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hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Jul 3, 2015 - 06:59am PT
Keep it up Avery--these are great stories. Try to pull that N.Face story up- it is very, very good. I'd do it but I'm a computer Bozo.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 3, 2015 - 01:43pm PT
The OP also appeared in the 1964/65 Mountain World as posted in this thread.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=2119991&msg=2119991#msg2119991
Avery

climber
NZ
Jul 3, 2015 - 03:14pm PT
Great link, Steve.
BMcC

Trad climber
Livermore
Jul 3, 2015 - 03:37pm PT
Thanks for this thread Avery.

Here's a pic from part way up Peak 11,300 (5/16/14):

BMcC

Trad climber
Livermore
Jul 3, 2015 - 03:48pm PT
Here's another, but down on the West Fork of the Ruth Glacier...

Avery

climber
NZ
Jul 3, 2015 - 04:18pm PT
Thanks BMcC. Great pics. Keep them coming!
Avery

climber
NZ
Jul 3, 2015 - 08:35pm PT
Quirk/Nettle 1989


American Alpine Journal 1990
Avery

climber
NZ
Jul 4, 2015 - 07:31pm PT
Quirk/Nettle: John Frieh and Jason Stucky, 2011. (2nd winter ascent of Huntington)


Special thanks to John Frieh

Avery

climber
NZ
Jul 5, 2015 - 06:53pm PT
The Phantom Wall (South West Face): Jay Smith and Paul Teare, 1991.


American Alpine Journal 1992
Avery

climber
NZ
Jul 6, 2015 - 12:21am PT
Mt Huntington - French (NW) Ridge (FWA) 2014: John Frieh, Jason Stuckey and Dave Farra.


Thanks to John Frieh
Avery

climber
NZ
Jul 6, 2015 - 03:51am PT
"Count Zero", Bruce Miller and Clay Wadman: 1992


American Alpine Journal 1993
Avery

climber
NZ
Jul 6, 2015 - 04:19am PT
Mt Huntington - French (NW) Ridge (FWA) 2014: John Frieh, Jason Stuckey and Brad Farra, Cont...


Thanks to Brad Farra
Avery

climber
NZ
Jul 6, 2015 - 08:29pm PT
Mt Huntington - French (NW) Ridge (FWA) 2014: John Frieh, Jason Stuckey and Brad Farra, Cont...


Thanks to Brad Farra
Avery

climber
NZ
Jul 6, 2015 - 09:19pm PT
Mt Huntington - French (NW) Ridge (FWA) 2014: John Frieh, Jason Stuckey and Brad Farra, Cont...


Thanks to Brad Farra



Avery

climber
NZ
Jul 6, 2015 - 10:01pm PT
Mt. Huntington, West face, Scorched Granite. 2014 (Major variation to Colton-Leach route)

The shaded corner of grey granite in the center of the Mt. Huntington’s west face rose above me toward the cobalt sky. Stemming my frontpoints against the walls of the dihedral, I could hear my breath in the stillness of the high-pressure air. My tools were stuffed in a hand-sized crack choked with rotten ice: too insubstantial for good tool placements, yet tenacious enough to coat the guts of the crack, prohibiting rock protection. I looked down at my last pieces of gear, well below me now, just above the belay. As I turned my head upward, I heard Josh Wharton shouting encouragement: “Dream line!”

This climb had originated months before, in Vail’s dank limestone amphitheater, when I ran into Mark Westman. “So, are there any plums left in the Ruth?” I asked. Mark’s eyes lit up. “Yeah, sure, but do you remember that smear on the west face of Mt. Huntington? It’s up and left of the Colton-Leach. It forms every year. I’ll send you a photo.” A couple of weeks later I stared at Mark’s photo on my computer, astonished that the striking line of ice had never been climbed. It was a compelling swath of untouched terrain between Polarchrome and the Colton-Leach, leading to the French Ridge. Mark and my other partners were busy. In the end, Josh Wharton would join me. A weather window appeared the second week in May, and we quickly packed our bags and flew ourselves to Alaska in my small plane.

Fleeting memories of all that had led to my current position, hanging beneath the crux of our new route, flashed through my mind. My crampon skated, casting sparks against the rock and emitting the unmistakable odor of scorched granite. I placed a shallow micro-cam and a solid RP and liebacked with my tools up the crack beneath a cruxy, overhanging bulge. A few meters higher, I glanced at a shallow shelf; I prayed it held a crack. Once hooking the shelf, I stuffed a solid cam into the precious, dry, horizontal crack. I looked down between my legs and screamed in euphoric rage. I knew at that moment the route was going down.

We finished up the final pitches of steep ice, gained a horizontal ledge, traversed leftward into the base of a couloir, and then continued up moderate mixed terrain to the French Ridge. These upper snow slopes have been known to stymie even the most seasoned alpinists with bottomless depth hoar. For us the French Ridge was in ideal shape with styrofoam-like névé and patches of alpine ice for solid screws. We reached the summit at 5:30 p.m., basking in the warm evening sun. The descent along the upper Harvard Route was straightforward and uneventful, and we finished rappelling the west face couloir as the late-evening shadow engulfed us. We continued down snow slopes and across the bergshrund, and walked back into camp at 11:30 p.m., merely 13 and a half hours after leaving.

As Josh likes to say, so much of alpine climbing is about luck, so half the battle is simply showing up. Sometimes, you just get lucky: Scorched Granite (4,200', M7 AI6).

Will Mayo


American Alpine Journal 2015
Avery

climber
NZ
Jul 7, 2015 - 09:41pm PT
Huntington's East Face (1980) Roger Mear and Steve Bell cont...

Just had a look at your topic on Supertopo - what a trip down memory lane.

Though it was a while ago, the time Steve Bell and I spent on the Ruth remains vivid. The trip was in fact one of the best I've ever had. How easy it is to be adventurous when you are naive. Hudson dropped us below the north face of Huntington leaving us in our jeans and Hush Puppies with a months food and no skis or radio and then promptly forgot he had to pull us out at the end of the month. It snowed on most days - foot upon foot of the lightest powder, that floated down with the sun often visible through the cloud. It was a wild place to be, with airborne avalanches roaring down off Huntington, across the glacier and climbing up Pt11300 in a big curving wave.

Attached are a 3 photos

1 - Looking down the initial couloir
2 - Abseiling the Harvard route
3 - Starting up the initial couloir

Regards

Roger


Thanks to Roger Mear
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 8, 2015 - 08:35am PT
Avery- Thanks to you for putting in the time and energy to produce these superb threads and for pulling the participants into discussion and storytelling here on our wondrous little forum. I have been too busy to post very often so I really appreciate you taking up the slack with such high quality content.
Anguish

Mountain climber
Jackson Hole Wyo.
Jul 8, 2015 - 01:39pm PT
I was able to interview Sylvain Sarthou, the first human on the top of Mt. Huntington. This was to help with Alpinist magazine's mountain profile in issue 20 (summer 2007):

http://www.alpinist.com/doc/ALP20/mountain-profile-huntington-wadman

Katie Ives of Alpinist translated my questions and I transcribed her translations of Sarthou's answers This was by phone from Jackson Hole to France.

I knew Sylvain's brother, Jacques Sarthou, who lived in Jackson Hole. So I was eager to talk to Sylvain and help Alpinist. Their father was an Alpine guide who died in the mountains.

Sarthou, the youngest on the French team, was at the bottom of the pecking order and did a lot the dishes and kitchen work. Yet fate put him and Jacques Batkin in the proper rotation to give the summit a go on May 25, 1964.

Sylvain Sarthou recalling that foggy day when he was 24 years old:

"I didn't know where to go but up, up, up. Finally the mountain didn't go any higher."

He thought of his father, and his hero, Terray, below on the mountain, and began to cry.

This mountain captured my imagination from the get-go (Thank you Terray, David Roberts and Peter Metcalf). I found the SE Spur route using Washburn's photos. Glenn Randall, Kent Meneghin and Joe Kaelin climbed it with me and were instrumental in forging the passage in 1978.

The story is in the AAJ. We saw footprints on the summit from the North Face ascent.

At 7,000 vertical feet, the SE Spur may be the longest route on the mountain. The 36 hours (if I remember correctly) it took us to go from base to summit (we had made a previous push half way before retreating) might be the fastest a new route has been climbed on the peak. I chose a line with the most white in Washburn's pictures, avoiding rock difficulties. The "easiest" route?

As they do on the west branch of the Tokositna, pilots have since landed in high cirques on the south and east sides - half way up the mountain.

It took several days to get off the beautiful beast. We then spent about five days hiking out the Tokositna Glacier to the Petersville Road (I think) which was essentially another expedition.
Avery

climber
NZ
Jul 8, 2015 - 07:46pm PT
Huntington's South-East Spur: 1st Ascent, 1978.


American Alpine Journal 1979
Avery

climber
NZ
Jul 8, 2015 - 09:13pm PT
Mt. Huntington, The Imperfect Apparition to upper Harvard Route: 2005

Twenty-six years ago I skied past the looming north face of Mt. Huntington on my way to attempt a route we’d later call the Isis Face. Perfect symmetry and complex faces always drew me to Huntington, but until May 2004 I had never attempted to climb it.

In 2005 I had spent a week in the Ruth with Kevin Mahoney attempting new ice lines, only to find out that GWB is clearly wrong about global warming. Slush, running water, and rockfall abounded wherever we went. Then, on May 15, Fabrizio Zangrilli and I landed on the west fork of the Tokositna with hopes of climbing a new route on the Phantom Wall, to the right of the Harvard Route but independent of the Smith-Teare route.

After two days of recon and assessment that global warming was affecting more than just the Ruth, on May 19 we started the route by rappelling into the face from the lowest point of the Stegosaurus [the serrated lower ridge of the original Harvard Route]. The terrain was moderate alpine climbing, including a prominent couloir just east of the ridge, and we simul- climbed all but one pitch up to the main rock headwall in the middle of the face. We struck out right onto beautiful brown granite, some of the best stone I have seen in the range, and got quickly consumed by “the business” of our objective. It was Fabrizio’s block, so he led two mixed pitches that followed a right-leaning, traversing weakness. By the end of the second pitch he found himself faced with an Alaska Range anomaly—a chimney system that was running with water at 4:00 p.m. at 10,200', a veritable shower stall. The thought of being soaked to the skin and enduring a bivy higher up on unknown terrain being unappealing, we left our two ropes fixed and rapped back to a snowfield where we could chop a bivy ledge, and spent the evening waiting for the water to freeze.

At 4:00 a.m. the second day, we left the bivy gear and went light for the summit, intending to just climb up and back in a single push. When we reached the former shower-stall chimney, it was a seized-up gorgeous section of mixed climbing for two more pitches, leading us to a ramp system. Fabrizio took over, and we pitched out and then simul-climbed six pitches across the face into the center wall, which led us to the second, and crux, rock band. I searched for a weakness and found an amazing flaring dihedral with a thin strip of ice in the back. It led to easy ground above but, although it was only 80 feet, it proved to be the most challenging part of the route. We lost time working on this pitch, first Fabrizio, then I. Finally, with some creative problem solving, I broke through our temporary barrier. It was now 6:00 p.m. and we started simul-climbing again up the throat of the main upper face, heading for upper summit ridge of the Harvard and West Face Couloir routes.

The weather deteriorated, and it was snowing and sloughing spindrift everywhere around us. We climbed until 11:00 p.m. and finally turned around when we could no longer see more than 30 feet ahead. We had intersected the Harvard Route finish, maybe 500 feet below the summit, but opted to start rappelling in light of conditions. As we descended our route, the snow became more intense. We lost two hours dealing with a hung rappel in the coldest and darkest part of the night, and stripped 40 feet of sheath off of our second rope with our Ropeman while trying to pull the rope.

Twenty-seven hours after we left the bivy, we lay down and slept for five hours. I was so tired, I fell asleep while devouring my food and awoke like a frozen Mastodon with unchewed jerky still in my mouth. After our short respite, we rapped off the lower Harvard Route and a few hours later enjoyed a gracious reception from our base camp comrades.

The Imperfect Apparition seemed an appropriate name for our route, in light of the nearby Phantom Wall, the phantom summit, and the proper alpine etiquette—tell the truth.

Jack Tackle, AAC


American Alpine Journal 2006
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