March 25, 2012

Juneau Trip

March 9th through 19th I headed down to Juneau to rendezvous with local Southeast climber Ryan Johnson to look for new ice and alpine lines. We had a great time and also got a little climbing in - the weather was pretty bad for the alpine portion of our trip with no windows longer than 8 hours so we were shut down there - however we did climb a new waterfall ice line on the so-called 'suicide wall' that we called Bathtime with ToasterHere is the link to the photo topo of the route from my previous post, and here is a link to info on Alpinist and Desnivel about the trip.

5 people's gear loaded up for the Mendenhall glacier.

The lower icefall of the Mendenhall and Mendenhall lake.

Ryan and Tim Banfield at the first belay on Bathtime with Toaster.

Ryan on the third pitch of Bathtime with Toaster.

Ryan on the 5th pitch of Bathtime with Toaster.

There are reasons why this area is called the suicide bowl. This is one of them.

Tim following vertical ice on the 5th pitch of Bathtime with Toaster. 

Rappelling Bathtime.

After we got back from the Mendenhall we threw the dice with the weather forecast and flew into the north side of the Mendenhall Towers to try a new line. 

An oblique view of the suicide wall below a large feeder/avy slope.

One of many towers and rock walls in the area.

The 3000 foot North Face of 2 of the Mendenhall Towers from our basecamp on the upper Mendenhall. Unfortunately we didn't get to climb due to bad weather. During a couple breaks in storm we did do a little ski touring though. 

1500 foot towers on the other side of basecamp.

Rhino peak from the juncture between the Mendenhall glacier and the Juneau icefield.

Commencing the ski out to Juneau in a whiteout.


  1. when were you guys out at the towers? and in suicide basin? we were camped on the north side of the towers going for that line to the left of great white conqueror from mar12-17. Too much snow, not enough ice...but heavenly ski conditions. I know a couple of guys left to hit the lines in suicide basin on the 12th as well, i have a feeling you guys beat them to it.

    1. Hey there - Perhaps you were camped slightly down glacier from us, we were looking at the North side of Main? We were in there maybe the 13th - 16th? Agreed that the skiing was awesome, and that the towers were pasted with vertical snow. A nice trip, loved the area. I grew up in Southcentral AK and this was my first time climbing around Juneau.



  2. we were nw of the west tower, i think a couple of guys from my group wandered through your camp after you got dropped by the heli. when i saw your chopper coming in I figured it was 50/50 that either travis rice was coming to shred his new line on the towers, or that Ryan and company were coming to try the new line as well. sweet job on the suicide basin climbs, people have been after those for years.

  3. Thanks mate, the suicide line was a fun one but the trip into the towers and up onto Hells Highway opened my eyes to a bunch more stuff. Have fun down there!


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