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Kraken

"Breaking Point" Glenn Randall's book Mt. Hunter.

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I first heard about their astonishing alpine style ascent on Mount Hunter's Southeast Spur from the 9th Alpinist, which was devoted to Mount Hunter.

 

The Southeast Spur was first climbed by Johnny Waterman, who soloed the route. He spent 145 days alone on Mount Hunter in an effort to escape his demons and find himself. Making endless carries and ferrying loads up and down the mountain, he climbed the equivilent of roughly 250,000 vertical feet.

 

He later (is believed to have) died on Denali while attempting a new route in the winter, solo. His mental issues were quite troubling to him. At this time, he had decided to run for president of the USA under the "Feed the Starving People" party. To gain awareness for his campaign, he was going to eat only sugar, flour, and margarine during his climb.

 

You're going to die, Johnny," one friend said.

 

He did. Some people believe that he faked his own death however, but after 20 years, no one has any vital proof that he is or ever was alive after Denali.

 

Randall's book spends a lot of time talking about Waterman's climbs on Hunter and Denali. The main focus of the book though, is their second ascent, first alpine style ascent of the route.

 

They rationed out food for six days, and ended up being on the mountain for 13 days. This is one of the most incredible books I've read, and I'm not even done yet.

 

If you want to read the mini epic, check out Alpinist 9. There is a section talking all about Waterman's epic as well as that of which Breaking Point was written.

 

I am pretty suprised I was actually able to find this book. It has been out of print since the mid-late 80s. Upon searching on Amazon, it was going for as much as $200. I was lucky and found it for $2 at Title Wave Books here in Anchorage.

 

"Breaking Point" on Amazon.com

 

Seriously though, check this out. The picture of Randall's emaciated frame after returning to Talkeetna from Hunter in the Alpinist 9 is worth it alone. It's an astonishing account of the climb and the first American book written about an alpine style ascent.

Edited by Clintoris

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