On May 3 Paul Claus flew us from the Ultima Thule Lodge to a 10,500' base camp at the head of the eastern branch of the Barnard Glacier, five miles south of Mt. Bear. We were Brad Gessner, Hans Neidig, Stuart Parks, Wayne Todd, Jeannie Wall, Carrie Wang, and I. Over the next seven days, our group summited several peaks:
Peak 12,382' (“Wetterhorn”), east ridge, new route (2nd peak ascent, entire party), AK grade 2.
Point 11,500', southwest slopes (entire party) and Peak 11,570', northeast slopes, first ascent (Hart-Wall; repeated by Gessner-Neidig-Parks-Todd-Wang), AK grade 1.
Peak 12,850', southwest ramp, new route (Gessner-Parks-Todd-Wang; repeated by Hart-Neidig-Wall), AK grade 1.
Peak 12,007', southwest slopes, first ascent (entire party, AK grade 2).
Peak 12,850', traverse via west ridge over Point 12,410' (5th ascent, Hart-Wall, new route, 13 pitches, 50° snow/ice).
Paul Claus, Ruedi Homberger, Christine Kopp, Peter Stadler, and Stefan Wyss had previously spent time in this area, making first ascents of Peak 12,382' in 1996 (Ruedi and Paul have clarified that this is the “13,000' border peak just south of Mt. Bear,” as referenced on p. 185 of the 1997 AAJ; they called it “Wetterhorn”) and Peak 12,850' in 1994 (Claus solo).
On May 12 Jeannie, Wayne, Carrie, and I flew to a new base camp three miles south at 8,500' on the upper Tittmann Glacier, a spot where Paul Claus had not previously landed. We reached 11,000' on the southwest ridge of unclimbed Peak 11,610', before weather turned us back. Storms continued until Paul returned for us on May 17. Several more unclimbed peaks in this area beckon, including the challenging Peaks 11,610' and 11,050', the striking Peak 10,455', and walkup Peak 10,385'.
Dave Hart, AAC and Mountaineering Club of Alaska