Please see this link to my trip report for our Hayes Range trip, during which we completed the first ascent of Mount Balchen's (11,140 ft) northern ridge. We named the route Alchemy Ridge (V AI4 M7), and we climbed it in a two day round trip from base camp in terrible weather. The 'Alchemy' reflects the combination of several less than ideal elements into something that turned out to feel like a golden opportunity, as well as reflecting Matt's departure from the Golden Heart city of Fairbanks for Colorado to pursue a PhD in International Relations. Jeff Benowitz feels that the correct grade for alpine routes is usually 5.4c, but Matt and I felt that the crux pitches were solid at the grade and we have chosen to keep the grades as such. Enjoy!
For Climbing's Hot Flashes report of our climb, follow this link.
For Rock and Ice's News report, follow this link.
Thanks so much to Roger Strong and Black Diamond for supporting me in climbing during the last year through the Grassroots Team.