North America, United States, Alaska, Alaksa Coast Mountains, Various Ascents

Publication Year: 2005.

Various ascents. My father, Charles B. Daellenbach of Albany, Oregon, Scott McGee of Anchorage, Alaska, Fred Skemp III of La Crosse, Wisconsin, and I, of Portland, Oregon, took a helicopter transport from Juneau to the Gilkey Trench in the Coast Range of Alaska. We climbed the previously unclimbed Mt. Blachnitzky (6,552', N58°47'47" W134°23'38") on June 30 via the southwest cirque/south ridge (45° snow, class 3 rock) from a high camp at a previously unvisited tarn, which, located at 3,600' on the southwest flank, seemed like Shangri-la. Fred and I also climbed a route on the previously unclimbed Peak 6,500' (N58°48'17" W134°35'56"). The date was July 4, and we named the route the Independence Route. Our route took us from the Bucher Glacier up the north-northeast ridge, across 55° snow slopes of the northeast face, and Finally up the southeast ridge, where we encountered 5.3 rock and WI2 ice.

Our egress off the Juneau Ice-Field took us from the Gilkey Trench on a traverse into the north side of Avalanche Canyon, a river ford across the Avacan, and up the steep valley to the “high ice” of the Northwest Taku Glacier. From here, we skied towards Taku D (5,810', N58°42'17" W134°17'530"), a previously climbed peak at the confluence of the Taku and Matthes glaciers.

We all climbed this peak via the southwest ridge (class 3 rock). We spent the final enjoyable days of the expedition on backcountry skis, making our way off the southern end of the Icefield via the Taku, Southwest Taku, Norris, Lemon, and Ptarmigan glaciers, with a descent down Lemon Creek back to the capital of Alaska.

Keith K. Daellenbach, AAC