In mid-June, James Kesterson, Paul Muscat, Glenn Wilson, and I spent eight days mountaineering above the Double Glacier, at the north end of the Chigmit Mountains. We had planned to visit the Neacolas, but bad weather forced us to make a spontaneous shift to the Chigmits. Poor volcanic rock keeps this region off the radar of climbers, although mountaineers and skiers are attracted by the heavy glaciation and high volcanic summits of Redoubt (10,197’) and Iliamna (10,016’). Our unplanned visit exceeded expectations.
We landed on a glacial ridge at 4,400’. Our base camp location (approx. 60°44’28”N, 152°31’41”W) looked down to the oil and gas platforms in Cook Inlet and across to the Kenai Mountains. Surrounding our camp were numerous small summits, rising up to the area’s high point of Double Peak (6,818’). Despite rain every day, we climbed so many peaks that we didn’t count, mostly little bumps, all of them first known ascents. Our most significant climb was Peak 6,402’, due west of our camp, accessed by its south slope and east ridge. On our last day we rose at 11 p.m. for a crack at Double Peak, first climbed from the south and west in 1973. We made it to within a few hundred feet of the summit on the northwest slopes.
– Joe Stock