American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
Black Diamond Logo

Peak 747, Kuriositeten; Americans Go Walking, first ascent

Alaska, Central Alaska Range

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Alan Rousseau, AAC
  • Climb Year: 2013
  • Publication Year: 2013

In April, Matt Barela, Mike Pond, and I climbed Kuriositeten (800m, AI5 M3+) on the east face of Peak 747, between Mt. Bradley and Mt. Dickey, which we believe is the third ascent [AAJ 2009]. On our descent we found a striking blue ice line that rose right out of 747 Pass. It did not appear to be very long, but, wow, was it impressive!

The next day and a half brought two feet of snow with high winds. We hunkered down in base camp and gave the snow a day to settle before Mike Pond and I headed backup 747 Pass toward the ice line, breaking trail through waist-deep snow. We found the snow stable enough to continue up the route, which consisted of three 60m pitches of great blue ice in the WI3+ to WI4 range. After topping out the ice, we exited the face to the right below a large cornice, and then followed the ridge to the summit of Peak 747, which took another 45 minutes. We named the line Americans Go Walking (II+ WI4) since we, like most others on their first trip to the Ruth, spent more time walking around looking for things to climb than actually climbing.

We believe this is a great route for unstable snow conditions, parties climbing the west face of Mt. Dickey, or those looking for a less serious route with high-quality ice. It is on par with classic ice lines like Pinnacle Gully on Mt. Washington. We descended the route with one snow bollard and two V-threads, completing a 10-hour round-trip from base camp.

Alan Rousseau, AAC

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.

Photos and Topos Click photo to view full size and see caption