Our Days in Chititu

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.

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”

Truth Peak

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”