American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, Alaska Range, East Kahiltna Peak, Homage to Pat

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2005

East Kahiltna Peak, Homage to Pat. On May 4, Jonny Blitz, Carl Tobin, Vince Anderson, and I pitched a small base camp on the East Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier, below the southeast face of East Kahiltna Peak (13,440'). Weather was good, so the next day Jonny and I launched onto the Callis-Kennedy (1993), climbing with the vision of going direct where the original route veered left to avoid difficulty. We established a fine six-pitch variation that included a beautiful, glassy-green W15 pitch led by Blitz. Lack of acclimatization smacked us at the rejoining of the Callis-Kennedy, and we descended 3,500' to base camp. We named our variation Homage to Pat ( WI5,5.7 mixed) in honor of Pat Callis, Montanan Ice Prophet. Carl and “Big Vinnie” established the radical and intense D.S. on the same day, 700m down-glacier from us.

It stormed, we rested. On May 8, Blitz and I attempted the proudest line, splitting that golden granite about 1km up-glacier from the Callis-Kennedy. We bailed from under a massive snow mushroom about halfway up, having climbed some incredible WI6/5.11 mixed ground. There was too much of the same above. On this same day, Carl and Vinnie went to the summit of East Kahiltna Peak via their F.J. Said Big Vinnie of the crux, “It was the most engaged that I have been on a mixed pitch in over a year…and it wasn’t Musashi.”

Barry Blanchard, ACC, ACMG, CMC

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