AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

North America, United States, Alaska, Chugach Mountains, Cantata Peak, North Ridge

Cantata Peak, North Ridge. On August 5 Ryan Campbell and I headed to the south fork of Eagle River, intent on checking out the unclimbed 4,000-foot north ridge of Cantata Peak (6,450'). After hiking six miles we gained a hanging valley above Eagle Lake and gained the ridge through swirling fog. The first half of the ridge was mostly tenuous fourth-class scrambling with one roped pitch (5.4). At 5,000 feet we donned rock shoes to climb a short 5.7 chimney/offwidth. We continued, simul-climbing, until the ridge became a terribly exposed knife-edge. A rappel off a gendarme and a beautiful 5.5 traverse on the crest of the ridge brought us to the chossy upper ridge. Five hundred feet of easy but exposed scrambling took us to the summit. We descended the popular west ridge and cruised back to the trailhead, arriving after 14 hours on the go. The climb was similar to the East Ridge of Edith Cavell, but with crappier rock and a shorter crux. We rate the route III/IV 5.7.

Evan Phillips