American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, Ruth Gorge, Mt. Bradley, East Ridge, Attempt

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

Mt. Bradley, East Ridge, attempt. Jay Rowe and I went into the Ruth Gorge during the last week in June 2002. We first repeated the Orgler route on the west face of Hüttenturm, a fantastic moderate 12-pitch climb done in T-shirts under blue skies. The next day we jumped onto the East Ridge of Mt. Bradley, also first ascended by Orgler. The climbing was as he described and very fun. We belayed every pitch, and got about 4,000 feet up the 4,600-foot route. Here we encountered a 50° snow couloir that was actively sloughing. We watched it for a half hour and decided that too much was coming down for us to continue. As we rested, a huge wet snow avalanche engulfed the gully from wall to wall, confirming our decision to go down. Countless rappels in mist and rain got us to the bottom. We were on the move for 60 hours. Future climbers should note that the couloir, which must be crossed or ascended, can be a significant hazard in wet conditions.

Peter Haeussler, Chugiak, Alaska

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