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[TR] Mt Burkett - NW Face "Can't Knock the Hustle" (FA) 10/6/2012

John Frieh

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Trip: Mt Burkett - NW Face "Can't Knock the Hustle" (FA)


Date: 10/6/2012


Summary: First Ascent of the Northwest Face of Mt Burkett on October 6th 2012. John Frieh and Doug Shepherd. “Can’t Knock the Hustle” IV 5.8 M4 AI4




Details: During last year’s ascent of the East Arete of Burkett Needle I was able to scope out at least the start to a possible line on the Northwest face of Mt Burkett. That, coupled with Mr John Scurlock’s excellent photos, gave us just enough beta to warrant an attempt once a weather window was identified which, unfortunately, is often the crux of climbing in the Stikine. The Stikine attempted to “wait me out” all summer with a consistently crappy forecast before finally offering a weather window, thinking I had given up for the season. Nice try weather gods. :grlaf:


On October 5th Doug and I flew from SEA to PSG where stubborn cloud cover resistant to burning off resulted in us getting flown into the Burkett glacier late in the day. We used the few remaining hours of daylight to approach Mt Burkett and used the same camp Dave Burdick and I used in 2009. The following morning (Oct 6th) we rolled out of camp around 5:30 am (???) and after some crevasse crossing hi jinx (see below) we reached the Burkett Needle/Mt Burkett col. We promptly dropped over, descended until we found a logical point to gain the face.


Simul climbing blocks followed as we slowly unlocked the face. We found classic north face climbing: granite mixed climbing, ice and steep snow which reminded me of the NW face of Mt Stuart... only longer. We topped out around 4 pm (???) and after a few pics we rappelled and downclimbed the Golden Gully route. More glacier hi jinx, again in the dark, before finally hitting camp around 9 pm made for a ~16 hour camp to camp time.


The following morning we did the short hike down to pickup where Wally promptly grabbed us just before 11 and brought us back to Petersburg for a ~43 hour round trip.


The Northwest Face “Can’t Knock the Hustle” (IV 5.8 M4 AI4) represents the 6th ascent of Mt Burkett. Many thanks to 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.


Lastly, a huge shout out to Doug for sucking it up and getting it done on this one considering he is 6 weeks post toe surgery.


John Frieh

Doug Shepherd


Pictures: Yes we have more. I will be showing them plus some from Mt Dickey on Oct 22 in Vancouver, BC (CANADA!) and sometime later this year at Mountain Gear in Spokane. If you're in the area I would be stoked if you can make it


Glacier travel hi jinx



Approaching the col



Low on the face



Higher on the face



Yes it was really windy





Gear Notes:

10 screws, #00 c3 -> #3 c4, rap material, picket


Wild Squirrel Vanilla Espresso :chebit:


Approach Notes:

Wally is the man


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Thought you might enjoy some pictures I took this past week (July 15) out the window of a Beechcraft Bonanza. Unfortunately, we flew through a cloud of bugs while coming up the lower Stikine out of Wrangell and their dried juice made for some bad images. We flew through the notch in the lower West Ridge of the Needle dead-on in the second picture. Cleared it by about 30 feet. (!) (Devil's Thumb in the distance.) Anyway, your accomplishment(s) is even more impressive when it's seen in the real. Wow!





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