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Alaska Ascents Confirmed
Posted on: June 15, 2010
The north face of Mt. Church (8,233'), Ruth Gorge, Alaska Range, showing the route climbed by Kazuaki Amano, Ryo Masumoto and Takaai Nagato from April 25-26. The AI4+ M6R line branches right from the Clapham-Pike at the obvious rock band in the middle of the face. [Photo] Giri-Giri Boys
Optimist (M6 5.9/5.10- R, 22 pitches, 3,000') on the west face of Peak 7,400', Ruth Gorge, Alaska Range. [Photo] Giri-Giri Boys
The Japanese team made what may be the first all-free ascent of the Denali Diamond at M7/7+. [Photo] Giri-Giri Boys
In the June 9, 2010 NewsWire, Alpinist posted a preliminarily bulletin about an impressive trip to the Alaska Range by three Japanese climbers. It stated that Kazuaki Amano and a couple new members of the Giri-Giri Boys—Ryo Masumoto and Takaai Nagato—had established two new routes in the Ruth Gorge, then repeated the Denali Diamond and Moonflower Buttress. Alpinist has received photos and confirmation of these climbs. Additional information not reported in the last NewsWire is detailed below.
Their first new route of the trip ascended the west face of Peak 7,400' on April 18-19. They named it Optimist (M6 5.9/5.10- R, 22 pitches, 3,000'). Then April 25-26 they climbed 17 pitches on the north face of Mt. Church, branching right off the Clapham-Pike to take a more direct line (AI4+ M6R) to the summit. Amano plans to name the route in honor of Tatsuro Yamada and Yuto Inoue, who died on Denali two years ago.
To acclimatize, Amano, Masumoto and Nagato made what they think was the season's first ascent of Denali's normal route, the West Buttress, from May 1-10. An all-free ascent of the Denali Diamond then went at M7/7+ for the Japanese, who believe that they are the first to climb the massive 8,500-foot route without aid. To cap off the trip, Amano, Takaai and Nagato climbed Moonflower Buttress (5.8 AI6 A3, 6,100') on Mt. Hunter, nearly reaching the top in a single 23-hour push. After a few hours of rest high on the route, they climbed higher on the buttress but descended instead of navigating the final cornice.
Source: Hiroshi Hagiwara
Mixed climbing the west face of Peak 7,400'. [Photo] Giri-Giri Boys
Amano, Masumoto and Nagato. [Photo] Giri-Giri Boys