Mt. Huntington Climbed in Winter

By Dougald MacDonald ,

Colin Haley heads toward the initial ice of Mt. Huntington’s West Face Couloir, first climbed to the summit in 1989 by Dave Nettle and James Quirk.Photo courtesy of Jed Brown.

Jed Brown and Colin Haley made the probable first winter ascent of Mt. Huntington in the Alaska Range, via an extremely fast ascent of the West Face Couloir (Nettle-Quirk route). The two young climbers flew to the Tokositna Glacier below the 12,240-foot peak on March 10. They left camp at 7:35 a.m. on March 12 and climbed 3,000 feet of steep ice and snow to the summit, then rappelled the route to return to their tents at 10:20 p.m., for a sub-15-hour round trip. The two reported excellent conditions and weather on the route, but they both suffered a bit of frostnip in the winter cold.

The two climbers had thoughts of other objectives in the area, but after “we spent a few days winter camping [we] decided we’d rather go to Valdez and climb waterfalls, so we flew out on March 16,” Brown said.

Easier slopes on the upper West Face of Mt. Huntington.Photo courtesy of Jed Brown.

Last year, Brown and Haley made the first ascent of the direct North Face of Mt. Moffit in the Hayes Range of Alaska. (See

Date of Ascent: March 12, 2007

Sources: Jed Brown, Colin Haley

Colin Haley (left) and Jed Brown on top of Mt. Huntington.Photo courtesy of Jed Brown.

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