North America, United States, Alaska, Neacola Mountains, Upper Powell Glacier and Upper Barnard Glacier

Publication Year: 2005.

Upper Powell Glacier and Upper Barnard Glacier, various ascents and ski descents. Mike Meekins flew Dave Kinsella (Ireland), Wilfred Glanznig (Austria), Wolfgang Huber (Austria), and me into the upper Powell Glacier on the north side of the Chugach Range on May 4. We set up camp at about 7,000' in the middle of the glacier. Dave and Wilfi then headed up the northeast ridge of Peak 9,845' and Wolfgang and I to the ridge southwest of Peak 9,138'. We reached a subsidiary peak of about 9,100' on the southwest ridge of Peak 9,138', and I made a ski descent via our route (Wolfi downclimbed). Dave reached Peak 9,845' (Wili skied back from 8,500') and attempted to ski the north face, but after encountering ice, instead skied the northeast ridge. On May 5 Dave, Wili, and Wolfi headed to Peak 9,570' at the head of the glacier and skied the south face, though they didn’t reach the summit. On May 6 Wolfi and I attempted Peak 8,710'. We didn’t reach its summit either, but skied a couloir on the east side of the peak. On May 7 Wili and Wolfi climbed a 9,400' peak northwest of camp and skied a couloir on its southwest face. Dave and I climbed the 9,200' peak southeast of camp to within 10m of its summit and skied the couloir on its northwest side. Wili and Wolfi repeated this couloir the following day, and Dave skied one just to its northeast (no summit). At the same time, I climbed Peak 9,138' by its northwest face and skied the same route in descent. On May 9 we all climbed Peak 9,570', at the head of the glacier, to within 20m of its summit. Dave, Wili, and Wolfi skied a couloir starting on its northeast shoulder, while I skied a direct line down its east face.

Paul Claus flew us into the upper Barnard Glacier in the Wrangells, just east of University Peak, on May 13. We set up camp at 7,200' in the middle of the glacier. I then climbed the west face of Peak 10,170' to where it flattens out at around 9,200' and skied down. On May 15 we all climbed the southeast face of the south ridge of Super Cub Peak to its apex at around 11,500' and skied it. On May 19 we climbed a 9,800' peak just south of a 9,695' spot height, southeast of camp, and descended by the obvious couloir on its south side.

Reviews of the previous ten AAJs and discussions with the pilots lead us to believe that none of the peaks that we climbed on, other than Super Cub Peak, had been climbed before. The ski descents were between 45° and 60°, exposed, and we believe they were firsts.

Phillip A Ingle, Wales