North America, United States, Alaska, Tordrillo Mountains, Hayes Glacier, Various Ascents

Publication Year: 2004.

Hayes Glacier, various ascents. From April 30 to May 15 Uwe Nootbaar, Thomas Speck, and I made four first ascents on unclimbed peaks or points and climbed Mt. Gerdine (11,258', fifth ascent) by a partly new route. The peaks are shown on the USGS Tyonek C-7 map. On April 30 we flew into the upper Hayes Glacier, at 6,000', where we established our base camp. On May 1 we skied up a small glacier northwest of Peak 9,670' (1.6 mi west of Mt. Gerdine) to a bergschrund at 7,500' and climbed the northwest face of Peak 9,670' by an 1,800' snow couloir (40-50°). We climbed to the left of a huge rock tower located in the middle of the face, to reach the north ridge of Peak 9,670' at 9,300', near another rock tower. On May 2 we skied southeast up the Hayes Glacier and climbed a snow slope (1,000', 40°) to an 8,500' plateau at the top of the north branch of the Triumvirate Glacier. Turning northeast we followed a snow ridge to a point at about 9,600' (1.7 miles south of Mt. Gerdine, on the C-7 map between the letters B of the adjacent words Borough). Since it stands at the end of the Hayes Glacier, and is not a true peak but part of a ridge (the high point of which is Peak 10,510'), we named it Hayes Point.

On May 3 we climbed Mt. Gerdine (11,258') via the southwest ridge. We started from base camp on skis, traveling southeast, and after a mile gained a snow plateau at 7,455'. We climbed a 40- 45° snow slope to a little peak at 8,600' and followed a short horizontal snow-and-rock ridge to a saddle. We then climbed 30-40° snow slopes to the right of a rock ridge to 9,300', below a big serac.

Above the serac (a short 70° passage) we crossed a snow plateau, climbed the southwest ridge of Peak 10,270', and finally a 50° ridge to the summit of Mt. Gerdine.

The following days the weather was bad, but on May 7 we climbed the north ridge of Peak 10,030', 3.7 miles southwest of Mt. Gerdine, up several 45° slopes and in a foot of new snow. We named it Surprise Peak, because of a surprising crevasse near the summit.

The weather was again bad for a few days. On May 11 we climbed the 1,600', 45° south couloir of Peak 9,620', which is 2.1 miles west of Mt. Gerdine and 1.0 mile north of Peak 9,670', We named Peak 9,620' Argentiere Peak for its similarity to the Aiguille Argentiere near Chamonix, France. After another period of bad weather, on May 14 we passed Hayes Point south on skis and climbed a snow point (ca 10,300', 1.4 mi south of Mt. Gerdine) via its short, easy south ridge. In perfect weather we flew out to Talkeetna on May 15.

Dr. Guenter Zimmermann, Deutscher Alpenverein (German Alpine Club)