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  • Writer's picturePascale Marceau

East Kahiltna Peak | Winter Climb

After 2 years of expeditions in the Arctic, I kinda miss the mountains. Back to the vertical world for this one. What better place than the Alaska Range!

Google Earth view of West and East Kahiltna Peaks

This will be my 4th winter climb in the range and the allure and beauty just keeps growing. Nothing beats the isolation one feels at that time of year, the softer colours of the alpen glow, and the crispness of the winter air.

Winter climbs are a challenge, there are no guarantees. In 2017, after a long journey from Kantishna to attempt Mt. Carpe on the north side of Denali, we had to turn around just shy of the summit due to poor snow/ice/rock conditions at the col. Then came 2 winter attempts of the South peak of Mt. Hunter, where we turned around once for a partner who got serious frostbite and then due to poor avalanche conditions. Finally in 2020, we successfully climbed Mt. Frances as the world was locking down for the pandemic.

Winter Alaska Climbs Left: Mt. Carpe (2017) Center: South Hunter (2019 & 2020) Right: Mt. Frances (2020)

This time, our eyes are set on the often overlooked East Kahiltna Peak. Dwarfed by Denali that stands behind it, East Kahiltna is next in line for elevation in that area, after the mighty trio of Denali, Foraker and Hunter. At 13,440ft, it will be a nice challenge.

East Kahiltna Peak in left foreground, dwarfed by Denali behind

Our trio, Lonnie Dupre, Vern Stice and myself, is aiming for the south ridge, but who knows what we will find. We will adapt to conditions and terrain. This mountain was first climbed in 1961, it has not been climbed in the winter.

So, so, excited!


Feb 25

I always enjoy your updates. Keep us posted - and good luck!


Feb 24



Buck Benson
Buck Benson
Feb 24

Such stark beauty

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