Helander, Zimmerman Score Another Impressive First in Alaska


Graham Zimmerman leading mixed ground on the west face of Titanic. Photo by Clint Helander.

Graham Zimmerman leading mixed ground on the west face of Titanic. Photo by Clint Helander.

4/28/14 - Clint Helander (U.S.) and Graham Zimmerman (U.S./N.Z.) have made the first ascent of the west face of Titanic Peak in Alaska's Revelation Mountains. The circa 9,300-foot peak had only been climbed once before, by Fred Beckey, Dan Hogan, Doug McCarty, and Craig Tillery, in 1981.

The Revelation Mountains are at one end of the Alaska Range, about 130 miles southwest of Denali. "This was Clint's seventh trip into the Revelations," Zimmeman said. "He is considered the godfather of the range, having written a profile of these mountains in the 2013 American Alpine Journal, as well as having made many significant ascents. This trip was a chance for him to mop up some more projects in the area. It was my second trip into the range, having visited the Revelations Glacier last summer with Scott Bennett."

This time, the two headed for the rarely visited northeast corner of the Revelations. On April 21 they started up the west face of Titanic with 1,700 feet of snow climbing. Above this was solid white granite, with beautiful mixed climbing in chimneys and corners (5.8 M6 50°). Easier climbing led to the top. From the summit they descended the north ridge and the east face, then walked eight kilometers back to base camp, arriving around 22.5 hours after they left.

The ca 4,000' west face of Titanic in the Revelations. The first ascent climbed the broad rib on the left side of the face. Photo by Graham Zimmerman.

The ca 4,000' west face of Titanic in the Revelations. The first ascent climbed the left side of the face. Photo by Graham Zimmerman.

After a few days of rest, they headed out for their next climb, but decided the weather was too poor to continue. During the ski back, Zimmerman fell into a hidden crevasse and badly twisted his knee. From base camp, they called for a flight out so he could get to the hospital and have the damage checked out. Fortunately, Zimmerman said, things are "going well" with the leg.

This trip was supported by the Copp-Dash Inspire Award, the New Zealand Alpine Club's Expedition Fund, and the Mount Everest Foundation.

Dates of ascent: April 21-22, 2014

Sources: Graham Zimmerman, American Alpine Journal


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