Baldwin Glacier Expedition - Alaska
On June 14th, David Burdick, Marcus Collins, Phil Fortier and Greg Mueller, flew in to the upper Baldwin Glacier with Ultima Thule Outfitter's pilot Paul Claus. With our base camp located at the 8,000 foot level, we climbed several peaks in the local area. We made the first ascent of Peak 10,460 ("Hudson Peak") by its glaciated West Face. The route consisted mostly of 40-45 degree snow and bare ice, with a short and notably steeper section of ice around mid-face. After this ascent, we skied across the glacial valley to the West and climbed Peak 9,450 by its South Ridge. The most aesthetic mountain of the area is Peak 10,142 ("Mt. Mildred"), of which we made the second ascent by the unclimbed West Face. The West Face of this peak contains a glacial tongue that flows steeply down the edge of a circ from the summit. The route began with several pitches of moderate ice, followed by long slopes of frozen snow (40-50 degrees) interspersed with short bare sections. After summiting, we began an unknown descent down the South Ridge where we linked together steep snowfields between the cliffs along the ridge. We also skied up Peak 9,100 via its West side. The final summit ridge consisted of traversing a cornice and scrambling on a loose rock spire. In addition, we climbed an un-numbered peak ("Offcourse Peak") immediately south of Peak 10,460 via a 7 pitch ice climb on its North Face. The route was almost entirely bare 50-60 degree ice, and lead from mid-face up to a breech in the cornices about 300 feet below the summit. A short section of 40-60 degree snow lead to the double corniced top of the peak. Point 8,600 ("Base Camp Peak") was a minor three pitch climb that we did just to the South of camp. Marcus and I climbed its North Face of ice, up to 60 degrees. We had very good weather for most of the trip, but this created very soft snow conditions during which some faces never froze. Our team flew out to the Chitina airstrip on July 3rd.
Below is a photo journal of each peak we climbed, as well as our path from Seattle to the mountains.