American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, Little Switzerland, South Troll, Pure Retro

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2002

South Troll, Pure Retro. In June Brian Teale, Kirsten Kremer, and I completed a new route (Pure Retro, V 5.10+) on the obvious west pillar of the South Troll. It is immediately right of a twin crack I soloed in 1988. The approach is easy and obvious, with steep snow climbing beginning at the bergschrund. The route follows a high-quality crack system and is possibly the best rock climb in the area. Steep snow and ice lead to classic flakes, which lead to splitter cracks on the pillar. The route is safe from falling objects, although the summit snowfield, which sits on a granite slab, is somewhat tenuous. Descent was via rappels on my old route, which we beefed up, providing an excellent way off the spire. Avalanche exposure in the lower gully is high late in the day, and descending the couloir in the early evening was dodgy. Both the 1988 route and the 2001 route should become classics. We spent 14 hours on the ascent and descent. We left a topo in the Talkeetna Ranger Station binder, which also includes the previous routes I’ve done on the formation.

Paul Turecki

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