As the Canadian team flew from Calgary to Salt Lake City to Anchorage on Tuesday, April 1, it is rumoured a French team was climbing their main objective,  the west face of Pyramid Peak.

Alaska’s Revelations range is the centre of activity this spring with a Canadian, French and American team waiting for weather windows. The Revelations are a somewhat-obscure and seldom-traveled range of the Alaska Range 250 km southwest of Denali. 

The first recorded trip to the range was 1967 by David Roberts and party. The difficulty and expense of accessing the remote peaks have made climbers infrequent visitors, but a flurry of “recent” activity by Clint Helander and other Americans, international attention has grown.

The John Lauchlan Award Recipients (Canadian Team)

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Darren Vonk, Kris Irwin and Ian Welsted (the 2014 Piolets d’Or winner) have arrived on the Revelation Glacier for their three-week stay.  Mark Taylor, the fourth member of the team, could not go because of a recent broken back he suffered in the Ghost River Valley in Alberta, he is expected to make a full recovery.

Main Objective: Pyramid Peak’s west face and its WI6 pillar, 800 metres up the wall.

“Our main objective has been climbed by another team!” 

Pyramid Peak’s 1,200-metre west face has a direct line which has been attempted twice. Two-thirds of the way up the route is an ice-pillar. This route was the goal of the Canadian team, but minutes before flying into basecamp from Anchorage, Welsted corresponded with Gripped, “Our main objective has just been climbed by another team!” [ED- We are assuming by the four-man French Team.]

Communications with climbers on the Revelation Glacier will resume after the expedition, daily satellite phone messages are being sent to friends and family.

The 1,200 m west face of Pyramid Peak. The obvious line on the left was the main objective of the Canadian Team Photo Clint Helander

The 1,200 m west face of Pyramid Peak. The obvious line on the left was the main objective of the Canadian Team Photo Clint Helander

A closer look at the ice pillar on Pyramid

A closer look at the ice pillar on Pyramid

An even closer look at the pillar on Pyramid

An even closer look at the pillar on Pyramid 

Map of the Revelation Mountains in Southwest Alaska. Highlights include: 1) Mt Hesperus northeast face – unclimbed 1,500 m direct line (A on map) 2) Golgotha east face – unclimbed 1,200 m direct line (H on map) 3) Pyramid Peak west face – twice attempted 1,200 m direct line, featuring a WI6 pillar 800 m up the route (D on map)

Map of the Revelation Mountains in Southwest Alaska. Highlights include:
1) Mt Hesperus northeast face – unclimbed 1,500 m direct line (A on map)
2) Golgotha east face – unclimbed 1,200 m direct line (H on map)
3) Pyramid Peak west face – twice attempted 1,200 m direct line, featuring a WI6 pillar 800 m up the route (D on map)

Golgotha – 1,200 m unclimbed east face

Golgotha – 1,200 m unclimbed east face

Source: John Lauchlan Award, American Alpine Journal

 


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