American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, Denali National Park, Thunder Mountain, Ski Descent of West Face

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

Thunder Mountain, ski descent of west face. This 2,000' face is prominent on the flight to Kahiltna Base. On April 25 Andrew McLean and I gained the upper glacier by traversing in from the west above a steep narrow icefall. After skinning across the bergshrund we cramponed up and into a couloir on the left side of the face. It ended on a knife-edged corniced ridge. On belay, I looked over into the Thunder Glacier cirque and at the 150 yards of tiptoeing to get to the West Summit Plateau. We skied. Snow conditions and position were fantastic. A K2 Cessna flew by, wagging his wings. In retrospect, to gain the plateau we should have veered up and right at two-thirds height, maybe avoiding the fall line of the humungous cornice.

Lorne Glick

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