11 Jun Alaska – 2 new super-routes
Brilliant activity of the Britains Jon Bracey and Matt Helliker in the Ruth Gorge in the Alaska Range. On may 10, in 12 hours, they ascended the demanding and difficult North wall of Mount. Grosvenor: they climbed a line of ice runnels then followed a beautiful gully to the east ridge, with a crux pitch of M6 on rotten ice and fragile volcanic rock then descended the south face to the col between Grosvenor and Mt. Church, and continued to the glacier, returning to camp 20 hours after leaving.
The new route was called Meltdown (1,300m, ED3 V M6 R) and is located between. Once Were Warriors (Walsh-Westman, 2005) and Warriors Way (Walsh-Westman, 2006).
Two day later the same team traced a new and hard route on the north face of Mount Church, at the left of Memorial Gate (Ichimura-Sato-Yamada, 2007, first route on the face.
Good snow conditions allowed them to quickly reach a snow-stuffed, overhanging chimney high on the face.
After Helliker’s painstaking battle with this crux lead, 250 meters of snow flutings led to the east ridge, where more insecure climbing past big cornices and rotten rock gained the top, 10 hours after starting. They called the route For Whom the Bell Tolls (1,150m, ED2 V WI6 and mixed).