Sunday, May 27, 2007

Mt Bona May 2007

Mount Bona, Wrangell-St. Elias Mountains, Alaska (May 2007 )
with Toby Schwoerer, Scott Gatchell and Adam Verrier

Mt Bona, at 16431 ft, is the fourth highest mountain in the USA

We flew in to the Klutlan glacier on May 19th and established base camp at ~10000 ft. Becasue of very nice weather, we decided to move up the mountain as quickly as possible due to the infamous storms in this area. On day 2, Toby and I carried supplies to 13000 ft and returned to base while the others had to deal with altitude symptoms. On day 3, we picked up our cash at 13000 ft and moved camp to about ~13500 ft. Day 4 was still good for climbing but with some high clouds and increasing winds. We decided to try to summit on day 4 becasue we felt a storm was coming in. Toby and I summited while Scott and Adam had to turn around at ~15000 ft. The summit climb was extremely windy and cold. Day 5 we were stuck in high camp due to a 24 snow storm. On day 6, in sted of attempting Mt. Churchill, we decided to move back down to base camp because a couple of the team members were suffering from cold and altitude effects. That same evening we flew back out to civilization.

Adam, Scott and Toby hanging out at the Chitina airstrip.

Still waiting ... we waited from 6 am until 4 pm on a perfact day for flying and we almost thought we'd have to stay another night in Chitna when our flight finally showed up.

University Peak

Lower part on Mt Bona. The route goes up to the left of the ice fall in the center of the photo
Drop-off at the Klutlan glacier

Basecamp on the Klutlan at about 10,000 feet

Toby carving some tele-turns after making a cache dump at 13,000 feet

The cast ... Toby ...

... Adam ...

... Scott ...

... and Trond.

Well fortified basecamp on the Klutlan

Ready to move up to high camp at 13,500. The view is down the Klutlan glacier

View towards the Northeast

Heading up towards high camp

Ready for Mt Bona summit attempt from high camp at 13,500 feet

Heading across the Churchill/Bona plateau towards Mt Bona

At the base of the summit pyramid we stash skies and donn crampons. Adam and Scott decide to turn around due to cold and fatigue. Toby and I decide to push on.

Trond heading up towards the summit in strong wind

Toby on the false summit
We made it.

Tele-Toby coming back down towards high camp in perfect powder.

More Tele-Toby

Storm day in high-camp

What's for dinner?

Toby and Scott in snowcave we dug at high camp to get out of the wind and snow

Returning to basecamp

Mt Churchill's beautiful summit ridge

Wrangell mountains panorama

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