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John Frieh

first ascent [TR] Burkett Needle - East Arête "Repeat Offender" (FA) 9/11/2011

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Trip: Burkett Needle - East Arête "Repeat Offender" (FA)

 

Date: 9/11/2011

 

Trip Report:

Summary: First Ascent of the East Arête of Burkett Needle on September 11th 2011. Dave Burdick, John Frieh and Zac West. “Repeat Offender” IV 5.9 M5 AI3

 

BurkettNeedle_EastArete_1.jpg

 

Details: On September 9th, 2011 Dave Burdick, Zac West and I (John Frieh) flew to the Burkett Glacier in the heart of SE Alaska’s Stikine Icecap. A rare two-day weather window had appeared in between the record storms and rainfall that had been hammering the area all summer long. Our intentions on Mt. Burkett were soon abandoned after observing how active and broken the hanging glacier on the approach was in its fall state. Instead we turned our attentions to the unclimbed East Arête of Burkett Needle, a 2300’ alpine tower immediately West of Mt. Burkett.

 

The following day our team ascended a rock rib to access the icefall below the Needle’s Southeast Face. The glacier was quite broken and required climbing into moats and up a short serac to reach the gully that leads to the base of the East Arête. Deteriorating weather caused us to bivouac at the col and attempt the climb the next day.

 

On September 11th, we ascended steep snow and low 5th rock up the lower aspects of the East Arête to a prominent gendarme. A short wall lead up and over the gendarme to exposed rock and mixed climbing along and right of the ridge crest to the false summit. A short rappel brought us to the summit tower where our route joined the 1964 Kor-Davis North ridge. Three mixed snow and rock pitches lead to the summit. We rappelled and downclimbed the Northeast face to descend.

 

The East Arête “Repeat Offender” (IV 5.9 M5 AI3) represents the 6th ascent of the peak. Many thanks to the Copp-Dash Inspire Award and the Mazama Expedition Committee for supporting our trip, Dieter Klose for support and allowing us to climb while the Icecap was “closed for the season” and to our pilot Wally from Temsco Air.

 

Dave Burdick

John Frieh

Zac West

 

2009 First Ascent of the West Ridge of Burkett Needle "Smash and Grab" Trip Report

 

Pictures: Yes we have many more photos and video to share but in accordance with the grant we will be putting it all together into a multimedia presentation to share at a later date (a slideshow perhaps?) so... stay tuned!

 

BurkettNeedle_EastArete_2.jpg

 

BurkettNeedle_EastArete_3.jpg

 

BurkettNeedle_EastArete_4.jpg

 

BurkettNeedle_EastArete_5.jpg

 

BurkettNeedle_EastArete_6.jpg

 

BurkettNeedle_EastArete_7.jpg

 

 

 

Approach Notes:

Temsco Air

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:rocken: And all the locals say you can't climb this stuff in September.

 

We had to petition Dieter to "reopen the icecap" and were warned to "beware the equinox!" by a local who shall remain anonymous :laf::)

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Wow.

 

The other unclimbed fin of the rocket ship preparing to take off has now been ascended.

 

I vividly recall staring up at it (during the brief times it would peak through the clouds) for over two weeks in 1979 while camped directly underneath it.

 

Way to perservere all summer while awaiting an acceptable weather window. It can get nasty and stay that way on the Stikine for weeks or more at a time, even in summer.

 

Excellent job fella's!

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Correct me if I am mistaken, but haven't all the ascents on Burkett Needle been done by PNW climbers? If so, way to carry the torch!

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haven't all the ascents on Burkett Needle been done by PNW climbers?

 

1999?, Frenchmen Lionel Daudet and Sebastien Foissac, SW buttress/S face, third ascent. and the north/northeast arete, that's had an ascent, right?

 

anyway, great climb gents... fantastic area & a highly compelling peak.... amongst several in there... my guess is you had some nice views of DT's incredible nw face...

 

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haven't all the ascents on Burkett Needle been done by PNW climbers?

 

1999?, Frenchmen Lionel Daudet and Sebastien Foissac, SW buttress/S face, third ascent. and the north/northeast arete, that's had an ascent, right?

 

anyway, great climb gents... fantastic area & a highly compelling peak.... amongst several in there... my guess is you had some nice views of DT's incredible nw face...

 

John is correct; the French have a line on it. Additionally the very first ascent was by Layton Kor... though he climbed everywhere I do believe Colorado was home base. Everything else was by PNW climbers I do believe

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