American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, Chugach Mountains, Icing Peak, North Ridge, Previously Unreported

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2001

Icing Peak, North Ridge, Previously Unreported. On May 5, 1999, Carl Oswald and I began a ten-day trip up the Matanuska and Icing Glaciers to climb the unclimbed north ridge of Icing Peak (10,955'). After four days and 30 miles of glacier travel, we arrived at our base camp (5,000') on the upper Icing Glacier. In perfect weather, we set out at 2:30 a.m. on May 10. The climb began with a 500-foot, 45-degree couloir that deposited us on the apex of a perfectly symmetrical knife-edge ridge. We followed this for 1,200 feet until we were forced to climb through a bulging, hanging serac. We did running belays up the next 2,000 feet on mostly 50- degree snow. The final pitch was 75-degree ice with 4,000 feet of exposure. Views of Scandinavian Peaks and Marcus Baker were awesome. We carefully down climbed our route and were back in camp 13 hours after we left. It took four days to hike out via Mt. Sergeant Robinson (10,450’) and Glacier Creek to the head of the Matanuska Glacier, where we had started ten days earlier. We traveled over 60 miles, climbing Icing Peak and circumnavigating all the peaks surrounding Mt. Wickersham. We graded the climb Alaska Grade 2/3.

Evan Phillips

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