Peak 747, Kuriositeten; Americans Go Walking, first ascent
Alaska, Central Alaska Range
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