Shaken, Not Stirred V, AI 5

 
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The Mooses Tooth


Alaska, USA


Trip Report
Moose's Tooth - 'Ham and Eggs' and 'Shaken, Not Stirred'

by BMcC
Monday June 3, 2013 8:58am
We had about a week and a half to climb in the Alaska Range. It was Steve's 1st trip to Alaska, but I was certain from our experience climbing together that he was THE right partner for this. Two routes on the south side of the Moose's Tooth topped our list of routes, contingent on route conditions and good enough weather to get flown in, to climb, and to get flown out. We were going to be flexible. We brought route descriptions for a handful of different routes accessible from different ski plane landing sites, enough food, fuel, and gear to cover various contingencies and routes - including doing multi-day routes.

The Moose's Tooth has intrigued me since I first read about it over 30 years ago in the Fifty Classic Climbs of North America by Steve Roper and Allen Steck (1979). The American Alpine Journal (AAJ) reports over the years on ascents of the Ham and Eggs and Shaken, Not Stirred routes further piqued my interest in climbing the peak. The publication of Alaska Climbing by Joe Puryear cemented my interest in it.

So then, along comes Steve...

'Shaken, Not Stirred' on the Moose's Tooth during our flight to the Ro...
'Shaken, Not Stirred' on the Moose's Tooth during our flight to the Root Canal Glacier (pic courtesy of Steve Towne).
Credit: BMcC

I met Steve in Cody, Wyoming, in January 2012. Our partnership consisted of Steve and Ivan's (his partner on his Cody trip) sharing a rope with me for a pitch of Too Cold to Fire. We third-classed the approach pitch (maybe WI 3) and roped up for the WI 4 crux which Steve cruised on lead. Strong and enthusiastic, Steve hadn't climbed in Alaska, but wanted to and was available. With some decent weather, it was clear that we were going to have fun!

Route info? There's excellent information on many of the routes short and long in Denali National Park in Greg Puryear's Alaska Climbing - some Moose's Tooth info excerpted here:
http://www.supertopo.com/rock-climbing/Alaska-USA-The-Mooses-Tooth-Ham-and-Eggs
http://www.supertopo.com/rock-climbing/Alaska-USA-The-Mooses-Tooth-Shaken-Not-Stirred

There's additional info on the internet at MtnProject, SummitPost, and in AAJ's, trip reports, and blogs such as this one from Greg Crouch on his first ascent with Jim Donini in 1997 of Shaken, Not Stirred:
http://gregcrouch.com/2013/shaken-not-stirred-fa

And we had first hand information and insights from Harry Hunt who was half of the second ascent party on Ham and Eggs, has also climbed Shaken, Not Stirred, and had been my host and climbing partner for Alaskan waterfall ice in Valdez and nearer to Anchorage in February of this year.

With big hopes and plans, and a reserve of optimistic patience for the crappy weather we were likely to get at some point on our trip, Steve flew up from Denver and I from San Francisco to meet in Anchorage at 12:30a.m. on May 8.

We got our shuttle ride to Talkeetna (sky looked clear!) and were dropped off at Talkeetna Air Taxi's (TAT's) bunkhouse for a couple of hours of sleep.

Breakfast at the Roadhouse is traditional prior to getting flown in and dropped off to climb. Half of the 'Roadhouse Standard' (juice, bottomless coffee or tea, extra thick peppered bacon, honey whole wheat toast, home fries, and scrambled eggs) is a huge meal. The full Roadhouse Standard is gargantuan. We had time available for breakfast since the National Park Service (NPS) and TAT's offices weren't open, yet.

Steve getting ready for first breakfast at the Roadhouse. Note the cle...
Steve getting ready for first breakfast at the Roadhouse. Note the clear blue skies - excellent flying weather!
Credit: BMcC

Steve's partner on this trip (pic courtesy of Steve Towne).
Steve's partner on this trip (pic courtesy of Steve Towne).
Credit: BMcC

Checked in with the Rangers.
Checked in with the Rangers.
Credit: BMcC

The NPS climber registration notebook showed 13 people on the Root Canal Glacier below the Moose's Tooth as of May 6. TAT had a different tally, but did not include climbers flown in by other services or climbers who hiked up the icefall to the Root Canal from the Ruth Glacier. The two routes we wanted to do were getting some attention and traffic. It could be crowded.

The forecast was for several good, clear days to be followed by unsettled weather and light snow - there was the edge of a low pressure system slowly passing by.

Checked in with TAT. This Beaver was our plane for the flight in. Jona...
Checked in with TAT. This Beaver was our plane for the flight in. Jonathon was our pilot. Hooray - we were flying mere hours after arriving in Alaska!
Credit: BMcC

Adam and Rick (both from the Salt Lake City area), and me &#40...
Adam and Rick (both from the Salt Lake City area), and me (pic courtesy of Steve Towne, our co-pilot on this flight).
Credit: BMcC

Adam and Rick were also planning to climb Ham and Eggs and Shaken, Not Stirred.

The flight from Talkeetna is quite scenic.
The flight from Talkeetna is quite scenic.
Credit: BMcC

Credit: BMcC

Flying over the Ruth Glacier (the Great Gorge) with Denail beh...
Flying over the Ruth Glacier (the Great Gorge) with Denail behind and above Mt. Dickey on the right.
Credit: BMcC

Mt. Barrill, with the 'Japanese Couloir' near its left margin, was one...
Mt. Barrill, with the 'Japanese Couloir' near its left margin, was one of our fall-back climbs had we not been able to get flown up onto the Root Canal Glacier and been dropped off instead somewhere down on the Ruth.

Credit: BMcC

On our pre-landing flyby, 'Ham and Eggs' looked steep and inviting &#4...
On our pre-landing flyby, 'Ham and Eggs' looked steep and inviting (pic courtesy of Steve Towne).
Credit: BMcC

... and seconds later we flew by 'Shaken, Not Stirred' - even steeper ...
... and seconds later we flew by 'Shaken, Not Stirred' - even steeper and more inviting! (pic courtesy of Steve Towne)
Credit: BMcC

Rather than being delivered by TAT to the Root Canal Glacier, climbers...
Rather than being delivered by TAT to the Root Canal Glacier, climbers can base camp on the Ruth or at the Mountain House, and then ski and hike up this snowfield to access the climbs on the south side of the Moose's Tooth. We chose to fly.
Credit: BMcC

Heading in....  the air strip is visible left of center and camp in th...
Heading in.... the air strip is visible left of center and camp in the center of this pic.
Credit: BMcC

Steve - incredibly excited about his first ever ski plane flight and g...
Steve - incredibly excited about his first ever ski plane flight and glacier landing. In his other life, Steve is a commercial airline pilot.
Credit: BMcC

'Ham and Eggs' - complete with packed approach tracks.
'Ham and Eggs' - complete with packed approach tracks.
Credit: BMcC

NIce view of Denali from our camp.
NIce view of Denali from our camp.
Credit: BMcC

We heard the rock spire in the left middle of the pic called the Incisor. It's a great spot for viewing Shaken, Not Stirred, the Ruth Glacier, Mt. Barrill, Mt. Dickey, and Denali.

By the way, in their devious search for easy food, ravens unzipped and removed and scattered about stuff from the duffle bags we left outside the tent - even though the duffles held no food.

After setting up our camp, we visited with other climbers to see what ...
After setting up our camp, we visited with other climbers to see what they were planning to climb the next day (5/9/13).
Credit: BMcC

Adam and Rick were going to do an alpine start on Shaken, Not Stirred. The ever-smiling and energetic Freddie Wilkinson (who recently did the complete traverse of the Moose's Tooth and has been climbing with Uli Steck in the Himalaya) and Bruce were going to be with us on Ham and Eggs. The other parties in camp were between climbs... yay!

When Freddie asked when we'd be starting, Steve boldly announced that ...
When Freddie asked when we'd be starting, Steve boldly announced that we wanted to be climbing by 5:30a.m.. My thought, "Sure, nice idea, but probably not..." Freddie and Bruce planned to start later. Here they are, ahead of us.

Credit: BMcC

Freddie at the 5.6 rock step with Bruce and Steve heading up. <br/>
Freddie at the 5.6 rock step with Bruce and Steve heading up.

Credit: BMcC

Looking back down at Steve coming up the 2nd pitch. He led the 1st pit...
Looking back down at Steve coming up the 2nd pitch. He led the 1st pitch.
Credit: BMcC

Steve on the sharp end - we simul-climbed the next 5 pitches up steep,...
Steve on the sharp end - we simul-climbed the next 5 pitches up steep, but easy snow. Steve caught up with Freddie and Bruce at the 7th belay as (and because) they were heading down - Bruce was sick and unable to keep fluids in. Bummer!
Credit: BMcC

Freddie and Bruce were far below in no time.
Freddie and Bruce were far below in no time.
Credit: BMcC

Steve at the 7th belay.
Steve at the 7th belay.
Credit: BMcC

We had heard from Adam, Steve, and a guy with rock-shredded puff pants (I'll call him Mr. Puffy since I didn't catch his name) that a #3 cam was essential for the 5.9 rock pitch up the slot to the right of Steve. We also heard from one of the 2 partners of Mr.Puffy that when they rapped, they saw steep ice off to the left of the 5.9 grovel.

Meanwhile behind us, this was the view from the 7th belay - I think th...
Meanwhile behind us, this was the view from the 7th belay - I think the peaks (from right to left) are Dickey, Bradley, Wake, and (a bit of) Johnson.

Credit: BMcC

Steve pondering my fate. Decision time: do I head right for the rock p...
Steve pondering my fate. Decision time: do I head right for the rock pitch (which shredded Mr. Puffy's pants) and for which we had no #3 cam, or do I go left of the buttress in hopes of finding ice?
Credit: BMcC

Easy decision: l chose to go left.

Steve, unable to see me, "How's the ice look?"

Me, "Good, maybe AI 2."

Steve, with some disbelief in his voice, asks me just as I've climbed the short overhanging section above the near vertical bit, "Really?"

Me, "Well, uh, it is steeper here. Call it AI 2+." Actually, maybe, probably 3 something, but super mellow.

Steve coming to join me above the crux of the route.
Steve coming to join me above the crux of the route.
Credit: BMcC

Nice view of the air strip and camp from the 8th belay. Good weather, temps in the low teens, and we'd done the crux. Merely 10 pitches plus the corniced summit ridge to go!

The route continued to be mostly steepish with mellow snow and some st...
The route continued to be mostly steepish with mellow snow and some steep ice steps (pic courtesy of Steve Towne).
Credit: BMcC

Steep little corner. With the rock at my back, it was easy to have bot...
Steep little corner. With the rock at my back, it was easy to have both hands free to place a screw (pic courtesy of Steve Towne).
Credit: BMcC

Steve coming up to my belay.
Steve coming up to my belay.
Credit: BMcC

Steve on the steep. <br/>
Steve on the steep.

Credit: BMcC

Steve coming up. Camp and air strip getting farther and farther below....
Steve coming up. Camp and air strip getting farther and farther below...
Credit: BMcC

Steve's turn on the sharp end of the rope.
Steve's turn on the sharp end of the rope.
Credit: BMcC

On the receiving end...
On the receiving end...
Credit: BMcC

Only a minor ouch... confirming the truth in Puryear's cautionary comment that "Ham and Eggs is essentially a garbage chute for the surrounding cliffs and upper snow slopes." Steve and I were pleased to have no one above us adding to the bits of snow and ice zeroing in on whomever of us was belaying...

Steve cruising in the early afternoon sun.
Steve cruising in the early afternoon sun.
Credit: BMcC

Some fuzz high in the sky, but nothing threatening, yet.
Some fuzz high in the sky, but nothing threatening, yet.
Credit: BMcC

Steve playing on a thin-ice variation along the left margin of the gul...
Steve playing on a thin-ice variation along the left margin of the gully.
Credit: BMcC

Almost above the col - pitch #18? &#40;pic courtesy of Steve Towne&#41;.
Almost above the col - pitch #18? (pic courtesy of Steve Towne).
Credit: BMcC

Looking down past an excellent ice screw to Steve at the belay. <br/>
Looking down past an excellent ice screw to Steve at the belay.

Credit: BMcC

The top of col is to my left &#40;pic courtesy of Steve Towne&#41;.
The top of col is to my left (pic courtesy of Steve Towne).
Credit: BMcC

Up what Puryear described as 'the 85 degree ice headwall' - buried und...
Up what Puryear described as 'the 85 degree ice headwall' - buried under steep snow (pic courtesy of Steve Towne).
Credit: BMcC

Time to rehydrate...
Time to rehydrate...
Credit: BMcC

Above the headwall, Steve got his MSR stove out to melt some snow so we could rehydrate and refill our bottles for the summit push and the rappels. We started out the climb with about a liter each of water.

My lead &#40;pic courtesy of Steve Towne&#41;.
My lead (pic courtesy of Steve Towne).
Credit: BMcC

Steve on the corniced summit ridge.
Steve on the corniced summit ridge.
Credit: BMcC

Steve coming across from 1 false summit towards me and my false summit. The summit ridge extends down and across to the right from Steve to the West Summit of the Moose's Tooth. The last notch is the Englishman's Col - which was to be our next high point several days hence.

Steepish and kind of loose. Mt. Dickey and Mt. Barrill in the backgrou...
Steepish and kind of loose. Mt. Dickey and Mt. Barrill in the background.
Credit: BMcC

Cornice collapse and avalanche. It was quite exciting to hear the rumb...
Cornice collapse and avalanche. It was quite exciting to hear the rumble and roar (pic courtesy of Steve Towne).
Credit: BMcC

On the Moose's Tooth corniced main summit &#40;pic courtesy of Steve T...
On the Moose's Tooth corniced main summit (pic courtesy of Steve Towne).

Credit: BMcC

Steve on top of the Moose's Tooth!
Steve on top of the Moose's Tooth!
Credit: BMcC

Heading back - note the increasing overcast &#40;pic courtesy of Steve...
Heading back - note the increasing overcast (pic courtesy of Steve Towne).
Credit: BMcC

Camp down on the Root Canal Glacier at around 7,350' and the Ruth Glac...
Camp down on the Root Canal Glacier at around 7,350' and the Ruth Glacier thousands of feet lower still (pic courtesy of Steve Towne).
Credit: BMcC

Mounts Dickey, Bradley, Wake, Johnson, Grosvenor, and Church &#40;from...
Mounts Dickey, Bradley, Wake, Johnson, Grosvenor, and Church (from right to left).
Credit: BMcC

Down and down and down for hours and hours...
Down and down and down for hours and hours...
Credit: BMcC

Many hours and some 25 or more rappels later, we were back on the appr...
Many hours and some 25 or more rappels later, we were back on the approach slope of what had become very rotten snow.
Credit: BMcC

We soon wished we had kept rapping from the route directly down over the rock slabs which the approach track had circumvented. About 4 in the morning and still having FUN!

We returned to camp from Ham and Eggs in a near dream-state in the wee hours of the morning of Friday-10th. The climbing had been really fun. We were a tad bit knackered, but quite jazzed. We set no records with our casual pace, arriving at the summit about 10.5 hours after we started.

We rapped forever, using most of the anchors we encountered so that we wouldn't miss any key ones. There were so many anchors it was (almost) confusing. During the time from around mid-night until almost 4, headlamps were key in finding some of the rap anchors and in confirming that we were tying in and setting up our rappels correctly. From my hazy memory, I'm guessing the bottom-most 8 pitches were equipped for 100'-raps. So we must of done more than 25 raps - some silly and short, but none leaving us hanging out in space.

It was easy to decide to devote Friday and Saturday to resting, rehydrating, and socializing with other climbers. Most teams were simply friends climbing together; although, as Steve commented once, most teams also had 1 or more team members who were guides. Friendly people who hailed from Bishop, Boulder, Denver, Salt Lake City, Washington, DC, Honolulu, British Columbia, England, and Switzerland. One of the British guides was spinning tales about some great ice climbing in Norway and some, too in Morocco.
Picnic time on the Incisor. The tiny figure on the rocks is either Ada...
Picnic time on the Incisor. The tiny figure on the rocks is either Adam or Rick. The Incisor is a great point from which to view Mt. Dickey and other peaks along the Great Gorge (the N-S stretch of the Ruth Glacier), watch planes fly by and land on the Ro
Credit: BMcC

Adam and Rick hanging out on the Incisor with Mt. Dickey in the backgr...
Adam and Rick hanging out on the Incisor with Mt. Dickey in the background.
Credit: BMcC

While the McConachie-Towne expedition (catchy name, eh?) was on Ham and Eggs, the Handsome and Well-Hung expedition cruised Shaken, Not Stirred. Rick said that Adam was the 'handsome' part of their team. We took his word for it.

Some climbers pass their free time reading. These two had the choice, stormy-weather, tech setup: they watched movies on Rick's tablet computer (an iPad, I think) which they suspended in the ceiling of their tent so they could watch from their sleeping bags. They had solar panels set up to recharge their batteries and keep the entertainment coming.

We talked with Adam and Rick for quite a while, waiting to see and tak...
We talked with Adam and Rick for quite a while, waiting to see and take pictures of a TAT plane arriving to pick up some of the other climbers from camp. The climbers and their gear are near the top end of the air strip; our tent is one of those up to the
Credit: BMcC

'Shaken, Not Stirred.'
'Shaken, Not Stirred.'
Credit: BMcC

Steve starting up the 1st pitch of 'Shaken, Not Stirred.'
Steve starting up the 1st pitch of 'Shaken, Not Stirred.'
Credit: BMcC

Our start up Shaken, Not Stirred just before 9 in the morning on Sunday-12th was definitely not an alpine start. As the weather forecast suggested, it was considerably colder than several days before when we climbed Ham and Eggs - low single digit temps rather than the teens. Also, we wouldn't get any sun for many hours. I happily wore my Koflach plastic double boots for both climbs. Steve wore his single boots for Ham and Eggsand his double Baruntse boots for Shaken, Not Stirred.

Steve at the 1st belay above the steep snow and the rock crux. Pro for...
Steve at the 1st belay above the steep snow and the rock crux. Pro for this bit of climbing was a solid screw in good ice and a trustworthy #1 camalot in the rock.
Credit: BMcC

My lead was a bit of steep ice &#40;below Steve in this pic&#41; follo...
My lead was a bit of steep ice (below Steve in this pic) followed by squeaky styrofoam-like snow under some soft stuff. Easy cruising terrain - we were all smiles!
Credit: BMcC

The next lead was more of the styrofoam-snow-under-soft-snow combo top...
The next lead was more of the styrofoam-snow-under-soft-snow combo topped off by a steep icy slot.
Credit: BMcC

Although you can't see his face, I'm sure Steve was smiling as he clim...
Although you can't see his face, I'm sure Steve was smiling as he climbed this.
Credit: BMcC

Good snow and excellent ice - we were having fun.
Good snow and excellent ice - we were having fun.
Credit: BMcC

More excellent snow and ice coming up the 3rd pitch &#40;pic courtesy ...
More excellent snow and ice coming up the 3rd pitch (pic courtesy of Steve Towne).
Credit: BMcC

A little fuzzy, but you get the idea: steep, fun ice as far as the eye...
A little fuzzy, but you get the idea: steep, fun ice as far as the eyes can see! Kind of narrow even though we were still far below the actual 'Narrows.' The ice was solid and even thick enough for short ice screws (pic courtesy of Steve Towne).

Credit: BMcC

Steve about to re-enter the shade for a while.
Steve about to re-enter the shade for a while.
Credit: BMcC

Sweet views that got sweeter as we climbed higher.
Sweet views that got sweeter as we climbed higher.
Credit: BMcC

Steve surmounting an ice step. <br/>
Steve surmounting an ice step.

Credit: BMcC

Steve leading a steepish icy bit.
Steve leading a steepish icy bit.
Credit: BMcC

More sun with elevation - we weren't racing the sun; instead, we revel...
More sun with elevation - we weren't racing the sun; instead, we reveled in the fleeting bits of warmth it almost provided.
Credit: BMcC

Back into the shade - Steve on lead. <br/>
Back into the shade - Steve on lead.

Credit: BMcC

We simul-climbed some with Steve in the lead, clipping but not stoppin...
We simul-climbed some with Steve in the lead, clipping but not stopping at the belay/rap stations he passed.
Credit: BMcC

A happy climber just below the Narrows - some 500' of 50 to 60 degree ...
A happy climber just below the Narrows - some 500' of 50 to 60 degree ice with some steeper steps. Portions of this were barely a shoulder width wide. Excellent, easy ice. Would be awkward for more than a party of 2 or for a party to rap down past another
Credit: BMcC

The Narrows &#40;pic courtesy of Steve Towne&#41;.
The Narrows (pic courtesy of Steve Towne).
Credit: BMcC

Higher in the Narrows &#40;pic courtesy of Steve Towne&#41;.
Higher in the Narrows (pic courtesy of Steve Towne).
Credit: BMcC

Steve coming onto lower angled terrain after a steep section. Note the...
Steve coming onto lower angled terrain after a steep section. Note the clouds below him.
Credit: BMcC

Steve's turn leading in the Narrows.
Steve's turn leading in the Narrows.
Credit: BMcC

Heading for the crux chockstone. Swinging leads and simul-climbing wor...
Heading for the crux chockstone. Swinging leads and simul-climbing worked out perfectly to my advantage again - thank you, Steve! (pic courtesy of Steve Towne).
Credit: BMcC

Steve to me, "How's the ice?" <br/>
Me, "About AI 3"  &#40;pic courtesy of...
Steve to me, "How's the ice?"
Me, "About AI 3" (pic courtesy of Steve Towne).
Credit: BMcC

Steve again, "How's the ice up there?"   <br/>
Me in the clouds under the ...
Steve again, "How's the ice up there?"
Me in the clouds under the overhanging stretch of ice, 'Steeper, maybe about 3+ for this bit." Truly fine and fun ice (pic courtesy of Steve Towne).
Credit: BMcC

The sea of clouds below us.
The sea of clouds below us.
Credit: BMcC

Steve barely above the sea of clouds and also just above the crux pitc...
Steve barely above the sea of clouds and also just above the crux pitch of the route.
Credit: BMcC

Almost to the snow hump and then up to the Englishman's Col - Steve on...
Almost to the snow hump and then up to the Englishman's Col - Steve on steep ice.
Credit: BMcC

Me - just over the snow hump and moving onto poorly-bonded sugar snow ...
Me - just over the snow hump and moving onto poorly-bonded sugar snow - the other crux on the route. It was more exciting for Steve to lead than for me to follow (pic courtesy of Steve Towne).
Credit: BMcC

Steve coming up to our high point with the Englishman's Col below him ...
Steve coming up to our high point with the Englishman's Col below him on the left.
Credit: BMcC

It was snowing, blowing, and time to rehydrate and head down.
It was snowing, blowing, and time to rehydrate and head down.
Credit: BMcC

We carried an extra liter of water each rather than bring the stove on Shaken, Not Stirred- this saved us the time and effort we'd have expended getting the stove out, setting it up, melting snow, and putting it away.

Steve re-entering the right-side gully after retracing his steps acros...
Steve re-entering the right-side gully after retracing his steps across the snow hump. I added new V-thread anchors in a couple of places to help make the ropes easier to pull.
Credit: BMcC

A couple of rappels to go. Steve rappelling between spindrift avalanch...
A couple of rappels to go. Steve rappelling between spindrift avalanches that were sometimes waist to chest deep and seem to flow over us for minutes at a time. My ropes are not normally white.
Credit: BMcC

The snow which began falling before we stopped above the Englishman's ...
The snow which began falling before we stopped above the Englishman's Col on Sunday-12th around 7pm, continued on Monday.
Credit: BMcC

Steve heading out for a stroll and to talk to our neighbors.
Steve heading out for a stroll and to talk to our neighbors.
Credit: BMcC

'Ham and Eggs' above the plane.
'Ham and Eggs' above the plane.
Credit: BMcC

The sky was blue and clear on our 2nd day after Shaken, Not Stirred. Some of our neighbors on the Root Canal decided to fly out while the weather was still good: several parties had been successful in achieving some or all of their climbing goals; others had lesser degrees of success and had backed off after trying to climb behind and under other parties. Some had procrastinated a day believing in weather forecasts that turned out to be wrong...

Weather update from Tyler, the pilot: 1 or maybe 2 more clear but (very) cold days before several days or more of unsettled, stormy, no-fly weather would set in.

It looked like our window of good weather was limited.

The 'Unforgiven' &#40;MI5+, WI5+, R, 1000'&#41; which splits the buttr...
The 'Unforgiven' (MI5+, WI5+, R, 1000') which splits the buttress on the Bear's Tooth initially seemed to be an option for us.
Credit: BMcC

The Unforgiven, (MI5+, WI5+, R, 1000') which splits the buttress on the Bear's Tooth initially seemed to be an option, but our enthusiasm was tempered by very low temps in the forecast and especially by consideration of the route's hazards (looming seracs and avi potential).

So on Thursday-15th, we started up unconsolidated snow in a gully to the right of Ham and Eggs, but quickly decided that simply flying out while the weather was good was a better idea than climbing and getting stuck for days if the forecast was wrong. The air temp had been a minus 8 degrees Fahrenheit earlier in the day and barely above zero in the afternoon.

We returned to camp and pulled out our frustratingly defective satellite phone to call out to TAT for a flight back to suburbia and Talkeetna.

Nice views on the flight back to Talkeetna.
Nice views on the flight back to Talkeetna.
Credit: BMcC

Great burgers and beer at the West Rib. Recommendation courtesy of Rya...
Great burgers and beer at the West Rib. Recommendation courtesy of Ryan who accompanied us and regaled us with tales of his past climbs and plans for the next 4 or 6 weeks in the range.
Credit: BMcC

Rain began falling a few hours after our flight off the glacier.
Rain began falling a few hours after our flight off the glacier.
Credit: BMcC

Rain began falling a few hours after our flight off the Root Canal Glacier. The forecast had been updated - there would likely be rain for days, probably precluding mountain flying and glacier drop offs... we had gotten out just in time to avoid being largely tent-bound in less than favorable climbing weather on the glacier.

Back to Anchorage and the airport...

Before flying home, we celebrated with pizza and beer at the Moose's T...
Before flying home, we celebrated with pizza and beer at the Moose's Tooth Pub and Pizzeria with Harry Hunt and Stuart Parks.
Credit: BMcC

Steve's partner and the Moose's Tooth &#40;pic courtesy of Steve Towne&#41;. <br/>
Steve's partner and the Moose's Tooth (pic courtesy of Steve Towne).

Credit: BMcC

All in all, Steve and I had a very fine trip with weather that turned out to be better than we could have hoped for. We climbed Ham and Eggs (V, 5.9, AI 4, 18 pitches - according to Alaska Climbing) on 5/9/13 with excellent conditions, well-filled-in ice and fairly firm snow. On 5/12/13, we climbed Shaken, Not Stirred (V, AI 5, 16 pitches). Shaken, Not Stirred was the steeper, slightly more challenging route and was even more fun than the already very fun and scenic Ham and Eggs.

I hope you've enjoyed the pics - cheers, all!

  Trip Report Views: 4,129
BMcC
About the Author
BMcC is a trad climber from Livermore.

Comments
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Comment on this Trip Report
Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
  Jun 3, 2013 - 09:09am PT
wow.
and thanks.
sullly

Gym climber
  Jun 3, 2013 - 09:25am PT
Beautiful!
johntp

Trad climber
socal
  Jun 3, 2013 - 09:30am PT
Woot!

Thanks for sharing this!!!!!!!!
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
  Jun 3, 2013 - 09:42am PT
Wow. About as good as it gets in the range. Nice timing getting out. Tons of great pictures! Thanks for the rare Alaska TR on ST!
Grippa

Trad climber
Salt Lake City, UT
  Jun 3, 2013 - 10:20am PT
Never underestimate a grey beard!
Snowmassguy

Trad climber
Calirado
  Jun 3, 2013 - 10:29am PT
Fabulous adventure and TR. Thanks for sharing! Makes me want to go back to AK
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Jun 3, 2013 - 10:51am PT
thx Bill. Great adventures!
10b4me

climber
  Jun 3, 2013 - 10:56am PT
Great TR. wish we had more of these.
wbw

Trad climber
'cross the great divide
  Jun 3, 2013 - 10:57am PT
Thanks for the great TR. You guys really called the weather correctly and got in two beautiful looking routes in the Alaska Range. What a treat.

I met you and your group in Cody this year. Y'all were just arriving at the ranch while we were just leaving. You sure have gotten some great mileage in since then. Thanks for sharing.
Gal

Trad climber
going big air to fakie
  Jun 3, 2013 - 11:04am PT
very excellent, good job! that avalanche pic was amazing/scary...
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Jun 3, 2013 - 11:23am PT
Read about Ham and Eggs so far. AWESOME! Thank you for cheering up my morning. Can't wait to read about Shaken not Stirred now....
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
  Jun 3, 2013 - 11:35am PT
The "Iceman" cometh....and he delivers again! Impressive how you get after it.
lars johansen

Trad climber
West Marin, CA
  Jun 3, 2013 - 11:42am PT
Grand adventure well documented, thanks.

lars
bergbryce

climber
East Bay, CA
  Jun 3, 2013 - 12:41pm PT
YES!!
Strong work on topping out after Ham and Eggs.
2 routes you certainly won't forget any time soon! Nice TR.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Jun 3, 2013 - 01:44pm PT
It's better to be lucky than good.
It's even better to be both. Nice TR.
em kn0t

Trad climber
isle of wyde
  Jun 3, 2013 - 02:23pm PT
Great TR -- love the photos and captions that really give a feel for both routes. Congratulations, and TFPU!
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
  Jun 3, 2013 - 02:50pm PT
I've drank beers at at all of the fine eating establishments you've shown. Beyond that, I've got nothing.

Strong work!
BMcC

Trad climber
Livermore
Author's Reply  Jun 3, 2013 - 04:23pm PT
Thanks, everyone!

It's pretty incredible up there in the Denali National Park. Alaska, too. There's no denying that we lucked out being able to jump on Ham and Eggs with moderate temps the day after we got flown in and then had manageable temps (single digits, but above zero) for Shaken, Not Stirred. The TAT bunkhouse-to-Root-Canal-Glacier delivery service is sweet and helps maximize what one can do in a limited amount of time.

The ice and snow conditions we had were great, especially considering what the FA parties reported.

There's so much more to do up there that is calling me back next year :-)
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
  Jun 3, 2013 - 06:24pm PT
Wow, super cool to read this. Very happy to see how much you enjoyed Shaken, Not Stirred... one of my best day's on the hill, ever. I'll always be stunned that that line was just sitting there, unclimbed, waiting for Jim and me, in 1997.

PS: Is that Livermore, CA? If so, I'm just up the road in Walnut Creek.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
  Jun 3, 2013 - 09:44pm PT
bump to the front page.
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
  Jun 3, 2013 - 10:05pm PT
Way to get on it and get out of there! cheers
BMcC

Trad climber
Livermore
Author's Reply  Jun 3, 2013 - 10:42pm PT
Hey Greg - cool that you noticed this TR. What a great score that Jim Donini and you spotted and climbed the line first! It is a truly fine route.

Yes, the Livermore just down the road from Walnut Creek. :-)


Johntp - thanks for the bump - amazing how quickly climbing related threads get shunted to the back pages...


StewartJ - thanks!
McCfly

climber
  Jun 3, 2013 - 10:50pm PT
Great stoke....
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Jun 3, 2013 - 11:08pm PT
Nice TR! Too bad Crouch and I did Shaken, not Stirred before they found out you could land on that little glacier.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jun 3, 2013 - 11:30pm PT
Amazing, thank you!!!
An adventure of a life time for sure!!!!
BMcC

Trad climber
Livermore
Author's Reply  Jun 3, 2013 - 11:38pm PT
Thanks!

Jim - I guess you haven't had any reason to fly in there and land on the Root Canal Glacier since you and Greg have already been there and done the route - it's a nice little flight, with scenery that you've seen before. Steve and I got dropped off on the glacier on Wednesday-May 8, 2013, unhurriedly climbed Ham and Eggs on May 9 and Shaken, Not Stirred on the 12th, and got a flight out on Wednesday-May 15. Awfully convenient access for a quick trip for a couple of fine routes!
Bill
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Jun 3, 2013 - 11:45pm PT
Bill...I'm all for better access, you only have so many miles in your legs. Loved your photos!
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
  Jun 3, 2013 - 11:46pm PT
Wow, thanks!
part-time communist

Mountain climber
Bishop, CA
  Jun 3, 2013 - 11:47pm PT
the narrows are definitely very unique!!!

Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
  Jun 4, 2013 - 12:39am PT
Bill, let's get a drink sometime and hash that sh#t over.

Very neat that you did both of those routes in little more than a long weekend. (Which I think HAS been done, by the way.) Ham & Eggs and Shaken, Not Stirred must comprise one of the most doable, high-quality alpine duets in North America.
climblight

Mountain climber
Northern NV
  Jun 4, 2013 - 12:40am PT
What a great trip. Have tried similar without the weather luck. Good on ya!! I'm soooo jealous.
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
  Jun 4, 2013 - 01:01am PT
It's been many years since I've done anything alpine, but a TR like that definitely makes me want to.
Most excellent.
FBaker

Trad climber
Concord, Ca
  Jun 4, 2013 - 01:26am PT
Bill, Wow! You have been having some fun this year!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Jun 4, 2013 - 10:27am PT
Wow great tr. I have to go there sometime.
BMcC

Trad climber
Livermore
Author's Reply  Jun 4, 2013 - 11:36am PT
Thanks everyone. I'm glad that folks enjoyed the pics.

Both routes are so very much fun, with the Jim Donini and Greg Crouch Shaken, Not Stirred being even more so! Greg is correct in that other teams have had the same good fortune we did of scoring on weather and route conditions, getting up both routes over the course of a few days.

Greg - I like your suggestion - will contact you sometime for that drink and to tell stories.

Nibs

Trad climber
Humboldt, CA
  Jun 5, 2013 - 10:50am PT
TFPU!! great photos, thank you for taking us along.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
  Jun 5, 2013 - 11:31am PT
Unbelievably cool! Nice job.
gnarlydog

Mountain climber
Concord,Ca
  Jun 6, 2013 - 11:11pm PT
You're the man Bill. Awesome pictures and words as always, best TR I've read all year for sure. Looking forward to getting out this weekend.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
  Jun 15, 2013 - 12:39pm PT
Coolest. Love the pics.
Johnny K.

climber
  Jul 16, 2013 - 06:57pm PT
UptoTheTop
johntp

Trad climber
socal
  Jun 20, 2014 - 12:06pm PT
BBST
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Jun 20, 2014 - 12:33pm PT
Well done men!

Alaska Beauty strikes again, and a drop of awesomeness just fell from my eye.
Dolomite

climber
Anchorage
  Jun 21, 2014 - 02:42pm PT
Sweet double! Way to keep clicking the shutter. And, way to jump on that brief window! Thanks--
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Jun 21, 2014 - 04:24pm PT
Brings back fond memories...need to get back to Alaska.

You sure do know how to document a climb!
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
  Jun 21, 2014 - 08:23pm PT
Beautiful, thanks for posting!!!

neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
  Jun 21, 2014 - 11:37pm PT
hey there say, BMcC... very wonderful share... great pics, too!

very very nice, thank you... :)

edit:
wow, this was an older post/thread...
glad i did not miss it.. thanks for the bump :)
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Jun 23, 2014 - 09:28pm PT
Gotta go. Save up for a couple more years and let jack get alitle older so he can lead the crux pitches.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Jun 23, 2014 - 11:05pm PT
Multiple money shots - SWEET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
BMcC

Trad climber
Livermore
Author's Reply  Jun 24, 2014 - 11:38am PT
Another Moose pic for your viewing entertainment:

The Moose's Tooth massif, the Gargoyle, the backsides of Mt. Barrille ...
The Moose's Tooth massif, the Gargoyle, the backsides of Mt. Barrille and Mt. Dickey, and other peaks as seen from the west on Peak 11,300 (5/19/14).
Credit: BMcC
BMcC

Trad climber
Livermore
Author's Reply  Jun 24, 2014 - 11:43am PT
Thanks everyone!

A zoom shot of the massif:

A tele-shot of the Moose's Tooth massif from the west on Peak 11,300 &...
A tele-shot of the Moose's Tooth massif from the west on Peak 11,300 (5/19/14).
Credit: BMcC
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
  Jun 24, 2014 - 01:53pm PT
Fantastic.

Agree with FortMental, that shot is gold.
Sketch

Trad climber
Hey Y'all
  Jun 24, 2014 - 02:25pm PT
Dooood. You made my day.

Thanks for this in-depth trip report.
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The Mooses Tooth - Shaken, Not Stirred V, AI 5 - Alaska, USA. Click to Enlarge
An overview of the line.
Photo: Joe Puryear
Other Routes on The Mooses Tooth
The Mooses Tooth - Ham and Eggs V, 5.9, AI 4 - Alaska, USA. Click for details.
Ham and Eggs, V, 5.9, AI 4
The Mooses Tooth
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An overview of the line.
The Mooses Tooth - West Ridge V, 80-deg ice to main summit - Alaska, USA. Click for details.
West Ridge, V, 80-deg ice to main summit
The Mooses Tooth
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

An overview of the line.