I have been too lazy to actually write anything up about my April trip so here goes.
I had unfinished business on Shaken not Stirred on the Mooses Tooth but as luck would have it Eddie and I flew into the Root Canal on April 18th in during a massive high pressure system. We immediately made plans to climb the next morning and were up at 4 am skiing to the start. This year the route was fat and we made easy progress up the cut steps. We didn't climb rock at all; a huge difference from my previous attempt. The crux pitch was by far the best pitch of the route and surprisingly steep! We decided to turn around at the Englishmans Col and were back to camp by 4 pm.
|Classic Ham and Eggs shot|
|Night before the send!|
|Lots of ice|
|Eddie stemmin the crux|
|Practicing snow humping|
Eager to capitalize on the amazing weather window we called TAT and bumped over to the Tokositna on the 20th for our main objective, The Harvard Route on the iconic Mt Huntington. After taking a second rest day we set off early on the 22nd. Once again we found the conditions to be perfect and followed steps cut by a Polish team that had just returned the night before. Originally we were going to do the standard route but decided to follow the steps up the Westman/Puryear variation. While the wall looks big and intimidating we found the route snaked its way through all the difficulties and the climbing was never sustained. One thing is for sure, the Nose pitch reinforced my hate for aid climbing, belaying someone aiding is the perfect way to ruin a perfect day!
|Huntington - the central ridge up the face is the Harvard route|
|Snow climbing always seems to grab ones attention|
|Eddie crushing The Spiral|
|The Nose aid pitch|
|Gaining the summit ridge|
|Summit photo - Denali with 11,300, Isis Face and Reality Ridge in the background|
|Kinda scary downclimbing off the summit|
|Psyched to be back in camp|