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We gained altitude, flew past Kahiltna Base, and buzzed our peak to have a look at the South Ridge. We wanted to see if we were biting off a doable climb. There is surety, then there is death. These two elements often form a sharp knife-edge.

Pilgrimage - East Kahiltna 2001 Podcast

Click to stream the East Kahiltna 2001 Podcast. (9:11 minutes)

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Denali seen from the southwest. The famous Cassin Ridge is the sun-shadow ridge rising directly to Denali’s summit from the right. You can see the upper part of the West Buttress on the left. Twin-summited Kahiltna Peaks are center right in the photo. The lower left summit is the 12,835-foot West Peak, and the higher right summit is the 13,440-foot East Peak. You can see the upper part of our South Ridge rising to the East Peak from the right.
Aerial photo by Jim Okonek
17,400-foot Mount Foraker seen through One-Shot Pass.
We took the path less travelled, and entered the Kahiltna’s East Fork. Our Basecamp below East Kahiltna Peak.
Our Basecamp was under several avalanche paths that created constant worry. It was more likely that they would fall then not. Chris Haaland on the front porch of the Perch, trying to radio Kahiltna Base for a weather forecast.
Gerry on the early traverse of our summit climb, with Foraker behind. Below, you can just see our tent at the Perch.
Photo by Chris Haaland
Gerry examining the upper ridge. The big cracks in the ridge looked problematic.
Photo by Chris Haaland
A dramatic view of Mount Hunter,
seen from near the top of East Kahiltna Peak.
Gerry at the Perch after our summit climb.
Photo by Chris Haaland
For now, we just perched in our center of the universe.
All photos from the Gerry Roach Collection
Copyright © 2001-2019 by Gerry Roach. All Rights Reserved.
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