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Fri, Jul 3 2009, Sat, Jul 4 2009, Sun, Jul 5 2009 - East/West 9430 (View Original Event Details)

Coordinator(s): Steve Niday
Participants:Steve Niday

Write Up:
East 9430 Peak - July 3-5, 2009 Coordinator: Steve Niday From Parke Peak, the connecting ridge to the 9430 peaks does not look fun. Both peaks had been climbed from Longbow Lake, which left the north side for an unexplored route. The topo map indicated a good break about 1,500 feet east of the 9430 East summit. Google Earth confirmed that break, and it was white, nice. It made sense to get there early in the season to take advantage of firm snow to access the ridge. We lucked out and the snow conditions were favorable. It's all fun until you cross Kintla Creek at the outlet of Upper Kintla Lake. Immediately we faced relentless downfall. Some giant's idea of the perfect game of pickup sticks. With energy, enthusiasm and light waning, and no hope of finding a clearing soon, we cleared tent-sized spaces near the confluence of the two forks of Red Medicine Bow Creek. The next morning we left camp in a drizzle. Ken decided to explore up toward Harris Glacier. Downfall persisted until we reached 5,000 feet. At that point we looked out over a sea of alder, with the only viable option to just plow straight ahead in the rain. Soaking wet, we finally reached the alder seashore and ascended into the Kintla Glacier basin. We could see the target couloir and it looked good. I was feeling off, and not wanting to slow the others, I made the very difficult decision to stop. Dean joined me watching the group climb to the summit. At this point I turn the narrative over to Forest. After the group split around 10 a.m., Brian, Paul, Frank and Forest headed east and up Kintla Glacier. After cramponing up a steep section, we traversed the broad flatter area toward the north-facing wall of East 9430. We made our way around and over a yawning crevasse then up the steep, narrow couloir. At the top was a very narrow and exposed ridge scramble. Paul threw in the towel there. The remaining three of us headed for the summit. The ridge was steep, but except for one short 5th Class section, really wasn't too bad. Shortly before 2 p.m. we reached the top. According to the register we were the first people on top in 15 years and probably only the fourth or fifth group to ascend this peak (and very likely the first by this north route). With storms approaching, we descended, picked up Paul, rappelled down the narrow snow couloir and headed down the glacier. Key to the alder sea is following the bottom of the middle fork of Red Medicine Bow Creek. By bottom, I mean bottom. After we left the stream, we soon found the main game trail in the area. Leaving camp the last day, we stayed close to the water. It proved easier, but not easy. A heavy price is paid to access Kintla Glacier this way, but once there, many good routes are available. This may be a better winter trip with lots of snow covering the downfall. On top of the East 9430 Peak were Brian Kennedy, Frank Wesolovski and Forest Dean. Also surviving the trip's brutal bushwhack were: Paul Jensen, Dean Stensland, Steve Niday and Ken McDermott.



Have some photos from this event that you'd like to share in our photo album? Please forward them to Tim Anderson at twamontana@gmail.com. Please note that we prefer to receive the photos in approximately 640x480 or 750x500 pixels - do NOT send original high-res photos. If you have a LOT of photos, please submit up to twenty of your favorites (only) for a day event, or up to forty of your favourites for a multi-day event. Thank you.




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