American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, Prince William Sound, Pk. 3,596' (Brackish Bitch), Varney Hoyt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2007

Pk. 3,596' (Brackish Bitch), Varney-Hoyt.

Over 21 days in August, Andy Hoyt and I, both of Girdwood, Alaska, put up a new line on Pk. 3,596', a.k.a. the Brackish Bitch, at the head of Deep Water Bay, approximately 40 boat miles from the Whittier harbor. Heavy rains characterized our trip; the four days after we arrived were the only consecutive days of sun. Furthermore, the cracks were consistently filled with moss and dirt if they were narrower than four inches. Our free-climbing shoes never left the tent. Having to clean the cracks slowed us drastically, forcing us to set up a portaledge one-third of the way up the wall, from where we fixed down to the base. After we made multiple attempts to push above our camp, the second-to-last day of our trip dawned clear, and we raced up our fixed lines and pushed to the top in 20 hours camp-to-camp. The climbing was all direct aid, with a few free sections to connect crack systems. We rappelled the route in 16 raps, with some ledge scrambling between. We rated the 900m Varney-Hoyt route V 5.6 A3.

Special thanks to Andy Morrison of Alaska Backcountry Access, LLC, for providing affordable and safe boat rides. I highly recommend him for any future expeditions to the region. He is based out of Girdwood and can be reached at or 1-800-783-300.

Josh Varney

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