The North Face of Mount Bradley. Photo courtesy of Louis-Philippe Ménard.
Canadians Louis-Philippe Ménard and Maxime Turgeon capped a terrific visit to the Alaska Range with an alpine-style first ascent of the North Face of Mount Bradley. The two completed the route on their second try in a 55-hour round trip.The Canadians' intended line on the face was out of shape when they arrived on the Ruth Glacier, so instead they made the second ascent of The Escalator on Mount Johnson, followed by the second ascent of On the Frozen Roads of Our Incertitude on London Tower. Returning to the base of Bradley for another look, they spotted another potential mixed line and started up it with a bare minimum of bivy gear. They climbed 18 pitches over two days before dropping a huge block that ripped one of their packs off the face, forcing a retreat.After some stormy R&R at basecamp, the two made an overnight ascent of Ham and Eggs on the Moose’s Tooth and then sucked it up for another try at the new line on Bradley, carrying three days of food and (this time) a sleeping bag. Two days of hard, committing climbing brought them to the summit seracs, where they encountered a total whiteout and soon were soaking wet. They stopped for a miserable three-hour “rest” and then carried on when the storm cleared a bit, reaching Bradley’s 9,104-foot summit at 11 p.m. and quickly beginning their descent. The 5,250-foot new route is Spice Factory, WI5 M7 5.10R.
Max Turgeon starting up Spice Factory's first technical pitch. Photo courtesy of Louis-Philippe Ménard.