Sunday, April 25, 2010

Skiing, Huntington and Peak 11,300

This is a sweet shot that one of our guides, Seth Hobby, shot with his nice new camera. Right now we have several groups in this picture: Nate Opp with Steve Trafton, Harvard Route, Mount Huntington. Nick D'elessio, Dennis and Job Bogan are in the Ruth Gorge skiing. Dan Corn, Brian Skean and Alex Stroud are teaching the 12 day mountaineering course. Kevin Mahoney and Don McAllister are in the West Fork of the Ruth Glacier getting ready to climb peak 11,300.

Nick, Dennis and Job were ready to fly into the Ramparts for several days of skiing; they were delayed in Talkeetna for a couple of days, but made it into the Ruth Gorge a couple of days ago. Their main goal is to ski fresh powder. There is still plenty of snow on the ground here and more on the way most likely.

Ski photo, by Seth Hobby.

According to Dan Corn, who is leading our 12 day Mountaineering Course, it was -20 F. at about 7,000 feet last night. This photo is taken from just East of Denali Base camp, 12 day is at. This is a view of the North Buttress of Mount Hunter. From Base camp you can often see the seracs (big giant ice blocks) calve off and form impressive avalanche powder clouds. Assuming they have good weather they may get a chance to climb a peak that is directly accross from the N. Buttress of Hunter, so maybe we'll get some closer up views of this photo.

Special Opps (AKA, Nate Opp) sent me a message saying that they did a trip up to the approach couloir of the Harvard Route and said they might try to launch tomorrow if the weather still looks good. NAte and Steve were extremely psyched for this climb. Huntington is one of the coolest looking mountains anywhere in the world. The Harvard route is one of the more technical routes on this mountain and this mountain does not have any easy routes on it anyway. If the HArvard route has been guided we're not sure when or by whom. Seth Hobby is flying in in a few days to guide it as well. Luckily AMS has lots of qualified guides for this caliber of guiding. I believe they are both planning on 3 days on route.
Here's a photo that Brian McCullough took from one of the early ascents of the French ridge of Huntington. The prominent ridge that the photographer is staring at is the S.W. Ridge of Peak 11,300. Kevin and Don are planning on taking 2-3 days on route. This route involves lots of steep snow climbing with tricky steps of rock climbing.

Here's a photo I took last season of Huntington. The closest corniced ridge facing me is the French Ridge. Seldom climbed. I believe Nate Opp has the speed record for this route though. 25 hours. It normally takes several days. I chopped off part of the Harvard Route when I snapped the photo, but the right hand skyline is essentially it. Pretty impressive line, eh.

Melis and Joey are packing for our first Denali expedition of the season. They are scheduled to fly in on the 27th. Lots of stuff going on around AMS these days and it's about to get WAY busier.

That's all for now.


Purcie said...

Hey Rob! Send Nate a big hug from me if you hear from him. Tell him have fun and be safe! Nice to see the season cruising along well this early in season!

Alaska Mountaineering School said...

Will do, I heard the wx in the range is pretty decent today, he's probably going for it now i would imagine. Doubt he has sat phone on route. he's turned into quite the little texter.