Alaskan team portrait after a few too many days on the glacier.




It was a trophy of a line, a beautiful spine that split into two like a wishbone, with a couple of exposed turns before the exit. Elena Hight and I had been eyeing it since we set foot in the heart of this Alaskan wilderness and today was the day. Setting off to climb directly up this extremely steep face, we’d chosen this route because of its safe approach. We would be on a high point for the entire climb without the overhead hazards of looming ice and unpredictable rockfall. Robin Van Gyn and Shane Treat set off in a different direction, which required tricky navigation with a hanging serac to the climber’s right, cornices and exposure below.

Ours was a striking line and looked to be holding the best snow around. We knew our weather window was short, and it felt like a divide-and-conquer-type of morning.

We started the climb wearing little more than our base layers. It was odd to be climbing in the heat, but we were confident with our ascent, continuing until we hit faceted snow atop unforgiving rock. Our pace slowed, each of us taking at least an hour to make it up the first pitch. We were soaked to the bone. Two steps up and one back. It was the last day of our last trip filming for Arc’Teryx’s Continuum and we wanted this one last shot. Hungry to score before the sun baked the mountains around camp, we ascended into uncertainty…

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