Here are a few quick updates on the AK trip. on April 2nd, 6 pm Gary Falk and I reached the summit of the Mooses Tooth! What an amazing, challenging alpine objective! The route was Ham and Eggs, WI4+, 2400 foot couloir climbing and 600 feet of riding the ridgeline to the summit. We had arrived the previous late afternoon via glacier flight onto the Ruth with Paul from TAT. The route was in great condition with lots of steep, filled in ice flows. The route had seen one other ascent this year by a soloist, and there was virtually no sign of previous travel. As for the ice, some spots were thin and others rotten, but lots of ice and predominantly good tooling. The climb had a variety of challenging elements to be overcome. A mixed rock start, steep snow, many many short steep steps of ice all requiring various methods of protection. Rack up to 2 inches, nuts, 7 screws, 8 pins and snow pickets. The summit ridge is protected by a final pitch up steep snow with no protection until the upper portion where Gary was able to dig through the snow to place an ice screw. I had to hack through a cornice to get to the top of the final ridge! We made it to the summit at 12 hours and decended the route in 7 hours about 4 hours of which in the dark, while leaving about 6 pins and reinforcing the anchors. This climb was absolutely amazing! Gary was an incredible teammate and that was quite the team building experience! And YES, it was cold, sub zero temperatures (minus 10 degrees at the start). My hands only went numb with the cold once :o)
We were filled with some amazing Alaskan adventure. I have lots of great photos i get up and look forward to sharing the story in greater detail. As for now, Gary an I have been in Valdez for a few days and have had some great, interesting outings into the mountains here. Today we cruised up and on the Worthington Glacier and played our own version of Corporate Crossing while zigging and zagging around the crevasses!
We arrived in Valdez Monday afternoon and were escorted onto a helicopter immediately by Theo from Rendezvous Helicopters for a few laps of helicopter skiing! (I had helped him out on the Grand Teton a couple summers ago – another story :o) Storms, wind, deep snow and big mountains have been the consistency. The mountains in Alaska are HUGE. Everything is huge for that matter. Snow Plows, people, snowflakes… you name it! We head to Whittier on Saturday where I will meet up with Lisa and and share an adventure with her Dry Suit Ocean diving!
Every time I go on an adventure like this i am reminded about the importance of living and fully embracing life’s adventures, whatever those might be. I am reminded about the critical nature of the “go for it” attitude and positive frameworks. Im psyched about Grand Dynamics. I’m looking forward with reconnecting with the GDI team and all of you soon! Until Then – LIVE YOUR ADVENTURE!