Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May 12

Nate Opp and Kirk Chapman flew in yesterday to go climb this peak here. Peak 11,300, for such an incredible looking peak, it's amazing that it doesn't have an actual name. Just goes to show that there is so much cool climbing in the Alaska Range that half the peaks aren't even named. This photo of 11,300 is taken by AMS guide Brian McCullough during an early and seldom repeat of the French Ridge of Mt. Huntington. The original ascent party took 3 weeks to climb the French Ridge, Brian had 7 bivouacs. Up the French Ridge down the East Ridge to about 3/4 height and then 18 rappels down the North Face Direct back to the Ruth Glacier. Nate Opp climbed it a few years ago in what has to be the record time for the French Ridge in 26 hours.

Anyway, Nate and Kirk were hoping to fly into the Upper West Fork of the Ruth just into view in this picture at the toe of the South West Ridge of 11.3. They ended up getting dropped off at the Mountain House, about 6 miles down glacier. They are probably skiing up the West Fork right now. I would bet that they end up putting a camp in on the lower section of the route tonight somewhere and then another on near the summit on the way up or another one on the way down. If the winds subside by the time they get off the climb they will most likely get picked up closer to 11,300.

No flights went into Base camp yesterday and none so far today due to heavy crosswinds on the runway.

Leighan, Dusty, Steve and Gio are gear checking right now and finalizing everything so they can hopefully fly into base camp this afternoon if and when they start flying.

AMS guides Kevin Mahoney and Dan Corn are still waiting to fly in for a personal climb. We'll try to keep you updated on that too.


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