I worked the summer of 1977 on boats out of Petersburg and Kake. Saw Devil's Thumb several times. I do not know if the North Face is the largest/longest, but is it climbable? Didn't Charlie Porter try?
Locker, the biggest wall we all of have to scale, is the last one.
Now my wall is...
...some people have advised me to put Jennie into care and get the hell out of Dodge.
My former editor advised such and said he'd pay for the one-way ticket back to California.
I cannot do it. It's a wall that I have yet to scale, her care. I am still climbing towards giving her a quality of life. I just cannot bail. Not on her.
But... just imagine, the North Face of Devil's Thumb. Fred Beckey would be proud of me.
North Face of the Eiger, the Norwand? A good training ground for the Devil's Thumb. Okay, altitude, is not much of a problem, but 6,000 feet of rock and ice? And the unpredictable weather of Southeast Alaska?
First ascent 1946 by Fred Beckey, Clifford Schmidtke, Bob Craig
The Northwest Face has seen many failed attempts; at least three teams have died on this face. In 1977, author Jon Krakauer successfully climbed the East Ridge of the Devils Thumb, a feat described in detail in his book Into the Wild.
Here's my contender. When in the Karakoram in '75, we spent a lot of time gazing at Masherbrum. While bivouacking at 17,000 feet on Lobsang Peak, Dennis Hennek mentioned that the 10,000 foot NE face was still unclimbed.
Here's David Lama's comment from a recent attempt:
It's one of the hardest unclimbed routes left in the world – sort of like climbing the Eiger, with a Cerro Torre on top. It's at high altitude, starting a 4,800m and finishing at 7,821m. To compare this climb to Cerro Torre, it's twice as big, and it's twice as high - it's much more complex, you're on the wall much longer, the descent is much more difficult, and since no one has tried it, there's no way to learn from someone else mistakes. Oh, and it's also more remote – base camp is four or five days from the next village.