Alaska: Two Brits, Two Weeks, Two New Routes

Jon Bracey leading the crux pitch of Meltdown (1,300m, ED3 V M6 R). photo: Helliker

Jon Bracey leading the crux pitch of Meltdown (1,300m, ED3 V M6 R). photo: Helliker

OK, so I’m a bit off the back here but hey, a story about two Chamonix locs putting up two impressive new routes in Alaska’s Ruth Gorge deserves space regardless if it’s four months or four years late.

Been trying to get more deets from the boys but trying to pin down a coupla guides in summer in Chamonix is like putting cats in a bag so I’ll just regurgitate what I’ve seen on the web so far.

According to Climbing.com:

On May 10, the Britons climbed a line of ice runnels through steep granite slabs on the north face of Mt. Grosvenor, then followed a beautiful gully to the east ridge, with a crux pitch of M6 on rotten ice and fragile volcanic rock. They reached the summit after 12 hours of climbing, descended the south face to the col between Grosvenor and Mt. Church, and then continued to the glacier, returning to camp 20 hours after leaving. The new route, Meltdown (1,300m, ED3 V M6 R), lies between Once Were Warriors (Walsh-Westman, 2005) and Warriors Way (Walsh-Westman, 2006).

Bracey, Meltdown

Bracey, Meltdown

Helliker, Meltdown

Helliker, Meltdown

Meltdown, Mt Grosvenor, Ruth Gorge, Alaska

Meltdown, Mt Grosvenor (2,575m), Ruth Gorge, Alaska

Two days later, Bracey and Helliker climbed a new route on the north face of Mt. Church, well to the left of the Japanese “Giri-Giri Boys” route Memorial Gate (Ichimura-Sato-Yamada, 2007), the 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).

For Whom the Bell Tolls, Mt Church (2509m), Ruth Gorge, Alaska

For Whom the Bell Tolls, Mt Church (2509m), Ruth Gorge, Alaska

Helliker leading FWTBT crux ((1,150m, ED2 V WI6 and mixed)

Helliker leading FWTBT crux (1,150m, ED2 V WI6 and mixed) photo: Bracey

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CHX homeys Helliker and Bracey

CHX homeys Helliker and Bracey

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2 responses to “Alaska: Two Brits, Two Weeks, Two New Routes

  1. Pingback: Chamonix Climbers Head to Annapurna III « Chamonix Insider

  2. Pingback: Ruth Gorge Expedition 2012 – Bracey & Helliker Back in Alaska - EpicTV

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