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North America, United States, Alaska, Brooks Range, Arrigetch Peaks, Samurai Savitz and Rock Jock

Arrigetch Peaks, Samurai Savitz and Rock Jock. Tim Kemple, Justin Sjong, and I flew to Betties, where we met Max Hanft, the only local climber. He accompanied us on our journey into the Arrigetch. Our team, with a combined age of less than 100, was a constant comedy. This report may be somewhat vague, because we lost both our maps. We also ran out of food. We flew to Takahula Lake and hiked west along the river. We walked over a pass and started down the other side, hiking through a little stream. As we continued, the sides became steeper and rain fell. The sides became walls, and we were stuck walking down a fast-moving river, scrambling over boulders. At the bottom we turned right (north) and followed another river upstream. After three days, at the headwaters of that river, we set up base camp. I suggest that anyone else fly to Circle Lake and approach from there, over Independence Pass; it would be safer and quicker. (Other AAJ reports provide beta on this approach, though most people stop and climb before they reach the pass.) As you were coming down from Independence Pass, directly in front of you would be a 2,000-foot wall with a striking ridge that we called Samurai Savitz (5.10) [For a photo of Samurai Savitz see p. 72 of Climbing magazine #237, March 2005—Ed.]. We did it fast and light, 15 hours camp-to-camp. It has good rock and an easy descent. From the summit rap 10 feet and walk down the back. We also climbed the diamond-shaped wall seen in the middle as you stand in the meadow, facing north. We started just left of the center of the wall and climbed the right-facing dihedral to the big roof. We then followed wandering cracks to the summit. Rock Jock, 1,500' 5.1 1d, nine bolts. We descended the back side, on the right.

Adam Stack