UKC

Brits Climb New Routes In AlaskaVideo

© Matt Helliker / Jon Bracey
Missing video!

Matt Helliker and Jon Bracey on the summit of Mt Grosvenor  © Matt Helliker / Jon Bracey
Matt Helliker and Jon Bracey on the summit of Mt Grosvenor
© Matt Helliker / Jon Bracey
British climbers Jon Bracey and Matt Helliker have succeeded on two new routes in the Ruth Gorge in Alaska.

"The Ruth Gorge is hugely impressive, there are massive walls of over 1000m and glaciers that snake their way over high passes. Everything a climber could need is here..." commented Helliker on his return from the range.

"From base-camp the huge east face of Mt Dickey looms above, then a view south looks over several major north faces - Mt Bradley, Mt Wake, Mt Johnson, Mt Grosvenor, Mt Church, it's an awesome site."

The pair started their trip with a new route on Mount Grosvenor on the 10th of May, now named Meltdown. The crux was a steep ice runnel leading to the summit ridge, where they encountered "a steep unprotected pitch of rotten ice and poor ignimbrite rock".

Meltdown - ED3, V, M6 R, 1300m was climbed in 12 hours (20 hours camp to camp) and Bracey and Helliker descended via the South Face.

The pair then climbed a new line on the north face of Mount Church leading to the east ridge. The crux of For Whom The Bell Tolls was a steep snow-filled chimney. Helliker also commented that "The final ridge proved to be far from easy with big cornices and steps of very unstable 'ignimbrite' again.".

For Whom The Bell Tolls - ED2, V, Grade 6 ice and mixed, 1150m was climbed in 10 hours (17 hours camp to camp).

Meltdown - ED3, V, M6 R, 1300m - Alaska  © Matt Helliker / Jon Bracey
Meltdown - ED3, V, M6 R, 1300m - Alaska
© Matt Helliker / Jon Bracey
For Whom The Bell Tolls - ED2, V, Grade 6 ice and mixed, 1150m - Alaska  © Matt Helliker / Jon Bracey
For Whom The Bell Tolls - ED2, V, Grade 6 ice and mixed, 1150m - Alaska
© Matt Helliker / Jon Bracey
Jon Bracey in action on Mt Grosvenor  © Matt Helliker / Jon Bracey
Jon Bracey in action on Mt Grosvenor
© Matt Helliker / Jon Bracey
Matt Helliker climbing ice runnels on Mt Grosvenor  © Matt Helliker / Jon Bracey
Matt Helliker climbing ice runnels on Mt Grosvenor
© Matt Helliker / Jon Bracey

Speaking to UKClimbing.com, Matt Helliker gave us the low-down on how to get to 'The Ruth':

"To get to the Ruth from the UK you fly to Anchorage, (best place for food and kit shops) then get a shuttle or train to Talkeetna. From Talkeetna you then need to get another flight into the range by small bush plane, I recommend TAT for this. A Sat phone is also useful if you're going to the more remote parts of the range just in case you need to call in the bush plane for a early pickup or jump.

The best time of year to climb in the range for ice and mixed action would be from mid April to the end of May, but you would have until the end of July if you were climbing the easier snow routes."


This expedition was supported by the BMC/UK Sport

Matt Helliker and Jon Bracey are between them sponsored by DMM , Patagonia , Osprey Packs, Scarpa , Adidas Eyewear , Maximuscle, and Suunto


This post has been read 6,054 times

Return to Latest News


Jon Bracey
Chamonix

Jon Bracey is one of Britain’s foremost alpinists having climbed many hard mixed routes in the Alps and established several new routes in Alaska, Greenland and the Himalayas. Along with his passion for expedition...

Jon's Athlete Page 18 posts


Support UKC

As climbers we strive to make UKClimbing the kind of website we would love to visit, with the most up-to-date news, diverse and interesting articles, comprehensive gear reviews, breathtaking photographs and a vast and useful logbook system. As a result, an incredible community has formed around the site - we’ve provided the framework but it’s you who make the website what it is today. If you appreciate the content we offer then you can help us by becoming an official UKC Supporter. This can be a one-off single annual payment or a more substantial payment paid monthly or yearly which includes full access to Rockfax Digital and discounts on Rockfax print publications.

If you appreciate UKClimbing then please help us by becoming a UKC Supporter.

UKC Supporter

  • Support the website we all know and love
  • Access to a year's subscription to Rockfax Digital.
  • Plus 30% off Rockfax guidebooks
  • Plus Show your support UKC porter badge on your profile and forum posts
UKC/UKH/Rockfax logo

26 May, 2009
Excellent. Good stuff guys. Meltdown looks stunning. (and hard!)
26 May, 2009
The real deal: a rope, a rack -a pack on your back. Nice Job.
26 May, 2009
Who said that British Alpinism is dead. Awesome effort, and what a place!!
Loading Notifications...
Facebook Twitter Copy Email