, I got a late start, so I decided to reconnoiter only the glacier that lies south of the main summit and flows east. The glacier was bare of snow to about 6,000 feet, then a light layer of snow covered the ice; the crevasses were still full of snow. At 6,700 feet I decided to keep on going and crossed the bergschrund to reach the broken rock. I climbed a pitch or so of 5th-class rock before scrambling the last few hundred vertical feet over scree and loose 4th-class rock to reach a col at 7,300 feet. I crossed over the col to the southwest side of the mountain, then crossed the bergschrund and headed up an ice face of up to 45°. The ice was covered with an inch or so of new snow and ran for about 1,000 feet before it brought me to easier snow slopes just below the summit. There were scattered clouds, but otherwise the panoramic views from the summit were rewarding, especially the 4,500 feet down toward camp to the northeast and on to the Klu River drainage. This may have been the first ascent of the peak.

Danny W. Kost