Mount Everest Foundation
Supporting the exploratory

British Hayes Range

This team hoped to make the first ascent of the west ridge of Mount Hayes (4216m), the highest peak in the remote Eastern Alaska Range. However, when they arrived in the area and discussed their plans with local climbers, they learned that although not generally reported, the ridge had actually been climbed in the 1970s. Apparently this situation is not atypical of the region, where a number of first ascents by local climbers have gone unreported, allowing subsequent parties the pleasure of making ‘second first ascents’. The British team decided to stick with its plan but due to unseasonable snowfall they were unsuccessful. Nevertheless, they climbed two neighbouring mountains, firstly Skarland (3145m), which they climbed by its South East Ridge – the second ascent of the peak. Though not steep, it proved precarious due to poor snow. The trio had hoped to ski from the summit but at 2800m they met hard ice so left their skis at this point and climbed to the top. Subsequently, the ski descent from 2800m was superb. With time running out, Warren and Wilson turned their attention to Mount Geist (3085m), and in a 22 hour round trip made what was possibly the first ascent of a new direct route up the 1000m North East Face, descending by the North Ridge. The overall grade of the ascent was considered to be TD+.

April - May 2011
Guy Wilson with Chris Johnson and Neil Warren (UK)

Other expeditions nearby