December 18, 2008

Diamond Arete 2005: Second Ascent

Here is an update to a link to another past expedition. In 2005, Freddie Wilkinson and I made the second ascent of the Jack Tackle/Jim Donini route the Diamond Arete on Mount Hunter's East face, then traversing over the mountain to descend the West Ridge in a total time of 55 hours to Kahiltna base camp, including two bivies. We found difficulties up to AI5 M6 over the course of the 2000m route. The route is notorious because of the epic nature of its first ascent: Jack and Jim spent nine days in marginal conditions climbing the route ground-up, in alpine style, having lost a rope in the process (limiting their descent options). They then descended Hunter's North Ridge and rappelled what has recently become known as the 'mini-moonflower' buttress in another day.

This experience taught us both something about commitment. Freddie is a talented alpinist, and it was great fun climbing with him on this route. Freddie commented that often, the biggest steps that we take in climbing a large route in alpine style are in the process of choosing to commit to the style and strategy that you have chosen, and to face the fears which accompany decision-making in the mountains. Please visit the link to my Diamond Arete 2005 blog for further information.

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