West Face of Celeno Peak
Celeno peak (13,395ft) is located in the Wrangell – Saint Elias range in Alaska. The objective was the first ascent of the West Face, and the second ascent of the peak overall. They flew to Anchorage, and then to the small town of McCarthy, from which they were flown in to Canyon Creek Glacier by Jay Claus, who had made the first ascent of Celeno in 2012. A storm at base camp was followed by a forecast for a week long weather window, so after allowing 2 days for conditions to clear they set off up the West Face, starting with 2000ft of snow and ice un-roped to a mixed spur leading to the summit. This started with mixed climbing generally M4/M5, but with an M6 crux. The next day they tackled a rock band which included the route crux at 5.10X A2+, where dislodged rocks cut their rope. From the top of the band they continued on steep snow and ice to the top of the spur. A rightward traverse to an iced gully which was followed to a bivouac just below the summit. The following day they reached the summit, with spectacular views, and descended by the first ascent route, starting down the NW ridge, and then a couloir giving access to the glacier below. They described this as ‘a fruitful and enjoyable expedition’.