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Helander and Stuckey Conquer Alaskan Apocalypse

Fly with TAT - Sunday, April 21, 2013

Today we received an email from frequent-flyer Clint Helander detailing his recent expedition into the Revelations with climbing partner Jason Stuckey.  Clint tells it best, so the following are his words (and pictures).

 

"In early April, after ten frustrating days of waiting in town, Jason Stuckey and I finally made it out to the Revelation Mountains. Nothing was going our way. The weather was bad and pilots were available. Then the weather was good, but our non-TAT pilots couldn't fly in. Then both partners ran out of time and the trip was off. In a last ditch effort of desperation, I started calling friends of friends, looking for an available partner. Jason Stuckey answered the call.

At the farthest corner of the southwestern Alaska Range, the Revelations are a seldom visited area with a relatively short list of climbing expeditions.

After retreating from another unclimbed peak, Jason and I set our sites on the Revelations' tallest unclimbed peak, 9,345-foot Apocalypse. Named by David Roberts in 1967, the peak had been tried several times in the early 1980s, but had thwarted every attempt.

 

Apocalypse's ca. 4,400-foot west face is one of the most continuously steep, Kichatna-like walls in all of the Revelations. Numerous big walls comprise the expansive west face and tower over the narrow Revelation Glacier. In between the two biggest walls is a narrow cut in the face. From the ground we could easily see huge amounts of ice choking the serpentine crack.

 

Jason and I spent two days and two nights climbing the wall, encountering over 2,000-feet of ice up to AI5. The summit ridge felt wildly exposed and with only two pickets we were forced to use seated belays and simul-climb with no protection between us. On the summit, we could see all the way to Denali. Not a single cloud flew in the sky.

We carefully downclimbed and rappelled the route, leaving only a few pieces of gear aside from V-threads.

 

When we hit the glacier, we realized we had been climbing in a massive inversion. Warm temps up high grew colder on the glacier. Our base camp thermometer bottomed out at -25F.

Content with our wonderful experience on Apocalypse, we called in the big guns...Paul Roderick. Knowing that he was bringing in a group of skiers from Jackson Hole, we were happy to jump on the return flight to Talkeetna.

The next day, TAT's Otter swooped in and picked us up. It was fun to see Paul so excited about landing in such a wild place. His smile was almost as big as ours.

 

Thanks Paul and the rest of the awesome staff at Talkeetna Air Taxi!!!!!"

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