Here is a recap of Elías de Andrés Martos’s recent expedition to the Moose’s Tooth to climb Ham n’ Eggs.
Our trip to the Moose’s Tooth was a memorable climbing experience! There’s nothing like a motivated, competent and fun partner to undertake such a challenge. Brian, who spent the winter training hard on our fantastic southwest Colorado ice, came up to the task, and crushed it on Moose’s Tooth.
We flew into the Root Canal on the best weather day possible, and soon after setting up camp, we were contemplating climbing that very night. With decent forecast in the AK Range one needs to take advantage of any possible window. And so we launched! At 4:45am or so, we started our approach. A light cover of new snow had fallen on that night, and after a few pitches on the route proper, visibility became sparse, and a few sluffs added weight to our decision to take it as an exploratory day, and turn back to camp.
Soon after a deserved nap, the now obvious materialization of a high pressure system, was giving us hopes of trying again at night. A bit earlier, this time we left the comfort of our tents at 4:30am, on a way more bitter cold morning, filled with stars in the sky, we were now sure weather wouldn’t be an issue. With the lower part scouted the day before, our progress to the base of the crux pitch only took 2h from our tent. Moderate rock and snow climbing, preceded a couple dozen feet of rotten “snice”, topped by a slightly overhung mushroom of ice. A laughter and an out loud “that was fun” from Brian, assured me the quality of my partner at this point.
The coming up section, or middle third of the route, proved very enjoyable; narrower steps of nearly vertical, short sections of ice, followed by moderate snow were just pure joy, all while entrenched in the narrow granite of the Moose’s Tooth, and with the breathtaking views of the great Ruth Glacier and surrounding peaks when we turned our heads around.
A couple more hours and we were be at the Col, with expansive views in every direction over the Range. A short break behind a serac, parkas on for the remainder, and the summit smiles wanted to pop on our faces already, we knew that the corniced ridge would be the last bit of terrain to manage before an incredible reward.
Denali, Hunter, Huntington, Dickey, Bear Tooth… and countless other peaks were all visible from the top. With no weather to rush us back, we enjoyed a few extra minutes of pictures and high fives. Shortly after, a careful down climb preceding hours of rappelling, would be our uneventful descent, only interrupted to peel layers off as we dropped elevation, and to snack while the views of the surrounding walls changed with the new lower elevation.
Some 14h after our start in the morning, ropes were being pulled, and another 20 min walk to camp urged us to discuss the most important part of the day; “what would be for dinner?” The answer was clear; “steak is for dinner!!!
Come climb in the AK Range with SJMG!!!