The Spirit of Alpinism
Route Section: Motorcycle Hill Quick Stats: Distance = about a mile, Elevation Gain = 800 feet Time: approximate time from Camp 2 to the top of Motorcycle Hill is about 1.5 hours.
Looking up at Motorcycle Hill from Camp 2. An AAI group is packed and ready to head up Motorcycle Hill. Climbers ascending Motorcycle Hill with sleds in-tow. AAI climber Bob Baker and guide Joseph Anderson start up Motorcycle Hill. Halfway up Motorcycle Hill. Getting close to the top of the hill. Cresting the top of Motorcycle Hill. Climbers prepare to take a break at the top of Motorcycle Hill. From the top of the hill climbers look down into the Upper Peters Glacier basin. Climbers approach the top of the hill.
Route Section: Squirrel Hill
Above Motorcycle Hill there is a small break in the slope angle, and the next slope is called Squirrel Hill. From the base of Squirrel Hill, the views down into the Lower Peter's Glacier Basin and across the Valley to the Father's and Son's Wall are breathtaking.
From the crest of Squirrel Hill, we cross a large basin below the West Buttress Direct on the way to Windy Corner.
Looking up at Squirrel Hill from the top of Motorcycle Hill. Rope teams on Squirrel Hill. An AAI rope team halfway up Squirrel Hill. Looking back down at the top of Motorcycle Hill from Squirrel Hill. Climbers resting at the top of Squirrel Hill. Looking across the Lower Peters Basin at the Father's and Son's Wall on Denali. Approaching the base of Squirrel Hill Clouds pouring over Kahiltna Pass from the top of Motorcycle Hill. Climbers headed across the basin above Squirrel Hill and heading towards Windy Corner above.
Route Section: Windy Corner
From the top of Squirrel Hill we traverse across a large glacial basin below the steep couloirs of the Direct West Buttress on the way to Windy Corner. At the far end of the basin we ascend a short slope to Windy Corner and work our way around the sometimes icy and always exposed corner.
There is often fixed protection on the traverse around the corner and the difficulty of this section varies greatly with the amount of snow covering the blue ice at the corner.
Once around the corner we still have a very broken section of glacier to navigate before reaching the easy section leading to Camp 3 at 14,200 feet. The cracks around the corner were responsible for a whole rope team and two solo climbers falling 80 feet into a crevasse during the 2005. AAI guides and climbers were the first on the scene and successfully extracted all members of the team from the crevasse in less than 45 minutes.
Looking up at the start of Windy Corner. Looking back across the basin and to the top of Squirrel Hill. A rope team approach the apex of Windy Corner in good conditions. Nearing the crux of the traverse around Windy Corner. The steepest part of the Windy Corner Traverse. A climber passes fixed protection at Windy Corner. Nearing the end of the traverse around the corner. Out of the difficulties. Taking a much needed break after the exciting traverse around Windy Corner.
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