American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, Alaska Range, Denali National Park, Peak 11,520' North Face to Summit Ridge

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2003

Peak 11,520’, north face to summit ridge; and Mt. Huntington. Around 10 p.m. on May 17 Patricia Deavoll, Anna Keeling, Scott Simper, and I flew onto the Tokositna Glacier. By 3 p.m. May 18, all four of us had reached the summit of Huntington via the West Face Couloir route. The round trip took 22 hours. Three days later Patricia and I climbed the Colton-Leach route on Huntington in 27 hours.

By May 25 the ridge of high pressure was still hanging around, so the four of us skied down valley and established a camp at the base of Peak 11,520'. The following morning around 10:00, after the sun left the north face, our party split into two. Anna and I went to the western side of the north face of Peak 11,520', while Patricia and Scotty headed to the center of the face.

We reached the base of the ‘shrund after half an hour, then took an hour to cross it. Our route, on the western side of the north face, follows ice runnels just west of a major serac about halfway up the face. Anna and I climbed 15 pitches to the summit ridge. The climb is primarily ice up to WI4, with mixed pitches of 5.5 and snow higher up. By the time we reached the summit ridge snow had begun to fall, and we retreated, foregoing the summit. The round trip took 15 hours. After getting high on their route, Patricia and Scotty were forced to retreat by unconsolidated snow.

Karen McNeill, Canada

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