American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Various New Routes

Alaska, Chugach Mountains

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: John Kelley
  • Climb Year: N/A
  • Publication Year: 2011

On March 13, Ben Trocki and I climbed a new line on the east face of Awful Peak (the 8,170' peak that borders the west side of the unnamed glacier below the north face of Awesome Peak). We never came up with a name, so I’ve started calling it 13 Above the Night (1,500', IV M5 WI5). We climbed up to the hanging glacier that feeds the ice, then descended a snow couloir to the north. We didn’t go to the summit.

Kevin Ditzler and I climbed a new line, Darkness Falls (2,500', VI M6 WI6 A2++), on the north side of Nantina Point in mid-February. It is the only route on that side of the mountain. After summiting we descended to the col between Nantina Point and Kiliak, then down the snow gully back to the Kiliak Glacier. The climb took 68 hours round trip from a high camp.

Kevin Ditzler and I climbed a new line— almost—on the west side of Benign Peak in December. It’s the obvious couloir to the climbers left of Malignant Gully. We climbed 10 long (70m) pitches then rapped from near the top. I don’t care much for excuses but here’s mine: I’d been hit in the face by some ice earlier. The climbing was hard, dark, runout, and was scaring the shit out of me. This along with a headache, some blood, heavy spindrift, and the approaching weather knocked the courage out of me. I chickened out of my lead about halfway through pitch 11. So far it goes at M6 WI5 but remains unfinished.

In late December, Ben Trocki and I completed a new line on Benign Peak’s west face. Grizzly Camel (V WI4 M4) is 3,200' long and tops out on the south summit of Benign. It took us 36 hours round trip from a high camp. We descended the col between Bellicose Peak and Benign Peak.

Kevin Ditzler and I returned to Benign in early January 2011 and climbed a new line in the center of the west face that we’re calling The Cancer. It’s 3,200' and goes at VI WI5 M6. The last 800' or so is the same as Grizzly Camel. We descended the col between Bellicose and Benign, taking 48 hours round trip from a high camp.

John Kelley

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