Hayes Glacier

April 2005 with Kevin Wright

Photos copyright 2005 Jed Brown unless noted.


We flew to the Hayes Glacier from Delta Junction with Jim Cummings to attempt a direct line on the West Face of Hayes. We had obtained a Mountaineering Fellowship Grant from the American Alpine Club and REI Challenge Fund for this climb. This photo by Kevin Wright.

West Face of Hayes

W Face of Hayes

The only route on the face is the 1976 Davis-Gowans-Hansen line on the left margin of the face to the North Shoulder.

On the Hayes Glacier

Kevin skiing up to the West Face. Above him is a rock rib which we climbed while attempting the E Ridge of Balchen later.

On the W Face

Kevin on the West Face. After crossing the bergschrund in the dark, we made a routefinding error and climbed 3000 feet in 4 hours up to a broad ice face.

Downclimbing the W Face

Kevin downclimbing on the W Face of Hayes. The hanger above was disconcerting as was the hard black ice with so much rock debris that new BD Screws could not be placed more than half way in.

The W Face

This angle of the face makes it look obnoxiously low angle. So much for the super-alpine challenge.


Balchen and Geist

Balchen and Geist. After some weather passed, we turned our attention to the ramp system on the NE Face of Balchen.

Snow Ramp

We had expected this part to be a snow ramp. We had set out to climb the face in a single push, but this climbing was too slow, so we bailed.

N Ridge of Balchen

The N Ridge of Balchen. We considered giving this route a go, but opted out. Observation from the other side indicates that it is rather serious.

Kevin on E Ridge

We decided to climb the aforementioned rock rib to the E Ridge. After several pitches including one 5.5 and one 5.6, we were stopped by a blank slab. We traversed right off the rib and climbed glacial ice past the remaining rock. This is fairly high on the ridge.

Upper E Ridge and S Ridge

We were running out of time to make the traverse around the gendarme. The S Ridge of Balchen, the site of The Handicap Ramp, is in profile.

Peak 10910

Peak 10910 from the E Ridge of Balchen.

Descending the E Ridge

Descending the E Ridge.

Descending the E Ridge

Descending the E Ridge.

Heading home

Skiing Out

We skied 45 miles to the road in two days.

Contact: Jed Brown jed AT 59A2 DOT org

Valid xHTML Valid CSS