American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Mt. Hunter, north buttress, Sympathy Variant

Alaska, Mt. Hunter

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: An Jong-neung, Korea
  • Climb Year: 2013
  • Publication Year: 2013

Choi Suk-mun, Moon Sung-wook,and I reached the top of Mt. Hunter on May 21 by a variation of Deprivation, the Sympathy Variant (VI AI6 R A2+). Our original plan was to climb a completely independent route just left of Deprivation, but we were stopped by the collapse of a huge ice pillar eight pitches up, near the first ice band. This pillar is at about the same height as “The Prow” on the Moonflower route. We reached the ice pillar by way of a 50m overhanging traverse (A2+). The pillar was wide but thin and sublimated; despite the conditions we kept climbing. However, while Choi was leading, the pillar suddenly fell. Fortunately, the terrain was overhanging, so none of us was injured.

We retreated, and three days later we began climbing toward our previous high point. We climbed the exact same route until two pitches below the collapsed ice pillar, where we traversed right to reach the first ice band on Deprivation. After passing this ice band we began to look for unclimbed terrain, and took our route through a rock band to the right. The ice conditions in this section were terrible and contained unstable belay stances (AI6 R). Once reaching the second ice band, we joined Deprivation again and bivouacked at the entrance to the third ice band. From here, we climbed a ramp that connected us to the Bibler-Klewin route, where we spent a night in the cornice bivouac after passing through the “Bibler Come Again Exit.” There was heavy snow on the final snowfields, and it took us many hours to reach the summit, forcing us to spend a second night in the cornice bivouac. After 30 rappels down the Moonflower, we arrived back on the glacier the following day.

An Jong-neung, Korea

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