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Team ready to tackle Peak 11,300 in the Alaska Range

The stun­ning Mt. Hun­ning­ton as seen dur­ing approach

Peak 11,300 — route fol­lows left skyline

On the summit!

All pho­tos from Mark Ryman’s recent expe­di­tion to Peak 11,300

It’s spring­time in Seat­tle — which means that it’s spring climb­ing sea­son in the Alas­ka Range! We’re excit­ed to announce that there’s a Moun­tain Mad­ness expe­di­tion on Peak 11,300, led by IFM­GA-cer­ti­fied guide Dylan Taylor. 

Peak 11,300 is a climber’s favorite, involv­ing steep snow, rock, and ice (Grade V, 5.8, 60′). It has become an Alaskan clas­sic, and offers diverse climb­ing in one of the world’s most amaz­ing alpine climb­ing are­nas. The ascent epit­o­mizes alpine climb­ing and lends itself to light­weight ascents, but also requires metic­u­lous plan­ning as Dylan explains in an email to his clients as they pre­pared for the trip:

Hi guys,

I just got out of the moun­tains, and now I’m hang­ing around in Anchor­age. Its good to hear you’ve put some thought into tweak­ing the gear to go light. It’s crit­i­cal that we trav­el light on the route — not just for enjoy­ment or chance of suc­cess, but for safe­ty as well. There’s noth­ing worse than pok­ing around on steep, high con­se­quences ter­rain far from civ­i­liza­tion with a big, unwieldy pack on your back. Its nev­er an easy deci­sion — I haven’t even decid­ed on what pack I’ll car­ry and I hard­ly have any choice since I’m already up here. But one thing I am sure of is that it will be between 40 and 55 liters max. Packs with a remov­able back pad are per­fect for this sort of thing as well since then you can dou­ble-down on the use­ful­ness of your padding. If you’re pack is big­ger than 50 or so L than its that much more fab­ric that gets blown around in the wind, that much more fab­ric that weighs, and that much more fab­ric that you have to bunch up with com­pres­sion straps. 

Bring two bags — you’ll most def­i­nite­ly want a +20 or +30 bag. That ‑20 bag should­n’t go any high­er than base­camp. I’m bring­ing a +20 and +30 bag — I’ll use them togeth­er in base­camp and prob­a­bly just take the +30 up on the route. Hon­est­ly, its not that cold in the ruth gorge in May these days, and fur­ther­more, suf­fer­ing is part of alpin­ism. If you guys real­ly want­ed to immerse your­selves in true alpin­ism, you’d take one bag for the two of you! I refuse to enforce any­thing like that though — its a per­son­al choice! hah!

For tools — the short answer is you bring what you are most com­fort­able with. If you are com­fort­able get­ting in and out of your leash­es quick­ly, then bring your Ven­oms. If you bring your vipers, bring a spin­ner leash sys­tem. The climb­ing isn’t super dif­fi­cult, so the vipers may not give you that much of an edge. Plus, you can’t plunge them in snow as secure­ly. But hav­ing leash­less tools sure is nice for the alpine. I’m bring­ing Pet­zl Aztars with mod­i­fied leash­less pom­mels that come off in about a minute with my leather­man. I have a leash-less teth­er for them as well so i don’t drop them. 

Hap­py Trav­els! Look­ing for­ward to climb­ing with you!



The group flew in as sched­uled and land­ed in the West Fork of the Ruth Glac­i­er at the base of Peak 11,300. They were hav­ing great weath­er when we heard from them yes­ter­day, but were watch­ing high clouds from the south­east. (The fore­cast is for a weak front com­ing through today, then for clear skies Thurs­day and Fri­day before anoth­er front moves in on Friday.)

Accord­ing to Dylan, most of the approach couloirs to the route have released, and he thinks trav­el will be straight­foward and safe. They were plan­ning to watch the weath­er, and start up ear­ly this morn­ing. They’re plan­ning for two nights on the route, so we’re look­ing for­ward to hear­ing from them soon!

(Note: the pic­tures above are from Mark Ryman’s suc­cess­ful expe­di­tion to Peak 11,300, a week ago. Con­grat­u­la­tions to Mark and his part­ner and MM guide Aaron Clifford!)

P.S. For some­thing a lit­tle clos­er to home but as wild and wooly as 11,300, check out our remote Pick­ets Expe­di­tion in the North Cas­cades- it does­n’t get any wilder in the low­er 48!