NW face of Mount Deborah: New Route for Griffith and Sim

Will Sim and Jon Griffith have made the first ascent of a new route in Alaska on the North West Face of Mount Deborah, named Bad to the Bone (2000m).

Will had been looking for an alternative trip to Alaska, one outwith the Central Alaska range. He commented in his blog: "It was during one of my favourite pastimes - scouring the world on Google Earth for big cool looking faces - that I discovered there were some huge looking unclimbed faces in the more eastern "Hayes" range."

Line of Bad to the Bone
© Jon Griffith

After doing some research into the area and reading about the 1978 North Face of Mount Deborah expedition and the 1982 First Ascent of its East Ridge, Will had a plan and Jon Griffith needed little persuasion to come on board.

Jon and Will at the foot of Mount Deborah, 208 kb
Jon and Will at the foot of Mount Deborah
© Jon Griffith

Ruling out the South side of the mountain due to the potential fragility of the rock in the mid-April sun, the pair opted for the North West face due to its apparent lack of seracs and a far safer approach than the North East face.

With only a Google Earth image to go by, Will and Jon arrived in Alaska and endured some organisational mishaps involving helicopter repairs and storms which delayed climbing on the route.

Nearing the summit, 200 kb
Nearing the summit
© Jon Griffith

Will summed up the route as follows:

"The climb itself was one of the hardest three days either of us have spent in the mountains, and the face was undoubtedly the most spooky and unnerving thing I've ever been on."

Will high on bad to the Bone, 220 kb
Will high on bad to the Bone
© Jon Griffith

More information on Will's blog.

Visit Jon's photography website.


Will is sponsored by: Grivel, Outdoor Research and Scarpa

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