Citadel, East Face, Hypa Zypa Couloir
Alaska, Kichatna Mountains
During April 5-7, Jess Roskelley, Kris Szilas, and I established a new line on the east face of the Citadel (8,250’) above the Shadows Glacier. We encountered sparse protection, vertical rotten snow, quality ice, and mixed and aid climbing on poor rock.
We began by climbing fantastic, steep ice runnels up the major couloir system left of Supa Dupa Couloir (McAleese-Turner, AAJ 2004). After many pitches, we chopped a bivy ledge in the ice. After resting, more ice and mixed climbing brought us to an intersection with the south ridge, where we switched to full rock mode and used a mix of free and aid, climbing in double boots on poor-quality, run-out rock. We then continued up a moderate snow ridge, rappelled 60m off the west face, and continued up a 200m snow ramp to the summit.
Descending the line was not an option, and so we downclimbed and rappelled the involved north ridge, arriving in camp after a 70-hour round trip. We named the line the Hypa Zypa Couloir (1300m, VI 5.10R AI5+ M6+ A3) in humorous respect to the line next to it.