Outdoors

Jess Roskelley climbs new Alaska Range route

Jess Roskelley crawls into a hallow snow cave to huddle for the night with his father, John. “It was the only place on the route where you could even sit down,” John said. (Courtesy Roskelley / The Spokesman-Review)
Jess Roskelley crawls into a hallow snow cave to huddle for the night with his father, John. “It was the only place on the route where you could even sit down,” John said. (Courtesy Roskelley / The Spokesman-Review)

MOUNTAINEERING — Jess Roskelley of Spokane teamed with John Frieh of Portland in late October for a three-day “smash and grab” outing to pioneer a new route on Mount Wake in the Alaska Range. 

Roskelley, the son of Spokane mountaineering veteran and county commissioner candidate, at one time was the youngest American to summit Mount Everest.

Timing the recent Alaska Range trip with a great weather forecast, Frieh and Roskelley flew by ski plane to the Ruth Glacier, got right to business to scale a route they've named The Cook Inlet (4,500′, V AI4 M4). They were back at their skis 15 hours after leaving and flew out the following morning.

“Autumn ascents in the Alaska Range are unusual, but if you can put up with the reduced daylight and deeper cold of post-equinox climbing, you may be rewarded with less avalanche danger and, of course, no crowds,” says climbing writer Dougald MacDonald in this report on the climb.




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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