Every spring, dozens of climbers head to Alaska’s Ruth Gorge in search of old classics and new routes and two Canadians recently climbed a couple of the former.
Bryce Brown and his partner Sunny Twelker are well-travelled alpinists. As doctors based in Canmore and Thunder Bay, they spend much of their year balancing full-on work schedules with international climbing trips.
This spring, Bryce and Sunny spent some time in the Ruth Gorge where they climbed the Mooses Tooth classics Ham and Eggs and the route Shaken, Not Stirred.
Ham and Eggs is one of America’s most classic alpine route. With moderate, but fun climbing, the route has a number of short cruxes and it gives amazing views of Ruth Gorge, Denali, Hunter, Huntington, the northern peaks, and the “Tooth” peaks adjoining the Mooses Tooth.
The route was climbed in 1975 by Jon Krakauer, Tom Davies and Nate Zinsser, but wasn’t repeated for two decades. In the 1990s, Paul Roderick of Talkeetna Air Taxi started bringing climbers right to the base of the climb, which has led to its popularity.
“Great time on the Mooses Tooth in the Ruth Gorge,” said Bryce. “Climbed Ham and Eggs and Shaken, Not Stirred. Both are classics for a reason. We also attempted Peak 11300, but there was too much snow and weather.”
Shaken, Not Stirred is a narrow ice ribbon splitting the granite walls of the south face of the Mooses Tooth. With a short approach and and fun climbing, Shaken, Not Stirred has been called the quintessential Alaskan alpine experience.
It’s similar, but slightly more difficult than its sister climb, Ham and Eggs. There lots of easier climbing that leads to a 180-metre funnel of alpine ice called the narrow.