Trip Report
Begguya, N. Buttress: Deprivation and the French Route, May 2015
Sunday June 28, 2015 4:25pm
Two oppurtunities arose to climb the North Buttress of Begguya, or Mount Hunter in the Alaska Range.
This May I found myself playing musical partners and talking the talk around "Kahiltna International Airport". We spent alot of time staring at this beautiful face and letting feelings of dread build.
The North Buttress in storm
The North Buttress in storm
Credit: Jdizzle

1stly: A write up by the indomitable Brett Baekey, aka Pump Bandit, about our ascent of Deprivation. We climbed to the top of the buttress, finishing via the Bibler exit in a 21 hr push, and then rapped the wall in storm and heinous spindrift.
(in all truth an attempt: it was our intention to go to the summit.)
Registered NPS team name: Two dopes on a rope.
A big thanks to the Kellog Family and the Ritt Kellog Memorial Fund for making this life-changing trip possible.

DEPRIVATION:
Pronunciation:  /dɛprɪˈveɪʃən/
Etymology:  < medieval Latin dēprīvātiōn-em, noun of action from dēprīvāre to deprive v.
 1.a. The action of depriving or fact of being deprived; the taking away of anything enjoyed; dispossession, loss.

despite the word itself being sortof raw, the route really was fun.
However I wouldn't recommend it to my friends; not many people like over-vert snice.

The upper Northeast ridge of hunter
The upper Northeast ridge of hunter
Credit: Jdizzle

We got a better weather window a week later...
2ndly: All-in on The French Route, aka Grison-Tedeschi, with Kurt Ross. We climbed to the summit, with descent via the West ridge, for the likely 5th ascent, in a 75 hr push round-trip.
Team name: Crevasseholes. (unaffiliated with CC or the RKMF).

Kurt's writeup:

"At the top of “ski hill,” J.D. mentioned, “I’m not nervous because I think we can’t do it, but because I think we can.” I agreed. We stashed our ski boots and planks at the base, then went into business mode."

An overhanging wave of snice in the north couloir, still 3400 feet bel...
An overhanging wave of snice in the north couloir, still 3400 feet below the crux of the french route.
Credit: Jdizzle

In these stories you'll find some recurring motifs including:
-hunger
-cold
-95 degree unprotectable snice
-1500ft simulblocks at race pace
-sleep deprivation
-frozen waterfalls
-unfrozen waterfalls
-disintegrating harnesses
-hallucination
-joy
-pain
-success
-failure

-But most of all: finding peace and solace in the impossibility of retreat...
...and an upward pull after the tipping point
7 pitches of steep mixed climbing on the upper headwall.  Kurt reaches...
7 pitches of steep mixed climbing on the upper headwall. Kurt reaches the belay at first light.
Credit: Jdizzle

leading another block in the unending steepness of the upper headwall
leading another block in the unending steepness of the upper headwall
Credit: Jdizzle

the second zig-zag on the 1984 french route
the second zig-zag on the 1984 french route
Credit: Jdizzle

The long polar day makes it easy to "hotwire" the circadian rhythm. This helped us through the long pushes and ensuing sleep deprivation.

Brett Baekey contemplates tea, carbon-monoxide poisoning, and alpine s...
Brett Baekey contemplates tea, carbon-monoxide poisoning, and alpine style without a tent or sleeping bags.
Credit: Jdizzle

On both of these pushes, we planned to sleep during the warmest hours of the day or not at all(mostly the latter), because our light kits were not warm enough to sleep through the night.

A foreshortened North Buttress.  the middle 2000 feet of the french ro...
A foreshortened North Buttress. the middle 2000 feet of the french route are visible, but the line is nearly indescernable, weaving it's way through the few weaknesses that exist on this beautiful wall.
Credit: Jdizzle

A big thanks to Brett and Kurt, everyone who supported us at every step of the way, all the wonderful people we met in KIA base camp, and the Ritt Kellog Memorial Fund.

After this trip I ate untold amounts of ice cream. It will be a while before I seek out another mind-bending experience like this again.

  Trip Report Views: 4,391
Jdizzle
About the Author
JD Merritt is a 22 yr old bouldering rat from Lander, WY. a student of physics and pain

Comments
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climbski2

Mountain climber
The Ocean
  Jun 28, 2015 - 04:34pm PT
Beautiful and congrats. Begguya is a proper name for the mountain called Hunter. Like Denali is to McKinley it is the Cook inlet native name for the mountain.

GNARLY

We descended the west ridge and Ramen couloir in deteriorating weather. I was in the depths of a full-bonk nutritionally, and well deprived of sleep. There was one spot where it really "got real": back at 7000ft we unknowingly rapped into a waterfall to avoid the impassable icefall leading down to the main Kahiltna. I was soaked to the bone at 23:00, and was forced to down-solo to a ledge and strip naked, putting on the only dry stuff I had and shivering away the last of my calories that I had
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
sawatch choss
  Jun 28, 2015 - 09:13pm PT
Whoa.

I'm gonna have to go barefoot bouldering over some sunny grass just to get this outta my system.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
  Jun 28, 2015 - 09:17pm PT
Awesome!
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Jun 29, 2015 - 05:34am PT
Wonderful TR.....congrats! Brings back some memories for me.
crankster

Trad climber
No. Tahoe
  Jun 29, 2015 - 06:32am PT
Very nice!
CA Dreamin'

climber
San Jose
  Jun 30, 2015 - 09:02pm PT
Phenomenal! This needs to stay on the front page.
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
  Jun 30, 2015 - 09:10pm PT
-But most of all: finding peace and solace in the impossibility of retreat...
...and an upward pull after the tipping point

Yes!
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Jun 30, 2015 - 09:27pm PT
Yee hawww!!!!!!

from the original post!

from the original post!
thebravecowboy

climber
The Good Places
  Jun 30, 2015 - 10:15pm PT


-disintegrating harnesses
-hallucination
-joy
-pain
-success
-failure

YARRR! Wild, wild audacity. Androgen poisoning put to great use.

Mega-cheers!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jul 1, 2015 - 04:03am PT
Really nice job!!!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Jul 1, 2015 - 10:20am PT
JD, nice to see you posting on supertopo! This TR deserves many more comments. Others are likely confused about what peak you have climbed. :)
Jdizzle

Boulder climber
Lander, wy. Born 1992. student of physics and pain
Author's Reply  Jul 9, 2015 - 11:16am PT
Regarding the name of the peak, yes, calling it Begguya may be confusing to some. Using the native names is important to me personally. Within the climbing community, it has clearly worked with Denali, perhaps because calling the mountain Mckinley is ridiculous considering that that *sshole had never even been to alaska. All respect to proud people from Ohio, but they should give up the fight to remember the 25th president any time now. Sultana might be winning sway over Foraker, at least with the climbing community.

Hunter got it's name due to some confusion, the surveyor's original intention was to name Kahiltna dome after his aunt.

Begguya, meaning "child", is a diminutive name for a pretty big mountain. Compared to Denali and Foraker, it certainly is of smaller stature. But it is a complex mountain, with no routes approaching the technical simplicity or relative safety of a "west-buttress" type trade route. People who have climbed it's west ridge can attest to just how difficult the "easy way up" is. On this "child of Denali" we certainly found more than enough difficulty to keep us engaged.
Grippa

Trad climber
Salt Lake City, UT
  Jul 9, 2015 - 04:02pm PT
So sick! Dreams...
overwatch

climber
Arizona
  Jun 15, 2016 - 01:24am PT
another good one with very few comments. perhaps others missed it as well. Really excellent writing
Stewart Johnson

Mountain climber
lake forest
  Jun 15, 2016 - 05:48am PT
Proper!
skcreidc

Social climber
SD, CA
  Jun 15, 2016 - 07:32am PT
Holy shit! This adventure was over the top. Gnarly.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Jun 15, 2016 - 07:41am PT
Knarly....way to get it done....very snice!
lars johansen

Trad climber
West Marin, CA
  Jun 15, 2016 - 08:55am PT
Wonderful effort. Thanks for posting-lars
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
  Jun 15, 2016 - 11:35am PT
Overhanging snice sounds horrifying.

But that picture of the upper Northeast ridge of hunter is spectacular. Livin' life large.
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