Mount Fairweather Trip Report (#2149)
- Signed By: Paul Kallmes
- Date submitted: February 09, 2000
We had gone to climb a ridge on St Elias, but Kurt at Gulf Air said we'd be killed on the descent. OK, we said, what's a good alternative? He said, Well, Fairweather has a nice landing strip on the south side. OK, let's go there. I imagine a lot of trips have started this way.
We knew nothing of Fairweather except that it is a beautiful peak. We chose a ridge to the right of the Carpe, and it provided everything from flat snow plodding to vertical ice-choked chimneys to tenuous ridge-walking on rotten rock. We found an ancient sling which we think must have been left by the 1972 team that lost two members on the descent. It was pretty thought-provoking.
We summitted on a clear cold spring morning, and have never been so well rewarded. We descended the whole peak the next day, and got back to camp just as the snow started to fall. We were in Seattle 2 days later.
I cannot emphasize how valuable a trip to this range is for an Alaskan climber. Forget the crowds up north - the SE is where it's at. There is more potential, easier access, WAY fewer people, and a sense of commitment that is really worth experiencing. If anyone has any questions, I am happy to answer them.
cheers - paul