American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, Brooks Range, Angutikada (Old Man Mountain), First Ascent in 1985

  • Climbs And Expeditions
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  • Publication Year: 2005

Angutikada (Old Man Mountain), first ascent in 1985. With Ron Watters, Deborah Dixon and I made our third attempt to climb Angutikada (Old Man Mountain) in March 1985.I have found no record of it having been climbed before. Angutikada rises 4,120' from the upper Kobuk River plains and lies on the Continental Divide, in the southern Brooks Range just north of the Arctic Circle. The Kuuvunmiut have used it to tell time since the last ice age. It stands out as a sentinel, and when the sun circles the sky in summer, not setting for months, time can be reckoned by the sun’s position relative to the mountain.

We mushed for two days to the base of the mountain in temperatures of -40°, then skied for a day and built a snow cave. On the fourth day we skied through a caribou herd on the slopes of Angutikada, and Ron and I climbed to the summit (5.3) as a rainbow arced through frost crystals. The view was magnificent, with the entire esplanade of the Brooks Range stretching from horizon to horizon. It was like looking into a mirror and seeing a reflection of myself in another lifetime, for I could see clearly the spot from which I had first beheld this magnificent country, on July 3, 1973, via parachute and the door of a DC-3 smokejumper.

Jerry S. Dixon, AAC

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