Trolls Traverse

Alaska, Pika Glacier, Little Switzerland
Author: Pedro Binfa. Climb Year: 2015. Publication Year: 2016.

At the end of June, Pachi Ibarra, Drew Seitz, and I flew into Little Switzerland. We spent six days climbing, mostly doing the classic routes of the area, on Middle Troll, the Throne, and Lost Marsupial. At the end of our trip we decided to try a traverse of the Trolls skyline from right to left (south to north).

We left our camp below the towers in the early morning to ensure firm snow on the glacier. After climbing a steep snow slope, we reached the rock on the south ridge route of the South Troll, where most of the initial section was fourth and low fifth class. Higher up, we reached a steeper step where Pachi led a pitch of 5.10+. We continued up the ridgeline above, and after another short section of more difficult climbing we reached the top of a pinnacle along the shoulder. We rappelled to a notch and then climbed up moderate terrain to reach the summit of South Troll.

After a few pictures, we rappelled to the notch between South Troll and Middle Troll. From here, we strayed from the skyline and traversed toward the upper part of the normal south face route on Middle Troll, which we climbed to the summit. We used some old rappel stations and built a few others to reach the notch between Middle Troll and North Troll. With some traversing and one roped pitch of climbing along its southern ridge, we summited North Troll. After rappelling from the top we climbed the final rocky pinnacle along this ridgeline.

After this we decided to go down because of deteriorating conditions. [There is one more summit to the north that can be reached by easier snow climbing.] We arrived back at camp around 4 a.m., after dealing with some crevasses, just in time to avoid the rain. We spent one more day at camp before flying back to Talkeetna.

– Pedro Binfa, Chile

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