'A Slice of Ice' Kichatna Spires - Alaska 2005
This strong team hoped to make the first ascent of the west face couloir on Middle Triple Peak (2,693m) in the Kichatna Spires (aka Cathedral Peaks) where there is still much to be done. Unfortunately, weather conditions dictated otherwise. Although Talkeetna ('a small drinking town with a climbing problem') was virtually at a standstill owing to deep winter snow, they were surprised to find during their flight into the mountains that very little ice was visible. This was due to extremely low temperatures (-15°C in the sun on the glacier at midday) which would also preclude technical climbing, which is inevitably very slow. The intended objective - normally a continuous 1,200m ice-line - was actually bare rock. During the next week continuous snow and strong winds hampered all movement and added to the avalanche risk, so although they explored much of the Tatina glacier, virtually no climbing was achieved.