American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

A.A.C., Alaska Section

  • Club Activities
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2009

Alaska Section. The Alaska Section purchased the Snowbird Hut, a dome-shaped structure built on stilts on the moraine above the Snowbird Glacier in the Talkeetna Mountains. It is important as one of two shelters on the “Bomber” traverse, linking several alpine glaciers on both a summer and winter three-day tour through the Talkeetnas. Use of the hut is not restricted to Club members, but is open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Formerly a private hut, the Section purchased it to ensure public access and accommodations.

The monthly public slideshows were a great success, bringing members of the public together to give them a taste of the alpine environment and the efforts of the AAC. Again, British Petroleum donated their Green Energy Center in Anchorage as a free venue. Among the participants this year were: Kristen Kramer, who recently returned from Patagonia; she also showed slides of the women’s ski trip on Denali last spring. Clint Helander gave an account of his recent trip to the Revelation Mountains. Seldom visited and almost completely unknown, the Revelations are at the southwestern-most part of the Alaska Range. Clint and his team completed one first ascent and threw the rest of their efforts at another unclimbed peak. The trip was made possible by an AAC Mountain Fellowship grant. Clint profiled not only his climb, but also the history and untapped potential of one of Alaska’s most unexplored mountain ranges. Colin Haley presented a show on the Torre Traverse (VI 5.11 A1 MI6) in Argentinean Patagonia. Joe Stock told stories from his recent full-length ski traverse of the Tordrillo Mountains, which are easily seen from Anchorage on a clear day. Joe, Andrew Wexler, and Dylan Taylor’s expedition avoided the well-publicized helicopters and completed the 100-mile trip in nine days from the base of Mt. Spurr to the confluence of the Happy and Skwentna Rivers. Along the way they found huge icefalls, technical descents, and steep powder off the summits of Spurr, Torbert, Talachulitna, and Gerdine. Proceeds from these slideshows benefited the Alaska Section, which will use the money to renovate and rebuild the Snowbird Hut. Sponsors for these events included the Bear Tooth Theater Pub, Alaska Mountaineering and Hiking, Black Diamond, the American Alpine Club, British Petroleum, and Conoco Phillips.

Jay Rowe, over the past two summers, has done two separate first ascents of multi-pitch rock climbs off the Coffee Glacier on the east side of the Moose’s Tooth. He showed slides of the first ascent of the South Buttress of Sugar Tooth (20 pitches, 5.10) and of Coffee Spire (11 pitches, 5.11).

Harry Hunt, Chair

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