American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Radio Control Tower, southwest buttress, It’s Included

Alaska, Central Alaska Range

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Mark Pugliese
  • Climb Year: 2014
  • Publication Year: 2015

In June, Alan Rousseau and I flew into the Southeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier between guiding trips on Denali to see what we could get done. With huge amounts of snowfall and warming temps, we ruled out all routes with snow above them.

We decided to get a bit creative. This led us up a new route on the very rocky southwest buttress of Radio Control Tower (8,670’), which is located just east of Kahiltna Base Camp. The route was an interesting outing with some harder pitches and lots of exploration required to reach the top of the buttress: It’s Included (1,000’, 5.10+ AI3 M7).

– Mark Pugliese

Editor’s note: Previously unreported, in May 2013, Alan Rousseau and Aaron Kurland made the first recorded ascent of the west face of Radio Control Tower, climbing a prominent gully and snow-ramp system just left of the southwest buttress. They called the seven-pitch climb Spindrift Couloir (1,000’, AI3 M5). Given the proximity of Radio Control Tower to the Kahiltna Base Camp it’s possible other routes have gone unreported.

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