Mt. Short, Siri’s Peak, Ocean Peak, and other summits, first ascents and new routes
Alaska, St. Elias Mountains
In early June 2012, Sam Thompson (U.K.), Sara Arbos Torrent (Catalan), Arnaud Sors (France), and I traveled to a remote and relatively unexplored part of the St. Elias Mountains. We spent 31 days on the Jefferies and Fraser glaciers, which are located about 30 miles north of Mt. St. Elias near the Alaska-Yukon border. Overall, we summited 13 peaks (ca 10,000–12,000’), making first recorded ascents of nine peaks in addition to climbing three new routes on others.
Landing on the upper Jefferies Glacier (ca 8,000’), we climbed Mt. Short (10,360’), Boris Peak, and others, and then moved camp to the upper Fraser Glacier, where we climbed some of the highest summits in the area, including Siri’s Peak (12,050’) and Ocean Peak (11,050’). In general, the rock was of poor quality. We therefore made the decision to choose our routes based on the quality of ice and snow on a particular line. (North faces were often in good condition.) Generally we climbed peaks by the easiest routes (PD–D); hence, there is still potential for some excellent new lines, with great technical climbing, in addition to many ski descents.
Alopecia Peak (10,213’), west ridge (PD-), first ascent; Whale Peak (10,730’), west face (PD-), first ascent; Ocean Peak (11,050’) west ridge (D-), first ascent; Khorz Couloir (AD), west face, first ascent; Mount Short (10,360’), second ascent, Thompson route, north face (PD), new route (Also known as M-78, first climbed by Paul Claus from the south side); Eleanor Peak (10,153’) first ascent (PD), northwest ridge; Bald Top Peak (10,387’), west face (PD), east ridge (PD) (Paul Claus said that he has previously ski-toured this peak. He did not specify exactly how many times or via which route, hence we are unsure whether our routes are new.); Sam Peak (10,050’), north face (PD), first ascent; Boris Peak (10,167’) first ascent, west ridge (PD); Cantaloupe Island Peak (11,350’) south ridge (AD-), first ascent; Siri’s Peak (12,050’) new route, southwest face, Imperial Gully (AD+); Flying Peak (11,330’), second ascent, south face (D), new route (Paul Claus said that he climbed the peak once but by a different route.); Mount Crystal (9,608’), east face, first ascent; Forgotten Peak (10,750’), east ridge, first ascent
Boris Korzh, U.K.