2010: Various new routes, by J. Kelley

(Back to: North America, Alaska, Chugach Mountains)

Various new routes.

By John Kelley

13 Above the Night, on the east face of Awful Peak. John Kelley

Darkness Falls, on the north side of Nantina Point. John Kelley

Kevin Ditzler starting the crux pitch of Darkness Falls. John Kelley

Kevin Ditzler on Darkness Falls. John Kelley

The west face of Benign Peak: (1) 2010 Ditzler-Kelley attempt, with high point X. (2) Malignant Gully (Mitchell-Sassara, 1987). (3) The Cancer (Ditzler-Kelley, 2011). (4) Grizzly Camel (Kelley-Trocki, 2010). Kevin Ditzler

Kevin Ditzler on the near-miss new route attempt on Benign Peak in December. John Kelley

Ben Trocki on Grizzly Camel. John Kelley

John Kelley leading into the rock buttress on The Cancer. Kevin Ditzler

Kevin Ditzler on The Cancer. John Kelley

On March 13, Ben Trocki and I climbed a new line on the east face of Awful Peak (the 8,170′ peak that borders the west side of the unnamed glacier below the north face of Awesome Peak). We never came up with a name so I’ve started calling it 13 Above the Night (1,500′, IV M5 WI5). We climbed up to the hanging glacier that feeds the ice, and then descended a snow couloir to the north. We didn’t go to the summit.

Kevin Ditzler and I climbed a new line, Darkness Falls (2,500′, VI M6 WI6 A2++), on the north side of Nantina Point in mid-February. It is the only route on that side of the mountain. After summiting we descended to the col between Nantina Point and Kiliak, then down the snow gully back to the Kiliak Glacier. The climb took 68 hours roundtrip from a high camp.

Kevin Ditzler and I climbed a new line—almost—on the west side of Benign Peak in December. It’s the obvious couloir to the climber’s left of Malignant Gully. We climbed 10 long (70m) pitches then rapped from near the top. I don’t care much for excuses but here’s mine: I’d been hit in the face by some ice earlier. The climbing was hard, dark, runout, and was scaring the shit out of me. This along with a headache, some blood, heavy spindrift, and the approaching weather knocked the courage out of me. I chickened out of my lead about half way through pitch 11. So far it goes at M6 WI5 but is unfinished.

In late December, Ben Trocki and I completed a new line on Benign Peak’s west face. Grizzly Camel (V WI4 M4) is 3,200′ long and tops out on the south summit of Benign. It took us 36 hours roundtrip from a high camp. We descended the col between Bellicose Peak and Benign Peak.

Kevin Ditzler and I returned to Benign in early January 2011 and climbed a new line in the center of the west face that we’re calling The Cancer. It’s 3,200′ and goes at VI WI5 M6. The last 800′ or so is the same as Grizzly Camel. We decended the col between Bellicose-Beneign col, taking 48 hours roundtrip from a high camp.

© American Alpine Club


Experience the new AAJ

@ publications.americanalpineclub.org

You can now read, search, and explore every year of the AAJ and other AAC titles.

Publications Site

IMPORTANT:  We are currently migrating digital resources from the AAJ Online (aaj.americanalpineclub.org) to publications.americanalpineclub.org. The AAJ Online will remain active until Fall 2013; however, it will no longer be maintained or updated with new content. In the meantime you can continue to browse and search the AAJ Online for AAJ articles and resources from the years 2009-2012.