JT is on a lifetime quest to summit all the peaks in Chugach state park. His over riding enthusiasm to go after the more obscure peaks is contagious and next thing you know you are hiking up Eagle River for a West Kiliak attempt.
West Killiak is big, 7450' almost as high as Yukla and is seldom climbed. In hindsight its offers the quintessential Chugach mountaineering experience. Long approach, half bushwack "trail" to get up closer, then mega slog for a few thousand vertical, then like 50' of easy technical climbing.. but that you still need to carry a rope and gear for. Then difficult route finding since you have no beta because nobody ever really goes up there in the first place.
Dropped overnight gear at the river and turned off from the Crow pass trail - with like 7,000' vert to go.
Along the brushed out trail into the Icicle drainage (thank you Dave Hart!)
We quickly hit snow and had our first of many body holes of the day...
Clint like to hang out here.
With beautiful north face routes looking prime, we headed up a talus slope from hell to get up to Kiliak's upper slopes. This is some quality shit right here.
glad that's over with... ok where are we going? UP!
The slogging was slog-a-rific, but the views sure were nice! Polar bear, Flute and Eagle in the back.
into the clouds.
On JT's previous attempt he made it to this spot and ran into about 30' of ice. We came prepared for that, but it was pretty small this year - a thin, wet, exposed step we needed to get over. I went up it then got out das rope and hip belayed JT up.
He was psyched to get past this point and continued trenching out a stair case for me.
JT decided to wait while I poked around a bit more. Still feeling like we were on some ridge leading to a false summit I dropped my pack and kept moving up.. then wait.. what's that? a plateau with a small snow lip.. humm looks summit like. scramble scramble. holy shit this is it! So heck yeah West Kiliak Summit, higher than most everything and my darn camera is in my pack below me. Drats!
we rapped the ice step.
hi Eagle Peak..
made it to the river at 10:30 for a 14 hr day. Julie and Adrienne had a fire going and I got to sleep on a punctured therma-rest with a snoring convulsing lucy dog. what a day. maximum. thanks JT!