Upon David and Twid's arrival in the range they bumped in to two other climbers who had a similar objective, and due to bad weather all four climbers teamed up for the ascent. The other two were British climber Stu Inchley and 'Kim from Tasmania'.
Their new route Hard Arteries features 1000m of climbing up to A3 and Scottish V and tackles the NW pillar on Middle Triple Peak, Kichatna Spires, Alaska.
David recounted the email that got him roped in to this adventure:
"Dave do you fancy getting strapped onto a new route in Alaska in a few weeks my partner has just dropped out, I have some funding, loads of kit already there and the new route potential is crazy."David told us: "I was sold on the first sentence and drooling by the last. This is how the adventure began to an area which is often referred to as the 'Patagonia of Alaska'. With stunning granite spires clustered around a tight area of deep glacier valleys, and with more new route potential than you can shake a stick at it is an obvious expedition choice for any motivated climber."
The team climbed in a slow style due to bad weather, literally inching their way up the route resorting to a lot of aid climbing.
"My usual approach to peaks would be alpine style - a system of packing everything you need for a safe multi day trip up a peak and then halving it and accepting that you just cannot stop. But in this environment Twid's approach of 'come on lad let's just get strapped onto something and suffer' really paid off, as whilst we were literally suffering our way inch by inch up this peak while other parties in the ranges were just getting totally shut down and coming back empty handed.
All in all our line 'Hard Arteries [named after the lads who joined us who had a interesting diet of blocks of butter] took us 6 days and covered around 1000m of climbing up to A3 and Scottish V."
"I have no doubt that the majority of this line could be freed in ideal conditions as a lot of the sections we were forced to aid were beautiful soaring granite crack lines as good as any I have seen in the Alps but unfortunately during our ascent they were plastered with snow and ice."
Well done lads!
- You can read another report on this ascent on the DMM website.
David would like to thank Mountain Equipment and DMM for their great kit. Mount Everest Foundation and the BMC for their massive help. TAT for their brave pilots, the Roadhouse for their greasy spoons and the Fairview Inn for their fine ales and great music that kept us sane. Oh and Twid for his endless enthusiasm and great story telling.