American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, Denali National Park, Kahiltna Dome, Choo-Choo Express

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2004

Kahiltna Dome, Choo-Choo Express. On April 23 Erick Lawson and David Mullins climbed a route, which they called Choo-Choo Express, directly up the east face of Kahiltna Dome. They left their camp at ca 9,000' on the Kahiltna Glacier, descended about 400' to avoid crevasses, then made a steep, rising traverse to about 10,000'. From there they continued straight up the east face until joining the broad Northeast Ridge (1951) at ca 12,000', where Lawson fell into a crevasse. The pair descended this ridge, without continuing to the summit, until reaching a col from where they rappelled straight down over cornices, chopping bollards and thus leaving no gear. The route has constant 40-60° snow and ice, some 75° snow, and three pitches of vertical ice (up to about 100' each) over seracs.

From Talkeetna Ranger Station files and personal communication with Lawson

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