The west face of Xanadu is known as the Half Dome of the Arctic and up until this summer, it had no big wall routes. It’s found in the Arrigetch Peaks in the in the Brooks Range.

The area was mapped in 1911 but not first ascents took place until 1965. Since then, Fred Beckey, Galen Rowell and Jon Krakauer all spent time climbing there.

In 2011, Tommy Caldwell, Hayden Kennedy and Cory Rich travelled to the area in winter and made the first ascent of a 15-pitch route called Deep in the Alaskan Bush V 5.11+R M2.

Their route was on an unnamed peak near Mount Xanadu. It’s marked D on the photo below.

One of the last few pitches to the summit of Albatross in the Arrigetch via a new direct route to a wild spire like summit. Great shot of Adam following this steep pitch with big loose flakes and blocks that were difficult to navigate through. Brian (@wanabaraka) jugged the pitch to make sure no one gets the chop…and took this awesome photo. When we started from the base we did not expect the route to be 1,600-1,800 feet, thank God we climbed fast enough and it doesn't really get too dark in Alaska. Before I upload own photos I'm limited to reposting those of my friends. :/ #climbing #alaska #landscape #photography #climbing #great #rock #californianexpedition #rockclimbing #scenery #outdoor #action #shot #exposure #rivers #crazy #clouds #walmart_official

A post shared by Vitaliy M. (@mtngangsta) on

This summer, Vitaliy Musiyenko climbed a new route with Brian Prince and Adam Ferro using funds from the Mugs Stump Award.

Their’s was one of three new routes up the wall. They called the 600-metre route Direct Southeast Face IV 5.10+. Marked A on the image.

He reported about the new routes on Instagram and noted the first to go up was by four climbers who freed and aided their line, fixed ropes and then worked it for a few weeks.

In the end, they freed it at around 5.13+, with most being 5.10ish. Marked C on the photo.

A post shared by Vitaliy M. (@mtngangsta) on

The other route on the wall was by Spanish soloist Silvia Vidal who spent two months in the area. It took her 17 trips to get her gear to the base and 20 days climbing the wall.

She had been ill for the past few years and dreams of this climb kept her alive. Full story to come. Marked B on the photo.

“We left the range a few days earlier and had a great time flying and fishing for salmon with Brian’s step dad,” siad Musiyenko.

“Smoked quite a bit of it, never tried smoked salmon this good anywhere.”


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