Monday, July 4, 2016

Alaska Range Alpine Mountaineering Course in Denali National Park's Ruth Gorge.

Below are some images from a recent 10 day trip in the Ruth Gorge, Alaska. This is one of the most stunning places within Denali National Park and there is no where I would rather spend a week. The weather was not perfect due to conditions that were warmer than expected.

We were able to climb a peak in the upper Ruth Gorge called Explorers Peak. This seldom climbed summit presented the perfect challenge for our group of first time Alaska Range climbers.

After two days of practicing our crevasse rescue skills we headed across the Ruth Glacier on a 7-mile walk through the upper Ruth Icefall to the base of the route. There we set up camp and climbed the following morning. Due to warm conditions we decided to make the walk back to the Mountain House at night. We packed up camp and started walking at 8pm arriving back at the airstrip at 1am.

The Ruth Gorge
Ready to go
Landing at the Mountain House
Our Ride
Foggy conditions on day one
Glacier travel work on the Ruth Glacier
Practicing snow climbing techniques on Mount Dickey
Crossing the Ruth Glacier
Our camp
Seated belay low on the route
Steep snow climbing low on the route
Kicking steps to the top
Summit photo
Defending the ridge from the summit of Explorers Peak
Defending the ridge from the summit of Explorers Peak
Hiding from the sun in the hottest part of the day
Explorer Peak
Returning to the Mountain House with Explorer peak in the background
Climbing on a ridge with Mount Dan Beard in the background
Hiding from the sun
A K2 Beaver lands to pick us up at the Mountain House airstrip
Our track through the upper Ruth Icefall 

--Alasdair Turner, AAI Instructor and Guide

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