Friday, July 15, 2016

Climbing in Little Switzerland.

In June I spent a month in Alaska, working two separate climbing trips in Denali National Park. The second trip was a ten day climbing course in the Pika Glacier area. You can read about the first trip on the Ruth Glacier Here. Little Switzerland is know for its good quality rock climbing objectives. Our trip was successful despite a delay getting to the glacier and several days stuck in camp due to poor weather. We were able to climb numerous objectives including two longer climbs ending on summits of peaks that surround the glacier. Below are some images of the trip.

Our plane takes off after unloading us and all our gear on the glacier.

The first day of climbing was kept fairly short so we could get used to the rock and familiarize ourselves with the area. This short line up the west side of The Munchkin was a fun way to start our trip.

Climbing on very high quality rock.

The descent.
The following day we headed over to the Middle Troll to climb the most popular route in the area. Up the face of the peak to the summit. This climb is written about as an area classic, but in no way meets this high praise. It turned out to be covered in loose rock that had constant danger from self inflicted rock fall. Closer to the summit did contain several nice pitches of very good rock, but it is questionable if they were worth the approach pitches. It did make for a very good (although stressful) learning day.

The following days weather was not cooporative and we spend much of it tent bound. Luckily we were heavy on the electronic gagets which made the time go a bit faster.

One way to pass the time on a weather day is drawing. 
Katlynn doing some cooking in the cook tent.
The next day in still unsettled weather we headed up to climb a small two pich objective called The Plunger. Unfortunately after we finished the first pitch the rumbling of thunder in the distance told us that it was time to bail and not risk getting stuck on the top of a peak in a thunderstorm.


The next day the AAI Alaska logistics corrdiator Katylynn flew out and let Jim and I to climb the Lost Marsupial route on The Throne. It was a much better route than the Middle Troll and made for an amazing day out in the mountains.

The two following days were tent bound due to bad weather and with a forecast for another week of rain we decided to call our trip and headed back to Talkeetna after what we both considered was a pretty successful trip.
Waiting for our flight.
--Alasdair Turner AAI Tenured Guide
Additional photos from this trip can be found Here.
You can also find me on Instagram @alasdairturner

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