North America, Alaska, Alaska Range, Thunder Mountain, Tangled Up in Blue, and Other New Routes
Thunder Mountain, Tangled Up in Blue; and other new routes. Alaska veterans Jay Smith and Jack Tackle climbed four new routes in May, culminating in the prized first ascent of the 4,000' north face of Thunder Mountain, climbed in lightweight alpine style by a route they named Tangled Up in Blue (VI-M7 AI6), in 67 hours roundtrip from camp. Their trip started on a small fork of the Tokositna Glacier, south of Mt. Huntington, where no one is thought to have previously climbed. They warmed-up with a rapid ascent of the Rooster Comb, with a possible new start, and then established Prizefight (2,000', 5.9R M6 AI5) on the 10,300' south peak of Huntington, and Lagavulin (800', 5.10 WI4+/5) and the Black Pearl (1,500', M6 WI5+/6) on a formation they called the Scottish Wall. Tackle, who has established many major new routes in Alaska since his first trip in 1976, called it “maybe my best trip ever to Alaska.” See his feature article earlier in this Journal.