Although their expedition is not remote by most standards, the northwest fork of the Lacuna Glacier they climbed in had never been explored before, according to the park's records. "Voyager Peak," a title they gave point "12,213", seems an apt name for not only their summit objective, but also their expedition. "We rallied back there to explore a zone that had not been visited and climb what inspires us," Zimmerman said. "And that's exactly what we did." Controversy Surrounds Alaskan Route | Unofficial Networks

Controversy Surrounds Alaskan Route

Controversy Surrounds Alaskan Route

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Controversy Surrounds Alaskan Route

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Courtesy of wefly4fun.com

Article from Alpinist.com discussing the controversy surrounding the Alaskan Route.

On May 26, Mark Allen and Graham Zimmerman established a new route in the northwest fork of the Lacuna Glacier on the southwestern ridgeline of Mt. Foraker. Their climb, “To the Center” (AK 4 AI2, 4500′), runs along a couloir for the majority of its 4,500 feet, then strikes a thin and precarious southeast ridgeline. There, the two climbed to the route’s 12,213-foot pinnacle in five hours and forty-five minutes. This ridgeline also links two of their previous attempts at the ridge’s high point, and they said it will likely host many technical climbs in the future. The morning following their climb, the two skinned twenty-five kilometers back to their base camp on the Kahiltna Glacier.

Alpinist.com has delayed reporting this story, however, due to the controversy surrounding its authenticity. Many Alaska Range veterans ardently dispute that this route reaches a previously unclimbed peak, as Allen and Zimmerman had believed. These Alaskans state the duo’s route only climbs a prominence on the southwestern handrail of the Fin, a route just south of Mt. Foraker that Freddie Wilkinson, Peter Doucette and Ben Gilmore pioneered in 2007.

“In terms of it being a peak or not,” Zimmerman said, “we skied back there and climbed an extremely aesthetic and challenging feature that has, in the past, been referred to as a peak and is cited on a map.” He also noted that, aside from Foraker, their feature appeared the most prominent in the area.

Another area of controversy is their climb’s remoteness. To the Center is only a day’s ski from Kahiltna International Airport (Denali Base Camp), a glacier landing strip frequented by climbers and tourists alike. Zimmerman, though, specified that their route was the furthest they had ventured in the glacier and, therefore, felt remote to them.

You can read the full post here: alpinist.com

Sources: Returnofthejolleyroget.blogspot.com, Mark Westman, Freddie Wilkinson, Climbing.com,Graham Zimmerman

 

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