Cleaning up Some Abandoned Alaska Sport Routes

This summer has been heavily focused on bouldering and putting up more new hard problems here in Alaska and trying (unsuccessfully) to whittle down my project list.  At the beginning of the summer my list had about 20 or so projects.  Some were ones for this year, some were for future years as I get stronger/better.  Now I have 45 on my list, and those are just the Alaska ones.  The good news is that means I have more motivation for next year.  The bad news is that I’ve only been able to get outside 4 times in the last month which is why the list isn’t getting any shorter.

The Pivot Point Project

In an effort to get outside a bit more, I’m looking at a few projects that are nearby and doable in a quick after work session.  Namely three old abandoned projects down the highway:  Pivot, Party and Shriek.

The first up is a short but stout arête line at Pivot Point, that I call the .  I think this was originally bolted by Erik Kubiak in the 1994-1996 timeframe, and worked but never sent.  It follows a proud line directly up a steeply overhung arête through a series of awful holds and crazy body tension moves.  I might be tempted to try to boulder this, but the final move to the point of the arête is a full on foot cutting dyno to a jug.   Coming off of this move would spit you out over 25 feet of air and send you sailing backwards ino a bunch of downed trees and devils club.  Some day someone else may be the first to boulder it, but not me.

Next is an old line down the highway at Party Wall.  This is a line that Dan Kryger bolted that takes a line of marginal features up the center of the main overhang.  Back in around 2000-2001 we worked it briefly, but there was one move that we just couldn’t figure out.  I haven’t been back to it since.

The Shriek Project takes a line up the center of the photo, near the intermittent dihedral feature. (not the line with the draws on it)

Last in line is the Shriek Project.  This is an old nemesis of mine which was bolted together with Dan Kryger, and which I’ve worked unsuccessfully multiple times, and each time the send was within my grasp something happened and I lost motivation.  I’ve fallen once on the upper crux, and twice on the middle crux:  once breaking a big hold off, once ripping a fingernail off, and once gashing my knee.

The route follows a series of intermittent mini-corners up the main face right of Shriek of the Mutilated.  It starts off with some reasonable movement to the second bolt where you hit the first crux, a powerful crimpy boulder problem with a crazy highstep.  The second crux is a ultra-delicate balance move off a crimp sidepull and a full extension reach up into a undercling pinch.  A few moves later is a good rest before the final slab crux on sloping crimps.