Jul 31, 2015

Mount Hunter - Alaska - Voie Arete Est - A mixed up Slush

 In mid june we arrived a much to warm Talkeetna, Alaska.
Our goal was to climb the classic "Voie Cassin" on Denali itself, but already in Talkeetna i got my doubts about this project.
1/ It had been to good weather to long
2/ The warm air masses would be a catastrophe for the snow and ice
3/Apparently the amount of snow during the winter had been very low, I was told by the "locals"

After the regular preparation, arranging food, permit details and sorting the gear. We had an offset day in Talkeetna before TAT flew us out to our next couple of weeks basecamp.
We had the pleasure of being flown out by Paul Roderick himself. 

Once at BC we found a nice spot a bit on the side, had a relaxing couple of hours before i got to restless...and we decided despite the late hour to go for a ski-tour. To get som altitude and motivating exercise. 
On actually perfect spring snow, except the last bit up to the very summit, the snow was ok, just starting to freeze a bit. But sinking down to our knees on the last bit on foot...well it wasn't a good sign.

The next days we skied around a bit, looking on some projects. 
Our main goal on Mt Hunter, Moonflower Buttress, had melted away long gone.  So instead we decided on a line that a couple of other people had turned around on a couple of days before, projected more to the east. 
-To wet! we was told
Well, how bad can it be?! Only one way to find out try it ourselves.

Well, we went, experienced and climbed.
Climbing 25m runouts on vertical slushy ice, dry-tooling up M5 and being constantly waked up by wet snow avalanches...going for a long single push alpine style...

Martin waiting on a plane 

Our equipment waiting on a plane...

Our plane!!

And our mountains!!

First summit, Radio peak, a great ski-touring warm up

Next goal, mt Hunter

Preparation at "Bace Camp"

Approaching the project...

Project nr.1, Coffee!!

Project nr.2 - Mount Hunter

Getting going, Martin on Pitch 1, many more to come...

Martin somewhere in the middle of the steepest slushiest sections, having fun between snow showers

Just great climbing

Long nice ice runnels!

Getting into more of the rocky stuff, but never hard

Finally, some kind of summit

Morning yoga on "solid" ground

  Once back and down at our skis. We can finally relax and take it a bit easy. Then, a big slush avalanche triggers just above us, slowly building up above on its way down. Paralysed and exhausted we watch in closing in on us as we decide it wont hit us...of course it does. And I try to move all of our stuff away as it starts to slowly cover our things. 
The mountain showing who is king!

Thanks Hilleberg for support of great cozy tents. Giving us good comfy rests!

//Brist på fruktan tyder inte alltid på mod. Bara brist på insikt

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