2010 AAJ coverHere is your May sampling of new reports from AAJ Online. Remember, this is just a sample: to see all the recent additions, click on "New" and scroll down. Or go to "Reports" and search by region. We are delighted to report that the website is operating much faster now, so please have a look!

John Harlin III

Wind Rivers: Free route on Mt. Hooker

By Taki Miyamoto

In August, Dave Sharratt, Pat Goodman, and I completed a free ascent of the northeast face of Mt. Hooker. The line generally followed the Third Eye in the lower half, then the upper corner systems of the Boissonneault-Larson. By modern standards, our route (which we haven’t named as it’s not really a new route) is not very difficult. We neither did it very fast nor did we take the most difficult line, but we took an aesthetic line up one of the baddest parts of the wall. In short, the “new” free route is 13 full rope length pitches with lots of fun but spicy 5.11 and 5.12 climbing…. (read more)
Photo: Mt. Hooker's northeast face. Pat Goodman

Alaska: Mt. Hayes & Mt. Balchen

By Ryan Hokanson, AAC

On May 22, Sam Johnson and I flew in to the Hayes Range portion of the eastern Alaska Range, looking for maximum adventure. We spent six perfectly cloudless days transporting tremendous amounts of gear around the Gillam Glacier, and then stood below Mts. Deborah and Hess, ready to launch. Watching water pour down our desired routes under the hot sun was disappointing to say the least. Fortunately, Rob Wing and his Super Cub out of Fairbanks could shuttle us to the Hayes Glacier.... (read more)
Photo: Sam Johnson climbing Mt. Hayes. Ryan Hokanson

Antarctic Peninsula: Various ski descents


By Jim Blyth, France

We demanded a lot from Stephen Wilkins, Australian owner and skipper of the yacht Xplore, which delivered us to the Peninsula. It was not just the quantities of food and drink we consumed, but also the number of drop-offs and pick-ups we requested. The weather proved so good that we had several days with multiple ski objectives.... (read more)
Photo: Skiing Demaria, with Mt. Peary behind.  Jim Blyth

South Greenland: Pamiagdluk Island, Baroness, Camp Peak

By Danika Gilbert, AAC

We started our trip on Pamiagdluk Island, reached after a three and a half hour boat ride through the Torssukatat Fjord from Nanortalik—the village where most climbing expeditions launch. We landed on a small beach below the prominent northwest face of the Baroness. Our primary goal was to climb the center of the wall: the large, mostly orange granite face, topped by dark gray corner and crack systems.... (read more)
Photo: On the South Face Direct of Campsite Hill. Danika Gilbert

China: Xuelian Range, Sulamar north buttress

By Mick Fowler, UK

This area had been visited twice before by mountaineering trips, both led by Bruce Normand, and is where Bruce, Jed Brown, and Kyle Dempster climbed their 2010 Piolets d’Or awarded route on Xuelian West. We operated as two independent teams, with Morrison and Smith exploring side valleys off the Muzart Glacier, while Ramsden and I descended the rarely travelled Xiate trail to explore the mountains beyond the snout of the Muzart Glacier…. (read more)
Photo: North buttress of Sulamar. Bruce Normand

Kyrgyzstan's Western Kokshaal-too: Pik Vernyi

By Maria Gal, Switzerland

We reached the area in an old Soviet vehicle, which though not inspiring on first acquaintance, proved remarkably efficient. To access base camp we had to drive 15km across a marshy delta. We bogged down four times, and had to use jacks to lift the wheels, then put boards and stones on the ground, to start moving. We were lucky that our driver Sasha was bold and experienced. Two days later we reached base camp, exhausted. A French team, which also planned to operate from this valley, never made it, the driver being less adventurous.... (read more)
Photo: Pitch 21 on No Shachlik. Maria Gal

East Coast Greenland: Grundtvigskirchen, Milne Land

By Lindsay Griffin, Mountain INFO

An Italian-Swiss team comprising Simon Gietl, Daniel Kopp, Roger Schali, and photographer/climber Thomas Ulrich made the first ascent of the spectacular, east face of Grundtvigskirchen, a huge granite wall rising 1,325m from a point not far above the south coast of Renland. After flying to the airstrip at Constable Point, and crossing Scoresby Sund by Zodiac inflatables, the team established base camp just 50m above the sea. Across the waters of the Ofjord to the south lies the large island of Milne Land…. (read more)
Photo: East face of Grundtvigskirchen. Patrick Huber

East Greenland: Grundvigskirchen

By Lindsay Griffin, Mountain INFO

The Swiss team had obtained a copy of map sheet 7102, printed in 2003, on which the peak they climbed is named Grundtvigskirken. However, some contributors to their blog suggested this was incorrect, and should be Tsavagattaq. To settle the matter, they contacted the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), a by-product of which was an interesting discussion involving Tony Higgins, a Senior Research Geologist with GEUS…. (read more)
Photo: Peaks on Ren Land, with prominent Grundvigskirchen. Tony Higgins

Nepal: Lobuje East, southwest face, Night Terror

By Joel Kauffman, AAC

We woke at midnight and were soon ascending moraine that gave out onto scree-covered ice, which we climbed to gain recently revealed, glacier-polished bedrock. Jared drew the first pitch, which earned the nickname “sparky.” After pounding in a Lost Arrow and a stopper, he locked off on a left tool torqued in a crack, and reached high with the right. The right tool raked and bounced off a ledge covered in a veneer of ice and loose rocks; at the same time his feet skated off the polish and showered me with sparks. This was the first M7 pitch and a great warm-up.... (read more)
Photo: Southwest face of Lobuje East. Night Terror is the obvious couloir. Joel Kauffman

India's Pangi Region: Shiva, north face attempt

By Andrey Muryshev, Russia

In 2008, while climbing a new route on Mahindra in the Miyar Valley (see AAJ 2009), we were captivated by a “mysterious” peak to the northwest. I later discovered it was Shiva, first climbed in 1988 by Junko Tabei. I explored the mountain on Google Earth and found that it had a huge north face. I estimated it to be ca 1,800m, but after much research could find no photographs. So I went in September 2010 with fellow climbers Evgeny Korol and Alexander Kornilov, and snowboarder Natalia Lapina, to see and climb it. Only the first part of the plan was successful…. (read more)
Photo: Shiva. The central spur is the obvious arete dropping right. Andrey Muryshev

A lot more reports are online!

Click the “New” button at aaj.AmericanAlpineClub.org and scroll down to see which reports are from your favorite part of the world.
Photo: La Mirada del la Gitana, Mt. Helen, Wind Rivers, Wyoming. Pete Tapley

Please Submit Your New Routes to the AAJ!

If you have climbed or attempted a new mountain or big wall route, please report it to us soon after your success (or glorious failure). While the printed American Alpine Journal only comes out once a year (in July or August), the AAJ Online publishes all year round. Your report will later be published in the famous annual book for the permanent record-and you will receive a copy as a token of our appreciation.

The AAJ strives to be complete-to publish ALL the big new routes-but we can only do this with your help. Please have mercy on your poor editors and send us your report early so that we can keep the world up to date in a timely fashion. The complete Submissions Guidelines are available here, including specific contact names and email addresses. But you can always reach us at aaj@americanalpineclub.org.

A big THANKS! from your editors,
Kelly Cordes
Lindsay Griffin
John Harlin III

What we publish:

The AAJ tries to be the world's "journal of record" for documenting significant new climbs. We seek reports on all new long routes worldwide ("long" typically means a full day or more on the climb itself). We sometimes report a repeat ascent if the peak or route has not been climbed in many years; if there have been major changes in conditions on the mountain; if the style is new (example: first free ascent); if the ascent was exceptionally fast; if it was the first winter ascent (but only of major routes); or if the report supplies vital information for future climbers. We do not publish reports on first "national" ascents (for example, the first American or Italian or Japanese ascent). We also don't cover first women's ascents, handicapped climbs, or other special recognitions. Sometimes, however, we break our own "rules."

How to write a report:

Reports for the Climbs & Expedition section of the AAJ are typically 250-500 words long. The prime goals are to document history and to provide information that helps future climbers in this region, but we enjoy a good story, too! Here is a simple way to remember what should be included in the report: tell the story of your trip ... very briefly!

Be sure to include:

What?-name of peak and route.
Where?-exactly where is it? Country, mountain range, route line.
When?-dates of the expedition.
Who?-names of climbers.
Why?-why did this climb interest
How hard?-difficulty of the climb, using whichever grading system you prefer.

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