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North America, United States, Alaska, Alaska Range, Mt. Johnson, The Escalator, New Route and Tragedy

Mt. Johnson, The Escalator, New Route and Tragedy. On May 17 and 18, in warm and unsettled weather, Seth Shaw and I climbed what we believe to be a new route on Mt. Johnson. It started on a 50-degree ice runnel on the east face, left of the prominent east buttress, which led into a snow bowl and then up the southeast couloir. It was mostly moderate snow and ice and gained about 4,000 feet from the glacier. We did it in a 31-hour round- trip, but were pinned down for a while in the middle of the night during a short snowstorm while spindrift avalanches poured down the route. The descent from the summit took about 12 hours down the large gully to the south. Unfortunately, Seth was killed about a week later by serac fall.

Tim Wagner