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Radio Control Tower - Standard Route

 
Radio Control Tower - Standard Route

Page Type: Route

Location: Alaska, United States, North America

Object Title: Radio Control Tower - Standard Route

Route Type: Mountaineering

Season: Spring, Summer

Time Required: Half a day

Difficulty: Easy Glacier Travel

Route Quality: 
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Page By: Brad Snider

Created/Edited: Jun 4, 2008 / Jun 4, 2008

Object ID: 409737

Hits: 2551 

Page Score: 76.66%  - 7 Votes 

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Getting There

Radio Control Tower can be accessed from Denali Base Camp on the Southeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier. The most logical starting point to get there is to fly from Talkeetna, using one of the following services:

Hudson Air Services Inc.: http://www.hudsonair.com/

K2 Aviation: http://www.flyk2.com/

Talkeetna Air Taxi Inc.: http://www.talkeetnaair.com/

Approach

Approach
Crevasse Field
To begin the approach from Denali Base Camp, head northeast to the crevasse-riddled glacier north of Radio Control Tower. How to get around the major crevasses depends on conditions: climbers may choose to go to the left (north) or right (south) of the obvious crevasse field. Each option has the potential of crevasse hazards, but the southern option has an avalanche hazard as well, due to some ominous overhanging seracs and cornices.

Again, depending upon conditions either route may be a better option than the other. When climbing the route on May 29, 2008, we had two crevasse incidents in taking the northern approach on the ascent. To descend we used the southern approach with no incidents.


 

Route Description

After passing the most obvious of the crevasses, climb the snow slope upward, switch-backing southward and uphill until meeting the crest of the east ridge. The ridge crest is airy and narrow for about 100 feet, almost like a knife edge.


 



The ridge then traverses several "humps" and dips, and even along this ridge there is potential for crevasse danger. Eventually the ridge leads to a dip before the final pitch to the corniced summit.


 



This pitch is about 45 degrees with pretty significant exposure. It may require some pickets and/or ice screws, depending on the conditions and comfort level of the climbers. Before very long the slope eases and it is an easy walk to the summit. Now, gawk at the incredible views of the Alaska Range!


 

Essential Gear

Descent


*Rope

*Prusiks

*2-3 pickets and 1-2 ice screws for upper part of the route, depending on conditions

Images

Knife EdgeFinal PitchRadio Control Tower, East RidgeBeginning the ApproachDescending from the summitSummit In ViewCrevasse Field
Probing the Crevasse, high on Radio Control TowerApproach Options