McCarthy longtime locals were calling this the worst mosquito summer they could remember -and I don’t think they were lying. To minimize losses to our precious sanity and blood reserves, we had to wear our long-sleeve wind breakers and gloves. Which wouldn’t be that bad by itself, but under the hot summer sun these layers were way too much. The sweating was a mess. The buzz of mosquitos was incessant. And the 5 mile “road to Chititu” is anything but a road after the first mile. Alders and vegetation invade the airspace above the trail. You loose the trail and then find it because it is so difficult to distinguish. By the end of the fourth mile we were quite sweat drenched, but then a heavy flash rain for the last mile determined that every square inch of our clothing and bodies should be dripping wet. The rain, had astonishingly little effect on the mosquitos. Hoping to find shelter from the rain in Chititu, we quickened our already fast pace. We found such shelter at a horse stable in Chititu at 5:30pm. We were only 3 hours into the trip and I was already ready for it to be over. But the testing of patience was far from over.
Category Archives: Mountaineering
Institute and Minya
Institute and Minya: two more of the awesome Gulkana Glacier Peaks. And while my favorite Gulkana Glacier peak remains to be Icefall Peak; that doesn’t mean either of these two peaks were slouching. It just means that all the Gulkana Peaks are super amazing. And the reason for this is because the Gulkana Glacier peaksContinue reading “Institute and Minya”
A Berry Wonderful Loop
The snow line went splendidly. Wonderful 50 degree snow, a little hard, not yet softened by the sun. But that beats the other extreme: slushy and unsupportive. Sophie was nursing a broken toe at the time so I got all the first kicks in crampons. From the top of our snow line, the summit was a little walk away, and earned at 1pm. Sophie logged into the registrar, I took lots of great pictures. The Turnagain Arm was splayed out and the views in all directions, of the countless Chugach Mountains, were pristine. I’m glad we didn’t do this one on a day with poor visibility.
8900′ Aydon Peak via Boonje Couloir
This route and peak are in my top 3 of all time. The other two are Icefall West Ridge and Baleful North Ridge. Having done a guestimated 300 peaks in my lifetime, that puts Aydon in the top 1%. A key difference between those other two bold undertakings and this one, however, is information. WithContinue reading “8900′ Aydon Peak via Boonje Couloir”
Old Snowy and the 8750’s
The weather forecast was spelling out a bunch of bluebird days in the deltas. As Fairbanks mountaineers know all too well, this basically never happens. So Zack Seimsen and I took a Monday and Friday off work to capitalize on it. Strangely enough, the weather forecast didn’t deteriorate and we were even blessed with aContinue reading “Old Snowy and the 8750’s”
It was a Sanford attempt that fell apart due to an unpleasant weather forecast for the upcoming week. The reality that Sanford wouldn’t have happened was later cemented by boot fit issues for 2 out of the 5 in our party. But since we had already ventured nearly 20 miles deep (by snow machine), TruthContinue reading “Truth Peak”
There isn’t a whole lot I have to say about this trip other than lessons were learned, I’ll be back for this one someday (soon?), and when I come back for attempt No. 2 I’ll bring a bivy sack instead of a tent (maybe the name of the mountain is a clue!). One more failedContinue reading “Bivouac Peak”
The goal was big for the winter, Peak 8230′. We would make it to the 8,000′ contour on the second day, standing above a sea of fog… but for the summit we would have needed 3 more hours of daylight to feel comfortable making the push. Saturday February 6th 2020 Sean Marble and I departedContinue reading “Peak 8230”
Sophie Tidler, Ian Borowski, and I entered the 2021 year with a failed winter attempt on Roost Peak. We were only 100 vertical feet and 700 horizontal feet from completing its north ridge, but alas, we were out of daylight and had to call it off. The views were, in their own right, phenomenal andContinue reading “Rosie’s Roost”