Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Moose's Tooth

I’m staring down a blank page.  The stark white triggers a vision of endless glacial expanse, rolling with imagination into a dream of winter that swirls into one great blur…my life has become the dream. 

Approaching the 5,000' East Face of The Moose's Tooth

Since my last entry, I’ve chased down early-season ice in the Rockies and spun through an amazing winter of travel, climbing, and festivals, to recently find myself in the very fortunate position of spending the entire spring season climbing in the Alaska Range.

There’s a lot of catching up to do…

For the moment, I’m going with a quick and dirty report on the most current events and hoping to share the rest of the story in the near future.

An excellent Newswire on covers the new route that ScottAdamson and I climbed on The Moose’s Tooth. and also did a great job of reporting on a very special week on the Buckskin Glacier, where three major new routes went down.  The only spray that I’ll add here is to note that we’ve established the first free route on the face and that it was climbed in a single, 27-hour push. 

I can not stress enough, however, the significance of Scott’s back-to-back first ascents on this massive face – consider this:  on April 11, Scott and I woke at 4am to negative 18f and climbed around 2,500’ before being turned back by a broken tool; on April 12, after nearly 24 hours of continuous movement the day before, we “rested” (read:  sat in camp and drank whiskey until 2am); two hours later, on April 13, we launched again, skiing the two miles from camp to the face in negative 15f and steady 10-15mph head winds, starting what would become a 41-hour odyssey…27 from the bergschund to the top (minus around three for brew-stops, we climbed for 24 continuous hours), 34.5 round trip from the ‘schund and 41 total from waking to returning to camp (tack on a few more for further whiskey consumption).

Apparently, that wasn’t enough – two days later, Scott tied in with Chris Wright for a second trip up the 5,000’ face and another fine FA (stacked with WI6 & M7 pitches) over the course of the next three days.  Let’s hear it for the dark horse - (whistle) heyaah!

Scott Adamson, heading into the business on N.W.S.

Scott Adamson, making short work of the crux climbing

Scott Adamson, 26 hours into it and about to finish the upper ice face

Pete Tapley, summit plateau

Scott Adamson, summit plateau

Two tired but happy choss monkeys

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