American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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Grand Singatook, North Face; Mt. Osborn, East Ridge; Tigaraha, East Arête and Chimney of Tiresias (previously unreported)

Alaska, Kigluaik Mountains

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Ian McRae
  • Climb Year: N/A
  • Publication Year: 2010

Grand Singatook, North Face. Otherwise known as “3870” to locals, this great hump rises out of Woolley Lagoon, receiving the brunt of Bering Sea weather. From the Teller Road one imagines that Singatook might have a worthy north face around the backside. When Nils Hahn and I finally made it back there in June 2004 (walking up, over, and descending the east shoulder), we were mildly disappointed to find a mere 50° 2,000' snow slope, topped by three pitches of fun ice (WI2 M2) in a narrow schist couloir, with a great top-out.

Mt. Osborn, East Ridge. This is the right-hand skyline (seen from the south) of the undisputed monarch of the Kigs. I soloed the northeast ridge in alpine conditions in April 2005, climbing out of the glaciated northeast cirque of Osborn via an obvious snow couloir, then continuing up 1,700' of 45° wind-hardened ice to the summit, descending by the same route. Nome-to-Nome on snow machine in 15 hours.

Tigaraha, East Arête and Chimney of Tiresias. As reported in AAJ 2004, this peak is mismarked on many U.S.G.S. maps. Tigaraha, according to local consensus, is the dark thorn you see from Nome that doesn’t hold snow in winter and is located between the Sinuk and Windy river drainages. In June 2004 Lahka Peacock and I added a new route, the East Arête (IV 5.9), nine pitches over and across East Tig, following the right-hand skyline as viewed from the south. In June 2007, on the impressive northeastern wall of the mountain, I soloed the Chimney of Tiresias (IV 5.8 A1) in 20 hours—what I had envisioned from base camp as a soaring prow degererated into a debris-filled cleft, which required a move of aid up high to get around a horrific chockstone.

 Ian McRae

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