Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Flightseeing the Alaska Range

AAI's Director, Dunham Gooding and I, went to Alaska over the weekend to attend meetings with Denali National Park and Wrangle-St. Elias National Park. While we were in Talkeetna, the wonderful people at K2 Aviation offered to bring us up on a flight tour of the Alaska Range. We, of course, greedily accepted the offer!

Following is a photo essay of our flight. Click on the photos if you would like to see a larger version. All of these photos were taken on October 16th.

Mount Hunter
The North Buttress can be seen on the left-hand side of the mountain.
The North Buttress of Hunter is a world-class feature that includes the iconic Moonflower Buttress Route (AK Grade VI, 5.8, A2, M5, AI 6)

Mount Hunter silhouetted by the Sun

The flat spot just left of center is where the 14,000 foot camp for the West Buttress Route is established every year.

The West Rib of Denali (AK Grade IV, 60-Degree Ice)
The prominent rib in the center of the picture is climbed on the right hand side and then followed until it reaches the upper mountain.

The West Face of Mount Huntington
There are two popular routes on the West Face, the Harvard Route (AK Grade VI, A2, 70-degree ice) and the West Face Couloir (AK Grade V, 85-degree ice)

The French Ridge (AK Grade IV, Ice to 65-Degrees)
This was the site of Mount Huntington's first ascent in 1964 by a party led by the iconic alpinist, Lionel Terray.

The North Face of Mount Huntington
This north wall is seldom climbed due to the extreme avy danger.

Mooses Tooth
Ham and Eggs (AK Grade IV, 5.9, AI 4) can be found at the back of the deep gully on the right

The West Ridge of Mooses Tooth
(AK Grade V, 80-Degree Ice, Extensive Cornicing)

The East Face of Mooses Tooth
The routes on the East Face are seriously hard. A couple of examples include Dance of the Woo Li Masters (AK Grade VII, A5, 5.10b) and Arctic Rage (AK Grade VI AI6+R, A2).

An avalanche on the Buckskin Glacier.

The Ruth Glacier

These photos of the Ruth show how large valley glaciers imitate rivers.

For information on our Alaska programs, please click here.

--Jason D. Martin

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