American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, Kichatna Spires, Mt. Nevermore, The Perfect Storm

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

Mt. Nevermore, The Perfect Storm. After a four-day snowy wait in Talkeetna, Paul Roderick of TAT flew Dai Lampard, Stuart McAleese, and me onto the Tatina Glacier in the Kitchatna Spires around April 27. It was Stuart’s and my third trip in three years to this amazing granite. Again, we came across nobody else. After the four-day storm, the faces were plastered with fresh snow, which also made crossing the col from the Tatina glacier to the Monolith glacier dangerous. Establishing camp between the west face of Middle Triple Peak and the east face of Mt. Nevermore, we started up the east face of Nevermore. Our line ascended the pillar on the farthest right of the kilometer-long face; it led straight to the summit. After two days spent fixing the first 200m, many pitches being climbed in waterfalls from melting snow, we started capsule-style. From the third day on, the weather was cold and snowy. For five days we climbed in bad weather. Generally the climbing followed a continuous crack up very steep walls. The rock was excellent. Most of the cracks needed to be cleaned of snow and ice. On the eighth day the weather improved, and we made quick progress, free climbing fantastic cracks. We found a perfect cave in which to pitch our small tent and, for once, enjoyed a comfortable bivy. The following day started fine, and we made the summit of Mt. Nevermore by 2 p.m. After 1,000m of hard-won climbing, the summit was a fine prize. Another route exists on this east face, but it did not continue to the summit, so we assume ours to be the first ascent of the face. The summit of Middle Triple Peak seemed only a stone’s throw away. As we abseiled the wall, the weather deteriorated. Not wanting to be stuck in bad weather, we abseiled through the night and arrived in base camp at 5 a.m., 10 days after leaving. Later that day, Paul Roderick picked us up and deposited us in the Fairview Inn in Talkeetna for an evening of festivities. Perfect Storm, 1,000m, 25 pitches plus easy summit scrambling, E4 (UK) Al.

Mike “Twid” Turner, United Kingdom

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